Virgin Media O2 upgrades its core IP backbone network with Juniper Networks

Jan. 23, 2023
The sustainable infrastructure is designed to support high-speed communications requirements while significantly reducing power, cooling, and space consumption requirements and costs, according to Juniper.

Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) says it assisted Virgin Media O2 in the UK fixed and mobile service provider’s recent IP core backbone network upgrade. The upgrade enables 400G capabilities today, with a roadmap toward 800G support. The sustainable infrastructure is designed to support high-speed communications requirements while significantly reducing power, cooling, and space consumption requirements and costs, according to Juniper.

The upgrade effort saw Virgin Media O2 – formed as a joint venture between Virgin Media and O2 in 2021 -- migrate all core traffic in its six backbone locations across the UK with Juniper Networks PTX10008 Packet Transport Routers. The PTX10008 routers will provide scalable, secure 400G capability with MACSec encryption on all ports, says Juniper Networks. Those ports support 400G coherent optical transceivers (400G ZR and ZR+) and are 800G-capable with upgradeability to 800G in the future, the company adds. Virgin Media O2 will leverage Juniper Networks’ Junos OS Evolved operating system as well.

The upgrade comes as Virgin Media O2 has seen 32% traffic growth on its mobile network, 16% growth in broadband data downloads, and a peak traffic load of 22 TB in the past year. “Virgin Media O2’s stated ambition is to ‘upgrade the UK,’ providing fast, seamless broadband access and mobile services to as many homes and businesses as possible. This calls for responsible, strategic innovation and investment to create an agile network infrastructure that can simultaneously scale in step with our business, be mindful of resource consumption and deliver an extended lifecycle that protects our investment,” commented Jeanie York, CTO of Virgin Media O2. “Juniper is a long-standing technology partner, so it is very reassuring that it has the same vision for sustainable growth, user experience, and the fundamental importance of digital enablement in our communities and economy.”

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