Carrier Ethernet aims to provide users with a wide-area service to connect sites, in the same way that asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), Frame Relay, and X.25 services from carriers have done in the past. While end user demand for carrier Ethernet services in Asia is relatively small, it’s growing year over year and is having an impact on service providers’ bottom lines: Carrier Ethernet services currently account for 8% to 10% of service providers’ total connectivity revenues in the region.

For The Forrester Wave™: Asia Pacific Carrier Ethernet Services, Q4 2013, we identified, qualified, and evaluated seven global and regional service providers that offer unmanaged site-to-site carrier Ethernet services to multinational companies in Asia Pacific: BT, Orange Business Services, Pacnet, SingTel, Tata Communications, Telstra Global, and Verizon. Key differentiators include the services that each vendor has on offer, such as flexibility in bandwidth bursting, granularity of access speeds, operational metrics and reporting, network coverage, and service-level agreements.

What It Means

  • Carrier Ethernet is a nascent service in Asia Pacific. Today’s economic climate is forcing companies to consider alternatives to MPLS. Carrier Ethernet is one option; it can handle growing bandwidth needs and is cost-efficient and flexible. Service providers in the market can now offer E-Line and E-VPN over their Asian networks; this improves WAN management for a well-known LAN transport, encased with carrier-grade specifications.
  • Cost savings are driving enterprise appetite for carrier Ethernet. Enterprises in Asia Pacific, which currently spend about 11% of their IT budgets on telecommunications services, are prioritizing cost reduction. In order to accomplish that, firms that we spoke with are offloading more low-priority traffic onto the Internet, decentralizing Internet access to move Internet traffic off of their backbones, and deploying WAN optimization. Carrier Ethernet services help network managers realize the desired cost savings while still providing high-quality network service.
  • Enterprises have a range of service providers to work with. Our research made one thing clear: All of the service providers that we evaluated are well-positioned to help enterprises with their carrier Ethernet needs. They all have strong offerings, great strategic road maps for services and support, and market presence in Asia. Each service provider does have its own particular strengths, so the Wave report will help organizations select the most suitable partner to address their specific needs for unmanaged site-to-site carrier Ethernet services in Asia.

This is the first Wave evaluation that Forrester has done for service providers in Asia Pacific, and we’d appreciate feedback on how you think we’re doing. Please provide your views or comments here — or, if you’d prefer, you can email us directly.