September 2011

MBNL, a joint venture between Everything Everywhere (Orange and T-Mobile) and Three, have signed a £100 million, eight year agreement with Virgin Media Business which will see the UK’s first synchronous Ethernet mobile backhaul service.  The deal will enable customers of Orange, T-Mobile and Three to benefit from super-fast access to mobile data on the move.

With mobile data traffic expected to increase by more than 30 times over the next decade, mobile operators are under increasing pressure to deal with the surge in mobile data.  Under the deal, Virgin Media will build 14 regional aggregation networks to enhance the bandwidth offered by the wireless operators, allowing subscribers to make greater use of video calling, mobile TV and other applications.

Neil Berkett, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Media, said: “People no longer expect to simply make calls from their mobile phone. Being connected all the time to social networks, the internet and their favourite apps is very much a basic expectation which operators need to deliver on. Investing now means they’ll be able to deal with the escalating data demands of today and tomorrow.”

To help it meet the requirements of the contract, Virgin Media has signed a separate deal with packet optical networking solutions firm Transmode for the deployment of Ethernet-based backhaul service delivery networks across the country.