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Breeding unicorns

The car couldn’t have been invented before the wheel. Innovation is the process of reimagining the world that already exists. Take today’s online music and video services, they would have never been successful in a world of dial-up. Streaming – or buffering as it was known back then – required a certain level of connectivity before it was worth paying for. But once that connectivity was available, these services took off. And with them, other startups emerged, built on big ideas not possible only a few years before.

But what if startups weren’t constrained by connectivity at all? Could connectivity without limits fast-forward innovation? We decided to find out. We approached startup incubator SUP46. They are based in Stockholm, second only to Silicon Valley in the number of billion dollar startups (so-called unicorns) per million inhabitants. We offered them the opportunity to connect their downtown premises directly to the core of our backbone. Unsurprisingly, they said yes.

We then talked to technology partner Cisco. Their new ASR 9xx routers make it possible to install high-capacity connectivity with a very small footprint. They just need a backbone that can do them justice. That’s where we come in. We were the first backbone to offer 100Gb/s connectivity in both Europe and North America. By connecting SUP46’s downtown Stockholm premises, we turned them into a 100Gb/s PoP on our backbone. To put that in old-fashioned terms, 100Gb/s is enough to send a little over 11 million pages of text – per second. It has effectively given SUP46’s startup community limitless connectivity to innovate with. Because sometimes, it takes a little extra for big ideas to grow into unicorns.

Challenge everything

When it comes to innovation, questioning the status quo is everything. We set our standards high and constantly push the boundaries of what it is possible to do with our fiber network.