Colt expands US presence to battle AT&T, Verizon for multinational business customers

Ethernet network

Colt is expanding its North American sales and support teams, laying a further challenge to AT&T and Verizon to attract more multinational customers that need local and international connectivity services.

Already operating in 20 countries across Europe and Asia, Colt has expanded its presence in North America with two regional offices – one in Chicago and another in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Leading up the expanded North American effort will be Mike Buchner, who will serve as the senior vice president of North America and Global Carriers. 

RELATED: AT&T, Colt hope to accelerate SDN adoption with interoperability trial

To develop existing customer relationships, expand channel partnerships and add new clients, Buchner will work with Colt’s new vice president of Direct Sales, Elgin Lemmon, and Colt’s new vice president of Indirect Sales, Mike Kopp.

Patrick Ferretti will serve as Colt’s head of marketing, working closely with Buchner, Lemmon and Kopp to develop Colt’s North American marketing strategy.

These new appointments are part of a broader effort by Colt to address demand from multinational customers headquartered in the U.S. that need connectivity into Europe and Asia.

The service provider’s move has been a large part of its strategy to invest outside of its home European market by establishing a greater foothold not only in North America, but also Asia Pacific.

In 2014, Colt acquired Japan’s KVH, giving it immediate capabilities in key Asian markets and enhancing its ability to serve multinational customers. Specifically, this acquisition enabled Colt to target Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Seoul.

While it is seeing growing competition from Level 3 Communications, which is aggressively expanding its Ethernet and IP network presence in multiple European and Latin American countries, Colt’s aggressive expansion has enabled it to gain a second place standing on Vertical Systems Group’s latest Global Ethernet Leaderboard. Interestingly, Colt maintains a global lead over AT&T and Verizon, two carriers that currently have a number four and six ranking on the Global Ethernet Leaderboard.

“Colt has been expanding, particularly in Asia,” said Rosemary Cochran, principal of Vertical Systems Group, in an earlier interview with FierceTelecom. “The service provider moved up to third position ahead of BT Global at the end of 2015 and is now second to Orange.”

Colt’s North American expansion also reflects the broader trend by Ethernet and cloud service providers to expand into new markets outside of their home territories. At the same time, service providers are enhancing their Ethernet service capabilities by implementing SDN, virtualization and global orchestration.  

Colt itself is on a similar path in adopting SDN.

Through a partnership with AT&T, Colt created and tested a standard application programming interface (API) infrastructure. During the trial between the two networks in the U.S. and Europe, AT&T successfully provisioned network services between the east coast of the U.S. and various locations in Europe.