About the customer

next layer is an owner-operated Austrian internet service provider and network integrator. They design and operate network and server infrastructure solutions tailored to clients across Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The ISP offers the best possible service to their clients by taking time to incorporate business expectations and needs into the planning process as well as offering support via highly qualified technicians.

Industry: Communication Service Provider
Location: Austria
Solution: Open line systems

The challenge

At the forefront of new technology

next layer prides itself on having the best-connected IP network among Austrian ISPs, so it’s important for the company to stay at the forefront of new technology. For many years the service provider had used Smartoptics’ certified transceivers on its fiber channels used by banks, insurance companies and other large enterprises to run connections between data centers. At the end of 2018, they decided to expand this fiber offering to 100G.

As next layer runs their own network, they could see exactly what needed to be done to achieve 100G connectivity in an easy and cost-efficient manner.


“If you’re looking to enhance capacity without introducing complexity or incurring huge costs, then Smartoptics has come up with a great solution. We’ve increased our bandwidth in a simple and affordable way”

Rene Avi, CTO at next layer

The Solution

Easy and effective

On paper it appeared the Smartoptics’ open line system DCP-M40 would do exactly what next layer wanted – enhance capacity without introducing unnecessary complexity. The solution works purely on the optical layer and does not interfere with other layers, such as framing or data.

“We always try to avoid adding complexity because the more complex the system the more trouble it can introduce. Finding a simple option that just does what it says it does, and is this effective, is the ideal answer from our point of view,” comments Rene Avi from next layer.

And in practice the system, which allows transceivers to be embedded directly into routers and other standard equipment in the next layer network and at customer installations, was a success. It gives next layer and their clients the look and feel of a fiber per transceiver, while in reality it multiplies a single fiber into 40 wavelengths. And at a price point that makes sense.

Pay as you grow

As a general rule, next layer only offers technology to their customers that they have been able to verify on their own network. This ISP network typically has more traffic and stress than what an enterprise customer requires for their network. Once they were happy with the performance, they deployed the Smartoptics’ boxes along their four main network nodes, in between which they run dual rings.

Then they pushed the tech out to the less densely populated nodes according to demand. Finally, the proven design and equipment is further integrated in customer networks, on a buy and sell or service basis.

“Most solutions to enhance capacity have a high-entry level investment. The Smartoptics open line solution is completely scalable, you can pay as you grow, making it a smart investment,” remarks Georg Chytil, CEO at next layer.

the Result

A sustainable investment

With talk already turning to the 400G roll out, expected to start in 2020, next layer is ready to face the opportunity with the Smartoptics’ open line system supporting the increased capacity. Upgrading the system is expected to be as easy as replacing existing transceivers with new ones that support the soon to be available 400ZR standard.

“We always want to offer our customers the latest technology advancements and we are confident that this new solution will support 400G services with minimal effort. This means that we have a future-proof solution that will prolong the lifetime and increase the value of the investment,” concludes Rene Avi.

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