News Release

Acantho Services Ethernet and SDH Customers Using Cisco Optical Technology

Opening new market opportunities through deployment of Cisco ONS 15454 MSPP and ONS 15302
Mar 13, 2003

CeBIT, HANNOVER, Germany, March 13, 2003 Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced that Acantho, an Italian metro Ethernet service provider owned by the HERA utility consortium, has selected the Cisco® ONS 15454 Multiservice Provisioning Platform (MSPP) and ONS 15302 Multiservice Access Platform in order to capture new market opportunities in tandem with its existing Metro Ethernet Switching network infrastructure. Cisco Strategic Alliance partner Italtel is working with Acantho on systems integration for this new project.

Through its 600-km fiber-optic backbone network, Acantho already provides Ethernet-to-the-Business (ETTB) broadband connectivity and services to business and residential customers in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region by using Cisco Metro Ethernet Switching solutions. Integrating the Cisco ONS 15454 MSPP into its network enables Acantho to extend its services to business customers with investments in traditional synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) network infrastructures, alongside native Ethernet over Fiber services. This is helping to open up new business opportunities in markets such as the public sector.

The combination of the new Cisco ONS 15302 and ONS 15454 MSPP also helps provide a way for Acantho to deliver Ethernet-based connectivity over an SDH transport layer, while continuing to meet customer needs to connect traditional private branch exchange (PBX) voice traffic and other legacy applications over the same network.

"Cisco optical technology is helping us access one of today's market needs-namely, large organisations seeking to benefit from broadband services to connect their LAN traffic, alongside their existing PBX voice technology," said Gaetano Morena, chief marketing officer (CMO) at Acantho. "By deploying Cisco equipment with Cisco IOS® Software, we can provide services to these specific customers today, with a defined growth path to evolve to IP telephony and video networking down the line."

Acantho is now taking advantage of this new deployment in working with the Regional Government of Romagna, where the service provider will deliver broadband services to municipalities, including municipal buildings, university sites and public health clinics. Acantho will provide a mixture of native Ethernet and SDH services to connect the different sites.

In addition to providing high-speed data connectivity and access to advanced services such as IP telephony and video surveillance, the project will help enable the local government to introduce new online initiatives, including telemedicine and citizen portals. In addition, by taking advantage of the Ethernet capabilities of its network available via the Cisco ONS 15454 MSPP, Acantho is providing daily data storage services to the Municipality of Bologna over 100-Mbit/s switched Ethernet.

"Acantho has recognised the value of being able to provide connectivity in a variety of ways according to the end customer's needs through either traditional SDH leased line and PBX connectivity, Ethernet switched natively over fiber, or Ethernet over an SDH transport infrastructure," said Dave Smith, director of EMEA product marketing at Cisco. "This solution provides a way for service providers to address their existing customer base today, while providing a clear growth path to Gigabit Ethernet broadband and IP telephony services in the future."

In addition to deploying the Cisco ONS 15454 MSPP in its aggregation network, Acantho will deploy the new Cisco ONS 15302 platform as a managed customer premises equipment (CPE) device at customer sites still requiring SDH connectivity. Acantho is already deploying a metro Ethernet switching architecture based on Cisco Catalyst® 6500, Catalyst 3500 and Catalyst 4000 series switches.

Cisco Strategic Alliance partner Italtel is working to integrate the multiservice products within Acantho's Metro Ethernet architecture, as well as supporting the deployment of voice over IP services throughout the Acantho broadband network.