COLT names suppliers of next generation network

COLT has launched the first phase of its next generation network (NGN) deployment, going live with its Ethernet-based multi-service platform (MSP) layer and enhanced application-enabling Softswitch layer for customers across Europe.

As well as enhancing the customer experience today, this deployment is central to delivering COLT’s next generation solutions (NGS) strategy that will combine the next generation network and COLT’s 18 data centres into a single virtualised system. NGS will give customers greater simplicity, choice and flexibility in communications and managed services.

With its next generation network, COLT is moving from technology silos supporting each product set to a fully redundant, highly efficient, three-layer infrastructure based on IP and Ethernet transport, session control through an advanced Softswitch and an application layer that will allow COLT to deliver existing and new services as easy-to-install applications over this single network.

COLT is deploying the MSP in a phased approach based on customer demand. In this first phase, the MSP is available to customers in London, Paris and Frankfurt and supports COLT Ethernet services, COLT IPVPN access and COLT IP Access. Future phases will see the MSP rolled out throughout COLT’s entire European network over the next twelve months.

Rakesh Bhasin, Chief Executive Officer, COLT said: “This first deployment of next generation solutions marks a milestone in our evolution to enable us to deliver the best possible network and communication solutions for our customers and provide them with an outstanding customer experience. Our next generation network will provide our customers with the high levels of service and security that they have come to expect from COLT and enable them to take advantage of the performance benefits of the new technology deployment from today.”

The Carrier Ethernet-based MSP offers customers better performance by delivering high bandwidth services with lower latency, lower jitter and improved resilience. Those attributes are indispensable for business customers and distributed data centres. The technology – supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks – uses a single box capable of delivering up to 16 services at speeds of up to 1Gbit/s. This saves space and power at customer premises as well as providing the means for additional services or upgrades to be delivered without the need for hardware changes. COLT’s MSP will deliver secure Ethernet Services by using Layer 2 MPLS technology to logically separate Ethernet services from IP traffic and provide the customer with dedicated bandwidth for Ethernet services. The Carrier Ethernet transport solution and services are centrally managed and monitored, allowing COLT to simplify the delivery and management of end-to-end Ethernet services to its customers.

Alireza Mahmoodshahi, Chief Technology Officer of COLT, commented: “COLT’s NGN deployment is a key milestone in our technology vision to deliver any service to any device with the security, resilience and simplicity our business customers demand. To achieve this we have conducted both internal “end-to-end” trials in addition to external live customer trials. These platforms will enable COLT to extend our leadership in Ethernet services and to accelerate an already growing portfolio of VoIP services.”

COLT customer David FitzGerald, Managing Director of Globelynx Ltd that provides broadcast solutions, commented: “We were impressed by the results of the tests that we carried out recently, from one of our customer sites, using COLT’s MSP technology. This will certainly form the basis of our imminent plans to roll-out our broadcast camera network beyond London to customers across Europe.”

The advanced applications platform, supplied by Sonus Networks, includes feature servers, session layer controllers, gateways and border controllers. It is compliant with and uses key elements of IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and supports market leading Voice over IP (VoIP) protocols. The platform acts as a session control layer above the MSP and IP network and enables COLT to provide its customers with a full portfolio of VoIP services. With the Sonus platform, COLT will be able to integrate voice and data services and functionality from a wide variety of software vendors by using open-standards. New services can now be developed faster than was possible with previous generations of network.

The applications platform also includes gateways to the existing TDM voice network across all 13 COLT countries, ensuring inter-working between the current COLT voice products and the next generation of voice services. This means that customers have the flexibility to take advantage of the new advanced services as well as the existing COLT product portfolio.