Virgin ties up £100m Mobile Broadband Network deal

Mobile phone

Everything Everywhere and 3 customers look set to get improved mobile broadband services thanks to a 100 million deal with Virgin Media Business.

The Mobile Broadband Network (MBNL) 3 and Everything Everywhere's network-sharing body - has penned the eight-year deal with Virgin, it emerged today.

Virgin will build 14 aggregation networks to connect to base stations across the UK to its fibre services, making it the country's only synchronous Ethernet mobile backhaul service. The 1Gbps Ethernet service will help provide greater capacity for 3 and Everything Everywhere customers at the backbone layer.

What we think...

This work on the backhaul section of telecoms provision certainly addresses a key issue in delivering 3G and 4G services.

There is a theory that the main determining factor affecting mobile broadband connectivity is not how far a customer is from a mast, but the speed at which data can move from the underlying infrastructure and into base stations. If true, Virgin is positioning itself as a pioneer in solving the problem on these shores.

Tom Brewster, Senior Staff Writer

"People no longer expect to simply make calls from their mobile phone," said Neil Berkett, chief executive (CEO) of Virgin Media.

"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."

Graham Payne, managing director at MBNL, said the increase in smartphone use was a big growth opportunity for 3 and Everything Everywhere's joint venture.

"Working together with Virgin Media Business, the first company in the market to offer this synchronous Gigabit Ethernet service, we will be able to scale for future demand," Payne said.

Operators and regulators have been looking for ways to improve mobile broadband coverage over the past few years. A BBC crowdsourcing project found there were still plenty of notspots across the UK, even though providers have claimed 90 per cent coverage.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.