Challenges and opportunities on the road ahead for international telecom operators

Challenges and opportunities on the road ahead for international telecom operators

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Oteglobe’s coo, George Nikoloudis, shares his expertise on how wholesale operators can address those challenges and look into the future.

The crisis of Covid-19 has already caused a strong effect on international traffic and global networks operation.

At the same time a new outbreak around the world brings regional lockdowns in many countries for the second time this year and presents many challenges for international telecom operators: short delivery times for high capacity services, hard to predict traffic bursts, the ever-present price erosion and limited new network deployments due to mobility restrictions. Meanwhile, social distancing which mandates, among other things, remote working, virtual meetings and distant services for large parts of the population & organizations, increases the dependence on internet services and makes service outages prohibitive, putting additional strain on telecom operators.

Unprecedented problems require smart solutions.

During the first wave of the pandemic earlier this year, many operators reported a traffic growth between 20% - 50%. Maximizing the value and efficiency of fiber infrastructure to cope with the increased demand and bursty nature of the –mainly video- traffic has become the real challenge for everyone. We experienced a traffic increase of 25-30% related to peak values, accounting for a 40-50% total volume increase in our network.

To overcome the capacity exhaustion due to the increased, urgent demand from our customers and as always provide the best possible solutions to our partners helping them cope with these common but significant operability issues we introduced C+L band solutions at the optical layer of our fiber network. Expanding beyond the C-band to the L-band almost doubles the potential bandwidth per fiber route cleverly, without the need to acquire and deploy new fibers, meeting both the increased capacity demand and remaining competitive cost-wise. With the introduction of C+L band technology we can perform seamless on demand growth, minimizing the time needed to activate new capacities, meeting our customers’ stringent requirements for urgent capacity demands.

At the same time to cope and respond seamlessly to sudden traffic bursts during peak operations, we are one of the first carriers in Europe to introduce 400G interfaces in our European IP core network. Our company was among the first carriers to move from 10G to 100G services a few years back and continues to innovate, by becoming again one the first carriers to embrace 400G technology. With 400G technology, we offer our customers more flexible and scalable Internet services at aggressive unit prices by retaining our operational cost due reduction in equipment footprint and energy consumption.

Protection is more crucial today than ever before

Resilience & diversity in international networks has always been the cornerstone for competitiveness and viability in the market, let alone nowadays that almost everything is happening on-line! By diversifying their network in the European region and enhance their solutions with additional protection, telecom operators can strengthen their presence in the region common but extremely impactful issues especially hard times.

Having invested in AAE-1, the largest next generation intercontinental subsea cable in the Eurasia route, we offer to the market a completely new, alternative & and unique path in the Med for connecting Europe to Asia through Greece helping international operators and multinational organizations diversify their networks to secure high performance and minimize risks. Through our multi-terabit, optical European backbone network which extends over more than 21.000 Km of fiber over Europe, we are the only carrier that reaches W. Europe through Greece over an extensive backbone network, consisting of more than four diverse terrestrial routes that cross Italy and the Balkan region. On top of our optical backbone, we have also deployed our own, private and resilient IP network with presence in all the major Internet Hubs in Europe, delivering high quality Internet services while offering the necessary diversity in the region.

Stay well prepared and focused for the next step It appears that Covid-19-related demand leads to greater than expected international traffic growth for 2020 and ahead. However, the long term impact on growth rates is still unclear as the consequences of this crisis on peoples’ working, social culture and habits cannot be predicted, nor can future traffic trends and accelerated demand.

Furthermore, technology advancements and especially 5G rollout, although delayed in some countries due to mobility restrictions, will move forward at an accelerated pace from 2021 onwards and eventually will put more strain on international networks.

OTEGLOBE, as the leading International carrier in SE Europe, is continually pursuing to provide an enhanced customer experience through our network superiority and enriched service portfolio. Anticipating the rise in 5G services, we are building a next generation platform that scales ahead of today’s demand. Through innovation we always aim to continuously improve our competitiveness and business sustainability exploiting new business opportunities promptly.

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