Vodafone Germany reports that the company has completed the first stage of upgrades to its hybrid fiber-cable network that serves 12.7 million households.
A press release said that the company plans to invest more than two billion euros by the end of 2021 to roll out gigabit broadband services. The investment will include a combination of FTTP and upgrading its cable network.
The biggest part of the additional capital expenditure, about 1.5 billion euros, will go to connecting businesses. The remainder will be spent on delivering gigabit speeds across Vodafone’s 12.6 million cable homes.
Last July, Vodafone launched the new top speed of 500 Mbps on its cable network, which already reaches over a fifth of the footprint. The company said it decided to accelerate the roll-out of Docsis 3.1—an option to use existing copper cable instead of placing new optical fiber—from four years to two years under the new investment plan. That timetable would mean that the first big cities should get gigabit cable broadband this year.
One target for the initiative is for optical fiber to be provided to approximately 100,000 companies in around 2,000 business parks. This effort will be deployed in co-operation with partners such as Deutsche Glasfaser and standalone. A minimum take-up of 40% will be required for the roll-outs to go ahead.
To date, Vodafone said it has upgraded over 500,000 households with connections delivering internet speeds up to 500 Mbps, including cities such as Passau, Hassfurt, Nordhausen and Ingolstadt. The company said it is planning to upgrade its entire cable network to provide speeds of 1 Gbps by the end of 2020.
Cable customers that have already opted for Vodafone’s current 200 Mbps, 400 Mbps or 500 Mbps packages will automatically be able to benefit from these gigabit-upgrades upon request, Vodafone reported. The news come as there has been increased calls in Germany for more investment in full fiber networks. Rival Deutsche Telekom has focused more on VDSL, but recently gave into pressure and launched its first gigabit broadband subscription over FTTH.