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Fluid One helped develop, grow and consolidate O2’s Wi-Fi network.

O2 wanted to develop an ambitious, free Wi-Fi project to supply internet to customers all over the UK. They knew long time partners, FluidOne, could help them achieve this goal.

Client: O2

Key products:

  • Wi-Fi Solutions
  • VPLS
  • Ethernet Leased Lines

Situation

O2 is the second-largest mobile network operator in the UK. With over 25 million customers, O2 runs 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G networks across the UK, as well as delivering O2 Wi-Fi and fixed line services via their Gateway platform.

In 2008, a partner of FluidOne, BE, was acquired by O2. This developed a relationship that endured and strengthened over the decade to come. It was against the backdrop of this relationship that an entrepreneurial team within O2 turned to FluidOne to help design O2’s new Wi-Fi network. O2 Wi-Fi is an ambitious project spanning the length of the UK, providing free Wi-Fi to millions of people each year.

Originally, FluidOne delivered single line and bonded ADSL services with quick deployment to O2 Wi-Fi customer sites. As the demand for data increased, ethernet services (EFM and Leased Lines) were delivered via FluidOne’s Platform One Network. This opened up a wider range of carriers to O2 than before.

Soon however, the rapid growth of O2 Wi-Fi’s customer base became too difficult for these solutions to support efficiently. Creating an independent network, both distinct and completely segregated from any other O2 asset, became the challenge.

FluidOne have been an important partner in the creation, growth and development of O2’s Wi-Fi network. The expertise of their engineers helped O2’s team find innovative solutions to the wide range of problems encountered when developing a country-wide free Wi-Fi network.

 

Solution

The newly designed approach for the O2 Wi-Fi network makes it possible for services to be delivered point to multipoint using VPLS configuration. This easily enables re-routing of all Ethernet traffic in the event of a datacentre or hardware fault. The VPLS overlay adds a heightened level of functionality not easily achieved when using multiple partners in the supply chain.

This network was successfully rolled out to support specific major O2 Wi-Fi end customers requiring a high level of resiliency. It was also delivered to 99% of all FluidOne-supported O2 Wi-Fi customers, whether as a single site or large single-end user estate.

As the network developed, FluidOne provided key data centres all around the UK to support the O2 network. This included 31 ranks across Manchester and London.

These locations, following collaborative analysis, provided a geography for a resilient network able to deliver our full suite of connectivity services. The result was a stable platform for the O2 Wi-Fi network.

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Success

O2 took advantage of FluidOne’s wide range of products on Platform One. It allowed them to find versatile solutions, while at the same time reducing the cost of onboarding new partners all over the UK. They capitalised on the efficiency of a single delivery, support and billing service to source the products needed for the network.

“FluidOne have been an important partner in the creation, growth and development of O2’s Wi-Fi network. The expertise of their engineers helped O2’s team find innovative solutions to the wide range of problems encountered when developing a country-wide free Wi-Fi network.”

This was made possible by FluidOne’s award-winning support, guaranteeing easy-access communication from the initial project engagement and consultancy to order management and delivery.

As a result of this success and synergy, O2 and FluidOne achieved their mutual goal in designing a geographically diverse, datacentre-linked network. This was built to scale, supporting the exponential growth of O2 Wi-Fi subscribers. O2 Wi-Fi now successfully services millions of customers in thousands of locations. Likewise, FluidOne supports numerous O2 customers within the retail, banking and entertainment sectors, including music venues and large stadiums.

  • Consolidation of carriers cut onboarding costs
  • Single Delivery, Support and Billing
  • High quality of support and expertise to facilitate the rollout
  • Managed data centres all over the UK

 

 

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