BT takes top ranking in global Ethernet services market

BT Global Services (NYSE: BT) has beaten out Orange Business as the top global Ethernet provider, according to Vertical Systems Group's Mid-Year 2013 Global Provider Ethernet Leaderboard.

Over the past four years, BT has been aggressively expanding its IP VPN and Ethernet access capabilities into various emerging regions outside of the UK, including Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the United States. Today, BT Global has a footprint that extends into 44 countries.

BT Global continues find that its service message is resonating with large multinational corporations (MNCs) that require connectivity from a source that has broad reach.

Although BT had trailed other large telcos in earlier global Ethernet rankings what helped them move up the stack was their aggressive build out of Ethernet access for multinational IP VPNs.

"BT has been moving up over time and that was one of the things we saw at the end of last year was they were gaining share," said Rosemary Cochran, principal of Vertical Systems Group, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "The aggressive expansion of their service and once they determined they would move into Ethernet last year they did make it into first place."

In the mid-year Leaderboard, VSG ranked seven providers based on port share: BT Global Services (U.K.), Orange Business (France), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) (U.S.), Colt (U.K.), AT&T (NYSE: T) (U.S.), NTT (Japan) and Level 3 (NYSE: LVLT) (U.S.).

Providing access to Layer 3 VPNs has become a table stakes requirement that all of the global Ethernet providers have to have to compete effectively for MNCs' business.

"The VPN piece of that is clearly one of the growth drivers because the building of networks is using Layer 3 VPNs since they have been around longer and their availability has been greater," Cochran said. "There has been an uptick in Ethernet access replacing legacy circuits in terms of speed."

Cochran added that "the larger VPN footprint you have the more opportunity you have to upgrade to Ethernet in countries where it's available."

BT may have climbed to the number one spot, but Cochran said that Orange could climb back.

"Orange was ranked number one since 2009 and they have the footprint so they could make a move in the second half of the year," she said.

Making the "Challenge Tier" were six other large service providers: Cogent (U.S.), Reliance Globalcom (India), SingTel (Singapore), Tata Communications (India), T-Systems (Germany) and Vodafone (U.K.).

Vodafone took a spot on the "Challenge Tier" because of its acquisition of Cable and Wireless.

"Vodafone shows up in the Challenge Tier because of the Ethernet port base that they bought from Cable and Wireless," Cochran said.  

For more:
- see the release

Special report: AT&T, Verizon Ethernet dominance challenged by tw telecom, Cox and other competitors

Related articles:
VSG: AT&T remains the dominant Ethernet player, but cable MSOs, CLECs gaining ground
Orange, BT take top spots in the global Ethernet market, says VSG
VSG: Business fiber gap is slowly closing

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