& cplSiteName &

Can Level 3 Execute the Perfect Merger?

Carol Wilson
8/5/2014
50%
50%

On the surface, the Level 3 Communications acquisition of tw telecom seems an ideal marriage of a company with fat fiber optic pipes and global reach and one with strong metro network connections and a solid reputation in the enterprise segment.

Factor in Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT)'s connections to data centers and tw telecom inc. (Nasdaq: TWTC)'s dynamic bandwidth capacity services and it just keeps getting better. In a market where size and scale counts, this merger seems to have it all.

All of those complementary capabilities and synergies mean nothing, however, unless the new Level 3 can execute on the strategy of integrating the networks, trimming any overlapping facilities for maximum efficiency and retaining the best set of products going forward. And that challenge has landed right in the lap of Level 3 CTO Jack Waters. (See Level 3 CTO Jack Waters: Network Integration Guru.)

Assuming this deal is approved -- and there doesn't seem to be any chorus of voices in opposition -- its success depends on how that execution provides the sales force with a definable product advantage over the large incumbents against whom Level 3 competes, as well as giving the field office and technical support folks the tools they need to deliver quality service.


Ethernet services continue to evolve, and you can track that evolution in our Ethernet/IP news and analysis section, where we look at carrier and vendor strategies.


One thing that tw telecom developed in recent years was a reputation for excellent service and for close ties to its customers. The dynamic bandwidth control product the company has been rolling out over the last couple of years was an example of its response to customer demand.

For me, one early indication of whether Level 3 is moving in the right direction on this particular merger will be if the dynamic bandwidth control and accompanying customer portal become standard issue for Level 3's services. That's not something that can happen overnight -- it involves back-office integration that Waters admits is the hardest part of any merger. But making that a priority should be one of the first post-merger statements.

In a recent conversation with Light Reading, Waters played his cards close, not tipping his hand on what services will emerge, given that the merger has not yet gone through. Find the report from our chat here in our Prime Reading section and rest assured that once the merger does go through, we'll be watching.

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

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/6/2014 | 6:14:03 PM
Re: It will be interesting to see what advantages Level 3 can give tw...
It wonder if Google Fiber people are considering expanding their network in ways other than building their own... I think Google has bought dark fiber in the past. I wonder if the search giant would ever want to buy up some already lit fiber.
cnwedit
50%
50%
cnwedit,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/6/2014 | 5:47:31 PM
Re: It will be interesting to see what advantages Level 3 can give tw...
Yeah,I don't see that happening but way to connect the dots on the news!

 
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/6/2014 | 5:35:13 PM
Re: It will be interesting to see what advantages Level 3 can give tw...
Not that Level3 would... but it would be kinda crazy if it (or some other backbone provider) acquired Windstream's new REIT entity for the copper and fiber (and not so much for the debt).
cnwedit
50%
50%
cnwedit,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/6/2014 | 4:16:48 PM
Re: It will be interesting to see what advantages Level 3 can give tw...
I think it's risky to ever say Level 3 is done with CLEC acquisitions but I think after this one they will take some time off from expanding their service provider footprint and, if they acquire things, are more likely to acquire targeted, more strategic properties. 

I actually think businesses are willing to look beyond the big incumbents, the question will be whether the combined L3-twt can bring scale to the quality of service twt was providing on its own.
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/6/2014 | 4:02:51 PM
It will be interesting to see what advantages Level 3 can give tw...
Level 3 brings a bit more scale to twtelecom.. but in wooing business customers, will that scale be enough to impress businesses who are looking at huge incumbent service providers?

Is Level 3 done with its CLEC acquisitions?
More Blogs from Rewired
Software-defined WANs were the hot topic a year ago at Light Reading's NFV-SDN event, and a lot has happened since. What grabs the spotlight this year?
A quick trip in the Wilson way-back machine shows telecom operators have been at this a long time, maybe too long?
Russo, the man who cashed in pretty quickly on his first major success, Cerent, is leading a much longer-term effort to bring software-defined networking to the access realm at Calix.
SD-WAN market set to surge but it's not replacing MPLS anytime soon, and there will be security and operational challenges ahead, according to a 451 Research survey.
Lowell McAdam says cable merger no longer seems likely but is still open to other ideas – like a Comcast merger.
Featured Video
From The Founder
The 'gleaming city on a hill,' Steve Saunders calls it. But who is going to take us from today's NFV componentry to the grand future of a self-driving network? Here's a look at the vendors hoping to make it happen.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Could 5G Have Found Its Glass Ceiling?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2017
1 Million Pirate Set-Top Boxes Sold in the UK
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 9/20/2017
Comcast Shuts Down OTT Again
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/19/2017
Why Amazon May Be Cable's Biggest Threat
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/22/2017
Photo Highlights: Operations Transformation Forum 2017
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 9/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed