Continued solid market demand for higher bandwidth services boosted the U.S. base of Ethernet port installations 23 percent in 2014, with AT&T topping Vertical Systems Group’s U.S. Carrier Ethernet LEADERBOARD results.
Port shares were calculated using the base of enterprise installations of Ethernet services, plus input from surveys of Ethernet providers. The LEADERBOARD threshold is four percent (4%) or more of billable port installations. AT&T was followed by Level 3, Verizon, CenturyLink, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox and XO.
“Level 3’s acquisition of tw telecom jumps it into second place on the LEADERBOARD; the combined entity finishes the year behind market leader AT&T and ahead of Verizon, which drops to third,” said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. “The Carrier Ethernet marketplace is actively consolidating as providers seek to augment their footprints, expand their portfolios, and enhance shareholder value. We anticipate additional major changes in 2015, some already announced, with others in process.”
The 23 percent growth rate is on track with Vertical’s previous forecast and follows a 26% increase in 2013.
Carrier Ethernet Service Providers cited fiber footprint reach as the top competitive advantage, and footprint expansion as the primary growth challenge for 2015.
Another competitive differentiator for Ethernet providers is MEF CE 2.0 service certification. Six of the eight companies on the 2014 U.S. LEADERBOARD are CE 2.0 certified, and the other two have CE 1.0 certification.
Other providers selling Ethernet services in the U.S. are segmented into two tiers as measured by port share. The first or Challenge Tier includes providers with between 1% and 4% share of the U.S. retail Ethernet market. For 2014, the following five companies attained a position in the Challenge tier (in alphabetical order): Charter, Cogent, Lightpath, Windstream and Zayo.
The second or Market Player tier includes all providers with port share below 1%. Companies in the Market Player tier include the following providers (in alphabetical order): Alpheus Communications, American Telesis, Birch Communications, Bright House Networks, BT Global Services, Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications, Earthlink Business, Expedient, FairPoint, FiberLight, Fibertech, Frontier, Global Cloud Xchange, Hawaiian Telecom, Integra, Lightower, LS Networks, Lumos Networks, Masergy, MegaPath, NTT America, Orange Business, RCN Business, Sprint, SuddenLink, Tata, TDS Telecom, TelePacific, Telstra, US Signal and WOW! Business.