Orange, BT retain dominant spots over Verizon, AT&T in global Ethernet race, says VSG

Orange and BT's (NYSE: BT) ongoing buildout of Ethernet to more international locations has helped the two companies retain their dominant position on Vertical System Group's global Ethernet Leaderboard. 

Rosemary Cochran, principal of Vertical Systems Group, said in an interview that what sets Orange and BT apart from other global players is their reach, an attribute that's attractive to large multinational corporation customers.

Orange is currently present in over 220 countries worldwide, while BT serves over 170.

Combined with their reach, these service providers have been able to provide MNCs with Ethernet access to VPNs, a fast growing trend in the Ethernet services market, a product that both providers have continued to scale in recent years.

In 2014, Orange Business Services added a Business VPN Internet offering to its growing business VPN service product suite, while BT expanded the reach of Ethernet-based VPN and Internet services across 15 new countries.  

"Scope and footprint, particularly for Orange, is key because they have Ethernet access in lots of countries," Cochran said. "A lot of it is Ethernet access to VPN and the Layer-3 services with Ethernet access that are really significant."

Despite an uncertain economic environment, Cochran noted that while demand for global Ethernet services continues to be robust, MNCs have to look to certain companies to get access into specific regions.

"Global Ethernet growth is still strong, but if you're looking at Pan European you're looking at one set of players, or if you're looking at Pan Asia you have another set of players, or if you're looking at Latin America Level 3 has a lot of penetration," Cochran said. "It's multinationals with locations around the world or locations concentrated in one area."

Besides Ethernet access to VPNs, providing high speed connectivity to data centers to power cloud services continues to rise.

"Data center and cloud connectivity is starting to grow and is resonating with larger global companies that are moving their infrastructure," Cochran said.

Following Orange and BT Global Services (U.K.), were Colt (U.K.), AT&T (U.S.), Verizon (U.S.), Level 3 (U.S.) and NTT (Japan).

Cochran said that in the middle part of the top five, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) lost market share while Colt and AT&T (NYSE: T) moved up, but another shift could occur this year as these carriers were very close in terms of ports sold.

"It's really tightening after the top two with Colt, Verizon and AT&T having narrow margin between each other," Cochran said.

In addition to these top five carriers, VSG said that there are seven companies that made the "Challenge Tier," which includes those that share between 2 and 4 percent of this defined market: Cogent, Global Cloud Xchange [formerly Reliance Globalcom], SingTel, T-Systems, Tata Communications, Telefonica Worldwide and Vodafone.

For more:
- see the release

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