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Verizon Inks Agreement With Corning For Optical Fiber Deal Worth $1.05 Billion

19 April 2017, 10:02 pm EDT By Des Luna Tech Times
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Verizon is banking on Corning’s fiber optics technology to improve its wireless broadband infrastructure. The deal will last from 2018 until 2020.  ( Justin Sullivan | Getty Images )

As the number of mobile phone users grows each year, every network provider scrambles to be the number one broadband company in the country.

Verizon announced an agreement with Corning to a three-year deal worth $1.05 billion. Corning will provide Verizon with fiber optic cables from 2018 through 2020.

With AT&T's acquisition of Straight Path, and T-Mobile's bidding at FCC airwaves auction, it is Verizon's turn to make sure it will not lose out in the mobile network race. This Corning deal can ensure stable connection and coverage at the very least for the next three years.

All Fibered Up

Verizon made the announcement via its official press release. The agreement entails Corning to provide Verizon with up to 20 million kilometers (12.4 million miles) of fiber optics each year from 2018 to 2020. The minimum purchase commitment is priced at $1.05 billion.

Verizon wrote that it is revamping its network architecture using a next-gen fiber platform as the backbone of all the company's businesses. Verizon aims to improve its 4G LTE coverage and provide high-speed broadband both to commercial and residential markets. The company also plans to speed up the deployment of its 5G technology with this deal.

"Corning's unique combination of capabilities delivers solutions that provide us with performance and cost advantages as we continue to expand our network coverage and capacity," said Roger Gurnani, Verizon's chief information and technology architect.

In 2016, Verizon initially launched One Fiber Project in Boston; it is backed by a six-year, $300-million investment plan for the city.

The deal is to ensure that Verizon won't experience a shortage of fiber supply, a scenario that Verizon itself has identified, according to Viju Menon, Verizon's chief supply chain officer.

"Securing the required volume of optical fiber and hardware solutions with Corning will ensure we meet our planned rollout schedules," Menon said.

Future Is Clear With Corning's Glass

Corning is a company with a history etched on glass, so to speak. Incorporated in 1936, this New York-based glass company provides glass, ceramic, and other related materials for use in industrial, electronic, and scientific applications. Its most famous product is the Pyrex, the high-strength, low-thermal glass used in laboratory glassware and kitchenware.

In this age of smartphones, the Gorilla Glass is Corning's most famous product, as it is used by most flagship phones. This clear and thin but strong glass is designed to function as protective glass for many portable electronic devices.

Corning also dabbles in communications with its optic fibers. Corning announced several plans for expansion and investment of $250 million in optic fibers to meet the demand of its customers, according to the press release. These capacity expansions will be fully operational in 2018.

"Verizon's purchase commitment supports necessary capacity investments across our manufacturing footprint," said Clark Kinlin, executive vice president of Corning Incorporated.

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