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BT boosts network capacity to cope with FTTP and 5G data growth

(Image credit: BT) (Image credit: BT)
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BT is upgrading its core network with Nokia’s 7750 service router platform to help manage the anticipated growth in data traffic caused by the greater adoption of full fibre and 5G in the UK.

The company is pursuing a converged network strategy comprising fixed, cellular and wireless technologies to offer customers constant connectivity.

To support this ambition, EE is to launch 5G in 2019, while Openreach hopes to connect ten million homes and businesses to fibre to the premise (FTTP) by the mid-2020s.

BT Nokia kit

The greater availability of high-speed connectivity is causing broadband and mobile data traffic to rise by 40 per cent year-on-year, hence the decision to deploy Nokia’s technology.

“BT’s FTTP footprint is growing on a daily basis, and we are launching 5G this year in the busiest parts of 16 of the UK’s busiest cities,” said Howard Watson, BT Group CTO.

“These technologies create an amazing customer experience, and drive people to watch more, play more and share more. We have to stay ahead of the massive traffic growth that this will bring, and Nokia are a key part of that, giving us the capacity and automation that we need.”

BT is in fact the first operator in the world to deploy the Nokia 7750 SR-s across its backbone infrastructure. The platform is powered by a multi-terabit network processor and delivers the greatest 100GE density among high-performance IP routers available on the market.

What this means is that BT can optimise the routing of traffic across its converged networks to drive efficiency and meet customer demand. It also supports BT’s goal of using adaptable, programmable and highly-automated network architecture to futureproof its infrastructure and enable the rollout of next generation services.

“Nokia’s 7750 SR-s platform, based on our FP4 silicon, will offer BT’s network the enhanced capabilities and automation needed to address continuously mounting capacity demands as it moves toward 5G,” added Sri Reddy, head of IP/Optical networks at Nokia.

“Our exclusive partnership will allow BT’s converged core network to grow, and move to a programmable, insight-driven network architecture, creating a platform for BT’s growth to continue as demand for its services in FTTP and 5G expands.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.