German rival to Deutsche Telekom plans rural high-speed fibre services

German rival to Deutsche Telekom plans rural high-speed fibre services

A German broadband fibre company is to build new networks in poorly served rural areas of the country, competing with established providers such as Deutsche Telekom.

The company, Breitbandversorgung Deutschland (BBV) – which means “Broadband Service Germany” – says it has a “two-digit million [euro] amount” for the project, which is supported by an investment management company, Bouwfonds, and Chinese equipment maker ZTE.

BBV has already started installing fibre in the city of Bretten between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart. Bouwfonds is supporting the project out of a €500-€600 million fund that is being used for fibre, towers and data centres.

“We want to assume a pioneering role in this emerging field with our cooperation partners,” said Manfred Maschek, BBV managing director, at today’s signing of the agreement between the three partners.

“In doing so, we can achieve very stable cash flows based on our proven joint expertise and the careful structured approach and, above all, limit the development risk for all parties involved. After all, the investor will only purchase the infrastructure in each case after it has been completed.”

ZTE will build the networks and Bouwfonds will buy the passive infrastructure on completion. BBV will then lease and operate the network, said the partners today.

They have already identified more potential expansion areas in the Nordbaden region and in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region which will “be gradually addressed in the near future”.

“The investment in Bretten is an example of our investment strategy,” said Peter Selgert, director of asset management communications infrastructure at Bouwfonds. “The [fund] invests in infrastructure in the undersupplied rural area. The objective is to build a comprehensive regional fibre optic network by joining multiple partial networks, supplying both private households and businesses with high-speed internet.”

“Europe’s strongest national economy also needs the highest performing digital infrastructure, also in rural areas,” said Sun Jie, general manager of ZTE Germany. “It is our declared goal to promote Germany on its journey into the gigabit society and to drive the building of a gigabit infrastructure in our role of a global technology leader for broadband technologies.”

According to its website, BBV provides internet, telephony and TV via its fibre networks. Internet packages for consumers are at 100, 200 and 300Mbps. Business customers can get up to 400Mbps.