Carriers expand to meet enterprise data demands

Staff writer

Despite uncertainty in the global economy, enterprise network data services remain in high demand. As enterprises continue to modernize their networks, replacing legacy services with more resilient, cost-effective, scalable solutions, they are optimizing network architectures, primarily by deploying hybrid IP VPNs and Ethernet networks. 

This article is a summary of TeleGeography's Global Enterprise Networks report, which was released in January.   

To accommodate this demand, enterprise service providers continue to invest in their networks, extending the geographic availability of IP VPN and Ethernet. The expansion of MPLS core and next-generation DWDM networks makes these services more competitive in terms of scalability, features and price.    

Carriers offer IP VPN and Ethernet services as customized solutions, rather than commodity capacity, optimizing network connectivity in terms of cost and performance. Deployment of these network technologies enables a shift away from centralized network architectures, and encourages adoption of cloud and data center services.   

 Enterprise service growth, 2011-2012The combined geographic on-net availability of enterprise network services grew 11% in 2012 (see figure 1). Ten carriers (BT Global Services, Orange Business Services, Level 3, NTT, Pantel, Tata Communications, TI Sparkle, Telekom Malaysia, Verizon Business Services and Zayo Bandwidth) extended their on-net enterprise service coverage to five or more new cities between 2011 and 2012. On-net services in Africa grew 54%, with carriers adding 28 new on-net sites in 20 cities. On-net enterprise service availability grew 14% in the Asia-Pacific region, 13% in Latin America, 8% in Europe, and 7% in the US and Canada.    

Services   

MPLS network IP VPN service is nearly universally available, with 88% of profiled carriers profiled offering the service. A key selling point of MPLS IP VPN is customers' ability to manage and prioritize traffic streams to match the needs of specific applications. Traffic prioritization with class of service accommodates differentiated traffic streams based on application requirements, allowing packets from low latency applications such as voice and video to jump the queue ahead of other traffic.

The most common number of service classes is four, typically represented as bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

Carriers seek to differentiate themselves, not just in terms of price, but also with respect to their service features. Only 15% of service providers indicated they can configure customer bandwidth needs dynamically, and only 31% allow customers to burst beyond their contracted port speed commitments. Customer service portals are more widely available, with 65% of profiled carriers offering online service portals that allow enterprise service customers to track and monitor network performance and billing. Customers seeking to turn over network monitoring to their service provider will find that 65% of profiled carriers offer fully managed customer premise equipment.   

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