Telefónica has signed a deal with Virgin Media Businesses to access its fibre optic network over the next 10 years.

The Spanish telco says the deal will give its UK mobile network O2 the increased capacity and speed required to support the launch of its 4G mobile services this summer.

Virgin Media Business will connect base stations to its fibre network via a high capacity Ethernet service. Telefónica says each high speed link will deliver data speeds of 1Gbps between different parts of its network.

Virgin Media Business now has major backhaul deals with all four major UK networks.

Critical service

George Wareing, Director of Mobile and Broadcast at Virgin Media Business, said backhauling data is critical to ensuring mobile operators are able to provide customers with fast and reliable data services.

O2 paid £550 million in Ofcom's 4G spectrum auction to secure 2 x 10MHz of the 800MHz available, and plans to launch competing 4G mobile services later this year.

EE, which was the first UK mobile operator to offer nationwide 4G services in October last year on the back of its own 1800Mhz spectrum, recently announced it is increasing its 4G speeds to a potential 150Mbps down.