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SDN Communications and NSP

IP and Optical networks coordination

SDN Communications is the premier business-to-business broadband service provider in the South Dakota and southern Minnesota region that also provides the managed cybersecurity products and remote network monitoring to build a more secure business network.  Today, the network is made up of more than 50,000 miles of fiber in eight states, including South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado.



SDN Communications was planning to optimize its IP and optical networks to deliver business-to-business broadband service and to be able to quickly respond to fast-changing customer demands, like the eventual rollout of 5G services. The challenges to be met could be generally grouped in three categories:

Network reliability

SDN prides itself on excellent network uptime, and the secure delivery of highly available, reliable business broadband and 5G services is crucial

Operational efficiency

Creating and monitoring services by operations staff must be efficient with simplified workflows

Fast response

The network must respond quickly to fast-changing customer demands with rapid service fulfillment and upgrades


Nokia’s NSP provides multi-layer, cross-domain management of IP routing and optical transport assets through the following use cases:

  • Topology Discovery and Visualization: Operating costs are reduced because NSP is a single, powerful management and control platform that supports common tools and practices across and between IP and optical network layers and network domains. 
  • Optically aware IP Routing: Latency information from the optical domain is used together with identified shared risks over apparently disparate paths to improve resilience and QoS when computing IP paths. 
  • Cross layer navigation and fault correlation: Potential faults can be mitigated before they occur, and rapid resolution of issues is possible using root cause analysis. 
  • Open interfaces: Integration into the existing environment is simplified to enable faster deployment and service rollouts such as for 5G. 
“SDN has long been a Nokia IP core and edge router customer and, most recently, we have expanded the work to include the deployment of a next-generation Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing network based on the Nokia 1830 Photonic Service Switch platform. We have a strong investment in caring for our network, and Nokia was an ideal choice to work with us to visualize, coordinate and automate our multi-layer IP and optical network through their Network Services Platform.”
Mark Shlanta
CEO for SDN Communications



Multi-layer coordination with Innovative cross-layer and cross-domain tools to improve network resiliency and service availability


Dynamic network optimization to ensure network performance (bandwidth, latency) and lower CAPEX


Network automation to provision B2B broadband & 5G services faster

Operational efficiency

Greater efficiency and lower costs for the control & maintenance of business broadband and 5G backhaul infrastructure