So many notices this week about Ethernet. It's the preferred protocol for most businesses. (No one wants to buy a DS3 card and configure it, I guess). Ethernet is becoming more and more available as the delivery protocol for Internet bandwidth, MPLS, IP/VPN, and Private Line.
The M&A targets are all fiber guys like FiberLight, AboveNet, Zayo, Sidera, Fibertower, Fibertech and XO. All are Ethernet players.
AT&T announced that come August 1st it is almost doubling the Metro Ethernet rates in the 9-state BLS region. What a bonus for customers.
Sprint launched Ethernet access in 25 new markets and expanded offerings in five existing markets. Ethernet is available for MPLS and IP products. Sprint finally leveraging their pin-drop network. [Don't want to play with Sprint directly, TNCI resells Sprint.]
FiberLight released a new IP network architecture based on Ethernet for governemnet and enterprise customers. Juniper and IBM are technology partners in this new IP platform.
In a similar fasion, Comcast and Ciena went on the road to train salespeople on how to sell Comcast Metro E. "Ciena's Carrier Ethernet Service Delivery (CESD) platforms are being deployed by Comcast as customer premise equipment for business services and wireless backhaul."
Media reports that wireless backhaul is a huge market - and it is slowly migrating to Ethernet. I think physics determines that wireless tower backhaul is a finite market - - you can only get so many bits into X amount of spectrum, no matter how many radios you use. So with everyone spouting off about backhaul opportunities, I don't know how many players will actually make a huge dent in revenue from it. I have seen figures that VZW pays less than $1000 per tower backhaul. That would take a lot of towers to move the revenue meter. And let's not forget that it is a competitive market -- RFQ and bidding war anyone? Especially after you told Wall Street how much the backhaul market would bring in. DUH!
In other Ethernet news in July that affects the Channel:
Netwolves announced that they can put multiple Ethernet providers with managed services on 1 invoice. NetWolves has relationships with over 50 different providers that sell Ethernet services. This allows us to find the provider that is best suited to deliver the service for you. We also have the ability to bundle multiple Ethernet providers onto a single bill for your customers.
Also, Airespring uses the lowest cost provider per area to build an inter-connected MPLS network. (Can you say NNI?)
NITEL is another carrier that can help Agents expand their product offering to with nationwide MPLS, Ethernet, dedicated Internet (DIA) and private line services.
EarthLink Business has nationwide MPLS, formerly sold under the New Edge brand. Since adding Deltacom, Ethernet should be available extensively in the Southeast.
All this Ethernet talk makes me think of the numerous Carrier Ethernet Exchanges that have evolved - from TELX and Equinix to Neutral Tandem and CENX. It's a lot of spots popping up to inter-connect using Ethernet. Basically, it's a meet-me-room with carrier ethernet switching gear (usually from Cisco) that allows the exchange of traffic at 100MB or higher. It is a cost-effective way to pay for peering (sort of), as you exchange traffic of HD voice, video, SAAS, mobile data, CDN and tele-presence packets. Carrier Ethernet Exchanges mean Ethernet sales and in many cases collocation sales for agents.
US Signal deploys Cisco ASR 9000 Series for enhanced Carrier Ethernet and a new managed Data Center service. The ASR will allow US Signal, a TCA vendor member, to scale its Ethernet offerings in the Midwest. "US Signal Managed Data Center service is built with dedicated resource pools designed to rapidly provision and host Virtual Private Servers accessible through the upgraded US Signal IP NGN." So we go from Ethernet to Cloud just like that.