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Dark Fibre Africa virtualising Service Offerings with Ciena

South African firm Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) is deploying Ciena’s Blue Planet orchestration software to automate the delivery of Ethernet services across its multi-vendor network.

DFA will benefit from increased programmability of its network to more efficiently roll out existing services, and be enabled to more rapidly turn up new offerings, providing more service flexibility and agility for their customers. DFA will also leverage Blue Planet to launch its new Magellan suite of Ethernet managed services.

As an open-access fibre infrastructure provider, DFA finances, builds, installs, manages and maintains a world-class dark fibre network to transmit metro and long-haul telecommunications traffic in South Africa. The firm has close to 8,000km of fibre infrastructure nationwide, providing its customers with Ethernet services including high-bandwidth, open-access dark fibre links, hosting, last-mile access, backhaul and long-haul connectivity.

With Ciena’s Blue Planet Multi-Domain Service Orchestration capability, DFA can automate network and service provisioning, significantly improving service velocity. For example, DFA will now be able to provision more than 500 new services a month, significantly increasing the number of services it can offer per week; and allow its customers to leverage new, virtualised add-on services. Blue Planet will also help break down management silos across different vendor and technology domains, and reduce operating costs for DFA.

The introduction of Blue Planet will play a key role in DFA’s commitment to improving the country's ICT infrastructure, helping to improve network readiness, increase competition and make high-speed connectivity more affordable. By rolling out a portfolio of new value-added virtualised services with Ciena’s Blue Planet Network Functions Virtualisation Orchestration capabilities, DFA’s customers stand to benefit from unparalleled scalability and coverage with access to new on-demand offerings like virtual routing and firewall services, easily accessed via a self-service portal.

“DFA’s role is to enable access to efficient, effective connectivity. As we expand to provide more Ethernet and virtualised services, we are investing in technologies that help us streamline the process and make this change economical”, said Andreas Uys, CTO, DFA.

“Ciena’s Blue Planet orchestration solution not only allows us reduce operating expenses and create new revenue opportunities, but its ability to automate solutions over a multi-vendor network allowed us to leverage our existing resources”, he added.

Virginie Hollebecque, Managing Director for Western Europe and Middle East, Ciena, said: “Service providers today must be able to reduce the complexity and time-to-market associated with introducing new services. Ciena’s Blue Planet software introduces more programmability into networks, like that of DFA, in order to automate the rapid turn up and delivery of new services and truly provide the on-demand services customers require. Crucially, with Blue Planet, DFA is supporting South Africa’s ICT development, building a platform that allows businesses to grow and take advantage of the digital economy.”