US operator Verizon has taken further steps to secure supplies of fibre-optic cable for its next-generation network roll-out, by awarding a supply agreement to European cable manufacturer Prysmian Group.
The new three-year contract with Prysmian is worth approximately $300 million and will include the supply of more than 17 million fibre-kilometres of ribbon and loose tube cables.
Last month the US operator entered into a three-year purchase agreement with Corning for cables and associated hardware worth more than $1 billion (see Verizon agrees $1.05 billion fibre deal with Corning).
Verizon is making these investments in to support its NG-PON2 deployment, which will create a unified fibre access infrastructure for delivering 5G mobile services and additional broadband capacity.
Both Prysmian and Verizon feel strongly that demand and supply for the next-generation passive optical network (NG-PON2) will last well beyond 2020 as new technologies like 5G and the IoT become reality.
Viju Menon, Verizon's chief supply chain officer, said: “Prysmian Group’s telecom division is an established optical cable and connectivity solutions provider to Verizon. This strategic supply agreement helps ensure we can ramp supply in order to expand our network capacity and speed 5G deployment.”
Prysmian plans to make a significant investment through 2018 in its US-based optical cable business to support this project and the growth of major telecoms carriers in North America. The Group has a strong heritage in manufacturing optical fibre and cable for a broad range of applications, and has three telecom production sites in the United States, two for the production of optical cable and one for optical fibre.
“As a recognised global leading producer of optical cables, supporting the most advanced infrastructure of many of the world’s telecom operators, Prysmian Group is proud to have been chosen by Verizon as partner for the development of such a strategic project,” said Hakan Ozmen, CEO of Prysmian Group North America.
The deal also includes diversity partnerships, which means a percentage of business will flow through material management services offered by third party handlers that are owned and operated by certified woman business-owned enterprises.