Sparkle to build software-defined backbone Nibble linking Sicily with Europe

01 July 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Sparkle, the first international service provider in Italy and a global operator, has announced the construction of Nibble, its new ultra-long-haul photonic backbone which will digitally connect Sicily with the major points of presence (PoPs) and data centres in Europe.

The announcement, which was issued during ITW in Atlanta last week, explained that Nibble will be built upon new express fibres and will provide industry-leading speeds, low-latency, high-performance, scalable and guaranteed connectivity services between the most important European locations, meeting carriers and enterprises’ rapidly increasing network capacity requirements.

“Sparkle confirms its strong leadership in the European telecom market with a solution that ensures top quality and efficiency standards,” said Mario Di Mauro, Sparkle’s chief executive officer.

“The Gigabit Society is demanding faster and more sophisticated capacity services and with the Infinera Instant Network solution we can expand our geographical footprint and satisfy customers’ needs at light speed, investing only in the capacity we need to deploy, where and when we need it.”

Featuring the breakthrough Infinera DWDM & Instant Network technologies, Nibble implements a “software-defined bandwidth” solution, leveraging on the concept of capacity licensing to disaggregate the underlying hardware installation from the capacity activation. Instant Network minimises the time to market, reducing idle investments by activating software-defined capacity on pre-provisioned optical links as customers demand for it, thus lowering business risk by shrinking the time between paying for capacity and delivering services.

“We are pleased to partner with Sparkle, providing Infinite Network solutions that help Sparkle win in its market,” added Bob Jandro, senior vice president of worldwide sales at Infinera. “As bandwidth demands continue to grow, operators seek solutions that can scale capacity and simplify operations. The Infinera XT-3600 is yet another example of how Infinera is transforming transport networks to cloud scale.”

Nibble’s ultra-performant photonic layer will progressively be integrated with Sparkle’s existing Mediterranean and Balkans Network and with BlueMed, the new multi-fibre submarine cable linking Palermo and Milan via Genoa, creating a seamless pan-Mediterranean optical transport network.

The first link - planned to go live in summer 2019 - will connect Sparkle’s Sicily Hub in Palermo with the Milan Caldera open data centre. Nibble’s construction is planned to continue over several phases until the end of 2020 to fully deploy the entire Italian and European footprint and to integrate with the Mediterranean and Balkans networks.