Sprint expands Ethernet offering with new copper, DOCSIS options


Sprint is expanding its Ethernet Access service line to include Ethernet over Copper (EoC) and Ethernet over DOCSIS (EoDOCSIS), furthering the service provider’s reach for its growing business customer base.

While Sprint has not revealed its network partners, the service provider can offer national coverage of fiber-based Ethernet access across the United States and in 123 countries via external-network to network interconnection (E-NNI) agreements with traditional ILECs and cable operators. 

Sprint says it has built E-NNI agreements with more than 50 ILECs and cable providers, creating an Ethernet access footprint that blankets the United States.

RELATED: Sprint ropes in Ethernet over Copper, Ethernet over DOCSIS into Ethernet strategy

In order to help its business customers migrate from legacy T-1 and ATM network technologies to IP, Sprint added 52 U.S. IP/MPLS nodes in 2016, and in 2017 will add more than 70 nodes, expanding to more than 220 U.S. IP/MPLS nodes.

Enhanced reach

To deliver Ethernet to its customer base, Sprint employs a service model that leverages its own infrastructure for core capabilities (e.g., IP and wireless) and partnering with a host of local access providers to get last mile access to business locations. 

By establishing a new E-NNI footprint and an agnostic Ethernet access approach, Sprint anticipates providing Ethernet access services to more than 96% of their U.S. customers' locations by the first quarter of 2017.

Mike Fitz, president and general manager of the Sprint Global Wireline Business Unit, said in a release that the service provider has “added more than 1.5 million on-net Ethernet buildings from Alternate Access Vendors and added Ethernet coverage to more than 7,000 LEC serving wire centers nationally.”

Sprint’s EoC and EoDOCSIS services offer business customers symmetrical speeds from 2 Mbps to 10 Mbps. Besides offering a wide range of speeds, Sprint also will perform professional installation, Business Class Service Level Agreements (SLAs), 24x7x365 monitoring and support, multiple classes of service, and access to the Sprint Compass Management Tool. 

The service provider’s debut of its Ethernet offerings are also well timed with the revamp of a new wireline division the service provider created last year for its business customer base.

Under the Global Wireline Business Unit, Sprint will provide a host of wireline services including global MPLS and dedicated internet access (DIA) in 155 countries, global SIP trunking, unified communications, managed network solutions, managed security, remote mobile access and Ethernet.

Bolstering SD-WAN

By having more Ethernet options, Sprint could also further bolster its SD-WAN offering. Sprint announced in October plans to launch an SD-WAN solution early in the first half of this year.

The service provider is currently conducting SD-WAN trials with a number of unnamed business customers.

Fitz said that the “combination of lower-cost Ethernet access options with the inherent cost savings in an SD-WAN solution enable us to provide” cost savings and efficiency to its business customers.

Now that it has established E-NNI last mile partnerships, businesses that sign up for SD-WAN service have the option of using new or existing Sprint MPLS or broadband internet connectivity as well as using broadband services from a third-party telco or cable provider.

Sprint told FierceTelecom in a previous interview that its SD-WAN offering will not only help businesses reduce network costs, but also support a series of converged services such as SIP trunking, cloud services, and hosted applications.