Investing to stay ahead

01 Apr 2008
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Telecom Asia: Web traffic is expanding exponentially, driven in large part by video usage. How does a network planner go about trying to project the needs of your business clients‾

Yali Liu: As a network service provider, we definitely see demand for capacity exploding. That is why we are investing in a number of different cable systems like SeaMeWe-4 and the Trans-Pacific Express. In terms of planning for that, that's what we do. Those give us so much more capacity that you really have to be confident that, yeah, the amount will be there. All this video and other customer demands are there so we look at our customer growth - global firms and MNCs - and we look at the industry trends, and then we make those decisions.

How would greater use of tele-presence impact your customers and what you provide to them‾

We already see an increase in the use of video conferencing with globalization and now with new initiatives by many companies. We see that translating into a lot more requirements for capacity and network availability because businesses will be relying on the whole infrastructure - that is connectivity - to run their businesses. When you have tele-presence, you need it to have availability whenever you want it - that's what the customer wants, and that is one of Verizon Business' key strategies.

That is why we have a plan for seven-way diversity on the Pacific routes and have already implement it on the trans-Atlantic routes. We saw network availability improve from five nines to six nines, which is closer to the 100% availability that a customer needs.

We are trying to basically meet whatever the customer requirements are. Network availability and a lot of capacity are the two things, but one more thing I want to mention is that a global presence is vital because the customer wants us to be present wherever their facilities are. We continue to expand our footprint into new locations, and then add capacity and have initiatives to increase our network availability, and to meet that 100% availability requirement.

With all the major carriers offering 'world-class' infrastructure, how are you differentiating yourself from the many competitors‾

We're very focused on investing in infrastructure. The transmission layer is the foundation, but at every layer we use the latest technology - so that strategy is our differentiator. In Australia this year we are quadrupling our national network capacity because we see a lot of customer demand. This kind of in-country investment demonstrates our commitment in Asia-Pac.

In China, where everybody has to work with the Chinese carriers and partner with them, we were named the most valuable partner by China Telecom, which has 70% of local coverage, because of our successful partnership. This is not easy to achieve and demonstrates our leadership in the China space.

At the next layer will also continue to invest. For example, our P-Core MPLS product makes our networks more scalable and more resilient. We are extending P-core into China and India this year. We are constantly looking at where we can improve our network infrastructure to stay competitive.

At the beginning of the year, you were granted long distance licenses in India. How important is this to Verizon‾

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