Sightings from Capacity Europe
Martin Højriis Kristensen, Head of Market and Operations, how was your time in London this year?
Busy as always. I try to have some time that I haven’t booked before going to the event, and that leaves time for some impromptu meetings, that always opens your eyes in new ways. And to catch up with old colleagues and partners of course.
What was the biggest themes you discussed this year?
I think I will break it down into 3 themes: Nordic Capacity, Reliability and Efficiency.
We pride ourselves on being the Gateway to the Nordics, and there really seem to an unending demand for capacity services going into and out of the Nordics.
First of all, we have seen more and more datacenters being built in our region. We have all seen the effects of gas dependency in the last few months, and even though the Nordics aren’t immune to the price impact, there is a belief in the market that the Nordics over time will be a more stable market, due to a high degree of renewables and the political focus and stability on the energy situation.
Of course, with more datacenters coming online, we see growing demands for fiber infrastructure between our region and the rest of Europe. Just a few years ago datacenters in the Nordics served primarily the Nordic market, but now we see a growing trend of shifting loads “north”. So instead of adding computational capacity in southern Europe, we are seeing loads being moved to Nordic datacenters, with quite heavy requirements on the fiber infrastructure as a result.
And even though we are investing heavily on our optical DWDM solutions, pushing more and more bits through the same fibers, we are seeing customer demands moving towards tens of fiber pairs per route, because our ability to squeeze more computational power out of existing datacenters exceeds our ability to squeeze more “transport power” out of existing datacenter infrastructure.
On top of that, you have a Nordic population who is on the forefront of adopting new technologies, and Nordic businesses moving more and more services into the cloud. All in all, this makes it a very good time to be a Nordic Infrastructure provider.
I don’t think I had a single meeting this year, without discussing the security situation in Europe. It is of course a changed dynamics in the public eye, but I don’t think we as Carriers have changed our mindset in the last few months, but we have strengthened our commitment to operational excellence, and of course, our business continuity plans have been updated.
We have all worked for years on making our networks more robust, and in many cases, we have quadruple redundancies in place. I think this way of thinking is now also being adopted to business that aren’t Carriers. We are getting requests for 3rd and 4th routes from a lot of our customers, because they want to be assured that they can continue to run their business even in the event of 2 or 3 prolonged outages on the network services they buy.
That is one of the reasons we are currently deploying a 5th north/south route in our network, where we can sell services from Northern Sweden to Continental Europe, completely bypassing the routes going over mainland Denmark. By landing on the Danish island of Bornholm, we can provide a passive infrastructure route that is completely independent of the land routes that currently carry most of the load into the Nordics, and we have received a lot of attention on this major investment in the diversity and reliability of our network.
This year everyone was talking APIs. I think I had 10 meetings on the matter, and a lot of follow ups scheduled.
In the Local Tail business, providing that last mile into the end customer premises, whether it is a regional office, or a retail outlet, we are seeing a shift towards more cost efficient solutions, shorter delivery times, shorter contract lengths, and a demand from the end customers on a lot more flexibility from the ecosystem that serves them.
All of this leads to a push for more automation within the ecosystem. GlobalConnect has chosen to implement the MEF Sonata APIs so we can offer our services over a standardized industry standard solution, and we are currently exploring several options regarding implementation.
What is your biggest take away from the days in London?
Well, it was a nice few days away from the busy everyday schedule, but now we just have to keep building the backbone of the Nordic infrastructure. And make it easier for our customers to buy it.