Nortel partners with BT

BT is partnering with Nortel as its main supplier to deploy a nationwide communications network that will be used to provide secure managed voice and data services to the UK’s military.


BT is partnering with Nortel as its main supplier to deploy a nationwide communications network that will be used to provide secure managed voice and data services to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and British Armed Forces.



The deployment is part of a five-year extension of the Defence Fixed Telecommunications Service (DFTS) contract with BT – worth up to £1.5 billion to BT – to build and manage the UK MOD’s mission critical telecommunications infrastructure.



Using Nortel multiservice switching and voice over IP (VoIP) solutions valued at $42 million, the new network will be built over the next two years. It is expected to provide improved security and responsiveness for the UK military and greater operational and end user efficiencies, resulting in estimated savings of £15 million per year to the UK MOD.



According to Nortel, the infrastructure will provide wide area network services in over 2,000 locations, including voice services to over 200,000 subscribers and common Ethernet-based connectivity to 150,000 terminals.



To ensure the smooth migration of current services and applications across the new multiservice network, BT and Nortel have jointly developed a dedicated testing facility for the MOD network.



At a cost of over £3 million, the Network Development Lab (NDL) is a replica of the MOD’s telecommunications network. Officially opened today, the lab includes all existing equipment currently deployed in the UK MOD network, along with all new equipment being procured as part of the network evolution.


BT and the Defence Communications Services Administration (DCSA), the operator of the DFTS, also plan to use the lab as an opportunity to showcase DFTS services that could be provided to third-party organisations that require an MOD-grade secure network.