Bouygues, SFR team up to lay fibre-optic network

PARIS, Dec 10 (Reuters) - French telecom operators SFR VIV.PA and Bouygues BOUY.PABOUY.PA said they were teaming up to split the cost of laying high-speed fibre-optic cables in some French cities.

The accord will allow Bouygues, which is a newer player in fixed services and has fewer clients than its rivals have, to avoid having to build a fibre network from scratch on its own.

Bouygues had earlier signed a deal with cable operator Numericable to rent its cable lines, which allowed Bouygues to launched a very high-speed broadband service in November.

But unlike the Numericable deal, the SFR accord will see Bouygues share ownership of the new fixed network instead of renting it. For SFR, the deal will also reduce the cost of rolling out fibre in areas where they would otherwise have borne all the costs.

No financial details were disclosed for the agreement, which could cover 3 million homes in France’s 20 largest cities.

“This accord will allow the two operators to accelerate and expand the deployment of their fibre-to-the-home infrastructure to the benefit of their respective clients in these areas,” said the companies in a joint statement. (Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by Will Waterman)