Light Reading

Ethernet Providers Cling to the Cloud

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

NEW YORK -- Ethernet Expo 2012 -- Service providers are pushing deeper into the cloud as Carrier Ethernet evolves into a business model that's driven by services rather than circuits. While some are already in the cloud game to help customers trim down their internal IT spend, others are just now getting their feet wet. (See Carrier Ethernet Heads to the Next Level .)

Cox Communications Inc. , one of cable's early champions when it comes to offering business services, has "several" cloud initiatives and trials going on, said Brian Rose, director of product development at Cox Business Services, on a Tuesday afternoon panel here. Rose noted that some of that work involves hosted voice services and that the company is working on service level agreements that it can tie into future cloud-based offerings.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), which is using Ethernet to target mid-sized businesses, has recently launched Business VoiceEdge, a hosted PBX service based on the BroadSoft Inc. platform. "As we look ahead, we consider this part of the overall service wrap," said Karen Schmidt, executive director of enterprise product marketing at Comcast Business Class. (See Comcast Rolls Business Voice Into the Cloud.)

Hosted voice is also a key strategy for MegaPath Inc. , and it's one that is "driving a lot of our retail business," said David Williams, the company's senior vice president of Wholesale Services

XO Communications Inc. has taken things a step further by launching a standalone cloud solutions division. That structure helps to remove some of the "bureaucracy" involved in product development, said Chief Marketing Officer Don MacNeil.

Adding cloud services to the mix is just one way that service providers are trying to differentiate and stand out in what's become a highly competitive market. New York City, for example, has about 65 different companies pitching Ethernet services.

But cloud and the notion of a stronger "service wrap" was not the top differentiator cited by Ethernet Executive Council members who responded to a Heavy Reading survey in the second quarter. Price was tops, followed by end-to-end performance service level agreements (SLAs); rapid service provisioning and activation; expanding service coverage in metro areas using a mix of Ethernet over copper and fiber; and the customer service wrap/experience.

XO's MacNeil said Ethernet providers need to step up their SLAs, a long-time differentiator for Sonet-based services. If you're not doing SLAs with Ethernet, "you're admitting it's an inferior service," he warned.

The cable operators on the panel, meanwhile, saw their hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks as a powerful way to reach business customers. "We're very much excited about Ethernet over HFC," Schmitt said. "It expands the footprint greatly."

Cox, Rose explained, has made "strategic vendor decisions" as it looks to scale its services, noting that the operator has already been deploying Ethernet over Docsis. He's also keeping an eye on EPON Protocol Over Coax (EPoC), a budding Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) standard that's designed to help cable operators deliver multi-gigabit services over their existing HFC plant. (See EPON-Over-Coax Starts Its Standards Journey and The Case for EPON-Over-Coax & CCAP Coexistence.)

"It's all about reach ... and what quality of service you can deliver," Rose said.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Light Reading's conference in November will attempt to answer all of the big questions around white box networks. No pressure...
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Close-up on ConfD

10|12|15   |   10.21   |   (0) comments

Tail-f's Renée Robinson-Stromberg tells Steve Saunders about the powerful ConfD management interface.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Women in Comms: Highlights From Dallas

10|12|15   |   2:23   |   (1) comment

The best soundbites, quotes and words of wisdom from leading women from Intel, AT&T, Verizon and Genband at our recent WiC breakfast in Dallas.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
NetNumber Founder on Managing Signaling Control

10|12|15   |   6:36   |   (0) comments

NetNumber Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Doug Ranalli describes the essential complexity of real-world signaling-control and how NetNumber enables carriers to bring signaling-control "under-control". Learn why virtualization alone isn't the answer.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon Gets Proactive on App Performance

10|12|15   |   04:50   |   (0) comments

SDN is turning traditional service models around to allow Verizon to measure and deliver performance at the application layer. As Shawn Hakl, VP of enterprise networking and managed solutions for Verizon, explains, the carrier had to develop new skill sets and change some of its internal operations, but the payoff was happier enterprise customers.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Tail-f, Cisco & What the Future Holds

10|9|15   |   8:17   |   (0) comments

Steve Saunders meets with Tail-f's Director of Technology, Carl Moberg, in Stockholm to discuss becoming part of Cisco, ETSI MANO, virtualization and the need to combine science and business in order to create opportunities for service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Broadband Forum Embraces SDN & NFV

10|9|15   |   02:42   |   (1) comment

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Robin Mersh and Kevin Foster from the Broadband Forum explain how the industry body is adapting to meet the SDN, NFV and cloud needs of the access network sector.
LRTV Interviews
Top Tips for FTTH Operators

10|8|15   |   02:26   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Ventura Team co-founder Richard Jones talks about some of the key business case considerations for FTTH network operators.
LRTV Interviews
M-net Calls for FTTx Unity

10|8|15   |   03:45   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe event, Jörn Schoof from M-net, the Munich city network operator, calls for industry collaboration on fiber broadband access rollouts.
LRTV Documentaries
The Business Case Challenge for NFV

10|7|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Virtual CPE is one of the early success stories for network functions virtualization, as service providers are finding flexible, programmable CPE solves a lot of logistics problems and reduces their cost. But even here, Masergy Communications faced a business case challenge, says CTO Tim Naramore.
LRTV Interviews
JT Offers Some Gigabit Lessons

10|7|15   |   4:08   |   (1) comment

Barna Kutvolgyi, managing director, Global Consumer, at JT, the incumbent operator on the island of Jersey, talks about how other service providers can learn from his company's gigabit broadband rollout experiences.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Network Security in a Gigabit World

10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
Upcoming Live Events
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Network appliances have a strong value proposition in today's networks and will continue to do so in the NFV and SDN-enabled networks of tomorrow.
Hot Topics
Dell Buys EMC for $67B in Biggest Tech Deal Ever
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/12/2015
M&A Speculation Swirls Around Juniper
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/6/2015
Cord Cutting? 'Fraid so.
Brett Sappington, 10/7/2015
Cisco Makes 'Martian' Connection
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/9/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
"What?! I'm on with Finisar about their stock price tanking" Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Think NFV is just about virtualization? Think again!

Network architects are learning that there's a lot more to the technology than first thought – more complexity, that is; but also, more potential benefits.

On May 29th 1 PM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM, HP Communications Solutions Business at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!