Iliad Group sold half of its stake in its wholesale unit Polski Swiatlowod Otwarty (PSO) to InfraVia Capital Partners for PLN1.78 billion (US$414 million), a move to raise cash for upgrades to its fibre network and expand into six million households in Poland.
In a statement, Iliad detailed InfraVia acquired a 50% stake in PSO, which operates broadband provider UPC Polska fibre network and will be jointly controlled by the venture capitalists and Iliad’s operator unit Play.
The unit’s current hybrid fibre-coaxial network can provide subscribers with up to 1Gbps downlink speeds which will be upgraded with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology and be spread to six million Polish households.
The current fibre network will be upgraded with XGS-PON standard, enabling operators to use the PSO network to provide FTTH Internet connections at speeds of up to 5Gbps.
The current PSO network connects 1.4 million subscribers across 14 provinces and almost 200 municipalities in Poland. The first providers to offer broadband products through the PSO network will be Play and its subsidiary UPC Polska.
Iliad’s CEO Thomas Reynaud said: “This transaction marks a turning point in the growth of the Iliad Group’s business in Poland. The partnership with InfraVia will provide a boost for the fixed Internet services market in Poland through an open access model, offering all operators equal access to the country’s largest fibre network, which will eventually cover half of all Polish households. The planned investment program will significantly contribute to the development of Polish regions, cities and industry.”