Big Interview

Q&A with Ivan Mihaljevic, president of BCE Nexxia and head of Bell Wholesale

Bell Canada's Ivan Mihaljevi, believes that Capacity events provide an excellent opportunity to build their international brand.

Can you give us a brief about your organisation?

BCE Nexxia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bell Canada, Canada’s largest communications company. Building on a legacy of technological leadership and service innovation since 1880, Bell’s advanced fibre network and services continue to be the foundation of our success. And as we continue to outpace our competitors in capital investment in infrastructure, R&D and exclusive new services, our award-winning networks will continue to be the driver of our competitive leadership going forward.

We are the gateway into Canada. By leveraging our comprehensive portfolio of wholesale telecommunication products and services, our international customers seamlessly extend their network reach and presence into Canada from our key “meet-me” points in the U.S. and soon from London, England.

In Canada, we operate as Bell Canada Wholesale, providing the same high performance services and technical expertise to Canadian service providers.

We have a two-fold goal: to deliver the best networks and services to our customers and be the one-stop-shop provider for all their end-to-end network requirements. We offer industry-leading wholesale voice, broadband, data centre and IP solutions as well as managed and professional services. We also work closely with leading industry vendors to provide network equipment as part of our solutions offering.

Our clients are inter-exchange carriers, local exchange carriers, wireless service providers, resellers, OTT providers, systems integrators and Internet Service Providers who operate in a wide variety of domestic and international markets

What have been Bell’s highlights and developments so far in 2017?

In the spring, we announced two major broadband network investments. With the acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS), we began to roll out a 5-year, $1 billion broadband wireless and fibre network expansion project to deliver next generation communications services to Manitoba’s cities, main traffic corridors, rural locations and remote communities. 

We also launched a major network expansion in Montréal tobring Gigabit fibre technology directly to 1.1 million homes and business across the city. This largest-ever communications infrastructure project in Québec will make the province one of the most-connected broadband jurisdictions in North America.

On the service front, we are making progress on our London, England, point of presence (PoP) which is launching in December. This direct and diverse route will provide European-based customers with more choice in accessing North America via Canada. The new London PoP will feature low latency connectivity as well as geo-diversity to existing UK-US routes. 

We also continue to evolve our services in response to market changes, including expanding our connectivity services such as IP VPN, Ethernet, Wavelength and SIP. This year, we added more functionality to our IP VPN service that runs on Canada’s largest MPLS network. And we invested significant resources to secure our MEF 2.0 certification for our Ethernet service – demonstrating our commitment to meet the Carrier Ethernet industry’s highest standards. This fall, we are introducing mesh restoration to our Wavelength service. This will deliver a wider spectrum of protection and restoration options for our wholesale wavelength service, delivering an added level of survivability and resilience to our already highly dependable network.

We’ve also expanded our SIP portfolio to more regions in Ontario and Québec, and introduced additional feature packages offering customers greater choice. Thanks to our acquisition of Q9 Networks, we’ve expanded our wholesale data centre offerings from coast-to-coast in Canada. 

What are the major trends in the wholesale market and how is Bell planning to capitalise on those?

The evolution of the wholesale market continues to be shaped by emerging technologies. We expect cloud-based technologies and the Internet of Things to continue to gain traction in the marketplace, making network quality improvements even more critical. Bell invests more than $3 billion annually to ensure we deliver the world-class connectivity services our customers need to grow their businesses and grow their markets successfully.

We also see Over the Top (OTT) and gaming providers as growing market opportunities, given their need for data-intensive, low latency connectivity. We will continue our focus on these markets, with more investment in our wavelength services as well as our networks to ensure we deliver the services our customers require.

What are your strategic priorities in the coming year and what announcements can we expect from Bell in the region (North America/Europe) over the next year?

For Bell, it’s all about our networks as we continue to invest in our services. In addition to launching our London PoP – and delivering on the new opportunities this creates for transatlantic interconnectivity and the development of new markets for Bell in Europe – we are also focused on our network evolution toward virtualization. This evolution is part of our strategy to transform our network to deliver services in a software-defined environment, where the services are decoupled from the underlying technology.

What do you hope to achieve out of your attendance at the Capacity events this year?

Bell Canada and our international brand, BCE Nexxia, believe Capacity events provide an excellent opportunity to build our brand as a premier gateway provider into Canada, to grow relationships with international customers and to make prospective customers more aware of the strength of Canada’s largest coast-to-coast network.