This post is written by Sean Dolan, Senior Vice President, EMEA, Juniper Networks:
Looking at the news release Juniper just issued about Finnish service provider Elisa and its decision to deploy the Juniper Networks® MobileNext™ open mobile packet core, it strikes me that the story is a pretty close metaphor for the development of mobile data services in Europe. Elisa’s company roots go right back to the 1800s, formed just after Alexander Graham-Bell invented the telephone in 1876. Today it is a vibrant market leader in mobile services, using technology to stay smart and ahead of its subscribers, always ready for tomorrow’s new challenge.
Juniper has enjoyed a business relationship with Elisa over the past 10 years or so, built on mutual trust and respect for innovation. They bought into our philosophy for simple, high-performance and intelligent IP, entrusting their core networks to us as the demand for fixed broadband and 2G mobile telephony really took hold. We’ve steadily worked with them to build their network alongside a growing business ever since. In my experience Elisa has always been a shining example of what can be achieved by a culture of innovation and the desire to create genuine business progress.
New Challenge – Seamless Blend of Fixed and Mobile
The conversation Juniper had with Elisa about 18 months ago focused on the new demands on their network, driven by consumer requirement for blended fixed-mobile data services, and the reality of LTE/4G. Given the technology heritage in Finland, subscribers are very sophisticated and adopt new technologies and services early; they tend to have high expectations from the get-go. The global push into mobile applications and data services meant that Finns immediately wanted a seamless service between their laptops and mobile devices.
Elisa’s customers expected the same fast, reliable and secure experience online, whether they were in their apartment, the office or their summer home – or even traveling between. Finns are also obsessive about their sport – the climate means that long, dark winter evenings are best spent indoors watching ice hockey, motorsport, soccer from around the world. Trust me, fractured, slow broadband service is not an option!
Say Ahead of the Game – Better Experience for Less Cost
Elisa wanted to stay ahead of the game and create a mobile broadband network to handle these explosive levels of data-rich, experience-reliant traffic. Balanced against this need for technical development, Elisa also needed to control both capital and operational costs. With these traffic projections in mind, Elisa was fully focused on long-term return-on-investment (ROI) – the company knew it had to place its bets intelligently to cover huge predicted growth as well as have the head-room to move in yet-unseen directions without extra expense. In my experience, all SPs nowadays are familiar with this dual challenge – make the network do more, in terms of both scale and performance, but at the same time ensure it costs less to build and operate.
Following several visits to Helsinki (some of them in -10⁰ which I will always remember – as a New Yorker I thought I knew what cold was) alongside the account team, our North region technical specialists and corporate technicians, we created a plan with Elisa to test the MobileNext solution – at that time a brand new technology, and still today a unique approach to creating a mobile IP core. Once again the company was ready to break from tradition and create a new offering ahead of the marketplace.
From that plan, the companies have worked together to build the best network possible for Elisa’s needs. Their management team had a clear vision of what they needed to deliver, commercially and technically. They knew the network platform was at the heart of the company’s next chapter – I am very pleased that they chose Juniper as the vendor to help them deliver this for their customers. Their progressive, innovative and open approach has given us a great opportunity to partner and deliver a solution of which both companies can be very proud.