VimpelCom partners with Ciena for major Russian network upgrade

04 September 2012 |


Russian carrier VimpelCom is to undertake a significant expansion and upgrade of its national network through a strategic agreement with Ciena, including the deployment of a new 100Gbps fibre ring in the far east.

The agreement is considered a boon for Ciena, which was chosen ahead of VimpelCom’s other core network vendor Huawei.

Under the contract, Ciena’s packet optical platform will be deployed on networks links of over 10,700km, with upgrades to both VimpelCom’s Moscow to Urals and Urals to Siberia routes, and the southern part of its western Russian network.

VimpelCom is carrying out the optical deployment to support its LTE roll-out and existing national fixed infrastructure, as well as to cater for increasing transit traffic being carried across Russia and to and from neighbouring countries.

“The roll-out of LTE services and increase in broadband usage, coupled with the prospect of new data-heavy enterprise services, dictate that VimpelCom’s core network must be ready. In collaboration with Ciena we developed an optimised architecture for our national network that will provide VimpelCom with operational effectiveness, both in terms of ease of implementation and scalability,” said Alexey Sapunov, Transport Network Director at OJCS VimpelCom.

Through the deployment, VimpelCom’s network section linking Moscow and the Urals will be extended with additional 40Gbps channels, while the Urals to Siberia section will be upgraded to provide transmission speeds of 40Gbps over a single wavelength.

Ciena’s 40G/100G coherent technology is also being deployed on VimpelCom’s European Ring network in the west of Russia, covering Rostov and Krasnodar. This follows an upgrade on the northern section of the ring, connecting the cities of Moscow, Kazan, Ufa, Samara and Saratov, which was completed in 2011.

The new 3,000km network in the far east of Russia will utilise 100Gbps technology and is partly being constructed to provide cross border interconnects with nearby countries like China.

VimpelCom opted for the higher transmission rate on the Asian section due to the superior performance of Ciena’s 100G solution over longer distances, and because the carrier had sufficient capacity for it to make economic sense, Ciena’s VP of sales for EMEA, Peter Newcombe, told Capacity.

The majority of the upgrade should be completed by the end of the calendar year, with some of the capacity additions possibly stretching into 2013, according to Newcombe.