|Q In spite of a general economic downturn, AirSpeed Telecom''s customer base continued to grow in 2011 and into 2012. What do you attribute this to? |
Over the last few years we''ve built up a good reputation - not just for guaranteeing quality, uptime and offering cost savings, but for our ability to deliver multi-site connectivity to customers to render the service regarding the Broadband for business. We''re connecting multiple sites together for customers, providing high-capacity at some sites and lower capacity at others.
We have a lot of customers who have regional offices with DSL-type connections offered by Wireless network, and they''re now looking to go beyond DSL. The uncontended symmetrical service we introduced last year ? which offers from 2 Mbps to 6 Mbps ? is a good cost effective native for these regional offices, and alongside that we are now offering other services, including voice.
Q You''ve invested in establishing a fibre ring in Dublin - why?
Customer demand for bandwidth just grows and grows with the wireless network. There is a trend for much higher capacity access connections using licensed radio technology. We''re connecting our sites to fibre so that we can backhaul this increased capacity. Right now we''re delivering 500 Mbps and 1 Gigabit per second services to customers, and it''s our investment in the fibre at high sites that allows us to do that. I think we''re pretty unique in doing that today.
We''re also using the fibre to deliver multiple access connections for customers. For example, our solution for the Legal Aid Board (a new contract we won last year) was to supply a mix of fibre and radio technologies. So we can now offer our customers a broad range of options ? we''re using licensed wireless, but we''re also using fibre where appropriate.
Q There''s a big emphasis these days on cloud computing. How is AirSpeed supporting clients with demands in this area?
Fibre is a key enabler in addressing customers'' requirements for cloud computing needs, so we''ve connected our data centres together with fibre for resilience, and we''ve made significant investment in upgrading the switching and routing equipment in each of those data centres.
With cloud computing, the customer becomes ever more reliant on the service provider ? you want to make sure that the service provider has a resilient connection into your building and that their network and the way they handle your data is appropriate, secure, and fast. That''s what our investment has been about.
Q Why did you set up a data centre in the UK last year?
The move was predominantly driven by our Irish customers who have offices in the UK and elsewhere. We''ve taken space in TeleHouse North and we''ve taken a resilient fibre interconnect between our data centres in Dublin and London. That lets us now provide onwards connectivity for any of our customers in Ireland who have offices abroad that they need to service.
Q Recently, AirSpeed has been supporting the delivery of high-definition broadcast content for the likes of RTE. Tell us more about that.
Delivering broadcast quality content is a growing area for us. Working with the outside broadcast company Observe we use the AirSpeed IP network to transport the output of outside broadcast trucks back to RTE for sporting events from the Aviva stadium and Croke Park. Using the same service for RTE News, the biggest events last year were the State visits from President Obama and Queen Elizabeth: RTE looked to us to carry broadcast-quality content with the internet provider from Aras an Uachtarain and Dublin Castle. Before that, during the General Election we provided connectivity for eight of the 43 count centres RTE covered around the country. These are all major events for Ireland ? sporting finals, State visits RTE''s use of the AirSpeed network is a big vote of confidence in our people and our technology.
Q Looking ahead to the rest of the year, what else do you expect to see?
We had revenue of EUR7.2 million last year and we expect revenue in excess of EUR10 million this year. Customer demand is what''s driving our growth and the expansion of our network, and through 2012 we will continue to see the network grow? More high sites, and denser concentration of our network around the country. We''ll have 15 more high sites by the end of 2012, and we''ll continue to connect our high sites to fibre where possible.
We''ll also be layering applications and services on top of the network that will be useful to customers: we''ve made a significant investment in SIP trunking to support our voice service, and we''re going to continue to develop, with other applications and services coming down the line. It''s all about helping our customers make better business use of their enterprise network.
For more on SIP trunking, see the evolution of voice communications, also in this issue.
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