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IP Transit – Everything Old is New Again!

2 months ago

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New technologies are always hot topics for media and analysts alike. As we, and the industry, enjoy our exciting roller-coaster ride up and down on Gartner’s parabolic hype-cycle curve for various new technologies, it is important not to lose sight of our underlying foundations. One of these is IP Transit.

IP Transit also referred to as Transit, Internet, or Internet Transit allows traffic from an ISP or customer network to cross or “transit” the IP Transit Provider’s network and connect to the rest of the Internet.

Beginning 25+ years ago, Telia Carrier offered IP Transit services to (then) Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other Communications Service Providers (CSPs) for their customers, shrinking the world with a global internet that connected us all. The communications ecosystem has evolved to include IP Transit services for cloud and data center providers, Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), and hyperscalers such as Google, AWS, Azure and Facebook, among others.

Due to increasingly internet-based business models and the ease of developing and deploying new applications, mid- to large-scale enterprises have joined the networking party adding new IP Transit demand to the communications market space. Recently, Telia Carrier’s sales teams have been working diligently to meet increasing commercial demand for bandwidth across the entire spectrum of enterprises and service providers alike.

Covid’s Network Impact – Video Conferencing

An earlier blog here titled, “COVID-19: NETWORK TRENDS AND MODELLING,” revealed that video conferencing traffic increased 400 percent in March and Telia Carrier’s IP Transit customer traffic increased by up to 30 percent from February to April. The most striking example demonstrating the need for more bandwidth and IP Transit services are from many of the leading video chat application suppliers. Videoconferencing networks can rapidly go from a mere 20 percent utilization to having maxed-out ports, and the high demand means they must act very quickly to maintain the quality customers expect.

One such company saw a tenfold increase in demand in a single month due to stay-at-home orders to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Telia Carrier faced two key challenges in supporting it: providing massively more bandwidth and doing it quickly (high-speed provisioning). The demand spike hit not only North America but also Europe, Asia, and trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic routes as tens of thousands of users jumped on video calls. Telia Carrier rose to the challenge, opening up 100-gigabit and 10-gigabit ports all around the world, often within hours or days. In 2019 alone, Telia Carrier deployed 10,000 global 100-gigabit Ethernet ports, adding a whopping 1,000 Tbps of global capacity as we continue to grow our network organically in new and various geographies.

In Latin America (LATAM),  the virus came later, but its impact on broadband markets there follows the same patterns observed elsewhere. An analysis of traffic from 20 ISPs in the Latin America region shows some startling numbers from the five countries with the most significant growth percentage (See article here by Tech Republic). Mexico saw growth of 73 percent and in Argentina, 60 percent. They were followed by Brazil with a 35 percent spike; Chile, 20 percent and Columbia, 13 percent.

Telia Carrier will be talking more specifically about the work we’re doing in Mexico soon.

Post-Lockdown Networking – What will Fall Bring?

Even with the seasonality of summer, typically a slower time for bandwidth use and deployments, we still see higher numbers with the new Covid-related traffic trends stubbornly loitering around. Looking forward to the fall, with companies like Twitter and others announcing that people can permanently work from home, businesses are preparing for a post-lockdown reality where people continue to work remotely from home.

Universities and colleges are looking at online learning as a solution, and many, including California’s CSU system, which is the largest four-year public university system in the United States, are taking this path. For K-12, there will likely be at least partial online learning and some schools will be operated in stages to provide a proper amount of cleaning and social distancing between students that physically attend. Events have also gone virtual, with live online webinars and video chats replacing large venues with in-person audiences, and the same is true for sporting events. It’s all online now, and we expect it will remain there for a time.

How Enterprising

While no one could have predicted the impact that the pandemic would have on our lives, our engineers and sophisticated network modeling process help us anticipate demand and has kept the world connected, even during these extraordinary times. Telia Carrier is seeing a new wave of demand from emerging industries like EdTech, Financial Services, Cyber Security, and other remote workplace platforms. The usual suspect – online gaming – relentlessly continues its massively spiky network traffic patterns with new game releases that also feature video chat capabilities for gamers to gloat at one another, or “cheese” their way to victory.

Because of our history and the evolution of the communications landscape referenced above, the world’s largest CSPs, ISPs, and hyperscalers know us well. Enterprises are a different story, but they have been approaching us in increasingly higher numbers during the past few years. Now, SD-WAN has been proven to deliver the needed levels of security, reliability and quality of service (QoS). It enables enterprises to connect remote offices to each other and with customers and cloud resources using the Internet instead of, or in combination with, dedicated MPLS circuits. This is driving far greater demand for good old-fashioned Internet, or IP Transit, services. In March, we announced the only SD-WAN service in the world where enterprises can attach their WAN overlay to the world’s best-connected internet backbone network, entirely operated by Telia Carrier.

Telia Carrier’s IP customer base accounts for 60 percent of global Internet routes. In 2020, we announced the industry’s first full-scale, 400GE-ready network, using advanced cloud-scale routing technology. We also operate a global fiber-optic backbone stretching 67,000km across Europe, North America, and Asia, between more than 300 PoPs (Points of Presence) across 120 global cities.

If your business is currently considering networking solutions to support you on your digital journey to the cloud, then you should contact us here. If you are not looking at Telia Carrier for networking, then you are not looking in the right place!

Ivo Pascucci, VP Sales

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