Session: Use Networks to Full Advantage

Its a practice that has become extremely familiar in recent years to companies in the telecom industry: leveraging existing network assets to any extent possible while still meeting customer needs. Thats the theme of todays session Leveraging Your Existing Network.

Panelists of the session will attack this issue from various angles.

Among the panelists, Dave Stehlin is CEO of Ceterus Networks, which provides transport equipment to enable existing TDM networks to carry packet-based services like Ethernet that allow customers to increase bandwidth as needed. Most of the RBOCs and IXCs are offering Ethernet services, he says, so the CLECs have to. He says the high-end data market is expected to grow from $6 billion to $36 billion from 2003 to 2008, according to In-Stat/MDR data. Stehlin adds the private-line market is going south so people are migrating to IP solutions like managed services, VoIP, remote access and more.

Stehlin says carriers can break into the new and very large market for Ethernet services with a minimal amount of investment. If a service provider already has routers in its points of presence, for example, he says, they can reuse existing access from the LEC and drop in the Ceterus equipment at the PoPs and customer premises to offer new services. ROI is in the six to eight month range, and its an ROI without a very large capital investment, he adds.

Panelist Clay Herron, vice president of finance and operations at OSS software provider Vero Systems Inc., will speak about how companies offering voice services can best manage their routing and network costs. That requires the focus, capabilities and tools to manage voice at a granular cost level, according to Herron.

He notes carriers that dont own their own backbone networks should assess at what point in the network calls should leave their networks to reach the calls destinations.

Vero provides the tools to do least-cost traffic management, and those tools can drive operating costs for a carrier down by as much as 20 to 25 percent in a very short time, Herron says.

Drew Walker, president of business services at ITC^DeltaCom, during todays panel, expects to discuss what facilities-based CLECs can do in light of wholesale price increases from the RBOCs. ITC^DeltaCom is a facilities-based company with 256 colocations.

One alternative for CLECs faced with rising wholesale costs, says Walker, is to push the reach of their own colos by adding some colos closer to their customers. Heres the big issue if the Bell goes from UNE pricing to access pricing, access pricing is two to four times that of UNE pricing because mileage of access is measured in the dollar range maybe $8 a mile versus cents on mile with UNE, he says. So, shortening the Bell loop would be very beneficial. But to do that you need to add colos and transport back to PoPs. Walker says ITC^DeltaCom is doing that kind of analysis on its own network right now.

Also during the session, Walker will discuss how ITC^DeltaCom is upgrading its network with Nortel Networks SUCCESSION gear to bring its VoIP strategy to the edge.

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