Light Reading

Tinet Rolls Out EtherCloud Coverage

Ray Le Maistre

Neutral Tandem Inc. (Nasdaq: TNDM)'s international network subsidiary Tinet today announced a global wholesale Layer 2 Ethernet offering called EtherCloud that should spark a new round of marketing efforts from the small but increasingly high-profile group of Ethernet exchange service providers.

Tinet, which was acquired last year by Neutral Tandem, is offering Ethernet service providers the opportunity to connect to any of its 120 international points of presence (PoPs) in order to interconnect with other Ethernet service providers around the world. Most of the PoPs are in Europe and North America, with Hong Kong and Singapore giving Tinet some Tier 1 Asia/Pacific locations. (See Neutral Tandem Integrates Tinet.)

In essence, the move makes it much easier for independent service providers to hook up to the Ethernet exchange service launched by Neutral Tandem in 2010. (See Neutral Tandem Takes on Ethernet Peering, Neutral Tandem Touts Ethernet eXchange and Neutral Tandem Adds Ethernet Exchange POPs.)

The company says that "through a single E-NNI, EtherCloud members can buy Ethernet and VPLS connectivity and sell their own services to other EtherCloud members globally."

The idea is enable these "members" to "simplify and streamline [their] off-net interconnections, to extend their network reach and to market their local Ethernet services to customers worldwide," complete with service level agreements (SLAs). (See Ethernet Gets Off the Island.)

The offering comes with a portal that allows members to get "price quotes, check for available capacity, order services, and monitor service performance on an end-to-end basis. EtherCloud customers will be able to send a single order which includes the commercial terms and provisioning that will apply to the entire order including the PoP-to-PoP and tail circuit. In addition, the portal acts as a worldwide sales channel that funnels requests to its members for local Ethernet connectivity," states Tinet.

The new service is certain to be a talking point at next week's Ethernet Europe 2011, a two-day Light Reading and Heavy Reading conference and sponsor showcase (London, April 12 and 13), where Tinet's chief marketing officer Paolo Gambini is a speaker during the "Carrier Ethernet Wholesale Services & Interconnection Trends" session. (See Etherman Hits Europe.)

Why this matters
Neutral Tandem is one of a small group of companies -- including CENX Inc. , Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) and Telx Group Inc. -- aiming to sign up the world's Ethernet service providers to their Ethernet exchanges, and to do that they need international reach and a portal that makes interconnection and service enablement as easy as possible. (See CENX Investors Unveiled, Telx Early to Ethernet Exchange Expansion, Q&A: Equinix – Carrier Ethernet Exchange and Neutral Tandem To Acquire Tinet.)

With Tinet's POPs to add to Neutral Tandem's data centers, the company has expanded its reach significantly and has clearly invested in its customer interface capabilities.

What it needs now is a critical mass of "members" for its EtherCloud service, because without a base of initial customers with which to interconnect, it'll be tough to get new companies to sign up for the offering. (See Verizon Endorses Ethernet Exchange Model.)

For more
It's still early days for the Ethernet peering sector, but there's plenty of activity.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Ethernet Europe 2011, a two-day Light Reading and Heavy Reading conference and sponsor showcase. To be staged in London, April 12 and 13, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.

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