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Virgin Media Lights 40G Path in UK with Nortel and Juniper Networks


Manchester to London Trial Demonstrates 40G Over a Live UK Commercial Network.

LONDON – Virgin Media [NASDAQ: VMED] has teamed with Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] and Juniper Networks [NASDAQ: JNPR] to prepare to meet ongoing network demands from its customers for ever-increasing speed and bandwidth.

The 40G North-South trial, on Virgin Media’s existing 10G network, shows how Virgin Media is ready to respond to the growing customer appetite for bandwidth-hungry entertainment services such as catch-up TV, video-on-demand, advanced multimedia communications and high speed Internet with up to 20Mb and 50Mb now in trials.

The successful 40G trial, conducted over a 350km (217 mile) span of Virgin Media’s current UK 10G network, demonstrated the economic feasibility of optimizing existing optical network assets and scaling the network to achieve market-leading transmission rates.

For the trial, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, Nortel provided 40G Adaptive Optical Engine DWDM transponder cards which interconnected with Juniper Networks T-series routers with 40G interfaces located at sites in Manchester and London.

The live field trial, conducted in late April 2008, carried 40G traffic generated by Virgin Media and delivered over its long-haul optical network between Manchester and London. The trial effectively positions Virgin Media as the first UK operator to offer 40G wavelength services between UK locations and, following the success of the pilot, the company is now looking to deploy.This will enable Virgin Media to continue to grow and scale new premium-quality business and entertainment services with low incremental investment.

“Our aim for this trial was to ensure we continue to meet the growing capacity needs of the high-speed services we deliver and provide a quality experience for Virgin Media customers,” said Daniel Hennessy, director of Technical Architecture, Virgin Media. “Our strategic suppliers have demonstrated very clearly how existing network assets can be scaled to meet the growth in demand associated with evolving customer behaviour and step changes in the products provided as part of our high-speed broadband proposition. Our optical network will provide a solid foundation for growth as it takes advantage of technology designed to avoid electrical regeneration and where possible reduce the incremental cost of scaling transport capacity.”

“The success of this trial for Virgin Media proves just how simple it is to meet the rising bandwidth and service needs being placed on today’s networks by making the most of existing optical assets with adaptive 40G optical technology from Nortel that is unlike anything else currently on the market,” said Philippe Morin president, Metro Ethernet Networks, Nortel.

“By using Virgin Media’s existing network and showing how 40G wavelengths can readily bedeployed across a nationwide network, we are providing significant performance and scale enhancements to the Virgin Media network. The live trial demonstrated how Juniper Networks high-performance routers can be used by service providers to leverage existing investments and cost-effectively and efficiently scale their networks to meet the demands of next-generation services,” said Opher Kahane, senior vice president and head of High End Systems Business Unit, Juniper Networks.


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