i3 - Applying Innovation to Global Demand for Fibre Broadband Infrastructure

Since its start up in 2002, i3 has invested more than USD 200 million in the development of innovative fibre network products and deployment techniques. Satisfying users’ requirements for open access to high bandwidth in buildings, schools, medical centres, businesses and into the home means using fibre optic cable. Optical cable provides the future-proof capacity and connectivity that accommodate emerging and user demanded applications. A fibre network built using i3’s patented technology and proven “no dig” techniques is 60 to 75% more rapidly deployable and thus becomes instantly affordable to end-users.

Hitherto “traditional” build and delivery processes for cable networks have simply not been cost-effective, resulting in a meagre industry average penetration rate of 10-15%. The “hidden” economic costs associated with traditionally traffic and business- disruptive deployment has, until now, added a further 60% to the true economic cost of traditional projects. The time hitherto required to lay optic cable had adversely affected investor returns to the extent that existing CAPEX models have inhibited timely, return-based, market growth. i3’s proven approach makes cost effective use of existing “in the ground” infrastructure assets. Our innovative technology, expertise and “know-how” have been applied and proven in the UK, Australia, USA, Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.

i3’s proprietary R&D output continuously develops and furthers its technologies e.g. Atlantis (which makes use of potable water pipes) and ATM, a unique approach to micro-trenching. This suite of proven technologies enables an overall cost reduction in the rolling out of fibre networks of up to 70%.

i3 is the world’s leading “IP, technology and method” company for the deployment of fibre optic cable. Together with our licensed industrial partners and proven financial associates we build networks and Fibrecities worldwide. Our unique business model and supporting platform readily attract investment thus allowing more homes and communities to be connected to true fibre optic broadband. Our proprietary systems and processes allow any community to benefit from using its existing infrastructure assets to cost-effectively achieve almost limitless bandwidth and ultra-high speeds.

Fibre 4G

i3 offers a market leading suite of fibre-optic based backhaul solutions for Mobile Operators, to allow them to compete more effectively in an increasingly rapidly changing world. The field-proven i3 Hydrospeed suite of technologies offers the lowest cost (rapid deployment and unlimited bandwidth) dark-fibre deployment capability anywhere in the world.

Today’s Mobile Operator Challenges

For Mobile Operators it’s every CFOs nightmare, ARPUs have levelled out and the requirement (and cost) for data backhaul is spiralling rapidly upwards.

The SMART Phone and more recent Tablet Computer revolution is placing an ever-increasing burden on already overloaded networks – this situation is set to get worse as the new 4G era arrives, this is a fact that everyone within the industry acknowledges and in reality many mobile backhaul networks are struggling to cope. Mobile Operators are under intense pressure to reduce costs and improve network performance.

Mobile Operators are also having to contend with higher levels of ‘customer facing’ issues:

  • Increasing dissatisfaction with signal levels and true data throughputs
  • Increasing customer churn rates
  • Increasing new customer acquisition costs
  • Increasing competition in service-cost reduction pressures


The Mobile Operator Requirements

The up-coming 4G revolution (both LTE and WiMAX) brings a number of new paradigms to all Mobile Operators, urgently needing a strategic approach to allow them to capitalise on the newly increased 4G data ‘down&up-load’ capability potential, to drive profitability and to maintain a competitive advantage:

  • Ultra-high data densities, particularly in key locations (e.g. dense population areas, business districts etc.)
  • Higher signal levels to the mobile user to allow the high data-throughput potential to be realised
  • Maximised re-use of expensive radio spectrum
  • A radically increased number of smaller coverage area radio cell-sites (particularly including the use of new generation ‘Metro-Zone’ Femto/Pico cell technology)


The i3 Fibre Infrastructure Solutions

i3’s unique Hydrospeed fibre infrastructure product group fully addresses the needs of a Mobile Operator implementing or migrating to a 4G platform, particularly in a city environment, as well as those seeking to optimise their current 3G platforms.

Hydrospeed provides a field proven technology and the most cost-effective and most rapidly deployed fibre-optic infrastructure system available anywhere in the world:

  • Unlimited capacity ‘dark-fibre’ data feeds to cells
  • Lowest capital cost for deployment
  • Rapid roll-out capability
  • Ubiquitous availability (cell site feeds to wherever required, existing and new locations)
  • Lowest operational costs
  • A totally future-proofed solution
  • Fully loop resilient connectivity to sites if required
  • Optimal cost-effectiveness for new generation ‘Metro-Zone’ Femto/Pico cell deployments


Benefits of the i3 Hydrospeed Solutions

The patented suite of i3 Hydrospeed technologies offers a Mobile Operator the following key benefits:

  • A wholly owned infrastructure
  • Minimised disruption during fibre infrastructure build
  • Up to 90% reduction in fibre infrastructure deployment time-scales
  • Up to 60% reduction in owned fibre infrastructure deployment costs
  • Minimised operational costs
  • Unlimited and future-proofed data bandwidths
  • Lowest possible long-term Total Cost of Ownership


i3 has scrutinized and optimised every aspect of deploying Fibre to The Home (FTTH) for almost ten years. Through innovative design we have developed a range of unique installation techniques, many of which are now under worldwide patents.  These include our FOCUS and Atlantis products along with Automated Micro Trenching (ATM)

The key driver for any FTTH build is the price per home (connected), a figure which is paramount to any funding requirement. Historical data by Yankee Group or Masons on any build has shown penetration rates on average below 20%.  The complication of infrastructure and  approach to customer sign up is disjointed which impacts on cost per home and Return On Investment (ROI)  is moved to a point in which funders are cautious on any investment. i3 has not only managed to reduce costs per home by over 50%, we are able to make a paradigm shift in the ROI through attaining  a penetration in excess of 70%. The combination of our technology and our open access platform supporting multiple service providers ensures a strong fiscal platform which attracts investment and provides market led return on capital.

What is a Fibrecity

A Fibrecity is an open access fibre optic network connecting to every home (that chooses) within a pre defined city boundary.  By being an open access network it enables multiple service providers to serve a single home across one fibre

The Fibrecity Transition Team (FTT) has been designed to support all Fibrecity projects around the world, ensuring best practices are followed and enabling the efficient and cost effective deployment of the project.

The combination of skill sets within this unit ensures that we can provide every level of support our partners may require from:

  • Development of initial business plan
  • Cost Analysis and production of Return On Investment model
  • Indepth technical design
  • Support in securing funding
  • Designing project roll-out programme
  • Development of the go-to-market strategy

If you are interested in putting your City forward as a potential Fibrecity project then please contact the regional director for your area to commence the evaluation process via our contact us page.

Benefits of a Fibrecity

Businesses - enhancing their ability to do business, thereby encouraging new growth in the region and improving the local economy and its job prospects

Residents – Improving the range, quality and type of services available in their homes (through competition and network quality up to 100Mbs un-contended broadband), enhancing  their ability for home working  and so improving quality of life.

The City – Providing an infrastructure capable of deploying enhanced services including e Health, social inclusion programmes, active traffic management, CCTV, education and training programmes,  all of which improve the quality of care whilst reducing budget spend requirements.