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BT: IP Connect, Ethernet Connect
June 30, 2017
Product Assessment Report - Data WAN (UK)
• BT has agreed to legally separate itself from Openreach. Openreach will remain part of
BT Group, but will have its own board of directors.
• BT won a GBP 100 million network and IT upgrade deal with the Metropolitan Police
• BT won a five-year network deal from the Co-Operative Group’s UK food retail business.
Product Name BT IP Connect UK, BT Ethernet Connect UK
Description BT IP Connect UK: MPLS IP VPN network service that supports
corporate WAN, cloud connectivity and IP voce solutions. BT Ethernet
Connect UK: Ethernet based VPN service available over multiple
Components • BT IP Connect UK
• BT Ethernet Connect UK
• BT Cloud Connect
• BT Connect Intelligence
• BT Internet Connect
• BT SHDS Connect
• BT Optical Connect
• BT Private Line Connect
• BT Enterprise Broadband
• BT Public Wireless Access Service
• PSN certified services
• Metropolitan Police Service
• Surrey County Council/UNICORN PSN
Key Rivals • Capita
• O2 UK
• TalkTalk Business
• Virgin Media Business • Vodafone
• Network Footprint: BT owns and
manages very strong national network
coverage, comprised of MPLS
infrastructure and Ethernet nodes, when
compared with any other UK competitor.
• Portfolio Depth: BT Connect
networking solutions contain a number of
value-adds and features, such as web
site performance monitoring and
applications performance management.
• Cloud Access: BT’s Cloud of Clouds
proposition gives it differentiation from
• Portfolio Balance: BT’s WAN
portfolio is well configured to
address the UK’s largest enterprises
and MNCs, but the picture is less
favourable for the mid-market and
• Openreach: BT’s investment in its
FTTC/P access services is welcome;
however, FTTC/P is available as an
access service to all of BT’s UK rivals
its rivals, providing public and private
connectivity with major cloud providers
including AWS, Microsoft Azure/Office
365, Oracle, Equinix and Interxion via
BT’s Cloud Connect service, with more to
• EFM and Fibre: BT has EFM available
from 1,800 nodes and fibre available
from 1,589 exchanges, with a total of
2,221 exchanges enabled with one or
both of the technologies.
BT’s data WAN proposition is market leading in the UK, because the carrier’s market
share and operational presence is unmatched. The carrier also offers the UK’s most well-
rounded telecoms portfolio allowing it to meet the needs of all customer types from small
to large, as well as providing support for regional, national or international requirements.
the service provider reports positive take-up for EFM and FTTC access, and BT is
expanding the reach of both EFM and superfast broadband. The carrier can switch access
from EFM to FTTC, or vice versa, with a simple implementation since both products are
connected into the same core. BT can offer leased line coverage throughout nearly all of
the UK. BT’s next-generation network, 21CN, has the mandate of providing two full
national MPLS backbones for dual-resiliency, which is unmatched in the local market. In
addition, the acquisition of EE means that BT can offer 3G and 4G access to networks
over the UK’s largest mobile network.
BT is considered a safe choice with a proven track record in managing large IP VPN
deployments (e.g., DFTS for MOD, the BBC and Unilever). BT continues to invest in its
geographic network reach and its ‘My Account’ customer portal, including improvements
to SLAs. A centralised dashboard is available to customers; from a single log-in, they can
view performance as well as monitor third-party appliances such as Ipanema and
BT faces competition from more agile providers that are willing to negotiate and meet
special terms with clients. Some UK customers may seek an alternative data WAN
provider simply as a change from BT. BT also faces continued criticism from rivals
concerning its customer service level, although the provider can point to improving
customer satisfaction scores and investment in its backend systems.
Product Features & Metrics Chart
PoP Coverage 21CN - 106 MPLS core nodes in the UK.
1,735 21CN Ethernet PoPs with circa
150 more being upgraded
Ethernet All cities with 21CN core nodes
• SD WAN:BT can highlight that it has already launched a Cisco IWAN solution and that
it will launch a Nuage-based SD-WAN solution imminently, putting it ahead of its UK
rivals in network service agility.
• Trusted Provider:BT can point out that it is arguably the most trusted provider of
network services in the UK with prestige contracts including NATO, and the Metropolitan
• Simplification:BT should consider developing more stripped-down networking
propositions to appeal to the UK medium-sized enterprise market.
• Price Wars: Providers such as TalkTalk Business, Daisy, and Exponential-e can
highlight their respective aggressive price stances versus BT.
• Mid-Market: TalkTalk Business, Daisy, and Exponential-e can also point out that they
are more focused on mid-market customers than BT.
• Agility: Providers competing against BT should seek to portray themselves as more
agile and responsive than BT.
• Portfolio Depth BT’s depth of portfolio means that buyers should strongly consider
including BT in any RFP for network services in the UK.
• Multi-site Estates BT’s UK-wide network infrastructure make it a strong candidate for
contracts involving a large number of UK sites.
• Smaller Customers Medium-sized enterprises should consider BT, but also challenge
the provider to deliver a high level of customer care and service development.
