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Carrier Ethernet's International Flavor

One of the big trends evident at our recent Ethernet Expo: Europe 2008 event in London is that 2008 is turning out to be the year of international expansion for Ethernet enterprise and wholesale services. Service providers are not only investing more in their own carrier Ethernet and MPLS networks beyond their home borders, but also establishing partnerships in out-of-reach areas.

More than 15 operators offer international Ethernet services today. Below are highlights for a few of these:

Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCom) has created what promises to be an international Ethernet powerhouse by combining the resources of Yipes Enterprise Services Inc. with the global undersea fiber network of FLAG Telecom Ltd. to create Global Cloud Xchange in February. According to marketing VP Kaeo Caindec, Reliance Globalcom has a goal of becoming one of the top five global communications providers by 2010 and is investing $1.7 billion in network and service expansion to make it happen. Among other things, the operator will introduce new managed service capabilities such as hybrid Layer 2 and IP VPNs; add more partnerships with regional Ethernet service providers; and extend its service presence in developed and developing markets. This spells good news for multinational corporations looking for tailored solutions with strong SLAs.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions has made a strong strategic commitment to continue expanding the global reach of its Ethernet services in 2008. Sales of strategic data services, such as Ethernet and IP VPNs, have been growing more than 23 percent year-over-year in recent quarters, and Verizon Business needs these services to continue to perform strongly to offset declining legacy revenues. The operator invested heavily last year in a 39-city, 18-country deployment of its Converged Packet Architecture, and is the process of further extending its Ethernet reach in 2008 by deploying nodes in six additional countries – Canada, China, India, Mexico, South Korea, and Taiwan. Like Reliance Globalcom, Verizon places a high priority on carrier-to-carrier cooperation. Director of Global Private IP Services Peter Konings told our Ethernet Expo audience in London that the operator currently uses more than 80 Ethernet access service providers in more than 50 countries.

KDDI Corp. – the Ethernet market share leader in Japan – has been gradually expanding its international presence to meet the needs of companies with connectivity requirements between Japan and major overseas markets. The operator's KDDI Global Powered Ethernet service is now available in China/Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, the United States, and eight European countries. KDDI International is providing any-to-any Ethernet connectivity on a cross-continental basis using Layer 2 switches.

Stay tuned for more news about international Ethernet services expansion from several other operators in the coming weeks.

— Stan Hubbard, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

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