The wavelength services industry is faced with several key industry challenges that can be addressed effectively by pursuing competitive strategies that are sustainable over time, which Level 3 has done effectively.
Although optical waves may be the "wave" of the future, Frost & Sullivan believes that there are a number of customers with needs that can be met by highly reliable private lines and SONET services. OC12 and below SONET speeds are experiencing high demand in the market. As the customer’s network gets sophisticated, they are shifting to wavelength services to take advantage of the customization, control over routing and diversity that wavelength services offer.
As a key service provider in the wavelength services market, Level 3 utilizes competitive intelligence to bring to market a unique set of capabilities to fulfill customer needs. This is reflected in the Ethernet over Waves offerings that Level 3 rolled out in the market recently.
“Level 3 has demonstrated a strong execution of strategy by providing an enhanced set of wavelength services to customers,” says Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst Roopa Shree. “In March 2009, Level 3 announced Protected Wavelengths that offer near-SONET protection capabilities across an entire portfolio of wavelength services.”
Level 3 also announced GigE Waves, adding an additional level of granularity for Ethernet transport. With the growing demand for high-speed bandwidth, customers can use 40 Gbps service from Level 3 for near-term scaling options. The company offers a premium feature with its wavelength service offerings – a maximum latency guarantee at an extra cost. It is a very unique offering in this product space with a lot of demand from enterprise customers for this feature –latency.
Although Level 3 is ranked third in terms of market share, the company has achieved key technology development milestones allowing for solid growth to emerge as a strong participant in the wavelength services market. The past year saw a double digit growth in Level 3’s revenues for wavelength services offerings in the enterprise space. It offers wavelength services in 1 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, 10 Gbps, and 40 Gbps bandwidth options. Level 3 has also overbuilt the vast majority of the network with next-generation DWDM, optical switching, and IP platforms. The NexGen DWDM enables agility – faster response to customer needs with the ability to deploy larger amounts of bandwidth at one time (increments of 100 Gbps).
“Level 3 also has a strong brand and unique market positioning,” notes Roopa Shree. “The emergence of Ethernet over DWDM is one of the key factors contributing to the revived interests in wavelength services. Level 3, with its broad set of wavelength services (native and Ethernet over Waves) bandwidth options, protected services, and its unique premium feature of maximum latency guarantee, is well geared as a strong competitor in this market.”
Overall, Level 3 has demonstrated competitive leadership in building core capabilities to address customer needs, especially their need for scalable bandwidth options in general and protected, latency guaranteed service in particular. This makes it the worthy recipient of Frost & Sullivan’s 2009 Competitive Strategy Leadership Award in the wavelength services market.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has leveraged competitive intelligence and admirably executed it to gain market share. The award lauds the recipient’s brand strength, unique market positioning, and value to customers.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Level 3
Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: LVLT) is a leading international provider of fiber-based communications services. Enterprise, content, wholesale and government customers rely on Level 3 to deliver services with an industry-leading combination of scalability and value over an end-to-end fiber network. Level 3 (level3.com) offers a portfolio of metro and long-haul services, including transport, data, Internet, content delivery and voice.
About Frost & Sullivan
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