The 2008 Leading Lights Finalists
With this service, AboveNet Inc. (NYSE: ABVT) provides point-to-point Ethernet connectivity at dedicated levels of either 1 Gbit/s Ethernet or 10 Gbit/s Ethernet speeds -- all with no managed equipment at the customer premises. It's a solid service from an above-average company.
AT&T's Telepresence Solution
What's remarkable here is the scale AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has put behind this thing. It appears to mark the first time the Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) TelePresence kit has had such a sales channel in 23 countries. High-end service, worldwide carrier -- yeah, that's a big deal. (See AT&T Preps Telepresence Service.)
BT's Wholesale Ethernet
Built atop the BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) 21CN network, Wholesale Ethernet has already attracted U.K. mobile operators Telefónica UK Ltd. , T-Mobile (UK) , and Vodafone UK as backhaul customers. The service isn't just about cellular backhaul, of course; in fact, it's better known for being at the heart of a heated debate over a little Layer 2 technology called Provider Backbone Transport (PBT). (See BT Sells PBT-Based Backhaul Service, BT Still Coy on Ethernet, BT Wins New O2 Deal, and T-Mobile Picks BT.)
Comcast's Extreme High-Speed Internet
At 50 Mbit/s downstream and 5 Mbit/s upstream, the Extreme tier from Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is the fastest cable broadband offering in the U.S. It's also the first commercial rollout of a service based on Docsis 3.0. Telcos beware. (See Comcast Enters the Wideband Era .)
Level 3's Enterprise VPN Portfolio
Early this year, Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) laid out a veritable networking feast for big businesses' bandwidth appetites, with Ethernet virtual private line (EVPL), virtual private LAN service (VPLS), and IP virtual private network (IP VPN) services all running on Level 3's rebuilt, MPLS-based wide area network. This represents a solid example of a telecom company going beyond pure connectivity to offer something with lots of layers, using advanced networking technology.
Microsoft's Mediaroom DVR Anywhere
AT&T now offers U-verse customers a Total Home DVR, so they can view recorded content on any TV in the house. That's a big deal, as it means the connections between TVs suddenly become as important as the connection to the IPTV network. It's the first such playback functionality available on an IPTV service, and -- you guessed it -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) powers it. (See AT&T Launches Whole-Home DVR.)
Sprint Nextel's XOHM Mobile WiMax
This is the wireless broadband moment the world has been waiting for. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) finally launched its so-called 4G mobile WiMax network in Baltimore and confirmed planned launches in Chicago and Washington before the end of the year, with average downlink speeds of 2 Mbit/s to 4 Mbit/s. And Sprint set itself apart from rival mobile broadband 3G services by not tying subscribers to long contract periods. From a company that needed a hit, we like the look of this glimpse into the future of mobile broadband. (See XOHM WiMax Is Finally On.)
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