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Network Jun 19, 2022

Cutting Nokia's cost by 32% a year with our managed SD-WAN

The telecom giant freed up their budget – and IT team – with our smarter networking solution.

50,000 to 100,000


Nokia knows its networks. While the technology giant is best known for making the must-have handset of the 2000s, they’re also a world leader in network infrastructure. Nokia played a pivotal role in the development of 3G and 4G and continues to innovate, breaking 5G speed records. Their Nuage Network technology has set a new standard for SD-WAN, which is why we deploy it in BT Agile Connect.

When it came to upgrading their global enterprise network, Nokia wanted our expertise. They tasked us with designing and delivering a managed SD-WAN solution that made connecting worldwide simpler and more flexible. And we also had to do it for less than if Nokia handled it in-house.

The challenge

Like many global companies, Nokia’s network is complex. Thousands of people work on a system that stretches from Helsinki to Singapore. This combines office and branch networks, private and public clouds, on-premise hardware and remote data centres. This takes a lot of effort for IT teams to manage day-to-day, costing time and money.

This was a growing problem as Nokia was trying to cut business costs, so they could better invest in research and development. So when the network was due to be updated, Nokia decided to replace 100 locations with SD-WAN (software-defined WAN). This would give the IT team more control and visibility over the network while making it faster to make changes.

Nokia wanted a best-in-class managed SD-WAN service that BT’s Agile Connect offers.

With BT's Agile Connect service we were able to transform our IT Infrastructure, adding application visibility to all our sites, while also making it more manageable and programmable through a dedicated centralised portal.

Ravi Parmasad, VP IT Infrastructure, Nokia

The solution

We’ve worked closely with Nokia for more than 25 years. As well as selling many of their products to our own customers, they’re our largest infrastructure partner in building our 5G mobile network. As we’ve already rolled out SD-WAN services to more than 12,000 sites, we understood Nokia’s business needs. They knew we had the expertise and global reach they needed.

We rolled out BT Agile Connect to provide next-generation networking, based on hybrid MPLS and internet services. It’s unique because it’s built on and integrated into our global network, but it also uses Nokia’s Nuage Network SD-WAN technology.

This adds an intelligent end-to-end fabric to our global underlay network, connecting all workloads on one platform, making it easier to incorporate public and private networks as well as integrate cloud services securely.

To keep the rollout running smoothly and costs down, we provided a fully managed service. This included dedicated project management from digital transformation experts to get Nokia set up with less risk of downtime. Plus, ongoing 24/7 support worldwide to keep a proactive eye on the network and help manage the telecom’s digital day-to-day problems. Nokia’s own IT team can now focus on the work that makes a big difference to their business.

The result

Nokia’s network transformation has led to huge cost savings. Since switching to our managed SD-WAN solution, along with switching to a new internet supplier, they slashed costs by 32%. And we’re only halfway through.

We’ve upgraded 60 key locations worldwide so far and continue the further roll out. Thanks to our solution Nokia can now set up new sites in days rather than weeks, further cutting costs.

This SD-WAN solution is almost entirely virtual, so it’s easier to set up and manage using our online portal. This means all global network services can be centrally controlled from anywhere. Nokia also gets a complete view of what’s happening across the network, so they can detect and respond faster to traffic surges or cyber-attacks. They can instantly implement network-wide policies or create separate communities for users – such as sales teams versus the HR department – and limit access to data and different applications.

Nokia’s IT team can now work more efficiently with our online portal making the network easier to manage. While our ongoing support keeps network downtime to a minimum. Employees can now connect more easily and work more productively. Freeing them up to focus on the future of technology and growing the business.