The Silicon Review
Founded in 2008 in Paris, France, by Julien Santina, a young entrepreneur with a passion for telecoms, Sipartech introduced a new business model to meet the growing needs of businesses and data centers for greater connectivity. Its aim: to provide a neutral, independent infrastructure operator for the B2B market. After a successful rollout in the Paris area, its innovative model was implemented in all major cities throughout France. Since 2018, Sipartech has been deploying a long-distance network to interconnect all its metropolitan networks.
Sipartech’s model comprises internal control of the entire value creation chain, from design through to operations and maintenance. This includes deploying its optic fiber networks on more than 80 technical sites. The company run dedicated, diversified infrastructures for customers throughout France and Europe, based on customized technical solutions.
Since the very beginning, Sipartech has focused on deploying its own ultrahigh-capacity fiber-optic network. This guarantees not only very high speeds for customers but also the capacity to support them in all their present and future high connectivity needs. Today, Sipartech has 25,000 km of networks in Europe. This includes 13,000 km of metropolitan networks, covering almost all the major business areas: Paris, Marseille, Lille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Annecy, Grenoble, Toulouse and Nantes. Sipartech’s network comprises the latest generation of fibers, lit with state-of-the-art equipment. This allows fragments of the light spectrum to be routed between all points throughout the network. Sipartech has a scalable capacity of nearly 34 Tbps per route. As a result, customers can have DWDM links from 10 Gbps to n*100 Gbps between any site or data center in France. Today, Sipartech connects almost 80% of the neutral data centers in the Paris region and half of the data centers in France.
To ensure optimal service quality, the company has set up eight regional offices, connected 24/7 to our operations center in Paris. Sipartech also has a London office, ensuring a close working relationship with international clients.
“Today, in the context of the ongoing coronavirus healthcare emergency, we have been providing critical support to all of our clients as their need for high connectivity increases. At the same time, we are meeting their new requirements in the areas of performance, security and ultra-availability,” notes Julien Santina, Sipartech Founder and CEO.
What makes Sipartech relevant today is its solid and sustainable financial model. Since the start, Julien Santina has forged strong partnerships with renowned financial players in the telecom industry. This includes being backed by Blackstone since January 2020.
In a recent interview, Julien Santina outlined his views on the telecom industry and how Sipartech is moving forward in a dynamic operating environment. Here are his key comments:
Q. What makes Sipartech important in today’s world?
Sipartech provides companies with the necessary infrastructure to build their own offers. We also install customized networks throughout France and Europe. Our offer covers a complete range of dedicated and diversified infrastructure solutions, connecting companies as well as products for the core network: IP transit, Ethernet transport, optical transport, dark fiber, hosting, and collect solutions.
Q. What is Dark Fiber? Could you tell us about your expertise with Fiber and its spectrum?
Dark fiber is a pair of fibers which are dedicated to customers irrespective of the chosen usage and speed. This enables fast and secure inter-site transmission between buildings or to data centers of all types of protocols (IP, Ethernet, MPLS, audio, video, SAN, etc.). Companies can manage their equipment and associated protocols independently. This increase in speed does not entail any additional costs for the dark fiber. Moreover, by subscribing to a dedicated dark fiber offer, companies are freed from the availability constraints imposed by the mutualization of operator networks; they have optimized routes with 100% secure and independent optical loops. As a result, they have total control over their network architecture.
Our Spectrum offer is designed for hyperscalers, wholesale carriers or companies with ultra-high bandwidth needs between major urban areas. Sipartech Spectrum offers very high levels of reliability and availability while clients manage their own DWDM hardware. This provides companies with DWDM spectrum channels that enable speeds in excess of 2 Tbps on our long-haul fiber network.
Q. How does Sipartech foster a culture of innovation?
At Sipartech, we have our own dedicated R&D center, staffed by experienced engineers who test and create solutions. We have developed innovative technical solutions for monitoring our installations and infrastructure without needing to access traffic inside the fiber. Our culture of innovation is driven by our commitment to our customers; it is we them that we build the network architectures of tomorrow.
Q. How important are partnerships to Sipartech?
We have always worked with internationally renowned partners such as Ciéna and Cisco, providing innovations to make our network equipment a benchmark for the market. These long-term relationships, with suppliers as well as customers, are central to our business vision.
Q. How do you empower your employees to grow? Tell us about the company’s work culture.
Our company is at the core of major challenges in the fast-growing telecoms sector. We run projects for major global tech players, who have the highest requirements and expectations in terms of technical solutions. All of our team members have to give their best; our culture of continuous improvement means increasing skills and knowledge to drive innovation. To achieve this, we invest in our training program; more than 40% of our employees receiving professional training in 2020. Autonomy, empowerment and trust are all central to our work ethic. Every member of our team is a stakeholder in our company’s success, rewarded through loyalty programs.
Q. What does the future look like for Sipartech?
Sipartech has extensive development projects for the coming years, both in France and in Europe. Last June, the company raised €180 million to accelerate its future development. Since its creation, we have experienced strong and sustained growth. Now, with this new investment, we will be able to accelerate the extension of our new long-distance fiber optic infrastructures throughout numerous territories in France and Europe; international expansion as well as increasing our metropolitan coverage areas is on the agenda. This program has already been launched with the upcoming commissioning of 1400 km of network along the Atlantic coast, as well as the installation of 20 technical amplification sites. This confirms our commitment to supporting our customers through extending, securing and making available their digital activities in all territories.
Supporting our customers also means upgrading our product and service portfolio; one year ago, we launched our Spectrum offer to enrich our level 1 product range. In the near future, we will deploy our own anti-DDoS protection solution to expand our level 3 service range.
Julien Santina, Founder and CEO
Julien started Sipartech when he was still in his twenties and has brought together a team of experienced telecoms managers who are dedicated to excellence. Under his leadership, the Sipartech team successfully applies expert in-depth knowledge of the European telecoms industry. Driven by exceptional team spirit for more than ten years, the company’s management committee has made Sipartech the success story that it is today.