By Mattias Fridström
Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Telia Carrier
In Part I and Part II of our blog series on Infinera Instant Bandwidth, we discussed the concept of software defined capacity as well as how Infinera solves communication service providers’ (CSP) challenges with Instant Bandwidth solutions. These solutions enable software activation of service-ready optical capacity in minutes, in addition to bringing service automation to a whole new level. We also highlighted how service providers can leverage these solutions in a wide variety of applications to accelerate service turn-up, reduce costs and maximize return on investment (ROI). In Part III of the series, Fady Masoud of the Product Marketing team at Infinera gets some tips and insights in the form of a Q&A with Mattias Fridström, Vice President and Chief Evangelist at Telia Carrier, on how Telia Carrier’s operations team is using Infinera’s Instant Bandwidth solutions to accelerate service turn-up, streamline operations and gain a competitive edge.
Fady Masoud: First of all, thank you for sharing with us your experience with Infinera’s Instant Bandwidth solutions. But before we dive into the subject, can you please provide a quick overview of Telia Carrier?
Mattias Fridström: Telia Carrier is a fully owned subsidiary of Telia Company, with a portfolio of global connectivity and cloud connect services. Since the 1990s, Telia Carrier has provided the world’s largest operators, content providers and enterprises with access to an ever-expanding global network footprint. We’ve just recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of our state-of-the-art IP network. We transport 10 billion minutes of voice per year and offer voice and data “like-home” roaming services on our global IPX backbone. We also connect high-volume, business-critical content and applications to media-hungry customers across the world, with high capacity IP services, wavelengths and even fully managed networks.
FM: Awesome! So the network is at the heart of Telia Carrier’s business and operations. Can you please provide an order of magnitude of Telia Carrier’s network?
MF: Our network now stretches 65,000 kilometers, linking more than 265 points of presence in the U.S., Europe (including Russia) and Asia, and we carry more than 3 exabytes of data across our network every month. Any one of our customers plugging into our global backbone can connect directly to more than 1,800 wholesale customers in more than 110 countries. And our hard work is paying dividends – Telia Carrier has always ranked among the top carriers in the world, and in recent years we’ve held the top spot.
FM: Very impressive. The carrier business is a pretty competitive environment – what are Telia Carrier’s key differentiators that led to the top spot?
MF: Indeed, it is a competitive environment. Every carrier faces significant price erosion year-on-year. At the same time, we also have to cope with an unrelenting increase in demand for bandwidth from our customers, especially internet content providers. In such a fast-paced and competitive landscape, we have to make sure we streamline our operations to provide fast service turn-up where time is revenue, and unparalleled network and service agility for our customers’ dynamic business needs. Being able to activate capacity “on the fly” in minutes allows us to be the carrier of choice for many of our customers. Also, the flexibility that we provide, such as bandwidth on demand, whether it is permanent or during a limited period of time, allows us to widen our service portfolio, and as a result, our addressable market.
FM: You mentioned fast service turn-up and service agility as some of the key differentiators that make Telia Carrier stand out from the pack. How this is being achieved?
MF: Traditionally, activating a service required a cumbersome process of forecasting traffic demand, calculating the spectral allocation and expansion potential of deployed systems, purchasing new equipment, installing and testing the new gear and finally activating the new capacity. Such a process is complicated, requires truck rolls, is prone to human error and takes months and months to complete. We leverage Infinera’s innovative technology, including super-channels and the Instant Bandwidth solutions, to automate this process and reduce service delivery times from weeks to minutes. This is a game-changer for our business and our operations. Super-channels provide “service-ready” capacity that can be activated instantly and without sending trucks to each site, compared to conventional methods in which a pair of transponders would have to be deployed and manually provisioned at each end of the circuit. Super-channels allow us to reduce turn-up time and accelerate time to revenue.
It’s also important to note that the service-ready benefits of super-channels do not require massive capital expenditure. This is because Infinera has designed and built the Instant Bandwidth solutions so that carriers like us can add, activate and pay for additional bandwidth on existing network hardware, in real time, by making few clicks in a software application. This speeds up service activation from weeks to minutes and defers any capital investment to meet future growth. We’re currently using Infinera’s fourth-generation Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4) on different platforms, and we consistently leverage the Instant Bandwidth solutions (permanent, time-based licenses, transferable licenses, license pools, etc.) for service activation.
FM: What is the business and operational impact for Telia Carrier of using Infinera’s Instant Bandwidth solutions?
MF: Leveraging Infinera’s Instant Bandwidth solutions translates into positive benefits to our top and bottom lines. Faster service activation leads to earlier service revenue collection, increasing our top line through faster time to market. The automation of service activation also allows us to significantly reduce operating costs by eliminating truck rolls and on-site provisioning visits. In fact, our business profits overall from such solutions. Achieving a perfect match between the timing of capital expenditure and service revenue allows us to maximize our ROI, eliminate business risk and avoid over-engineering the network for emerging applications such as 5G or the Internet of Things. Finally, the quick turn-around for service turn-up and activation allows us to increase our competitive edge and addressable market.
FM: How do you see service evolution now that capacity can be activated in minutes?
MF: Infinera’s Instant Bandwidth really set the stage for the complete end-to-end service automation that underpins the future of optical networking. But it will extend beyond just service activation; it will evolve to a stage where the network can be analyzed and automatically engineered to provision capacity across the entire footprint and across different layers, without disrupting existing services. Offline and manual network planning will be replaced by real-time, network-aware, multi-layer optimal route selection and wavelength assignment that meet the requirements of traffic engineering cost, distance and latency. This is the future of optical networking, and Infinera’s Instant Bandwidth solutions are definitely two of its key building blocks.
FM: Thank you Mattias for your insightful comments – it’s always a great pleasure to work with a company at the edge of innovative technology like Telia Carrier.
MF: Thank you.
This guest blog features Mattias Fridström, Vice President and Chief Evangelist at Telia Carrier. Infinera thanks Mattias for his contribution.