Earth-Friendly Networks, NaaS, and Fiber Frenzy

As one of the 2022 ‘ICT Visionaries’ selected by ISE Magazine, our VP Strategy Johan Ottosson will be sharing his expertise on various topics throughout the year. His first article for ISE Magazine covers earth-friendly networks, Network-as-a-Service, and the ongoing fiber frenzy. The article was originally published in the April issue found here

Topic: Earth-Friendly Network

Short term, we minimize the impact of the energy we consume running our network. In regions such as the US, where we deploy our PoPs in large carrier-neutral data centers, we partner with those that share our goal and mission for sustainability. When we research and source colocation capacity, we select facilities that make efficient use of sustainable power, providing acceptable latency limits while sourcing low-cost electricity with a low carbon footprint.

However, we also need to change the game itself. Relying on the builds of the past—with legacy platforms, operational paradigms, and tools—will fall short not only meeting in bandwidth requirements, but also lead to unacceptable power consumption.

By taking the lead in introducing next generation routing silicon, open optics, and open line systems, we found ways to reduce power consumption of 80-90% per bit with 80% success within our IP domain transition. We have set an ambitious migration plan that will retire 8 different platforms by 2025.

Topic: Network-as-a-Service

Service providers need to start with the right commercial model, offering commercial flexibility and transparency for network buyers to understand expected charges. Unlike the Cloud, where costs can quickly spiral out of control, most network buyers prefer predictability and control.

Beyond the assets and tools to secure sufficient capacity for unexpected surges in demand, service providers need to excel at customer experience way beyond the initial purchase. They need to put network managers one step ahead of their stakeholders by providing access to critical data, intuitive analytics, and continuous support, that also integrates their insights of their networks and ecosystems and the capabilities of its existing service assurance organizations.

As this requires auto-provisioning systems based on real-time accurate inventory data, and sophisticated portals or API-able network functions or datasets, service providers need to keep NaaS simple. We believe that basic things, like prices that unbundle access charges from services, software-driven service activation, and a great API-based portal, goes a long way.

Topic: Fiber Frenzy

In 2021, the global semiconductor crunch impacted network equipment vendors worldwide, leading to fulfillment issues and long lead times across the telecom industry. While this crisis is set to ease in the coming year, there is a more long-term threat, as the US fiber market is becoming increasingly consolidated, particularly on the long-haul. This situation is starkly different from Europe, where multiple providers compete across all major markets.

By lighting new fiber routes and bringing more data centers on net, we have brought more competition into the US market, helping customers secure their needs for capacity, diversity, and cost-efficiency. Further consolidation of fiber assets from the remaining independent dark fiber providers would work in the opposite direction, to the detriment of enterprises, consumers, and digital service providers.

Johan Ottosson, VP Strategy