TeliaSonera to build and operate European network for Facebook

16 May 2012 |


TeliaSonera believes the integration between carriers and content providers is a natural progression, following the company’s announcement that it will build a pan-European managed optical network for Facebook.

The network will provide the social media giant with internet exchange points in multiple European cities, including within its data centre in Lulea, Sweden. The news was announced during ITW 2012, and Ivo Pascucci, sales director, Americas region, told Capacity Daily carriers must now embrace content providers and supply necessary infrastructure.

“For the content providers, leasing out 10G waves as and when they are required is not a business model that will work,” he said. “We will build and manage a European solution for Facebook because that is what is now required to keep up with demand. Content providers now need solutions that can scale and handle multiple gig capacity, and we do believe this is the begging of a trend for the broader market.”

Pascucci conceded it was natural for Facebook to look at TeliaSonera for such a solution, considering where the company had decided to build its European data centre, but stressed the network will address Facebook’s capacity requirements throughout Europe, and not just Sweden. Pascucci believes the deal further quashes murmurs in the wholesale market that the OTT content providers could eventually bypass the carrier networks and build separate infrastructure. “We already have the infrastructure in place, and to be honest it is not something you can do overnight,” he said. “The data centre in Sweden is only their first, and you need a partner that can support the network to make it successful – infrastructure is not cheap and you need a serious business case to start laying fibre and building ducts.”

TeliaSonera has been renowned for being early adopters of next-generation networking and technology, and the Nordic markets are among the most advanced in Europe. Pascucci said the company’s early strategy to deploy fibre was now paying off, particularly with a major coup like Facebook in its portfolio of partners. “We invested a lot of money and we built the fibre, laid the ducts, really at a time when our strategy was questioned because there was not as much of a need for such infrastructure. I believe our deal with Facebook now reinforces our position in the continent, and these assets are now some of the most valuable within our operation.

Many industry discussions at this year’s ITW have centered around the evolution of the OTT content players, and TeliaSonera said the announcement was designed to coincide with the event as an indication of future partnerships this industry will have to make. “ITW gives this announcement a bigger platform,” said Pascucci.

“There are a lot of players here and for partnerships they need to look at the bigger picture – it’s becoming about looking at large scale services for long term goals.”