Why is GN4-3 needed?
The GÉANT network has long been instrumental in delivering advanced network services to European NRENs and supporting worldwide connectivity for international research. However, it is reaching the limits of its capabilities and with its current approach will become progressively more expensive to support the enormous growth in data, new user requirements and new services that are needed.

Enormous data growth

In 2019 the GÉANT network carried over 2.8 Exabytes of data. However, it is anticipated that within the next ten years, traffic will grow 20 times and in 15 years will be around 90 times larger. The challenge therefore is to build a network infrastructure that can not only support this kind of growth but is also able to cope with diverse future needs.

By investing in fibre now, GN4-3N will help to future-proof Europe’s R&E network – anticipating and staying ahead of the expected growth in data transfer and providing cost efficiencies and stabilising costs for long term planning.

Equal and affordable high-speed access

There exists a clear digital divide between European countries (and sometimes within them), with many areas enjoying highly developed network access and competitive market pricing, and others penalised by relatively poor access and higher costs.

GN4-3N is designed to level the playing field so that a unit of capacity will cost virtually the same throughout the network, and thanks to the project’s 15-year IRU agreements there will be consistency and predictability of costs.

This not only supports long-term planning for NRENs and research projects across Europe, it provides countries with equal opportunities in terms of connectivity and their ability to host data intensive projects.