Over 99% UK business coverage via
leased line. More than 90% of UK
businesses are located within 15 km of
a BT exchange. Over 99% of UK
businesses are supported by ADSL
access including standard ADSL via
5,579 exchanges, and ADSL2+ at over
3,237 exchanges. Ethernet-over-fibre
access is available to more than 90%
of UK business locations via 1,589
exchanges. Up to 76 Mbps FTTC
(VDSL2) access now available to 23
million homes via 4,181 exchanges.
FTTP (GPON) supporting up to 330
Mbps is available on-demand to the
majority of FTTC-enabled properties.
Ethernet-over-Copper (EoCu) is
available to more than 82% UK
business locations via 1,800 access
Infrastructure WDM: Ciena and Huawei; MPLS: Cisco
and Juniper; Access: Alcatel-Lucent
and Hatteras (EoCu)
Multi-Terabit. The 21CN core is based
on multiple 10-Gbps links, to which the
carrier is constantly adding.
Architecture Dual-vendor Cisco/Juniper fully
meshed optical and MPLS core
ADSL, Ethernet-over-Copper, Ethernet-
over-Fibre, Leased Line
Port Speeds MPLS IP VPN – ADSL: 256 kbps up to
24 Mbps; Leased line: 128 kbps to 155
Mbps. Ethernet – EFM: from 2 Mbps;
Ethernet-over-Fibre: 10 Mbps, 100
Mbps, 1 Gbps, and 10 Gbps. FTTC
(VDSL2) access up to 76 Mbps and
FTTP GPON up to 330 Mbps (BT
Wholesale VDSL2 and GPON offering
where available – dependent on
Range Dedicated end-to-end services: Optical
Connect, a DWDM optical service;
SHDS, which is a dedicated optical
service up to 25/35 km offering SAN
and Ethernet services; and analogue
and digital private circuits. VPN
services: Ethernet Connect EPL, EVPL
and E-LAN, and IP Connect. Internet
services: Internet Connect for large UK
organisations for key sites and
transactional web sites. Enterprise
Broadband for small sites and home
Services are available as wires-only
unmanaged services and as managed
Applications National VPNs. Ethernet Connect can
be customised to certain data centre
applications, legacy non-IP
applications, or for a data WAN not
within the framework of a standard IP
MPLS VPN. IP Clear can be configured
to support a range of unified
communications applications, virtual
data centre and applications
performance management services.
Resilience Standard, Secure and Secure Plus
resilience options, with dual-vendor
Juniper/Cisco MPLS core for added
BT ‘Connect Intelligence’ includes three
components: application performance
monitoring, network performance
monitoring & diagnostics and network
& application performance
optimisation. Partners include
Dynatrace (Cloudsleuth, DCRUM),
Riverbed (Steelhead, SteelFusion,
SteelCentral), Cisco (IWAN) and
Ipanema (for smart path and
prioritization), as well as others. A new
Unified Dashboard brings together
performance metrics into a dashboard
and can integrate with third-party data.
The Unified Dashboard provides
visibility into performance of the entire
application delivery chain including
cloud and enterprise applications and
web pages. BT states that its Cloud
Acceleration service has delivered up to
52x faster throughput performance for
deployments of Microsoft Office 365
IP VPN: MPLS IP VPN offers inter-class
bursting between DE and AF traffic
classes. EF traffic is reserved for EF
traffic. Ethernet: Ethernet Connect
EVCs can be changed in near real-time
through an online portal.
Security Both IP and Ethernet VPN services
benefit from the inherent security of
MPLS and the security of BT’s
operations. In addition, other security
options are available including IPsec.
CoS IP VPN: 6; Ethernet: 5 CoS with EPL,
EVPL and E-LAN
Pricing Pricing is based on access, port speed,
bandwidth and class of service.
Generally, there is a one-off access
connection charge and recurring rental
on the access and service.
IP VPN: Not real-time for IP VPN; a
monthly report is given. Ethernet:
Currently, there is no client-side online
monitoring for Ethernet Connect in the
UK for the wires-only service; the
managed services options variant offers
a wide range of monitoring options.
Virtual Network Functions
Rating Very Strong
Yes, both. Some UK MPLS services
offer proactive monitoring in tariff. UK
MPLS services offer proactive
problem/incident management (in line
with ITIL best practise) as a chargeable
extra. SLG is reactive; customer has to
make a claim.
IP Connect: Standard access >99.9%,
Secure access 99.99%, Secure Plus
access 99.999%Ethernet Connect:
Standard access 99.93%; Protected
access 99.97%, Diverse Plus 99.99%.
Service availability will depend on the
how the traffic is configured.
MPLS IP VPN: Managed service includes
Ethernet: Ethernet Connect managed
services SLA covers CPE-to-CPE
Latency Latency MPLS IP VPN: Roundtrip delay
- UK EF<= 20 ms, UK AF <= 23 ms,
UK DE <= 30 ms; Ethernet Connect:
IP VPN: EF >99.9%, AF 99.95%, DE
IP VPN & Ethernet: target five hours
xDSL 10 days; EFM (Copper) 25 days;
Ethernet over fibre 38 days
This report is tagged to the following vendor(s):
This report is tagged to the following content areas:
Service: Business Network and IT Services
Market: Business Network and IT Services - Europe Region
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