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What is network latency?

Network latency can be defined as the time delay incurred when transmitting data between a source and its destination. It is a critical consideration in the telecommunications industry, especially as the demand for real-time applications and services continues to grow. By minimizing the time taken for data transmission, a low-latency network facilitates cost-effective connectivity. From an end-user perspective, network latency is encountered at different layers in the TCP/IP stack and is influenced by many of factors, including hardware and software constraints, but ultimately, the physical distance traveled by data in a networked system.

Why is network latency important?

Achieving minimal latency is essential for enhancing productivity and efficiency in any organization, but for some, low latency is critical - especially for the delivery of latency-sensitive services such as media streaming, financial transactions, gaming, and collaboration tools.

For end-users, elevated latency is synonymous with frustration, a negative customer experience, sluggish performance, decreased productivity, and a tarnished reputation. Conversely, low latency is a crucial factor in conversations about the quality and reliability of a network.

Arelion’s low latency solutions

IP Transit

Organizations with their own autonomous system (AS) use IP transit and the border gateway protocol (BGP) to optimize their traffic and routing for the delivery of end-user services with low latency, speed, and high-performance across global markets. By carefully selecting and managing the pathways through which data travels, providers can minimize latency and enhance the overall speed and efficiency of data transmission, regardless of data volume.

Ethernet - segment routing

As more enterprises turn to ethernet services to connect their global operations, their networks must be optimized to meet the toughest latency and diversity requirements. This is especially important for companies in the financial services, manufacturing, and automotive industries where even milliseconds of extra latency and a single outage can have a catastrophic impact on business continuity. To meet these expectations on a global scale, we have implemented segment routing based for our ethernet services on the lowest latency paths across our multi-vendor network - at no additional cost. 

Utilizing segment routing allows the creation of distinct Flex-Algos (routing planes) by considering criteria that deviate from typical IGP metrics. In Arelion's network, each link is assigned a latency metric, forming the basis for a dedicated low-latency Flex-Algo. This enables us to intelligently route traffic according to the lowest latency path. The dynamic nature of segment routing ensures exceptionally rapid rerouting times, offering significant advantages to enterprise customers who depend on ethernet services provided on our top-ranked global Internet backbone. 

Wavelengths – specific route

When you buy wavelength services, you secure specific routes for your traffic. This ensures consistent and predictable latency. Additionally, there is a minimal network equipment involved - reducing the latency incurred by network hardware. This makes wavelengths the service of choice for ultra-low latency users.

Wavelengths also provide the highest data service presentation - currently 400GE. And, since wavelengths are route-specific, additional services can be added on the same route - enabling multiple terabits per second, with consistent latency.

Cloud Connect

As businesses become increasingly dependent on the cloud, telecom providers offer cloud connect solutions to reduce network latency and maximize the reliability of cloud-based applications. Cloud Connect services proved businesses with dedicated, private connections between on-premises infrastructure and their chosen cloud service providers. These direct links bypass the public Internet, reducing latency and enhancing performance. Arelion’s Cloud Connect services utilize the layer 2 Flex Algo low latency plane, ensuring that customer traffic is always routed across the lowest latency path available. 


Network optimization and Quality of Service (QoS)

Telecom providers implement network optimization techniques and QoS mechanisms to prioritize critical data traffic. By ensuring that high-priority data receives preferential treatment, providers can minimize latency for applications requiring low delay, such as voice and video communications.

Ultimately, low latency services are a combination of advanced technologies and innovative solutions.

Contact our experts to discover more.