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United Group creates biggest Fiber Network in Southeast Europe

United Group has continued to bundle its EU based (Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia) fixed infrastructure asset portfolio under the United Fiber brand.

Beginning with the registration of the newly established company in Slovenia in March 2024, which will be followed by Bulgaria and Croatia by the end of this year, the Group is focused on further accelerating and strengthening its investments in this important geolocation. The modern broadband infrastructure connects Europe with Middle East and Asia, responding to the high demand for transit through the Group’s core markets. Its ultra-fast and reliable internet meets the high demand by customers and business clients across Southeast Europe.

Zeljko Batistić, Vice President Technology United Group: “At United Group we know how to build and roll out state-of-the-art fixed infrastructure. In 2000 we started fully greenfield in Serbia and two decades later we became the largest optical network in Southeast Europe. In the four EU countries Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia alone, United Group owns 60.000 km of backbone and metro network.

Our state-of-the-art broadband network in these markets reaches 3.6 Mio homes and we are currently executing the plan of delivering 475.000 new FTTH homes in 2024 with the similar pace in the following years. Our vision is to be the go-to brand of choice for individual customers, business clients and the preferred partner for the public sector, to help digitize societies and position them to thrive. By bundling our investment and roll-out activities into United Fiber, we will be able to further expand our activities, create strong synergies, and bring our investment capabilities to the next level. Thanks to separate and dedicated expert teams in sales, support and technical operations, we will be able to service our clients even better.”

United Fiber Greece has been essential in implementing the Group’s infrastructure deployment strategy. The company has been able to accelerate its impact in Greece with 20% fiber-to-the-home penetration on its own network (vs. 8% national), offering ultra fast connectivity.

In Bulgaria the Group has the largest FTTH network in the country reaching 50% of all households with the plan to expand to 67% by 2028.

In Croatia around 80.000 households are added per year with the plan to reach 40% of all households by 2028. In Slovenia the Group owns the second largest gbps enabled network covering around 50% of the total households in the country.

A new infrastructure project by United Fiber will deploy a terrestrial cable connecting Athens and Thessaloniki and linking Southeast Europe with key hotspots in Western Europe. The project, that is planned to be completed in 2025, will reinforce the existing interconnections with Turkey and the Middle East, strengthening the existing interconnection with Bulgaria, and facilitate plans to enhance connectivity between Greece and Turkey.

United Group’s entire infrastructure wholesale activities including voice, data, mobile and roaming are managed by UGI. Only three years after the launch, UGI has managed to attract the biggest carriers and technology providers to select United Group in addressing their infrastructure and connectivity needs in the region. UGI is also in charge of the commercialization of Athens – Thessaloniki.

Paolo Ficini, CEO UGI: “By creating this completely new route, United Group tangibly demonstrates its commitment to be the largest fiber network provider in Southeastern Europe, enhancing competitiveness, creating new investment opportunities, and accelerating the digital transformation of all countries involved. The project meets the increasing demand coming from the significant investment in new data centers in the region, as well as in new submarine cables landing in Greece in the Southern border.”

CT Bureau

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