MWC Series: Readying Fastweb’s Network for the 5G Era
This year at Mobile World Congress 2019, we shared the news of our partnership with Fastweb on a network modernization project that will enhance the capabilities and performances of Fastweb fiber-based network. This project will put the Italy-based operator in the right position to meet the growing demands of video over broadband, enterprise VPN, and future 5G traffic.
This project is new, but it builds on a longstanding relationship with Fastweb. Together we aim to create a dynamic, easy to scale, and sustainable network architecture with advanced automation features to meet demands of different network slices and fully support future 5G applications.
The fundamental building block of this new network is a technology we pioneered here at Cisco, IP over dense wavelength-division multiplexing (IPoDWDM), that delivers superior service flexibility, bandwidth scalability, and automation.
The network of Fastweb customers are complex and have seen an increase in bandwidth-intensive applications. Our combined efforts have created a solution that allows data to be dynamically steered across the network between users and service platforms, based on the features and need of each specific service. In other words, together we are optimizing network traffic and resource availability. The network will thus be tailored to match the specific needs of different users, which makes network growth sustainable for their customers.
Our Network Service Orchestrator software provides the automation and orchestration capabilities needed to create, modify, and adapt transport services delivery for the ever changing network conditions that Fastweb is facing.
The solution we created for Fastweb includes a mix of pioneering technologies, answering to their specific innovation needs:
- Scalable metropolitan IP over dense wavelength-division multiplying (IPoDWDM) ring with 200 Gbps speeds, based on Cisco NCS5500 and NCS540 routing platforms;
- CFP2 Digital Coherent Optics (DCO) form factor transceivers
- Segment routing (SR) technology for the underlay transport, as the best architectural option to achieve Fastweb’s sustainability objective
- Ethernet VPN (EVPN) to build transport services over the SR underlay
- Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO)
One of the biggest benefits of the new network is that services configuration will be entirely automated. This provides a reduction in time to market for new products and services while improving accuracy.
The solution will also enable Fastweb to scale up their portfolio of wholesale services to other service providers in the Italian market. Fastweb’s new aggregation network provides a cost-effective solution to the growing bandwidth demand of residential and business customers at the metropolitan and regional level.
They are now in a perfect position to benefit from the opportunities that will be enabled by 5G technology and ultra-high-speed broadband services.