article

Trading Desk – RateXchange, London Satellite Partner

Posted: 03/2001

Trading Desk

RateXchange, London Satellite Partner
By Bruce Christian

RateXchange Corp. (www.ratexchange.com)
and The London Satellite Exchange (www.e-sax.com)
have announced a global alliance that will help ISPs and others buy capacity to
fulfill their increasing demands for end-to-end connections.

The agreement also enables satellite users to meet more easily their combined
satellite and fiber optic bandwidth needs.

RateXchange operates a trading system for fiber optic bandwidth, and The
London Satellite Exchange is the world’s first online exchange for the satellite
industry. The alliance allows users immediate access to satellite and fiber
optic bandwidth capacity and prices, giving them the ability to package
value-added network solutions and improve their margins.

According to the alliance agreement, the exchange that generates a lead that
results in new business for its trading partner receives a fee, a London
Satellite Exchange spokesman says.

What some analysts are calling a "ground-breaking" alliance, the
agreement allows diversification of each company’s product offerings by allowing
its users to package total bandwidth requirements.

The London Satellite Exchange sales engineers are proficient technically,
have strong relationships within the industry and already work with more than 80
percent of the world’s satellite operators.

"The satellite bandwidth market is estimated to be $10.5 billion in
size," says Frank Genin, CEO of The London Satellite Exchange.

He adds the satellite margins are stable when compared to fiber optic
bandwidth.

"Demand for applications like streaming video and content delivery over
satellite is increasing by 40 percent annually. Packaging solutions through
combining satellite and fiber optic capacity for these applications can now be
addressed online," Genin says.

Currently, television companies remain the major customers for satellite
providers. However, ISPs increasingly are looking to the heavens to deliver
Internet-related data to remote areas where the infrastructure is limited, says
David Sandham, director of communications and PR for The London Satellite
Exchange.

Half of the satellite solutions involve ground infrastructure like copper and
fiber, Sandham adds. For instance, an ISP that provides web access to China via
satellite often must access a local loop that is connected to fiber originating
from the United States, where most websites are hosted.

"A big proportion of customers are people demanding an end-to-end
solution," Sandham says. "Therefore, we are finding ourselves having
to deal with cable requests increasingly."

Also, ISPs delivering IP via satellite can reduce the traffic jams that occur
through the congested pipes, which can put some websites in slow
motion–ultimately causing crashes.

"Satellite can provide a different way of leapfrogging over terrestrial
congestion," Sandham says.

San Francisco-based RateXchange’s CEO and president, Jon Merriman, says he
believes strongly in the marriage of satellite and fiber as a way to satisfy the
demand for content and other communications applications.

"Until now, customers have not been able to access global satellite
capacity and fiber optic bandwidth solutions together online," Merriman
explains. "This alliance leverages RateXchange’s and The London Satellite
Exchange’s areas of expertise to the customer’s advantage and should increase
liquidity in both marketplaces. Both companies will benefit greatly through the
integration of our respective trading systems."

The London Satellite Exchange publishes an index of satellite transponder
prices that track per-MHz prices in the C and Ku bands. RateXchange provides
bandwidth-trading solutions to telecommunications, energy and utility firms,
financial institutions and commodity traders.

According to the companies, the partnership should provide additional revenue
streams for sellers on the RateXchange neutral trading site, because those
selling parties often own a combination of infrastructures, from undersea cable
to satellite landing stations.

Furthermore, the alliance provides one point-of-contact for a trader’s
terrestrial and satellite bandwidth needs, RateXchange executives say.

Josh Long, news editor for PHONE+ magazine, contributed to this article.


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