Airtel and Ciena to Build One of the World’s Largest Photonic Control Plane Networks for Delivering Ultra-fast Data Over 4G, 5G and FTTH

Network to span 130,000 kms and connect 4000+ towns across India

NEW DELHI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bharti Airtel, India’s leading telecommunications services provider, is
deploying Ciena’s (NYSE: CIEN) coherent optical and intelligent software
platforms to build one of the World’s Largest Photonic Control Plane
networks in India.

Airtel’s new backbone network will serve the exploding demand for high
speed data services. It will also enable super-fast broadband
experiences over 4G/5G/FTTH architectures, making the most efficient use
of available fiber resources. The deployment is part of Project Leap –
Airtel’s network transformation program and will also enable a network
that can quickly respond to simultaneous faults by re-computing and
re-routing traffic based on available network resources.

Airtel’s new backbone architecture creates a solid foundation that can
cut across technology generations to seamlessly work with data rates of
400Gbps and higher to create a future proof scalable network. In
addition, the architecture offers lower latency and software-controlled
connectivity for Cloud infrastructure, faster transformation to
virtualized platforms, and 5G readiness – essential to a world of
connected devices and things.

Randeep Sekhon, CTO – Bharti Airtel said: “Airtel has always pioneered
the introduction of cutting-edge network technologies to serve its
customers. We are pleased to work with Ciena to build one of world’s
largest optical spine and leaf networks, which is also a big step
towards 5G readiness by leveraging our huge fiber assets. This will not
only scale our network for massive capacity but also protect traffic and
enhance service delivery to all our customers. It will also help Airtel
further strengthen its position as a key enabler of digital experiences
in an increasingly connected world.”

Photonics combined with advanced software intelligence enables a smart
and agile network that allows for simplified provisioning of end-to-end
network wavelengths, speed and capability to handle multiple fiber
failures thereby providing users uninterrupted ultra-high capacity
service. The network will also support bandwidth on demand, optical
VPNs, latency based routing and dynamic data center interconnects, which
will provide a unique value proposition for Airtel’s retail and
enterprise customers.

Ryan Perera, Vice President and General Manager, Ciena India said:
“Airtel has an established reputation for embracing innovative
technology to enrich the lives of its subscribers. The combination of
Ciena’s coherent optical, advanced software and control plane
capabilities gives Bharti a scalable and robust infrastructure that can
dynamically adapt to keep up with ever-changing user demands.”

Airtel has been known for embracing cutting edge technology early on to
have the first mover’s advantage and leading innovation in India. The
architecture is inspired from the technology that helped data centers
deliver scalability to match the ever-growing demand by users. In modern
data centers, an alternative to the core/aggregation/access layer
network topology has emerged known as leaf-spine, which is now extended
to fiber optic-based backbone networks to enable lowest electrical touch
points leveraging optical bypass capabilities for carrying large
dataflows at the lowest cost per bit.

Airtel’s innovative architecture leverages Ciena’s 6500
Packet Optical platform powered by WaveLogic
coherent optics to provide a highly scalable, programmable
infrastructure. Software control of Bharti’s network operations is
greatly automated with Ciena’s Blue
Planet® Manage, Control and Plan
domain controller, which expedites
alarm and fault management, service provisioning, node backup and
restoration. Additionally, with Ciena’s Liquid
analytics capability, the network can monitor, predict and
address connectivity and capacity challenges as they occur.

About Airtel

Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company
with operations in 18 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in
New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 3 mobile service
providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company’s
product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile
commerce, fixed line services, high speed home broadband, DTH,
enterprise services including national & international long distance
services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G,
4G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 403
million customers across its operations at the end of Dec 2018. To know
more please visit,

About Ciena

Ciena (NYSE: CIEN) is a networking systems, services and software
company. We provide solutions that help our clients create the Adaptive
Network™ in response to the constantly changing demands of their users.
By delivering best-in-class networking technology through high-touch
consultative relationships, we build the world’s most agile networks
with automation, openness and scale. For updates on Ciena, follow us on
Twitter @Ciena,
the Ciena
Insights blog
, or visit

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Press Contact:
Jamie Moody
Ciena Corporation
(410) 865-8570

Investor Contact:
Gregg Lampf
Ciena Corporation
(410) 694-5700

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