Virtual1 to launch UK-wide network in 2017

10 April 2017 | Jason McGee-Abe

Virtual1 has announced it is to expand its network across the UK and aims to provide the "largest and most advanced wholesale-only UK network" by the end of 2017.

Virtual1 280 x 420The digital service provider, which works exclusively for the wholesale markets, will be extending both its existing footprint within Greater London and out to include a further 180 towns and cities across the UK.

“Working closely with both our resellers and carrier partners and understanding the challenges they face in their businesses, I saw the opportunity to disrupt the status quo in the connectivity market by elevating Virtual1 to be a true alternative UK-wide carrier,” said Tom O’Hagan, Virtual1 founder and CEO.

“As our wholesale-only network will be fully software defined, our partners will have complete control of the solutions that we provide for them through our award-winning 1Portal. This is a UK first and it is intended to raise the service standards that UK business should expect from its suppliers."

Virtual1’s footprint expansion has been designed specifically to suit its partners’ target markets and it aims to cover over 75% of UK businesses. It will deliver a commercially-competitive network, rich in SDN functionality, which enables its partners to deliver innovative and compelling solutions to their customers.

Strategic partnerships with Juniper Networks, which it has an eight-year relationship with providing feature-rich and highly-resilient routing and switching solutions, and Infinera, a provider of intelligent transport networks and key to its metro deployments, will be critical for Virtual1’s expansion plans.

Tom O’Hagan, Virtual1 founder and CEO
Tom O’Hagan, Virtual1 founder and CEO
Virtual1 had already deployed SDN-ready MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers to build out a high-capacity core network, and EX Series Ethernet Switches in each of its PoPs. These were deployed in virtual chassis configurations to provide a blend of 100 Megabit and Gigabit Ethernet services.

To enhance network operations, Virtual1 added the ACX Series Universal Access Routers that are controlling the distribution layer within the new roll-out, representing the largest Juniper Networks ACX Series deployment in the UK.

Back in September, Australian ISP Exetel teamed up with Virtual1 and other wholesale providers to launch broadband data and voice over (VoIP) services in the UK, targetting SMEs.

Virtual1 expects to rollout the new network in 2017.