Orange Business adds multiservice access option to its Ethernet service

France Telecom (NYSE: FTE) unit Orange Business Services has introduced a new multiservice Ethernet access element through its Integrated Access option for its International Ethernet Link customers.

Multinational corporation (MNC) customers that sign up for the new Integrated Access option, says Orange, will be able to optimize their network access costs and leverage hybrid network services to fill out their geographic diverse network.

As more businesses replace legacy T1 and frame relay circuits with Ethernet, Orange Business' Integrated Access option will allow them to use three network access technologies--International Ethernet Link, IP VPN and Internet Direct--over one Ethernet local connection.

A key piece of Orange's success with Ethernet in the MNC market has been its broad international presence. Already the provider's International Ethernet service is present in over 40 countries and Ethernet access to VPN in 52 countries with plans to extend that service to 62 countries in Q2 2011.

Orange has been able to expand its global reach through a mix of its own aggressive fiber build outs in various countries in addition to establishing partnerships and External Network to Network Interconnection (E-NNI) agreements with local service providers.

Rosemary Cochran, co-founder and principal of Vertical Systems Group, which again cited Orange Business as the top global Ethernet provider on its Mid-2011 Global Provider Ethernet Leaderboard, said that what sets Orange apart from other global players is broad reach and Ethernet access to VPNs.

"The one thing is that's making all of these companies like Orange Business stronger is the fact that they all offer Ethernet access to VPNs," she said. "Having that capability is particularly important when you look at the multinational corporation network."

Cochran added that as MNCs need to increase their bandwidth connectivity speeds, Ethernet will obviously be on the top of their list of options to consider.

"As a lot of these companies get to the point where they need more bandwidth, the issue is they won't swap out all of the VPNs, which have expanded and are certainly more ubiquitous throughout the world," she said. "However, if you can get Ethernet access in certain locations, the higher speed integrated to a VPN that's a solution that's being looked at as a baseline for multinational networks."

Despite having a strong lead in serving the MNC Ethernet market, Orange is not resting on its laurels. Instead, it has set a goal of provide 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps Ethernet access worldwide to strategic customer sites.

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