Global technology trends such as cloud computing, video streaming, 4G mobile backhaul and others creating huge demand for high-bandwidth connectivity services. This presents major revenue opportunities for carriers who can move quickly to bring new 40G and 100G connectivity services to market quickly.

However, bringing new, high-speed services to market is typically extremely challenging for operators. As well as designing a suitable network infrastructure and ordering all the network equipment, carriers have to deploy the infrastructure in the datacentre, test the new service rigorously, and roll it into their existing network management systems and network operation centre (NOC).

Taking into account all the usual elements of the New Product Introduction (NPI) process, launching a new, high-speed connectivity service can take more than 24 months.

This ultra-long lead time for new services has two major negative impacts for carriers. First, the delay in time to market can cost millions in lost potential revenues. Second, and equally importantly, long product development cycles often see carriers lose out to more agile competitors who can act quickly and maximise their early market share.

Getting to market faster and more cost-effectively with white label services

Increasingly, forward-looking carriers are looking to white label services to reduce their time to market and launch costs for new services. White label refers to a service that is bought by an operator from a third party provider and sold to customers under their own brand.

In the case of a network or service white service the third-party partner takes full responsibility for delivering the infrastructure and service from end to end, including initial network planning and deployment, right through to ongoing maintenance and support. The end customer is unaware that the service is not being delivered by the operator and the operator may not have any visibility of the network or service at all.

Because white label services are designed, delivered and supported from end to end by a trusted partner, carriers can focus on more strategic tasks, such as growing their subscriber base or expanding into new regions, for example. And with no need to design, deploy or integrate new services into the existing management frameworks and NOC, time to market and revenues is reduced significantly.

Although a trusted partner delivers white label services from end to end, carriers sell them to customers under their own brand. This means that carriers need to trust their white label service providers implicitly to deliver the best services, and to protect their brand image at all times.

Why choose a white label delivery model?

By taking away the responsibility, workloads and some of the CAPEX costs associated with launching a new service to market, the best white label services help carriers to open new revenue streams, maximise market share and speed up returns on investments in new connectivity services. Some of the reasons carriers may choose a white label delivery model to bypass their traditional New Product Introduction process include:

Faster time to market and increased market share

A white label delivery model allows carriers to bypass their usual New Product Introduction cycle, reducing time to market for new services by up to 18 months. This allows them to react faster to customers’ changing needs, exploit emerging market opportunities, maximise their early market share and speed up ROI based on shorter development and launch cycles.

Operational savings and increased focus on strategic activities

A white label model outsources all activities associated with launching a new service to a trusted delivery partner. This allows carriers to focus on strategic activities such as growing accounts or increasing subscriber volumes. This approach also minimises the impact of new service launches on internal teams, ensuring that no additional FTEs are needed to manage and support infrastructure or service operations.

Improved cashflow and faster ROI

One of the key advantages of a white label model is the ability to reduce lead times for infrastructure delivery and rollout to support new services. This means that carriers can launch new services to market much more quickly and generate ROI faster. Management and support for services can also be paid as a transparent monthly ‘rental’, which fosters a transparent, manageable ‘pay-as-you-sell’ commercial model and delivers significant cashflow benefits.

Operational flexibility and continual service improvement

The best white label partners constantly upgrade the infrastructure and software that supports new services, allowing carriers to improve their service offerings for customers without ever entering into a formal product development process. This helps carriers to stay ahead of market competitors and maximise customer satisfaction and loyalty over time.

About Ciena and white label services

Carriers can achieve unique benefits by choosing Ciena to deliver white label services. For one recent project, we helped a major European tier-1 carrier to launch a new portfolio of 40G and 100G connectivity services, with equipment deployed and commissioned, and services turned up, within 15 days of receiving the purchase order. As a result, the operator was able to bring its new high-speed services to market in just six months – as opposed to a usual New Product Introduction timeline of around two years.

As well as delivering the service quickly – which enabled the carrier to earn millions in extra revenues – Ciena’s specialist network skills and security credentials are ensuring ongoing success for the service.

To deliver these white label benefits for carriers, Ciena offers:

1) Rapid time to market for new, revenue-generating services

Ciena ringfences equipment in our supply chain, allowing us to deliver it to customer data centres faster and to turn up new services within extremely competitive timelines – usually measured in weeks, rather than months or years which is more common with traditional New Product Introduction approaches.

NOTE: To achieve the fastest possible order to service times, all relevant infrastructure and service scoping must be completed beforehand, including consulting with the customer to define key service parameters and delivery milestones. All fibre testing and infrastructure requirements must also be mapped out prior to equipment ordering.

2) A typical service time-to-market of just six months

This is based on a consultative engagement to set service parameters and infrastructure and fibre requirements; a ‘build’ phase that includes hardware deployment, set-up and configuration and service provisioning and turn-up.

3) Efficient ongoing network operations

The ‘operate’ phase of the Ciena white label service includes ongoing NOC services (including 24/7 pro-active network monitoring), technical support, a managed spares service, and software upgrades and maintenance. All of this ensures that services perform at their best and that any technical issues are dealt with quickly and efficiently by Ciena teams before they impact customer facing services.

4) Security accreditation to the most exacting government standards

Ciena has invested heavily in the security of our WAN network connections and operational processes to ensure the highest levels of security. This means that carriers can offer white label services to military organisations, government bodies and other organisations who are subject to the most stringent security regulations. Specifically, we have CAS (T) accreditation, which is the highest level of security accreditation for network services. 

5) Service training and handover (when required)

After the ‘build’ and ‘operate’ phases of the project, Ciena helps to train internal carrier teams to operate the service. If required, we also support hand-over of the service to internal teams with the option to run a reactive NOC for several additional months to ensure everything goes smoothly.

How it works

For a Ciena white label service, the only up-front cost is the network equipment itself. The rest is covered by a monthly ‘rental’ payment, helping carriers to ‘spend as they sell’. This commercial model helps to minimise risks for carriers by minimising CAPEX costs for launching a new service, with Ciena’s tried and tested delivery approach minimising time to market and revenues.

Get in touch

For more information about Ciena's white label services, please contact us.