Realising the full potential of altnets

Thu, 28/03/2024 - 10:30
Stephen Kingdom

Xantaro was established in Germany 20 years ago and entered the UK market five years after launch on a mission to help altnets and major carriers to understand the capabilities of their networks and reach their full potential. Today, the company employs more than 170 staff, over 70 of whom are certified network experts supporting more than 300 enterprise and channel customers, between them holding more than 700 certifications. 

Kingdom himself is qualified more than most in the industry. His past experience includes working on ADSL in 1997, researching the two contender technologies and collaborating across the industry to agree on its standards. “I gained a deep knowledge of industry standards and regulations, fostering strong relationships with many key leaders in the telecoms and technology sector and becoming a global expert in broadband technology,” stated Kingdom. 

Not surprisingly he went on to become Director of The Broadband Forum and was its President for a year, which was a high point in a comms career that began with project managing regulation approvals for significant blue chip companies at a telecoms test lab. Now, Kingdom’s experience is strongly felt across the broad spectrum of Xantaro’s customer base. “Many of our customers are intrinsically linked to Project Gigabit and the roll out of FTTP in the UK, so we stay abreast of any developments, as well as new regulations such as the Telecoms Security Act, to ensure our customers’ networks remain agile and within regulation constraints,” he stated.  

Xantaro’s customers are predominantly CSPs, ISPs, altnets, carriers and data centres needing help in simplifying the complex networked world. “The technical expertise among our team is so high that our technology partners, such as Nokia and Juniper as well as 20-plus others, still come to us with technical challenges that need a solution,” commented Kingdom. “At the core of our business lies the ability to plug resource gaps and enable network evolution, no matter the size or scope of our partners’ businesses. 

“The knowledge and skills gaps that many channel organisations face is a key reason why they engage with Xantaro. There are so many decisions to be made and factors to consider that even established vendors with massive teams turn to us to validate their plans, provide proof of concepts and help them develop more commercially viable network infrastructure solutions.”

Kingdom says a big success factor in enabling these end goals is transparency and collaboration. “Building trust and credibility is essential to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes, whether your business is customer-facing or 100 per cent channel focused,” he added. “No matter their position or role in the channel, leaders must focus on becoming trusted partners that advise, propose and deliver appropriately cost-effective solutions designed for multi-vendor environments.” 

Focus areas

In the UK, Xantaro focuses on supporting the growth of the altnet fibre market through flexible, scalable infrastructure hardware and services. “We’ve been helping them navigate market consolidation and maturity as well as the upcoming Telecoms Security Act and its impact,” commented Kingdom. “Looking to the future, we’re exploring 5G campus solutions in addition to how we can better support the in-life management of network infrastructure.” 

According to Kingdom, 5G campus (also known as mmWave) is the ‘true 5G’ that we are yet to experience and has the potential to revolutionise how the UK stays connected. Another focus area is the data centre market which is becoming bigger, faster and more efficient while embracing AI. “Connectivity’s role in facilitating those evolutions and preventing bottlenecks is ever more important,” he added. “We’re working with multiple data centre operators to help them achieve their goals.” 

From a more holistic perspective, Xantaro’s technology and services touch the Internet community en-masse, from international enterprises to individual families. “The question we’re asking is how we can advance the customer experience most effectively to enhance the accessibility, reliability and availability of Internet services for everyone,” said Kingdom. “This involves scaling the network operations of our existing customers, enhancing the capabilities of consumer connectivity, such as 5G campus and MESH Wi-Fi, as well as ensuring the security and resilience of our networks.” 

The connectivity market is constantly evolving and the roles that Xantaro’s customers play are changing just as quickly. The 2025 switch off is a case in point and a massive undertaking for the channel, and many altnets have called on Xantaro’s consultative approach and expertise to navigate it effectively. “We expect this will continue far beyond 2025 as our altnet customers seek to fulfil their Project Gigabit contracts and grow their networks and customer bases,” explained Kingdom. “For enterprise customers wanting to take more control over their network behaviour and security, we’re giving them the knowledge and expertise to manage their international networks better, optimise performance and visibility.

“Although we support every stage of the journey – from network assessment and design to automation, implementation and management – Xantaro will continue to focus on enhancing its service portfolio with a wider range of wrap-around services. These will be designed to further enable ISPs to manage as much or as little of their network as they want, while handing off the responsibilities they cannot shoulder themselves to Xantaro.”  

On April 30th, Xantaro will be hosting a webinar alongside Nokia to discuss the key challenges facing altnets and network providers.

To register, please visit: