JANUARY 31, 2007 -- Global Crossing (search for Global Crossing) has been awarded a contract to help Belgacom International Carrier Services (Belgacom ICS) consolidate and upgrade its pan-European network. This follows the formation in 2005 of a joint venture between the Belgian and Swiss incumbents, Belgacom SA and Swisscom Fixnet AG, to combine their international carrier businesses.
Belgacom ICS is headquartered in Brussels and has offices in Bern, New York, Singapore, and Dubai.
Under the terms of this field activity contract, Global Crossing will support the consolidation of Belgacom ICS's existing infrastructure in continental Europe and the UK through the provision of network infrastructure, creating the foundation for a 40-Gbit/sec capable European backbone. Global Crossing will provide 3,000 km of dark fiber and associated colocation space connecting 36 major points of presence in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, and Germany, as well as wavelengths on routes that are geographically dispersed from Belgacom ICS's network.
Global Crossing will also take charge of decommissioning existing optical transmission equipment and manage the installation of Siemens' 40-Gbit/sec compatible Surpass 7500 optical add/drop multiplexers (OADM). It is the first European-wide installation of reconfigurable OADM systems. The contract calls for the support of migration of services from the legacy network to the new DWDM backbone and the provision of power supplies, cable preparation, collocation facilities, installation of racks and transmission equipment, and overall consultancy and project management.
"In building our own global network from the ground up, we have developed exceptional expertise in every aspect of design, installation, and management of high-speed optical networks to achieve consistent performance at 99.999 percent availability," said Pieter Duijves, European managing director, Global Crossing. "It's a logical step to commercialize the skills of our field operations team and the reach and depth of our network to other carriers wanting to expand their international footprint."
Belgacom ICS has already started migrating services, and the new backbone is now fully operational. Gert Nieveld, director responsible for Global Crossing's operations support solutions, explains that it is the vast expertise of Global Crossing's field operations organization, combined with its geographic reach across Europe, that enables Belgacom ICS and Siemens to deploy the new ROADM technology within such a short timeframe.
Commenting on the agreement, Daniel Kurgan, COO of Belgacom ICS, said, "This is an important step in realizing the benefits of harmonizing the international network assets of Belgacom and Swisscom and positioning the combined entity to become a greater force in the international wholesale segment."
As Belgacom ICS is an existing customer of Global Crossing, much of the new ROADM transmission equipment will be housed in Global Crossing's points of presence. Global Crossing has a team of 110 field engineers supporting the 13,000-km UK backbone and the 30,000-km pan-European network linking 106 cities across 15 countries.
The increased scale of Belgacom ICS' international network will help the joint venture capitalize on its strengths as the eighth-largest international wholesale voice provider, while reinforcing offerings that address the voice, data, and capacity needs of mobile operators and service providers around the world.
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