Sally Bament, VP, Cloud & Service Provider Marketing, Juniper Networks

Connecting Orange France's Customers and Devices Throughout COVID-19 | Juniper Global Summit

Global Summit 2021 Security
Sally Bament Headshot
Split-screen from video of Christian Gacon, VP of Fixed Network Design, Orange France (left) and Sally Bament, VP, Cloud & Service Provider Marketing, Juniper Networks (right) talking in a video interview about how Juniper helped Orange with traffic surges during COVID.

Our world shifted from physical to virtual, overnight.

The COVID pandemic placed responsibility on service providers, like Orange France, to keep the world connected and ensure a seamless experience in real time for subscribers. Watch this interview with Christian Gacon to hear how Juniper helped Orange France keep its customers connected.

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You’ll learn

  • How pandemic lockdowns shifted mobile and fixed traffic patterns

  • How gaming demand created shifts for network demand

  • How automation helped Orange France meet increasing bandwidth demands

Who is this for?

Network Professionals Business Leaders


Sally Bament Headshot
Sally Bament
VP, Cloud & Service Provider Marketing, Juniper Networks

Guest speakers

Christian Gacon Headshot
Christian Gacon
VP of Fixed Network Design, Orange France


0:00 [music]

0:07 -Hello, everyone. My name is Sally Bament.

0:09 I am vice president of marketing at Juniper.

0:12 Joining me today is Christian Gacon, who' s vice

0:16 president of Fixed Network Design at Orange.

0:20 Christian, let me, first of all, welcome, and thanks for joining us today.

0:25 I know that you have a significant role with Orange in France.

0:31 Maybe if we could start and have you talk a little

0:34 bit about your role and your responsibilities there.

0:39 -Hello, Sally.

0:41 I am in charge of Fixed Network' s design and engineering within Orange

0:48 France, which means that my teams are designing the fixed networks

0:53 of Orange France regarding the fixed access network,

0:58 the transport network both for optical and IP,

1:04 but also the fixed voice network.

1:09 -Christian, the pandemic shifted our world

1:13 from physical to virtual literally overnight,

1:17 and that' s put quite a significant responsibility on service providers

1:21 like Orange to not only keep us connected but also to ensure

1:27 a seamless experience, real-time or near real-time experience

1:32 for subscribers, particularly during peak traffic conditions.

1:38 Briefly, how has the pandemic impacted Orange' s business,

1:44 particularly in terms of things like

1:46 shifts in traffic patents and other things?

1:51 -In fact, as people stayed at home during

1:55 the lockdowns, the mobile traffic decreased quite a lot,

2:01 and the fixed traffic increased also quite a lot during

2:06 the daytime because many people were working remotely.

2:11 In fact, also at peak hours,

2:13 meaning during the evening because people were

2:15 not able to go anywhere, to bars, restaurants, cinema, theaters, and so on.

2:21 They had to entertain themselves at home.

2:24 We saw a huge increase of traffic especially

2:29 related to Netflix, Disney+, and so on.

2:35 We saw, also, and it was quite a surprise because

2:39 it was quite new, a huge traffic related to gaming.

2:43 Not online gaming because it is not that mature yet, but people

2:49 download new games, they download also some new releases.

2:56 When you see that, for example, for Call of Duty, you need

3:00 to download about 245 gigabytes

3:06 just to start playing.

3:08 Then it is a huge load on the network, and that' s quite new.

3:15 The pattern of traffic has increased but also changed during the year.

3:21 Also, we had some issues but not that many.

3:25 We were quite lucky.

3:26 Those issues were mostly located in the interconnections,

3:31 interconnection with other operators,

3:33 but also because our customers wanted

3:38 to access contents, for example,

3:41 in the States, so we had to upgrade our links for the Atlantic.

3:48 -You' ve named some great examples of some of the bandwidth-heavy

3:53 applications that are driving this continued network traffic growth,

3:58 like video streaming media, online gaming, et cetera.

4:01 We' re also seeing a little bit about heightened user expectations as well,

4:06 whether they are residential users or employees working from home.

4:12 How are you actually absorbing this increase in network traffic?

4:18 What areas did you focus on, particularly from a network

4:21 infrastructure perspective to support the need?

