Cable & Wireless lands €8m Ryanair deal


23 Mar 2005

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Cable & Wireless (C&W) has won a five-year contract worth more than €8m with Ryanair to manage the airline’s pan-European IT and communications network.

Under the new contract, C&W will extend Ryanair’s wide area network (WAN) to more than 100 sites across Europe using C&W internet protocol virtual private network with quality of service (IP-VPN QoS). This is in addition to the 12 Ryanair base sites already connected by the WAN. New destinations will be added to the network as Ryanair continues to grow.

The telecoms provider is also implementing voice over IP (VoIP) between Ryanair’s core sites and will eventually roll this out to all base offices to further reduce communications costs. Ryanair personnel will be able to make calls using a ‘soft phone’ on their laptops when working from any of the company’s European offices. This technology will help Ryanair to reduce its mobile phone costs, since managers will not have to use international roaming services.

In addition, C&W will install and maintain an IP contact centre at Ryanair’s European call centre in Dublin and will also route all customer calls from the UK over its voice network. This is expected to amount to more than 10 million voice minutes per annum. Incoming calls will be prioritised according to the customer’s requirement and then directed to the most appropriately agent.

Despite the large size of the contract, Brona Kernan, head of IT at Ryanair, insisted that it would deliver a good return on investment. “This contract represents significant cost savings whilst allowing Ryanair to grow to 34 million passengers across 19 countries. C&W has one of the most resilient and scalable networks in Europe. Their ability to cost-effectively match our passenger growth won them this new contract.”

Noreen O’Hare, country director Ireland at C&W, said: “For nearly a decade, C&W has supported Ryanair’s growth across Europe. With this latest contract, we have proven that we have the innovation, expertise and capability to continue to support Europe’s No 1 low-fares airline.”

By Brian Skelly