Verizon Communications has entered into a three-year minimum purchase agreement with Corning to provide fibre-optic cable and associated hardware for the US operator as it expands coverage and capacity for its nationwide wireless broadband network.
The agreement calls for Corning to provide and Verizon to purchase up to 20 million km of optical fibre each year from 2018 through 2020, with a minimum purchase commitment worth $1.05 billion.
Verizon plans to converge its network architecture around a fibre platform that will support all the company's businesses, including broadband access, business enterprise services and 5G mobile connectivity (see Verizon evaluates suppliers ahead of NG-PON2 deployment).
The initial roll out will take place in Boston, where Verizon launched its ‘One Fiber’ project last year. The operator will spend $300 million over six years to create a single fibre network supporting both wired and wireless services. No doubt, Verizon sees this as a test city for future roll-outs.
Viju Menon, Verizon's chief supply chain officer, said: “Our plans identified a shortfall in fibre supply, and Verizon has been working with business teams to forecast demand and fill supply gaps with existing suppliers. Securing the required volume of optical fibre and hardware solutions with Corning will ensure we meet our planned roll-out schedules.”
Explaining why they chose Corning, Roger Gurnani, Verizon's chief information and technology architect, said: “Corning's unique combination of capabilities delivers solutions that provide us with performance and cost advantages as we continue to expand our network coverage and capacity.”
Clark Kinlin, executive vice president, Corning, said: “We are pleased that Verizon recognizes the value of Corning's innovative solutions in deploying next-generation converged optical infrastructure, such as One Fiber, more quickly and cost effectively. Verizon's purchase commitment supports necessary capacity investments across our manufacturing footprint.”
In recent months, Corning has announced that it will expand capacity and invest more than $250 million in its optical fibre, cable and hardware manufacturing facilities to help meet customer demand. Corning expects the additional capacity to start to come online later this year and to become fully operational in 2018.