Wednesday, June 16, 2010

BT Signs 5-Year 21CN Contract with Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent signed a major five-year agreement with BT for an evolution of its 21st Century Network (21CN) that leverages the Alcatel-Lucent High Leverage Network (HLN) architecture. Specifically, Alcatel-Lucent will provide an end-to-end transport solution which tightly integrates IP and optical transport resources along with professional services such as project management, design, installation and commissioning, repair and return and software updates. Financial terms were not disclosed.

As part of the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will enhance its existing 7750 Service Router, which has been previously supplied to BT for its Etherflow service, to provide Broadband Subscriber Management in a distributed architecture. The contract also covers the deployment of the 1830 Photonic Service Switch. Additionally, the Alcatel-Lucent 1850 Transport Service Switch will be implemented for multiple traffic aggregation. The contract also leverages Alcatel-Lucent's professional services including performance management, design, network integration, installation and commissioning, repair and return and software updates.

BT is also evolving its residential IP service delivery architecture. Broadband Network Gateways (BNGs), previously centralized and becoming an increasing bottleneck in the network, will be distributed closer to subscribers using next generation service routers. This will result in an increase in capacity and performance creating a better end-user experience. Additionally, as the BNG function runs on the same routing platform as BT's business services, operations are streamlined and simplified for the operator.

"21CN is a huge transformational programme. It's about providing a network for the future which requires a game-changing approach," said George Nazi, managing director, BT 21CN Core Convergence.

  • In September 2009, Alcatel-Lucent outlined its Converged Backbone Transformation solution aimed at relieving the strain on service providers' core networks by optimizing the routing of IP packets over optical transport. Dramatic growth in Internet video traffic, along with a growing flood of IP-based business services, are increasing the strain on core routers -- through which nearly all traffic passes. Continually adding core router capacity is expensive, and as a result the network backbone is becoming a significant cost center.

    Alcatel-Lucent said its new Converged Backbone Transformation solution solves this problem by more tightly integrating IP and optical transport resources. This integration reduces the number of required network elements, improves efficiencies in power and rack space, simplifies network provisioning and fault management, and minimizes latency. Alcatel-Lucent accomplishes this by means of an intelligent control plane between the optical and IP layers, leveraging ASON and GMPLS technologies. The goal is to handle traffic at lowest layer via flexible grooming & IP offloading options. This enables IP packets to stay at the photonic layer for as long as possible throughout the transit to their destination, rather than being processed by intermediate core routers. Management Plane Integration across IP & optical domains would enable seamless network visibility and provisioning.


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