BT Launches National Carrier Class Wholesale Ethernet Service Over 21CN

BT has announced the launch of its Wholesale Ethernet service, the latest service to launch on its 21st Century Network (21CN) platform.

A national next generation Ethernet service, Wholesale Ethernet from BT aims to offer the leading capability with the widest available service in the UK by spring 2009. With Ethernet forecast to be the UK’s fastest growing access technology in terms of spend between now and 2012, today’s launch of Wholesale Ethernet sees the introduction of a truly carrier-grade, competitively priced Ethernet service for UK communications providers.

Wholesale Ethernet offers fixed communications providers a high-bandwidth, cost effective, flexible networking solution for linking up multiple sites across the UK for their large enterprise and business customers. Wholesale Ethernet also allows mobile operators to better support bandwidth hungry services based on 3G and HSPDA technology, with a number of customers already confirmed for the service.

The service delivers core bandwidth speeds of up to 1Gbit/s at launch, with a flexible range of options from 1Mbit/s to 1Gbit/s. Access speed ranges will also increase from the current offer of 10Mbit/s, 100Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s to include 10Gbit/s. At launch, the service will be available from over 100 Ethernet nodes across the UK, progressively rising to more than 600 by spring 2009.

Cameron Rejali, managing director, Products and Strategy, BT Wholesale, said: “We are building a national Ethernet service that provides our customers with the carrier-grade quality of service, cost efficiencies, bandwidth capacity and service flexibility that no other wholesale provider can offer today. By selecting BT as their partner of choice for the supply of wholesale Ethernet services, communications providers can also begin to reap the benefits of 21CN and start offering new next generation products and services to their customers.”

With a Wholesale Ethernet service delivered over 21CN, communications providers benefit from an easy transition to next generation network technology, to allow for the introduction of new converged applications for customers based on Internet Protocol (IP). For example, the service will support applications such as Voice over IP (VoIP) and video conferencing. Other benefits of the service include a flexible range of service options, including scalable bandwidth, which provides communications providers with the flexibility to turn their bandwidth up or down depending on requirements.

The service allows communications providers to benefit from the cost efficiencies of Ethernet and the lower costs generated by 21CN, providing a cost effective networking service to complement or replace the leased lines and traditional data services that are otherwise used by fixed and mobile operators to connect sites.

Communications providers will further benefit from the introduction of a forthcoming customer service portal for BT’s Wholesale Ethernet product that will provide a simple ordering system, together with the flexibility and control to obtain quotes, report faults and monitor their service.

Wholesale Ethernet is also a key service underpinning BT Wholesale’s Managed Customer Network portfolio, whereby major UK operators are choosing to outsource some or all of their network management to BT Wholesale. This allows operators to reduce costs, minimise risk and capital expenditure, and at the same time migrate to a next generation network infrastructure and introduce new innovative products to customers at a faster pace.

Brian Fitzpatrick, managing director, BT Wholesale Markets said, “Given the scale of our commercial success and signed contracts for the service to date, we feel very confident our solution is the best in the market. More and more communications providers are turning to BT Wholesale to take over the management of their networks, in a drive to minimise costs and risk, while benefiting from the economies of scale and national reach offered by BT Wholesale. Today’s launch of Wholesale Ethernet, which is central to our Managed Customer Network capability, provides a further boost to our position in that market.”