VSG: Orange Business Services tops global Ethernet service charts

Vertical Systems Group mid-2010 global provider Ethernet Leaderboard results illustrated that the demand for global Business Ethernet services was solid in the first six months of 2010.

Similar to Vertical's year-end 2009 global Business Ethernet services Leaderboard, Orange Business Services (NYSE: FTE) was followed again by Colt (Nasdaq: COLT) a U.K. company, U.S. companies Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T), Japan's NTT (NYSE: NTT), and Tata (NYSE: TCL) in India, making the list for the first time in the sixth position.

Not surprisingly, what drove the growth of global Ethernet ports during this period was the service provider's response from multinational corporations (MNCs) that need to have connectivity at any location.

VSG Global Ethernet mid-2010"If you're a multinational company, you're looking for a provider with global presence," said Rosemary Cochran, Principal and co-founder of Vertical Systems Group. "If you're a manufacturing or a financial company, the network is critical and that's an area where you look to the major companies that can provide that type of service and technical support."

It was hands-on customer service and support enabled Orange in addition to its network presence that helped the provider maintain the top spot on the Leaderboard. Last November, Orange debuted its International Ethernet Link, which is supported by a next-gen Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) network, doubled its Ethernet presence in 32 countries.

"Orange Business is everywhere and they do have a solid presence and have aggressively built out their network presence," Cochran said, adding that "their service centers and the ability to service customers directly and be more hands on and not do hand offs in a lot of places" was another significant factor.

Measuring global provider retail business Ethernet ports installed at enterprise customer's sites outside of their home country, every service provider cited on the Mid-2010 Global Provider Leaderboard held 4 percent or more of market ports as of mid-year 2010.

Tata's presence on VSG's Leaderboard was not the only standout trend in the first half of this year. Verizon, which has been aggressively building out its Pan European and Pan Asian network presence to serve MNC customers, saw the largest share gain among providers listed on the Global Provider Leaderboard for the first half of 2010.

"Verizon had the largest gain amongst the providers," Cochran said.

Overall, what drove the growth of all of the Ethernet market were aggressive Pan European and Pan Asian rollouts. To get there, service providers are either using their own available fiber and copper-based Ethernet.

"We're seeing a lot of Pan European and Pan Asian Ethernet rollouts," Cochran said. "Another issue in terms of roll out and providing services is copper-based Ethernet, which is something we have seen in the U.S. as well."

In addition to leveraging copper-based Ethernet, service providers are leveraging their well-established External-Network to Network Interconnection (E-NNI) agreements with partner service providers or joining the emerging Ethernet exchanges to extend their respective Ethernet footprints.

"Every global provider is relying on these bilateral agreements that they have established over a number of years in order to serve multinational customers," Cochran said. "They are dealing with customers that have sites all over the world in major business centers and in some cases more remote sites, but no provider is everywhere. The first path is to look at their specific footprint and ability to serve the customer through fiber and then proceed down the chain to use an agreement to get to a specific customer endpoint."

Correction: The Vertical Systems Group chart has been replaced with the correct mid-2010 global Ethernet provider rankings chart.

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