4:25 -We are used to manage an increase of about 30% of traffic year on year.

4:32 Our network was ready to take the load.

4:38 We have, also, to improve the automation,

4:41 because it would help us to adapt or react more quickly,

4:49 we need also to work on telemetry to better

4:53 understand the traffic pattern and their evolution.

4:57 We were quite surprised at the beginning that the gaming was

5:01 at such an impact and today we monitor very closely this traffic.

5:07 We also monitor very closely the new releases

5:11 and so on we discussed with gaming companies.

5:21 At first invest in infrastructure, then

5:25 automate as much as possible and at last,

5:29 you need a very good telemetry in order to understand what' s going on.

5:34 -If you could tell us the most critical core infrastructure

5:38 investments that you made, particularly, over the past year or so,

5:43 that would be interesting for us to know.

5:47 -We' re investing a lot in the access network

5:51 and we are deploying fiber all over our country.

5:55 Then you need to support the access network

5:59 to be clear- also a good transport network.

6:02 We are investing heavily in the optical transport

6:06 network, but also in our IP transport network.

6:10 Then we work with Juniper.

6:12 On the platform that we have acquired from Juniper, very easy to scale up.

6:18 -The pandemic has certainly proven that bad actors

6:22 will take advantage of a crisis for their own gain,

6:26 with the massively increased attack surface

6:30 with us all working from home and even, certainly, here in the US,

6:34 we' ve seen threats to online learning initiatives as well.

6:41 Tell me a little bit about what you' ve seen at Orange.

6:43 Have you seen an increase in security threats, and what is

6:47 Orange doing to minimize the impact of those security threats?

6:53 -To be clear, yes, we have seen an increase on security threats.

6:59 That' s for sure.

7:03 In Orange, we haven' t had any crisis related to security internally

7:09 because, you know, we have been investing in security for a long time.

7:15 We have set up, what we call, defense in depth,

7:19 meaning, that we have security features in all our equipment

7:24 including the routers provided by Juniper.

7:28 Some years ago, we were relying

7:29 on firewalls, but today it' s a bit different.

7:32 It' s more complex than that so it' s not so easy to attack Orange Network.

7:37 -Christian, we hear a lot about edge computing,

7:40 moving applications, and data closer to the users,

7:43 and there' s several tech trends and motivation supporting that.

7:47 We' ve talked about a lot of them like online gaming and gaming software

7:50 downloads, augmented virtual and multi-reality, connected cars,

7:56 connected devices, et cetera.

7:58 We' ve also seen some interesting partnerships between service providers

8:03 and some of the larger North American cloud providers, cloud hyper scalers.

8:07 I' d love to get your perspective on edge compute both from

8:11 the view of what applications and services it will enable?

8:16 -We announced the partnership with Google Cloud in July 2020

8:22 and so today we are working with them in order to figure out the new use

8:27 cases that we can manage for edge computing,

8:31 network edge computing to be clear.

8:33 It seems that the most obvious use cases are mostly related

8:39 to the enterprise market but you have

8:43 mentioned online gaming,

8:47 and I' m sure that it could be a use case addressing the consumer market.

8:52 As we have seen today, gaming is becoming more and more important

8:58 for customers, and online gaming could bring some novelties

9:04 as Netflix did for video some years ago.

9:11 Today, to be clear, we are in fact assessing the situation

9:16 partnering with Google Cloud

9:19 to assess the value of new use cases.

9:25 We are also selecting sites because

9:30 to implement network edge computing

9:33 you need to upgrade some sites in order

9:37 to be able to host the servers and all

9:42 the stuff that you need to deliver on network edge computing to ensure

9:48 that it is related to 5G deployment

9:53 and we have just started deploying 5G.

9:57 Everything I would say is arriving at the right time in order

10:04 to be ready when the industry verticals

10:08 would be also ready to use 5G.

10:12 It' s going to take time but it is normal

10:14 as it is almost a new market to address.

10:18 -Christian, thank you, again, for your time today.

10:21 We really appreciate your perspectives on Orange, and also

10:25 your perspectives on your partnership with us here at Juniper Networks.

10:30 Thank you, again, for your time.

10:31 [music]

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