Ethernet services

Leading Lights: Telecom Services Finalists

2:30 PM -- So, the Light Reading Leading Lights Awards shortlists have been revealed, with a whole host of familiar, and not so familiar, names featuring in the nine categories.

In the Best New Service or Application (Telecom) category, there are some very noticeable trends among the 10 shortlisted companies.

For instance, there are three Carrier Ethernet services exchange providers -- CENX Inc. , Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), and Telx Group Inc.

Why? Well, for the past five or six years, Ethernet service providers have been talking about the need for such exchanges, and how they would transform the global Ethernet market.

And now, after a long wait (and just like the buses in central London), a bunch of them have all come along at the same time, and (unlike the buses in central London) all with something compelling to offer. (See Larger SPs Still Browsing Ethernet Exchanges, Size Matters, Says CENX Founder, Telx Adds an Ethernet Exchange, and Ethernet Europe: Equinix Opens Ethernet Exchange Doors .)

Another trend is cloud services. We had a welter of entries in this unofficial sub-category, and ended up with four cloud services on the shortlist. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), with its Health Information Exchange, and Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), with its Real-Time Application Recovery, tapped into the needs of a specific group of prospective cloud customers (those in the healthcare sector and SMBs, respectively). (See Verizon Launches Health Information Exchange and Qwest Helps SMEs Avoid Cloud Disaster.)

We also have the Amazon Web Services Inc. Cluster Compute Instances for Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), which is a great example of how a Web services player is taking on the communications services giants with an on-demand, high-performance computing service that differentiates itself by its sheer power and scale.

And we have the Infrastructure SI à la Demande (On-Demand IT Infrastructure) service from the business services division of French competitive carrier SFR , which is notable not only for the speed at which it was deployed (just three months) but also because the service has been designed so that SFR itself can utilize the on-demand IT capabilities itself and become one of the main service-side beneficiaries, while offering it to its 150,000 business customers.

Back into the Ethernet world, we have two ultra-low latency services targeted at the financial community: AboveNet Inc. (NYSE: ABVT)'s Low-Latency Transatlantic Service; and FastNet Ultra from pan-European operator Colt Technology Services Group Ltd . Both services offer large business users very low levels of latency, backed up with exacting service-level agreements. (See Colt Taps Infinera for Ultra-Low-Latency Service and AboveNet Deploys Ciena.)

And finally, a video service. But this isn't a fancy IPTV service. The shortlist is rounded out with Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT)'s VenueNet+ service, a ready-made video transport service that hooks up major US sports venues (American football and ice hockey stadia, with baseball and basketball to follow) with the carrier's Vyvx fiber network, and comes with pre-integrated video/broadcast management capabilities, which means broadcasters don't need to ship lorry-loads of gear to the venues or use third parties to encode their video streams.

It's also worth noting that there was a diverse range of entries, and some compelling submissions that almost, but didn't quite, make the cut from the likes of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), InfoVista SA , IntelePeer Inc. , Masergy Communications Inc. , Sandvine Inc. , and XConnect Global Networks Ltd.

So, which of the shortlisted 10 will be the Best New Service or Application (Telecom) of the year? You can find out on November 2, when all the winners will be announced at an Awards Dinner at the Hudson Terrace in New York City, following the first day of Ethernet Expo Americas 2010. (See Ethernet Expo Americas Preview.)

And look out for further blogs from the Light Reading team that will run through the other category shortlists in the coming days.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Ethernet Americas 2010, Light Reading's eleventh Ethernet event, designed to meet the information needs of service providers and enterprises that are working out what next-generation services and applications to deploy, and what infrastructures will help them do this in the most cost-effective and productive manner. To be staged in New York, Nov. 2 & 3, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.

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