Supplier deal follows on billion-dollar Corning purchase
Verizon Communications continued its steady diet of fiber with a new supplier arrangement with Prysmian Group, under which Prysmian will supply more than 10.6 million miles of fiber cable over the next three years. The contract is worth about $300 million, according to Prysmian, which said the work will support Verizon network expansion and improved LTE as well as “speed the deployment of 5G services.”
Prysmian has been a Verizon supplier for more than a decade. Its new supplier contract comes on the heels of Verizon’s three-year, $1.05 billion contract signed with Corning to supply fiber optic cable and associated hardware for Verizon’s One Fiber initiative for growing its Fios footprint. Corning will supply up to 12.4 million miles of optical fiber per year for LTE and “5G” technology deployments.
“We view fiber as the cornerstone building block for the … next-generation network,” Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam recently told CNBC. “That network is going to look very different from what we built in the past.” In a Monday afternoon call with analysts, McAdam mentioned that the company sees control of fiber infrastructure as a competitive advantage. Verizon Wireless EVP and Group President Ronan Dunne noted that fiber infrastructure investment should be seen in the context of a converged network, as it can be used either for support of wireless or wireline use cases.
Verizon recently launched a “gigabit” Fios service along the East Coast, with near-gigabit speeds.
In a statement, Prysmian and Verizon said that they both “feel strongly that demand and supply for next-generation passive optical network (NGPON2) will last well beyond 2020 as new technologies like 5G and the IoT become reality.”
Prysmian noted that it has three telecom production sites in the U.S.: one for optical fiber and two for production of optical cable. The company plans to “make a significant investment through 2018 in its US based optical cable organization to support this project” as well as growth in the domestic telecom market.
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