& cplSiteName &

Granite Still Reaping POTS Revenue

Carol Wilson
8/12/2014
50%
50%

At a time when most service providers are racing to tout their gigabit services, one operator is finding significant success selling voice services over copper phone lines. In fact, privately held Granite Telecommunications will hit $1 billion in revenue this year doing just that on a national scale.

The Boston-based firm essentially consolidates voice and data services for multi-location clients nationally and delivers a single bill, a single point of support for changes or problems, and a single national account management team for companies including Walmart Stores Inc., CVS Caremark, Hilton, Fed-Ex, 7-11 Corp. and PetSmart. Granite Telecommunications LLC relies on wholesale contracts for local access lines with all the major telcos and many smaller ones -- the deals known as "UNE-P" arrangements under the 1996 Telecom Act -- and knits together the services so they appear seamless to its customers, which include more than half of the Fortune 100.

And while its portfolio and a new national IP network can support VoIP, SIP trunking and high-speed data services, Granite continues to see significant demand for POTS lines over copper, says COO Rand Currier.

Granite's Revenue Growth
Source: Granite Telecommunications
Source: Granite Telecommunications

"In the past two years we have introduced a lot of high-speed bandwidth products -- hosted PBXs, SIP trunks -- but 90% of our business is still POTS lines," Currier says. Granite operates a VoIP network based on a Metaswitch Networks softswitch and leased backhaul capacity, but finds many of its customers don't feel the need to update technology for its own sake.

"VoIP and MPLS sound sexy but POTS lines just work," Currier says. "If you are a Yankee Candle and you have three lines and want to migrate to a hosted solution and you want quality of service, you are not going to go to over-the-top VoIP."

Making the leap to VoIP requires more expensive phones and new wiring to connect them, and for many of Granite's customers, the features that VoIP delivers aren't in as great a demand as many once expected.

"If they have high data needs, the change might work, and if they want to do it, we will do it for them," he says. "But if they have three phone lines and a DSL line, that may be all they need."

Granite does offer MPLS-based data services and speeds from 1.5Mbit/s DSL service up to gigabit Ethernet, but much of the 60% growth in broadband revenues the company experienced in 2013 isn't at the highest end. Granite also offers its own inside wiring services and has built on that with a security offering, Granite Guard.


Want to know more developments in broadband? Check out our dedicated broadband channel here on Light Reading.


The company's appeal is built largely on the software platform it created and operates to give its customers what looks like a single network with a flat, national rate plan. Customers have one place to call for support and their own customer portal for tracking reporting at a per-store, regional or corporate level. That allows companies with a lot of locations to detect where things aren't going as expected -- i.e., possible fraud or misuse -- but also to determine how facilities can be used most effectively.

"We can usually offer companies savings -- although we aren't selling ourselves as the cheapest game in town," Currier says. Granite was actually able to keep growing during the financial meltdown of 2007-2008, in part because companies were looking for approaches which gave them flexibility to cut back services if they had to cut headcount.

Competitively, Granite does bump into CLECs such as EarthLink Inc. (Nasdaq: ELNK) and MegaPath Inc. , but finds its major competition is still big telecom players -- from whom it also buys services.

Granite continues to look at new products and to scope out its options for new products and services, but the company isn't looking to push its clients off what is working well for them. One complication might be the potential shutdown of copper networks by the largest local telcos -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) -- which are all looking for ways to migrate away from aging networks that are costly to maintain.

Currier says Granite is keeping a close eye on how discussions around the future of the copper plant evolve at the FCC.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/12/2014 | 8:53:59 PM
So What Happens If POTS Dies?
This is an interesting story, who knew that someone could outdo the traditional telcos at their own game. But as pointed out:

One complication might be the potential shutdown of copper networks by the largest local telcos -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) -- which are all looking for ways to migrate away from aging networks that are costly to maintain.

What happens then? And how much notice will  Granite get from it's suppliers for a real surprise event? Maybe it's now getting good bulk rates because Verizon, Centurylink and others know this isn't going to last forever. Kind of a going out of business pricing sale?
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Light Readingís Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
LIVE NOW!
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (1) comment


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
LRTV Custom TV
Drivers & Potential of NGP

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


ETSI has created an Industry Specification Group to work on Next Generation Protocols (NGP ISG), looking at evolving communications and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century. The NGP ISG will identify the requirements for next generation protocols and network ...
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei IP 2020 for Future Networks

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Future Networks should satisfy many requirements such as high throughput, extremely low latency, flexible mobility, intrinsic security, networking automation, and so forth. The Chief Architect of Huawei Future Networks addresses a holistic solution, i.e., IP 2020, to achieve these requirements for various future life scenarios (e.g., autonomous driving, tactile ...
LRTV Custom TV
Digital Object Architecture

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Digital Object Architecture provides a basic information infrastructure that can facilitate interoperability between or among different systems, processes, and other information resources, including different identity management systems. Digital objects are networked objects that are named by digital object identifiers and instantiated by an infrastructure service ...
LRTV Custom TV
BT's Openreach Has High Hopes for Long-Reach VDSL

11|11|16   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Peter Bell, Network Portfolio CIO at BT's access business Openreach, talks about the operator's trial of a new broadband access technology called Long Reach VDSL.
Upcoming Live Events
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
AT&T Debuts DirecTV Now on New Video Platform
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 11/28/2016
Apple Seeds 5G? Seeks 'Multi-Gigabit' Chip Designer
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice Plans FTTH for Entire US Footprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
Samsung Bows to Investors, Considers Revamp
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/29/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.