The case for standardized global Carrier Ethernet connectivity was at the forefront of discussion at the recent Ciena EMEA Partner Summit. Ciena partners with some of the largest global Ethernet carriers and one of their most consistent complaints is a lack of standardization among Ethernet services.
Failure to standardize has created complications when it comes to management and configuration of Ethernet services, leading to a process that is both expensive and inefficient. According to Ekrem Koeylueer, vice president of wholesale at UPC, a Liberty Global company and Ciena partner, most large carriers are working with 100 or more partners to connect international business sites for their customers. Those complex networks consist of differing suppliers and contracts, along with a whole lot of management headaches and administration costs.
"Ciena was also able to help us achieve MEF 2.0 certification, giving customers peace of mind that all our Carrier Ethernet services are standardized, harmonized and standards-compliant around the world," said Koeylueer of his company. UPC and Liberty Global provide global cable services to 28 million broadband customers and 25 million cable customers, while also providing fiber connections among more than 250,000 enterprise business sites.
UPC and Liberty Group maintain dense fiber networks across both Europe and Latin America, and sought to consolidate services and make operations more efficient for themselves, their customers and their Tier 1 operator partners. The result was that by working with Ciena, the carrier was able to deliver a standardized Ethernet service through a single supplier and a single contract process.
Liberty Group was able to expand its offerings as a result of the standardization, adding services in central and eastern Europe with plans to add Belgium, Ireland and the UK. The carrier will also offer services in Chile, Puerto Rico and additional Latin American markets in a Phase 3 effort.
Carriers benefit from ease of management, lower administrative costs and improved efficiencies through standardization, but customers also reap massive benefits. These include a single Managed Services Agreement as well as one clearly defined SLA, no matter where connectivity is handled. The result is pricing transparency and a single point of contact for all business connectivity, greatly simplifying the entire process for all players involved.
Edited by Maurice Nagle