News Release

O2 UK Selects Cisco 12000 Series Routers for MPLS Network Core and Builds the Foundation for a New Data-Centric Era

O2 Reduces Costs by Merging Networks onto MPLS and Prepares its Network Platform for the Demands of Mobile Data Services
Dec 11, 2003

SLOUGH, UK, December 11, 2003 - O2 UK, the British subsidiary of the European mobile operator mmO2, and Cisco today announced that O2 UK is deploying a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network backbone based on Cisco 12000 Series Routers to streamline the efficiency of its operations, generate significant savings on operational costs, and continue its advance in the field of data-centric services.

O2 UK currently runs several IP networks to manage systems such as billing, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and the Company intranet. All of these could potentially be transported over a single, unifying MPLS backbone. O2 has calculated that converging just three key networks - for Services Data, Corporate Data and Management & Billing - onto MPLS will yield a positive return on investment.

In addition, O2 is evaluating Any Transport over MPLS (AToM), a Cisco innovation, which could help enable it to overlay its existing ATM and Frame Relay networks together with its Ethernet and IP-based networks over the single MPLS-based backbone, whilst maintaining the performance and security of each individual network. Using traffic engineering, O2 will be able to set predefined optimized 'paths' through the network to streamline the transfer of the individual data types to their end destinations.

"Cisco fielded a solid and dependable team and was able to demonstrate it could provide the right products at the right price," said Dave Williams, Chief Technology Officer for mmO2. "Its track record with O2 made Cisco a natural candidate for this project. O2 is focusing on developing top quality, future-proofed networks in order to deliver best-in-class solutions and services to our customers. We see exciting opportunities in extending our range of mobile data services. Behind the customer experience is the delivery mechanism, and that requires the right technology, helping to ensure flexible, scalable and secure services which can be delivered and managed effectively."

O2's MPLS core, due for completion early next year, will serve network and office sites and will employ Cisco 12000 Series Routers. These routers will be managed by a Cisco Element Manager, providing a full range of inventory, performance management and fault management capabilities, easily integrated into O2's management systems. The Cisco 12000 Series is the industry leading product family of highly scalable, manageable, adaptable, and reliable routing solutions that service-enable carrier IP/MPLS networks and designed to optimize investment protection. The network will also employ Cisco CNS Net Flow Collection Engines for key applications such as traffic accounting, usage-based billing and data mining.

Massimo Migliuolo, Vice President, Worldwide Mobile Operations, Cisco Systems, said: "O2's current infrastructure is typical of many mobile phone operators, with a great number of networks providing different functions within the business - which require specific skill sets to manage. Routing all the business's traffic over a single MPLS network is the obvious way to cut costs and thereby improve margins, as well as creating a platform for delivering unique and innovative services in what is an increasingly competitive market."

Cisco products are used to help support both internal networks as well as underpinning revenue generating services such as GPRS, WAP and 3G. In addition to the Cisco 12000 Series routers, O2 is using a range of products, including Cisco 7500, 7200, 3600 and 2600 series routers, Catalyst® 6500 Series switches, Cisco AS 5300 series Universal Gateways as well as Cisco MGX 8850 Multiservice switches.