Redefining wholesale

John C. Tanner
17 May 2012

Best International Wholesale Carrier


Last year's winner:NTT Communications
Business segments:Wholesale, managed services, content solutions, IT solutions and hosting
CEO:Bill Barney
Key stats:Total revenue CAGR has been "in the double digits while revenue growth remained positive and strong" over the past four years

Ask Pacnet about its strengths in the wholesale space, and you'd expect them to point to their vast regional network, which includes the EAC and C2C subsea cables, as well as its new East Asia Pacific cable system (a.k.a. the Unity cable) to the US.

Pacnet CTO Wilfred Kwan does just that, pointing to the carrier's recently completed upgrade of the EAC/C2C systems to 3.6 Tbps of capacity (360 lambdas at 10 Gbps each), as well as its resilient mesh architecture that has seen it through a number of recent disasters. "Our mesh network isn't 100% mesh but it's as integrated as it could be, and this is one of the reasons why we survived the Japan earthquake last year," he says.

But Kwan also highlights Pacnet's work in building up its cloud-related capabilities, from its data landing stations (i.e. EAC landing stations converted into Tier 3 data centers) and its content delivery network (CDN) offering. Kwan says Pacnet's CDN has four nodes up and running and is not only helping customers cache content, but is also helping Pacnet balance its IP traffic.

"The subsea assets we have and the colocations we're doing, plus the IP and CDN network, makes us perfectly positioned to serve the cloud space going forward," Kwan says.

What does that have to do with wholesale? Everything, says Kwan, because the wholesale business has become about much more than just selling voice and bandwidth.

"These days even the wholesale customers today aren't just buying bandwidth. They're buying managed services, colocation - it's about bundling, which creates more stickiness to it," Kwan says.

In essence, the line between wholesale and managed services is becoming increasingly blurred, Kwan insists, regardless of whether the customer is an operator, a bank or an MNC. "Is Google, Microsoft or Amazon a wholesale customer or an enterprise customer? I can't really define which side of the line they sit on."

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