BT taps Alcatel-Lucent to increase 21CN bandwidth capacity

MAY 4, 2010 -- Alcatel-Lucent says it has signed a five-year agreement with BT for an evolution of the UK carrier’s 21st Century Network (21CN), the foundation of BT’s IP transformation effort .

MAY 4, 2010 -- Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) says it has signed a five-year agreement with BT for an evolution of the UK carrier’s 21st Century Network (21CN), the foundation of BT’s IP transformation effort (see "BT moves ahead with 21CN").

Alcatel-Lucent will supply equipment and services from its High Leverage Network (HLN) portfolio. These include an enhancement of its existing 7750 Service Router, which was previously supplied to BT for its BT Etherflow service, to provide broadband subscriber management in a distributed architecture. BT also will deploy Alcatel-Lucent’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch and 1850 Transport Service Switch, the latter of which will perform traffic aggregation. The contract also calls for Alcatel-Lucent to supply such professional services as performance management, design, network integration, installation and commissioning, repair and return, and software updates.

With video-rich content consumption booming, it has become critical to accelerate the transition to a unified smart IP network and to an open application environment that enables new business models, says the equipment supplier. This upgrades are designed to further evolve BT’s infrastructure to enable the company to expedite network convergence, increase capacity, and deliver content cost-effectively as it prepares to introduce new video-rich services to an expanded base of wholesale and retail subscribers. (For more on Alcatel-Lucent's IP/optical convergence strategy, see "Alcatel-Lucent unveils IP/optical convergence strategy.")

“21CN is a huge transformational program. It's about providing a network for the future which requires a game-changing approach,” said George Nazi, managing director, BT 21CN Core Convergence. “Alcatel-Lucent came up with an innovative solution that will help us keep 21CN at the forefront of innovation and radical change.”

As BT’s residential subscriber base and associated bandwidth demands continue to grow, and in preparation for new rich-media services, 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 via service routers. This will result in an increase in capacity and performance, says Alcatel-Lucent. Additionally, as the BNG function runs on the same routing platform as BT’s business services, operations are streamlined and simplified for the operator.

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