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Verizon Communications said on Tuesday that it had reached a deal to buy at least $1.05bn worth of fibre-optic cable and associated hardware from Corning over three years, as the US telecom giant moves to expand coverage and capacity on its high-speed wireless broadband network.

The deal calls for Corning to provide, and Verizon to buy, 20m kilometers (12.4m miles) of optical fibre from 2018 through 2020, according to a statement from the companies.

Verizon said that it is revamping its network architecture around a next-generation fibre platform that is intended to boost its 4G LTE coverage, hasten the deployment of 5G and deliver high-speed access to companies and homes.

Viju Menon, chief supply chain officer at Verizon, said:

“Our plans identified a shortfall in fibre supply, and Verizon has been working with business teams to forecast demand and fill supply gaps with existing suppliers. Securing the required volume of optical fibre and hardware solutions with Corning will ensure we meet our planned rollout schedules.”

Corning executive vice-president Clark Kinlin added:

“We are pleased that Verizon recognizes the value of Corning’s innovative solutions in deploying next-generation converged optical infrastructure, such as One Fiber, more quickly and cost effectively. Verizon’s purchase commitment supports necessary capacity investments across our manufacturing footprint.”

Verizon shares were holding flat after the announcement, while Corning shares are up 2.5 per cent.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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