Ethernet services

India's Hot for Ethernet

NEW DELHI -- Convergence India -- Demand for Ethernet services in India is going through the roof, with Indian enterprises actively asking for flexible bandwidth capabilities and international firms looking for ways to effectively hook into the fast-growing market. (See Indian Mobile Carriers Add 8.4M Subs and A Guide to India's Telecom Operators.)

So says John Hoffman, product manager at Tata Communications Ltd. , formerly Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (VSNL) (NYSE: VSL). (See VSNL Rebrands as Tata Communications.)

"There's been a huge pickup in the past six months of companies specifically asking for Ethernet services, with cost savings [compared with their traditional DS3 lines] often the driver," says Hoffman, though he isn't prepared to talk about revenues from such services.

"There's been a big uptake from financial firms, and also demand from international companies that want to extend their existing global Ethernet WAN into India. I don't have an Ethernet services customer that doesn't use the service for bandwidth flexibility," he adds, noting that Tata now has more than 100 Ethernet customers in India.

Tata is offering point-to-point and point-to-multipoint services, with multipoint-to-multipoint due to come in April. As for speeds, Tata is starting to see 100 Mbit/s connections come into demand.

Hoffman admits that both Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) and Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCom) are "formidable rivals," with Bharti Airtel also noting increasing demand for Ethernet services in India, where it's not only the operators that are getting excited about Ethernet. (See India's Tejas Joins PBT Club.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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