BT inks five-year deal for Ciena packet-optical platform

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Multinational service provider BT has deepened its relationship with optical transport supplier Ciena, by renewing a five-year contract to deploy the vendor’s 6500 converged packet optical platform.

Ciena has been a supplier to BT since 2005 when it became one of the preferred suppliers to the operator’s 21CN deployment, the mega-project to migrate BT’s entire customer base from the existing UK public-switched telephone network (PSTN) to an Internet Protocol (IP)-based network.

The contract to supply Ciena’s 6500 packet optical platform, which commenced in summer 2017, will underpin BT’s expansion plans for direct optical services, connecting customers with high-capacity wavelengths quickly and cost effectively on a national scale, whilst also playing a key role in uplifting capacity in the overall network. 

The 6500 product family, which houses Ciena’s Wavelogic coherent processors, enables BT to provision 100G and nx100G wavelengths across its network. The latest generation of the Wavelogic chipset provides tunable capacity from 100G to 400G in 50Gb/s increments (see Ciena embeds network monitoring in next-generation coherent chipset).

“With the growth in high bandwidth services, it’s more important than ever that we continue to innovate and provide flexible network solutions to our customers. We’ve built a great relationship with Ciena over the past five years and we’re pleased to continue working with them,” said Neil J. McRae, chief architect for BT.

But the deal isn’t just about pure capacity. The next-generation network being rolled out by BT and Ciena is designed to support the introduction of new technologies. The operational flexibility of the network allows BT to upgrade to even higher capacity services and connectivity speeds in the future, putting BT is in a strong position to efficiently manage traffic growth on its network.

 “We are delighted about the extension to our strategic alliance with BT and look forward to supporting the business with a flexible, programmable and scalable solution that drives growth and incremental revenue for the business. With Ciena’s industry-leading 6500 platform, BT is futureproofing its networks and continuing to offer its UK customers fast and reliable solutions,” said Keri Gilder, vice president and general manager, EMEA, Ciena.

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