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As a Tier 1 network owner Arelion can reach every other network on the Internet solely via settlement-free interconnection. Their AS1299 is currently ranked #1 and their IP customers account for nearly 65% of all Internet routes.

Telecom Review recently met with Staffan Göjeryd, CEO of Arelion to give our readers an insight into this global network. Staffan was appointed CEO of Arelion in August 2016. Having started at a time when a 14k modem was considered high tech, he has since helped drive the company to its position as the world’s leading global backbone.

His focus on customer excellence and delivering exceptional quality to Arelion’s customers are just two of the areas that have taken him on this literal journey from the trenches to high command. Despite knowing all there is to know about connectivity, Staffan’s main interest is what customers actually do with it. Having seen the repeated cycles of Internet boom and bust, he knows it takes more than belief and adrenaline to build a successful business.

The “My Arelion” portal gives you full access to the services you buy, and a comprehensive view of your underlying service performance. The portal uses the same Open APIs as their customers, and they are continously adding more data to their Open APIs. This allows customers to stay on top of serviced service inventory, ongoing and past deliveries, support cases, network disturbances and upcoming planned works, all in one place.

L Band Connectivity

Arelion has seamlessly upgraded its existing Infinera FlexILS flexible-grid line system to support the L-band on a high-traffic route from Ashburn, VA to Atlanta. This upgrade doubles capacity per fiber pair, marking Arelion’s first route with active L-band capacity in service. Arelion can now bring more capacity to market on a continent where long-distance fiber is in short supply in many regions, helping Arelion continue to meet the capacity requirements of its service provider, content provider and enterprise customers.

Arelion has seen substantial demand from customers for terabit-scale bandwidth between the booming tech hubs of Ashburn and Atlanta. This L-band deployment showcases Arelion’s continuous innovation to improve the quality and efficiency of its existing network to the cost benefit of its customers. Additional L-band deployments on high-traffic routes in North America are planned for later this year.

Infinera FlexILS is the industry’s most widely deployed flexible grid-compliant open optical line system, featuring C+L-band support and colorless-directionless-contentionless ROADM. This innovation in open networking allows carriers to eliminate vendor lock-in, manage supply chain variations and easily manage native and alien wavelengths through granular control. The system enhances flexibility by supporting programmable configuration that optimizes operation based on performance, spectral efficiency, long span reach and fiber conditions. Infinera FlexILS seamlessly doubles fiber capacity through L-band expansion from the adjacent C-band without impacting service or operational quality.

“We’re seeing significant demand for additional capacity from our customers along this high-traffic route as these tech hubs grow rapidly,” said Georgios Tologlou, Senior Network Architect, Arelion. “This innovation is a strong business case for us to optimize the cost per bit and minimize operational expenditures. Leveraging L-band, we can maximize the capacity per fiber pair to quickly serve our customers’ demands and supercharge our sales growth on one of the most popular routes in our North American network.”

“Our platforms are purpose-built to enable seamless upgrades to provide the greatest amount of investment protection and enable our customers to meet relentlessly growing bandwidth demand,” said Ron Johnson, Infinera’s General Manager, Optical Systems and Network Solutions Group. “Expanding the network to support L-band doubles the spectrum that can be used to transmit optical signals, hence enabling Arelion to double the amount of services they can provide per fiber while simultaneously achieving simplification of their network through automation and flexible operation.”

This new capability provides Arelion’s customers with enhanced scalability and fast delivery for its No.1 ranked internet backbone, AS1299, as well as the global carrier’s portfolio of leading IP and optical technology services, including high-speed Wavelengths, IP Transit, Cloud Connect and Ethernet services for service providers, content providers and enterprises.

BGP Communities

Arelion's position as the World's #1 Internet backbone carries with it the responsibility of securing a stable routing environment, not only for the networks that directly connect with AS1299 but the Internet as a whole. Their BGP communities can be used by customers and peers alike, to manage upstream connections and optimize traffic towards different network destinations.


RPKI is a mechanism by which Internet address (IP) resource owners can ensure that they provide an authoritative list of allowable upstream networks to the world. Network Operators who adopt RPKI validation and filtering can then choose to ignore (reject) announcements from Networks not authorized to advertise those resources. This reduces the risks of accidental route leaks or even hijacks.

Arelion joined MANRS (https://www.manrs.org/) in 2018 and having implemented RPKI on all peering links, is now rolling this out on all customer connections.

Arelion’s latest DDoS threat landscape report highlights the latest attack trends using fresh data from their #1 ranked global Internet backbone, AS1299. Overall, peak DDoS attack traffic continues to grow, but DDoS attacks in our network fell by a third. Key insights include:

  • Global DDoS attack frequency and intensity
  • The evolution of customer attack vectors
  • Regional DDoS variations & defence strategies
  • The impact of industry-wide mitigation initiatives

Arelion has announced that it has taken another landmark step in converging its IP and optical layers as the first global network to deploy Cisco 400G QSFP-DD Bright Optical Modules in its production #1 ranked IP backbone.  The first regional reach deployment spans 675 kilometers between Stockholm and Copenhagen over third-party Optical Open Line System (O-OLS).

Following rigorous testing and successful trials, this deployment sees the acceleration of Arelion’s plans to provide customers with the most cost-optimized performance and capacity. It not only streamlines the overall network architecture, but also improves energy efficiency and ensures a more efficient expansion process.

Cisco 400G QSFP-DD Bright Optical Modules, with greater than +1 dBm transmit power, substantially simplify integration with brownfield and greenfield deployments. The streamlined architecture eliminates the need for excessive hardware, thereby reducing potential points of failure. As a result, it achieves 64% CAPEX and 76% OPEX savings. This contributes to a significantly more cost-efficient network with fewer interfaces to control and maintain.

“Almost four years ago, Cisco established the mission to redefine the economics of the internet through innovative products and solutions, like Routed Optical Networking. Together, we are helping Arelion achieve impressive cost savings and greater efficiency with Cisco 400G QSFP-DD Bright Optical Modules,” said Bill Gartner, SVP and General Manager, Optical Systems and Optics, Cisco.

“With constantly rising demand for our IP services and increasing traffic across the Internet, Arelion is constantly looking to deploy the latest technology. The deployment of Cisco 400G QSFP-DD Bright Optical Modules will ensure cost-effective, high-performance connectivity for our customers and help us grow our network in scale as we continue to connect the world. In addition, the coherent pluggable modules also help us achieve our sustainability goals through improved energy efficiency and redeploying redundant hardware assets,” said Dariusz Solowiej, VP Network Technology & Customer Operations, Arelion.