Ethernet services

Business Services Grab Spotlight at ESDN

Business and wholesale services will take center stage much of the time at this week's Ethernet & SDN Expo (ESDN) in New York.

Several sessions will focus on business and/or wholesale services at the two-day conference, which runs October 2-3 at New York's Javits Center.

In fact, both service categories have their own devoted conference tracks and with good reason.

The dynamic, roughly $5 billion US Ethernet market continues to grow at a very healthy clip, driven by business and, increasingly, wholesale services. Although the maturing market is no longer expanding at the 20 percent annual pace of its more youthful days, industry analysts estimate that it's still growing about 10 percent a year.

Not surprisingly, the top US telcos still account for the lion's share of the Ethernet services market. In the latest ranking by Vertical Systems Group , AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) took first and second place on the leaderboard, respectively, while CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) captured fourth place. Taken together, the three telcos accounted for 47 percent of service provider revenue in the first half of the year.

But cable operators are rapidly gaining on the telcos. Vertical Systems reported that the largest US MSOs collectively accounted for 20 percent of the Ethernet services market in the first half of the year. Cox Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) led the way, ranking fifth and seventh on the leaderboard, respectively. (See Cable Goes on Ethernet Roll .)

Moreover, one of the latest Heavy Reading reports on the subject, Cable Operators & Ethernet: Serious Market Share, found that cable operators now have more than a quarter of the US Ethernet market and an even greater share of the Metro Ethernet market. Further, the report predicts that cable's overall Ethernet market share will approach 33 percent as giant MSO Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) expands its still-developing Metro Ethernet efforts.

"The cable players already have more than a third, close to 40 percent, of the metro and access Ethernet market," says Steve Koppman, an analyst-at-large for Heavy Reading. "Most cable operators are generally growing faster than the market." He estimates that MSOs are enjoying up to 20 percent annual growth in Ethernet revenues.

Against this competitive backdrop, leading network operators and Ethernet vendors will address market trends, technologies, and solutions during ESDN. In a Wednesday (October 2) business and wholesale services track session, entitled "Automating & Accelerating Delivery of Performance-Assured CE 2.0," Light Reading Editor-At-Large Carol Wilson will lead a discussion about key strategies for simplifying the delivery of Ethernet services in a complex, ever-evolving multi-vendor network. Executives from Transition Networks Inc. , Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN), Telco Systems (BATM) , Omnitron Systems Technology Inc. , and RAD Data Communications Ltd. will join her to address solutions for enabling flow-through automation, real-time QoS, bandwidth updates, and delivery SLAs.

On Thursday morning (October 3), wholesale services will return for its own workshop track, entitled "Wholesale Services & Interconnection in the CE 2.0 Era." Ben Edmond, chief revenue officer of Global Capacity , will kick off the track with a 15-minute service provider presentation.

Then, Stan Hubbard, a long-time Heavy Reading senior analyst who helped create Ethernet Expo, will moderate an ESDN Executive Council Roundtable discussion on "Wholesale Services Trends, Opportunities & Challenges." Hubbard, who is now director of communications and research for the MEF , will host a panel of network operator executives from tw telecom inc. (Nasdaq: TWTC), Telx Group Inc. , Global Capacity, and One Source Networks .

There are plenty of other reasons to attend ESDN this week. In the meantime, you can follow the pre-show news and developments at our Ethernet & SDN Expo show site.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Ethernet & SDN Expo, a Light Reading Live event that takes place Oct. 2-3, 2013 at the Javits Center in New York City. Co-located with Interop, Light Reading's Ethernet & SDN Expo will focus on how the convergence of Carrier Ethernet 2.0 with emerging carrier software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization technologies could change the whole telecom landscape for service providers. For more information, or to register, click here.

albreznick 9/30/2013 | 11:52:43 PM
Re: Cable guys Good question, Dan. I'm not sure aboiut the answer. What I also wonder about is where the cable cos will top out.  Will they hit 30 percent market share and level off? Or will they keep rising to 40 percent and more? I think much depends on how well they can do with the middle market, where many MSOs are now focusing their effortd. 
DOShea 9/30/2013 | 3:25:30 PM
Cable guys Shocking how quickly they have gained a nice chunk of the market. In the long run, I wonder who we'll see slide out of the picture as they continue to rise.
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