AT&T sweetens competitive provider appeal with wholesale Ethernet on-demand service

Source: University of Michigan

AT&T is sweetening its appeal to wholesale customers by launching an on-demand tool that automates the process for carrier customers to purchase Ethernet circuits to satisfy off-net business customer needs.

Similar to its retail Ethernet on-demand offering, this new service also allows carriers to log into a portal and check to see what Ethernet-based services AT&T has in a specific building.

What’s valuable to wholesale customers is that it reduces activation time. Unlike the traditional manual process that could have taken days or weeks, AT&T says the new solution can identify Ethernet circuits on its network in minutes.

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AT&T said that once a wholesale customer makes the tool part of their internal ecosystem all they have to do is input into a portal an address or a list of addresses located within AT&T's 21-state wireline footprint.

Leveraging the MEF’s new framework to deliver an API flow, the new tool combines two AT&T Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to meet the needs of our wholesale customers. Because it’s customizable, AT&T said that customers can augment it, so they can “quickly retrieve the information most relevant to their customers.”

Already, the new service option has attracted Birch Communications, a competitive carrier. Birch which has set forth an aggressive network growth campaign that leverages a mix of its own facilities and other carriers, joined the pilot program to test it in December 2015.

While the on-demand Ethernet tool for wholesale customers is new, AT&T has been offering a similar service on the retail side for over a year. By using a SDN construct, AT&T's Network on Demand capability is being deployed as part of AT&T’s software-centric strategy launched in February 2014. The service provider has attracted over 1,000 customers. 

What could also bolster AT&T’s ability to serve more of its wholesale Ethernet customer base is its ongoing build out of fiber into more buildings via its fiber to the building (FTTB) program. Having reached over 1 million buildings through that program, AT&T told FierceTelecom in a previous interview that its next steps will be to expand the availability of its Ethernet on-demand offerings.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
AT&T sees GPON, Ethernet-on-demand as next steps in its FTTB program
AT&T will launch SDN service in 63 countries simultaneously this year, de la Vega says
AT&T lauds MEF's latest interconnection agreement

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