VSG: Orange, BT, Verizon maintain lead in global Ethernet market

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Orange Business has maintained its lead over BT Global (NYSE: BT) in the global Ethernet market Vertical Systems Group's 2013 Global Provider Ethernet Leaderboard.

Similar to the year-end 2013 Leaderboard, Orange Business' Ethernet advantage is its ability to provide Ethernet access to VPNs to multi-site global customers over its network. A big part of Orange's success is its reach. The service provider currently has network presence in over 120 countries where it delivers Ethernet.

However, BT and Verizon, which continue to expand their network presence in major geographies such as Asia Pacific and Latin America, take a solid second and third spot.

Rosemary Cochran, principal of Vertical Systems Group (VSG) in an interview with FierceTelecom, said that the VPN factor is what sets apart incumbent global players from cable operators and other CLECs that are seeing rapid growth in the Ethernet market.

"Incumbents have very big VPN bases that are difficult to move," Cochran said. "Level 3, AT&T (NYSE: T), and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) address a different market and a different set of requirements, but then you got other players in global markets like Orange, BT and Colt."

Cochran added that "there is a path there in terms of the geographic footprint that you can sell into with Ethernet services."

Trailing Orange Business, BT and Verizon were four other major operators that have been expanding their services outside of their home territories: Colt (U.K.), AT&T (U.S.), Level 3 (U.S.) and NTT (Japan).

While there were no new entrants into the Global Provider Leaderboard, there was some movement in the lower part of the top seven market segment.

Level 3 saw the largest share gain in the first half of the year, which upped its rank from seventh to sixth position, beating out NTT. AT&T gained share to retain fifth position, edging out Level 3 by what VSG said was a "narrow margin."

In addition to the top seven global providers, VSG noted ongoing moves by other global providers offering Ethernet services outside of their home country that have port shares that are below the Leaderboard threshold.  

The Challenge tier was led by seven companies including: Cogent (U.S.), Reliance Globalcom (India), SingTel (Singapore), Tata Communications (India), Telefonica Worldwide (Spain), T-Systems (Germany) and Vodafone (U.K.).

By integrating Ethernet into their MPLS network infrastructure, service providers are able to generate new revenue opportunities, which are driven by what VSG describes as "customer demand for higher bandwidth connectivity."

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