Pipelines of the Future: Establishing a 400G Highway Across Canada & North America

Pipelines of the Future

The period of global uncertainty we are living in is also a time of significant opportunity for Canada to leverage technological innovations as a way to future-proof its economy for the years ahead.

Canada, as home to some of North America’s largest tech hubs, is a world leader when it comes to unleashing the potential of Big Data to transform our economy. Both the country’s government and private sectors continue to invest large sums of money into emerging technologies that will reshape and transform the entire country’s quality of life and economic output for years to come.

However, the promise of technology without due focus on the underlying, foundational infrastructure is just that – a promise. The new data and bandwidth-intensive technologies that will help Canada create a world-leading digital economy require high performing, reliable fiber optic networks with greater speeds and capacity than this country has ever seen. It is these data transport highways that will be the cornerstone of a successful Canadian digital transformation.

Digital Transformation is Challenging Canada’s Networks

Leveraging Big Data will lead to an exponential surge in the amount of traffic that must be transported from coast to coast, and south of the border, to business partners based in the U.S. In addition to ongoing adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) applications, businesses across all verticals in Canada are also increasingly leveraging the public cloud for their workloads. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), Canadian spending in managed cloud services will grow from $1.9 billion in 2022 to $3.9 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 15.8%, all despite wider economic uncertainties. With the government continuing to make new investments in AI, automation, robotics and other game-changing technologies, Canada is arguably just at the beginning of a new data wave that will challenge the capabilities of this country’s existing backbone transport networks.

On a global scale, data consumption is rising at an estimated 50% per year. Statista reports that the amount of data created, consumed and stored in 2021 was 79 Zettabytes (one Zettabyte is equal to a trillion Gigabytes). In four years (2025), this will come in at a staggering 181 Zettabytes. As a leader in digital transformation, Canada will contribute significantly to this global trend. In fact, the foundation for a surge in data growth in this country already exists. A recent Microsoft Canada survey found that while 61% of Canadian business leaders say leveraging Big Data insights is a critical competitive advantage in today’s market, only 34% say they have a strategy in place to do so. As more businesses begin to bridge the gap between knowledge and action, demand for faster, higher capacity networks will increase. The exciting news? It’s already happening.

Consider these statistics. The IDC forecasts that by 2025, 60% of large companies in Canada will be leveraging some kind of AI or ML solution for business and IT advantages. Canadian enterprises are also on a hiring spree for IT talent. In 2020, the number of Canadians entering new IT roles grew by 9.7%. As more companies across all verticals and government departments embrace digitization and expand their IT teams, they will begin creating massive amounts of data to transfer, store and process. Canada’s networks must evolve to support the widespread innovation the country has embarked on.

The Roadmap to Canada’s Digital Economy: 400G Fiber Optic Networks

For Canada to fully embrace the creation of a new digitized economy, increased attention to the existing bandwidth and speed capabilities of this country has never been more important. Over the next few years, the growth in data traffic that will result from Canada’s ongoing digital transformation will increasingly pressure the existing network architectures we have today.

At Bell Canada, a Bell Canada company, we’ve always seen Canada’s fiber optic networks as critical to the creation of our collective digital future. Over the past several years, 400G network services have grown more popular internationally as hyperscalers, data centers and cloud providers have looked to meet the bandwidth-hungry appetites of their end users. To ensure that companies doing business in Canada can keep up with their own needs for greater bandwidth and faster data transport, our corporate group decided to assess our strategy for upgrading the speed and capacity of our national backbone network. For us, it was obvious that Canada’s ongoing digital transformation has matured to the point where the country is ready for it.

At Bell Canada, we see ourselves as facilitators of business growth. Our highly skilled experts work hard to deliver the extensive infrastructure and solutions that can keep Canadian businesses (and U.S. business with cross-border transport needs) ahead of the curve. That is why Bell Canada has deployed 400G service across major spans of Bell's 17,000 km core transport fibers infrastructure, and will meet the growing Canadian demand for transport of massive amounts of data and content to the cloud from east to west and north to south. Bell’s core transport network is also ready for the next evolution of capacity at 800Gbps.

We believe that adoption of new technologies like AI and ML undoubtedly has the potential to deliver a myriad of benefits to Canadian businesses, their trading partners in the U.S. and the Canadian economy as a whole. To fully unlock them, the right network infrastructure must be in place. Very soon, a growing number of Canadian businesses are going to need the larger capacity that 400G offers. Canada’s telecommunications sector must be ready to answer this call.

Bell Canada 400G Network footprint

  • A national transport network from coast to coast, over 160 major data centers, points of presence, and major boarder US cities spanning 10,500 miles of fiber
  • An access fiber network spanning across over 180,000 miles connecting businesses and homes, which is by magnitudes the largest fiber network in Canada
  • Supporting 24.28 million total business, wholesale, and consumer connections
  • We expanded our pure fiber network to an additional 854,000 businesses and homes in 2022
  • Broadband fiber network, consisting of fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) and fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) locations, covering approximately 10 million businesses and homes in Québec, the Atlantic provinces and Manitoba
  • Extensive national and cross border coverage
  • Reliable and secure network

Bell 400G Footprint

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