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CAT Telecom Thailand: Leading the Private Line Market with High-Quality OTN Networks

CAT Telecom was determined to build a flattened network covering the entire country using Huawei's Intelligent OptiX Network Solution. It aimed to provide differentiated high-quality services for the digital transformation of enterprise customers in Thailand.

CAT Telecom was determined to build a flattened network covering the entire country using Huawei's Intelligent OptiX Network Solution. It aimed to provide differentiated high-quality services for the digital transformation of enterprise customers in Thailand.

By Dai Pei, Transmission Marketing Support Dept of Huawei

In 2016, the Thai government proposed the Thailand 4.0 model, which was set to accelerate Thailand's economic and social development in the next 20 years. The Thai government planned to leverage digital technologies to transform traditional agriculture, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and service industries into intelligent agriculture, enterprises, and high valued-added industries, fueling the growth of the digital era. Therefore, developing the digital economy has become an important strategy that drives Thailand's economic transformation, ICT innovation, and the Thailand 4.0 model.

High-Quality OTN Networks

Thailand's major enterprises are embracing innovative technologies such as cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence (AI). Businesses are increasing the speed of their cloudification strategy. CAT is a state-owned telecom carrier in Thailand. Its mission is to build an economical and high-quality network infrastructure that supports the Thailand 4.0 model. This infrastructure will provide premium private line services for major enterprises in Thailand.

Establishing the Premium Private Line Strategy and Reshaping the Market Landscape

CAT is known as a leading telecom service provider in Thailand for years. It provides several standard datacom services to its customers not only in government sector, but also private sector. In 2019, CAT’s overall market share (around 16%) ranks second in the 2B market which has been maintained for many years. Even though CAT has consistently provided a good quality private line service for the customers, in order to continuously improve the effectiveness of the service and broaden customers’ experience in premium private line service, CAT is vigorously enhancing its competitive advantages and has comprehensively analyzed the private line market in Thailand. Thailand's enterprise private line services are mainly used in the following scenarios: large-capacity point-to-point connections for data center interconnection (DCI), cloud connections for vertical industries such as government and finance, VPN connections for large- and medium-sized enterprises, international IPLC connections for multinational enterprises, and broadband services for homes and small- and medium-sized enterprises in Thailand.

Currently, the technologies used by these private line services are mainly Ethernet and MPLS VPN. The price is determined based on the bandwidth and the services are differentiated with simple Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The ring topology is used for protection, and the maximum availability is only 99.9%. In addition, network resources are not visualized, and service provisioning needs to be confirmed node by node, leading to long service provisioning period, complex configuration, and difficult bandwidth adjustment. After services are provisioned, private line services and other services are transmitted together. Therefore, they may affect each other in peak hours. In addition, due to the homogeneity of technologies and services, a large number of carriers and ISPs are competing in the market on price to attract customers, driving down the price year by year.

The rapid cloudification of large enterprises means that the experience and services of current private line products cannot catch up with the requirements of enterprises. CAT is aware of the development trend of Thailand's private line market and has identified an opportunity to improve its market position by developing unique and competitive private line services.

Building a Unique Premium Private Line Network Based on the Existing Network

CAT has customers in the government, finance, banking, and transportation industries. After reviewing their key customers and networks, CAT discovered that its VIP customers are mainly based in the Bangkok area. Therefore, CAT can build premium private line networks within this area. Considering this, CAT determined this approach of constructing a premium private line network. Based on the existing 100G cross-border interconnection network, CAT will expand the coverage of the private line network for enterprise users by adding and reconstructing a number of sites, to improve experience.

  • First, two new OTN aggregation sites are ready to be deployed in Metropolitan area, which will increase the total number of enterprise customers by 10-fold, covering around 70% of ultra-large enterprises, large enterprises, and data centers.
  • Second, the existing 10+ ROADM sites and ILA sites are being reconstructed into OTN aggregation sites so that the entire network can support another 150+ large enterprises, 10+ large enterprises, and five data centers.
  • Third, the entire network uses unified controllers to manage and provision services, which improves network resource utilization. Based on this network construction plan, CAT and Huawei build the first OTN premium private line network in Thailand.
High-Quality OTN Networks

Figure 1 CAT completed the next-generation optical transport network in 2019

By using Huawei's E2E OTN + iMaster NCE solution, CAT built a flattened network covering the entire country. The iMaster NCE intelligent management and control system is used on the entire network to implement E2E management, achieving one-hop connection to the cloud of government and enterprise customers through OTN-based hard pipes. The premium private line network features:

  • High security and wide coverage: OTN hard pipe isolation, exclusive bandwidth, and full coverage in Thailand.
  • High availability: Services are protected by ASON, and link availability is higher than 99.99%.
  • Guaranteed ultra-low latency: Guaranteed low latency and real-time latency visualization.
  • Intelligence and agility: Plug-and-play CPE and provisioning of private line services within days
  • Enhanced experience: Network resource visualization and online service survivability analysis

The entire premium private line network was completed in 2019 and started serving large- and medium-sized enterprises in Thailand.

Providing Premium Private Line Services for Enterprise Customers in Thailand

Using this OTN premium private line network now enables CAT to provide differentiated services for its enterprise customers.

  • Private line interconnection for large-scale Internet enterprise data centers: CAT premium private line products support fast switchover and recovery upon occasional faults, with a network availability of 99.99%.
  • Financial industry: The unique millisecond-level low latency of the CAT premium private line ensures nearly real-time transmission of information such as transactions, settlement, and market information query. This enables financial enterprises such as securities companies and banks to outperform competitors.
  • Transportation industry: Hard pipe isolation facilitates secure and reliable scheduling.
  • Intelligent healthcare industry: High reliability and low latency allow surgical interns to remotely observe operations performed by experts. Moreover, adjustable bandwidth allows medical images to be quickly uploaded to the cloud for analysis.

On December 16, 2019, CAT and Huawei officially released Thailand's first OTN premium private line network and recommended it to 150 customers from 70 enterprises across Thailand. These come from various industries such as information and communications technology (ICT), banking and investment, payment security, and logistics and transportation. At the launch event, the Thailand government data and cloud service center (a third-party data hosting center for government agencies) reached a cooperation intention with CAT.

High-Quality OTN Networks

Figure 2 CAT and Huawei officially released Thailand's first OTN premium private line network

Looking to the future, CAT will further cooperate with global partners such as Huawei to promote the application of innovative OTN technology in Thailand, build a leading OTN premium private line network, and accelerate the digital transformation of enterprises in Thailand.