DFA automates and virtualises offerings with Ciena

01 December 2016 | Jason McGee-Abe


Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) is to deploy Ciena’s Blue Planet orchestration software, streamlining and accelerating service delivery across the existing multi-vendor network.

The open-access fibre infrastructure provider will be able to provide for 500 more new services a month and allow its customers to enjoy new, virtualised add-on services. This will also help to improve South Africa’s ICT infrastructure, improving network readiness, increase competition and make high-speed connectivity more affordable.

“DFA’s role is to enable access to efficient, effective connectivity. As we expand to provide more Ethernet and virtualised services, we are investing in technologies that help us streamline the process and make this change economical,” said Andreas Uys, CTO of DFA.

DFA, which finances, builds, installs, manages and maintains a dark fibre network to transmit metro and long-haul telecommunications traffic in South Africa, last month partnered and helped Sigfox to roll out its network in South Africa. In September, there has also been speculaton that DFA and Vodacom are believed to be interested in bidding for South African loss-making fibre company, Broadband Infraco.

DFA has close to 8,000 km of fibre infrastructure nationwide, providing its customers with Ethernet services including high-bandwidth, open-access dark fibre links, hosting, last-mile access, backhaul and long-haul connectivity.

“Ciena’s Blue Planet orchestration solution not only allows us reduce operating expenses and create new revenue opportunities, but its ability to automate solutions over a multi-vendor network allowed us to leverage our existing resources.”

Blue Plant’s multi-domain service orchestration (MDSO) automates the delivery of Ethernet services across its the multi-vendor network and provide more service flexibility and agility for their customers.

Virginie Hollebecque, managing director for Western Europe and Middle East at Ciena, added: “Service providers today must be able to reduce the complexity and time-to-market associated with introducing new services. Ciena’s Blue Planet software introduces more programmability into networks, like that of DFA, in order to automate the rapid turn up and delivery of new services and truly provide the on-demand services customers require. Crucially, with Blue Planet, DFA is supporting South Africa’s ICT development, building a platform that allows businesses to grow and take advantage of the digital economy.”

By rolling out a portfolio of new value-added virtualised services with Ciena’s Blue Planet network functions virtualisation orchestration (NFVO) capabilities, DFA customers stand to benefit from scalability and coverage with access to these new on-demand offerings.

DFA will also leverage Blue Planet to launch its new Magellan suite of Ethernet managed services.