NGON: SSE Enterprise Telecoms splashes out on Infinera XTM platform

Created June 27, 2018
News and Business

Intelligent transport networks vendor Infinera says it is to deploy its XTM series platform to UK connectivity provider SSE Enterprise Telecoms, constituting the operator’s biggest network technology investment to date. SSE is aiming to use the platform to deliver the low latency, flexibility and improved scalability that today’s businesses are seeking in order to fully future-proof their organisations. SSE says the idea is to offer a resilient, ‘dark fibre-like’ network on a scale never seen before in the UK and comes in the wake of the challenge against Dark Fibre Access (DFA) in July 2017, which left a gap for high-capacity connectivity nationwide.

The UK government outlined in its 2017 digital strategy vision the need to ‘continue to create conditions that encourage investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure’. This partnership announcement is part of SSE’s continued efforts to improve connectivity for all UK businesses by creating a credible UK alternative to costly new cable laying projects. The operator’s customers will benefit from connectivity to more than 80 commercial data centres, meaning it will be able to meet them practically anywhere. UK businesses and service providers will have the flexibility and option to scale, supported by a high-capacity network without any upfront cost required to buy or lay new fibre connectivity to each exchange. The network promises access to multiple services with speeds of up to 100 Gbps to each BT exchange. Current networks are only able to offer a fraction of those speeds at a commercially viable cost.

SSE Enterprise Telecoms chose to partner with Infinera due to its unique combination of layer 1 and 2 packet optical and ethernet services – serving as an alternative to customers laying costly dark fibre cabling. Infinera’synchronisation capabilities allow for flexibility on the network, not currently available at such scale or at an accessible price point for SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ customers.

Conrad Mallon, chief technical architect at SSE Enterprise Telecoms says, “A network project on this scale makes us one of the few providers that can offer multiples of 100Gbps services between exchanges, commercial data centres and across our core, at an accessible price point. The network expansion deal is also paving the way for our ambitious roadmap which will see SSE Enterprise Telecoms investing more in network reach over the next five years.”

Nick Walden, SVP, EMEA, Infinera says, “The UK market has never been more dynamic, now facing exponential bandwidth growth coupled with a renewed focus on connectivity services from both enterprises and carriers due to the recent DFA activities.”

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.