HR: Ethernet's Taking Over

Heavy Reading report cites Ethernet's rise as a big contributor to double-digit revenue declines for older telecom data services

April 15, 2005

3 Min Read

NEW YORK -- The rapid growth of carrier-class Ethernet data services is a major factor in the double-digit erosion of telecom revenues derived from older data services, according to a major new study released today by Heavy Reading, the market research division of Light Reading Inc.

Ethernet Services Carrier Scorecard: North America delivers a full accounting of the entire North American Ethernet services market, comprising nearly 600 different Ethernet-based services from more than 120 carriers, including AT&T (NYSE: T), BellSouth (NYSE: BLS), SBC Communications (NYSE: SBC), Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), and other local incumbent operators, long-distance carriers, competitive providers, metro Ethernet service specialists, cable network operators, and service wholesalers.

"The market for legacy Frame Relay, ATM, and private line services is continuing to erode, due to competition-driven price pressure and the migration of customers to more cost-effective Ethernet and advanced Internet Protocol [IP] services," notes Stan Hubbard, Heavy Reading Senior Analyst and author of the report. Accordingly, the big three long-distance carriers – AT&T, MCI (Nasdaq: MCIC), and Sprint (NYSE: FON) – all reported double-digit declines in revenues from those data services in 2004, Hubbard adds.

Most of the major U.S. telecom carriers are rushing to deploy Ethernet services to shore up their data service portfolios as competition from alternative operators intensifies, Hubbard says. The one big exception is Sprint, which has not made a substantial commitment to Ethernet services.

Other key findings of the report include:

Network operators in North America continue to launch new Ethernet services at a rapid pace. Of the approximately 180 North American service providers we examined, we found 122 operators that sell at least 589 Ethernet connectivity and Ethernet-access based services and applications. We identified specific service offerings of 109 of these carriers. This information is presented in table format in the report.

Ethernet private line, Ethernet virtual private line, and Ethernet virtual private LAN services are the most prevalent forms of carrier Ethernet services now being marketed in North America. EPL, EVPL, and EVPLAN services are each provided by 45 percent or more of the 109 Ethernet carriers we've identified and 60 percent or more of the 25 Ethernet carriers profiled in this report. Our discussions with operators and earlier survey data indicate that all of these services – especially EVPLANs – will grow in number in the coming years.

E-Lines account for 65 percent of all North American connectivity services. This percentage is high, in part, because EPLs and EVPLs are the easiest services to roll out, and they consequently made up the bulk of Ethernet services that first hit the carrier market.

Along with cataloging the current state of Ethernet services, the report provides in-depth data and analysis of the Ethernet service rollouts and plans for the 25 largest network operators in this market. Taken together, the broad industry analysis and the carrier deep-dives shed light on important industry trends that are likely to shape the Ethernet services landscape over the next few years.

Ethernet Services Carrier Scorecard: North America, a 107-page report, is published in PDF format and costs $3,495. The price includes an enterprise license covering all of the employees at the purchaser's company.

For more information, or to request a free executive summary, contact:

Dave Williams
Sales Director, Heavy Reading
415-321-3750, ext. 30
[email protected]

Press/analyst contact:
Dennis Mendyk
Managing Director, Heavy Reading
[email protected]

About Heavy Reading
Heavy Reading is an independent market research organization offering quantitative analysis of telecom technology to service providers, vendors, and investors. Its mandate is to provide the comprehensive competitive analysis needed today for the deployment of profitable networks based on next-generation hardware and software.

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