Cablecos Gain Ground in Ethernet, But AT&T, Verizon Still Lead

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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AT&T and Verizon are top-ranked in carrier Ethernet for the year 2013 – based on number of retail ports – but cablecos such as Comcast are seeing their numbers rise.

Vertical Systems Group is out with its 2013 U.S. Carrier Ethernet Leaderboard results. AT&T is tops, followed by Verizon, tw telecom, CenturyLink, Time Warner Cable, Cox, XO Communications, Comcast and Level 3 Communications. Port shares were determined using the base of enterprise installations of Ethernet services, combined with input from Vertical's independent surveys of Ethernet providers.

To make the leaderboard, companies must have 4 percent or more of billable port installations.

The fastest growing application continues to be Ethernet access to IP/MPLS VPNs, a capability supported by each of the incumbent carrier and competitive 0rovider companies ranked on the VSG's leaderboard. For Gigabit speed Ethernet services, the top applications were connectivity to data centers and cloud services.

Cable MSOs gained ground in 2013. Time Warner Cable moved ahead of Cox to gain the top cable provider spot. Comcast moved up from Vertical's "Challenge Tier," and was the fastest growing of all ranked companies.

"Cable companies have developed a winning formula for the U.S. business Ethernet market," said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "They are successfully leveraging their on-net fiber footprints to offer aggressive pricing and rapid service provisioning."

The Challenge Tier includes providers with between 1 percent and 4 percent share of the U.S. retail Ethernet market. The six qualifying for that tier were Bright House Networks, Charter, Cogent, Lightpath (formerly Optimum Lightpath), Windstream and Zayo.

Ethernet providers around the country told Vertical that they are concerned with disruptive service pricing in major markets. Competition for new business intensified last year as regional Ethernet providers and cable MSOs focused on share gain. This trend is expected to continue throughout 2014, the researcher said.

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