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United Group Expands Largest Optical Network in Southeast Europe

United Group has announced plans to build the largest optical network in Southeast Europe, solidifying its position as a leader in digital infrastructure

United Group is set to expand its already significant presence in Southeast Europe by consolidating its fixed infrastructure assets under the United Fiber brand across Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia. Following the successful launch of United Fiber in Greece in 2021, the company is accelerating its investments in the region, beginning with the establishment of a new company in Slovenia in March 2024, with Bulgaria and Croatia to follow by the end of the year. This modern broadband infrastructure aims to meet the high demand for transit, connecting Europe with the Middle East and Asia.

Vice President of Technology at United Group, Zeljko Batistić, highlighted the company’s growth, noting, “In 2000 we started fully greenfield in Serbia and two decades later we became the largest optical network in Southeast Europe. In Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia alone, United Group owns 60,000 km of backbone and metro network, reaching 3.6 million homes. We are currently delivering 475,000 new FTTH homes in 2024 and plan to maintain this pace in the following years.” Batistić emphasized United Group’s vision to be the preferred brand for customers and partners, aiding in the digitalization of societies.

In addition to expanding its network in Greece and Bulgaria, where the Group already boasts significant fiber-to-the-home penetration, United Group plans to increase its reach in Croatia and Slovenia. The company aims to connect 40% of Croatian households by 2028, while in Slovenia, it operates the second-largest gigabit-enabled network, covering about 50% of households. A new infrastructure project will deploy a terrestrial cable connecting Athens and Thessaloniki, enhancing interconnections with Turkey, the Middle East, and Bulgaria, with completion expected in 2025.

CEO of UGI, Paolo Ficini, stated, “By creating this completely new route, United Group demonstrates its commitment to be the largest fiber network provider in Southeastern Europe. This project will enhance competitiveness, create new investment opportunities, and accelerate the digital transformation of all countries involved.” Ficini noted the growing demand driven by new data centers and submarine cables in the region, underscoring the strategic importance of United Group’s investments.

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