BT to offload German fibre assets to 1&1 Versatel


The UK incumbent operator will part ways with its fibre infrastructure in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, and Stuttgart, all of which will be added to Versatel’s network

This week, 1&1 Versatel has announced that it has signed an agreement with BT to acquire the latter’s fibre networks in four cities as part of its ongoing “fibre optic offensive”.

These networks, situated in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, and Stuttgart account for a combined 1,590km of fibre, which Versatel will now incorporate into its own footprint.

Financial details of the deal were not revealed.

“The investment in the four city networks is a further step on the way to becoming the leading provider of fibre optics for companies,” said Dr Sören Trebst, CEO of 1&1 Versatel.

The nature of a deal is a sale and leaseback agreement, with BT retaining access to the offloaded networks. This is important, since BT continues to have a significant fibre footprint in Germany that spans around 6,000km, which it uses to provide communication services to businesses.

For BT, this sale marks the latest move in a strategy the operator has described as going “global, not national”, with the operator gradually withdrawing from European markets including Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain in recent years. Instead, the company will focus on providing multinational enterprises with connectivity services.

Versatel’s network, meanwhile, includes around 52,000km of fibre, covering 300 cities, and continues to grow rapidly. In conjunction with the growing fibre footprint, the 1&1’s burgeoning mobile business is also picking up pace, having launched commercial 5G fixed wireless access services at the start of the year.

Want to keep up to date with all the latest telecoms news from the German market? Find the year in review at this year’s Connected Germany event on December 5–6 in Munich

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