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ECI Telecom wins $800m UK deal

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Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

As reported in IVC: The BT Openreach broadband access upgrade project is the largest in Europe.

Next-generation network solutions developer ECI Telecom Ltd. Has been selected as a strategic partner by BT Group plc (LSE; NYSE: BT) unit Openreach in order to help BT upgrade the broadband infrastructure in the UK and realize the Super-Fast Fibre Access project Next-Generation Access (NGA).
The deal is worth $800 million for ECI.

Under the multi-year agreement, ECI will provide Openreach with a simplified network aggregation and increased scalability and flexibility for up to 18 million households and businesses nationwide over the next 3-5 years. ECI will start deliveries in July-August. The project is the largest NGA project in Europe.

Many countries, including Israel, are dealing with the need to build a nationwide uniform access infrastructure. In Israel, the Ministry of Communications has initiated a pilot in Kiryat Shmona using Israel Electric Corporation’s (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) fiber optic network, in a project similar to the UK project.

Openreach plans to invest an additional ?1 billion to extend fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) and fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) to two-thirds of the UK by 2015, bringing the total investment in the project to ?2.5 billion.

Openreach was founded in 2006 to give communications providers equal access to the UK’s local access network (last mile). Its NGA project is designed to meet the needs of customers, regulators and the industry by implementing an open, scalable, secure network suitable for current and future demands.

ECI president and CEO Rafi Maor said, “Through a future-proof network proposition, we partner with Openreach in this first-of-its-kind project to guarantee high-speed infrastructure and a viable business model. We support Openreach’s goal for cost-effective high-speed infrastructure offerings without compromising quality, security or competitiveness in such an open access environment.”

Founded in 1961, ECI Telecom provides communications platforms to carriers and service providers worldwide. It provides scalable broadband access, transport and data networking infrastructure for next-generation voice, IPTV, mobility, and other business solutions.