Ethernet services

Ethernet Europe: AboveNet Eyes 100G First

LONDON –- Ethernet Europe -– Who's going to be first to market with a single-port 100-Gbit/s Ethernet metro service? AboveNet Inc. (NYSE: ABVT) reckons it will stake that claim, as soon as it can get its hands on the relevant customer premises equipment (CPE).

Speaking here today, the service provider's CTO, Rajiv Datta, said, "We were the first to offer 40-Gigabit Ethernet metro services, and we'll be the first to offer 100GigE in the metro, too. Customers will want 100GigE, but pricing will be a challenge." (See AboveNet Launches 40G Service.)

And Datta says the demand is there, with Web services and financial services companies looking for more and more capacity to meet their traffic needs, as he's noted previously. (See EENY: Operators Talk 100-GigE Services.)

"As soon as 100GigE is cost-efficient on the client side, we'll deploy," he stated. "A couple of customers have already asked about 100GigE, and we're keeping a close eye on developments."

High-speed service delivery for large enterprises and network operators is AboveNet's focus -- the company doesn't offer any services below 100 Mbit/s. That focus has fueled significant growth for the operator during the past few years, with 2009 revenues up nearly 13 percent year-on-year to $360.1 million.

And, as well as looking to break into new levels of service, the company is looking to break into new markets.

Datta says his company is focused on growing in geographies where there are high concentrations of data centers, specific types of large enterprise customers (finance, media, healthcare, for example), and Internet hubs.

As a result, the company either intends to start offering its services, or is looking into the feasibility of doing so, in a number of new markets, including Toronto, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Madrid, and Paris. It is also one of the service providers that has signed up for Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX)'s Carrier Ethernet services exchange. (See Carriers Join Equinix's Exchange and Ethernet Europe: Equinix Opens Ethernet Exchange Doors .)

Datta says the current European growth plan involves organic growth only, with no plans for any acquisitions to help further its expansion plans, though AboveNet will always look at "the right target at the right price."

For more of Datta's thoughts, check out our LRTV interview from this week's show: AboveNet's Rajiv Datta.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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