Colt Plans Ethernet Splurge
He says that, following his appointment earlier this year, he instigated a "think-tank" within Colt to drum up new services ideas (see Colt Reports Q1, Appoints CTO).
"We've put in place a lot of internal structures that we didn't have before. The new Ethernet service solutions -- based on innovative bundling and packaging -- will be the first fruits of the think-tank," says the CTO. "Any carrier can get the same equipment from the vendors, so the innovation has to come in the way you provide and manage the services."
Colt has been pushing the Ethernet message hard to European business users in the past year, with some success (see Colt Offers Ethernet VPNs, COLT Claims Meshed Ethernet Service First, and COLT Claims Ethernet Success). But there's no word yet on whether Colt's new offerings will use Ethernet switches from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., whose routers are powering other Colt services announced in February (see Huawei Claims Another Euro Scalp).
"We're testing Huawei's equipment, and the results are promising," Mahmoodshahi says. But he adds that Colt will not use Huawei's equipment just because it might have a more attractive price. "The cost of equipment is one thing, but running the network, and the operating costs, are more important, and we won't do anything to affect that. There'll be no compromise on quality on my watch."
So does that mean Huawei's gear doesn't quite match up to other vendors' Ethernet equipment? Colt is a heavy user of (Nasdaq: CSCO) Ethernet gear, and has the certificate to prove it (see Cisco Certifies QOS).
Mahmoodshahi says that's not the issue, though he adds that Huawei and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) "have some catching up to do in some areas, though they'll get there in the end." But he feels that the Chinese vendors "are pushing the envelope with their technology... and that will push the other vendors to improve their products, too."
Colt's desire to differentiate itself comes as the European Ethernet services market approaches near fever pitch, as the continent's giants -- (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), (NYSE: FTE), and others -- announce live or planned services and pledge their futures to the technology. (See BT Launches EVLAN , FT Heralds Ethernet Breakthrough, Interoute Meshes Europe, Ethernet Revenues Set to Surge, and Carrier Ethernet Forecast: Extended Heatwave.)
To see just how intense the competition already is in the carrier Ethernet market, despite ongoing concerns about service management issues, check out our Ethernet Services Directory (see Ethernet Growing Pains ).
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading
CALLING ALL ETHERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS: Make sure your company and services are listed free of charge in Light Reading's Ethernet Services Directory, which already lists hundreds of services, by completing this questionnaire.
For a more exhaustive look at the Ethernet revolution, check out Light Reading's Ethernet Expo 2005, to be held at the Grand Hyatt in New York City on October 12, 13 & 14, 2005.
Hosted by Light Reading founders Peter Heywood and Stephen Saunders, Ethernet Expo 2005 will be the first conference and exhibition dedicated to examining the evolution of Ethernet into a ubiquitous enabler of next-gen services and applications on telecom and enterprise networks.
For more information, click here.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Direct all inquiries to: [email protected].