Lumos Networks (Nasdaq: LMOS) has become the latest service provider to obtain the Metro Ethernet Forum's Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certification for E-Access.
Following Telecom Italia Lumos was the second service provider worldwide and the first in the U.S. to gain E-Access certification.
The telco has been on a fast track with Ethernet certification, having only completed CE 1.0 certification for its Ethernet Private Line (EPL) and Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) services less than a year ago.
CE 2.0 extends the original Carrier Ethernet remit with vital added features including multiple classes of service, greater manageability and easier interconnection for all eight standard service types. It also enables new efficiency for mobile backhaul.
Joining Comcast Business (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Alaska Communications--two U.S.-based service providers that gained CE 2.0 certification earlier this year for their services--Lumos can cite CE 2.0 E-Access compliance as a differentiator for new customers that are considering a move to Ethernet.
This compliance benefits Lumos and its business and wholesale customers in three ways: it accelerates the sale of its CE services by saving its business and wholesale carrier customers time in assessing its offerings because they are compliant with the latest MEF standard; differentiates its service from other local telcos and cable operators; and cuts connection time since over 20 equipment vendor's equipment was certified as CE 2.0 compliant in late-January.
Other carriers that need to use Lumos for wholesale interconnection service know they will be dealing with a company who has a set of MEF-compliant CoS and QoS practices to ensure the quality of the services deliver Ethernet services to their customers outside of their network territory, for example.
Although it still operates a rural telco division that provides a mix of voice, video and copper and fiber-based data to residential customers, Lumos has become a formidable Tier 2 business services challenger to other telcos and cable operators such as Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Cox Business.
What has helped Lumos create momentum, particularly in its home state of Virginia over the past four years, is its growing regional fiber network. It has grown that network through acquisitions of other smaller fiber operators, including Allegheny Energy's fiber assets and FiberNet in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
While it won't release Q1 2013 earnings until May 3, Ethernet and IP-based data have continually become a bigger part of its revenue mix. In Q4 2012, Lumos reported $52.7 million in revenue, up from $51.1 million in Q4 2011 due to gains in its strategic data service segment revenues for business customers and an uptick in fiber to the tower (FTTT) installations.
- see the release
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