Measuring competition with Renesys wholesale rankings
Hard cold facts are difficult to come by in the world of wholesale telecoms.
The pace at which carriers enter markets, deploy or extend networks and engage in M&A activity, can make an annual review of the state of the industry rather exhausting work. Helping to put it all into black and white are the Renesys service provider rankings. Renesys collects internet routing data. Huge amounts of it. Using this, the Renesys team is able to rank service providers into global, regional and market league tables – which concisely inject fresh perspective on what was a frantic 2011.
So what lessons can be learnt from the Renesys wholesale service provider rankings from 2011? Well at a glance, significant shifts to IP transit have occurred in both the Asian and African markets. Traditionally, carriers in the former have routed traffic via the west coast of the US but last year saw a burst of intra-regional traffic to the obvious benefit of Asian-based companies. The likes of PCCW, for instance, were able to move from ninth to sixth in the rankings, while NTT remained glued to the top spot. In Africa, the drastic shakeup of the continent’s rankings came in the wake of the vast amount of new subsea cable capacity being enjoyed up and down its east and west coasts. This market also saw the fiercest repercussion of the Level 3-Global Crossing deal, with the company rocketing from outside the top 10 into pole position in the space of a year.
Rankings in Europe could almost be described as stagnant throughout 2011, while any movement in North America’s rankings can be largely attributed to consolidation. Overall, the global wholesale rankings for 2011 point to what Bob Fletcher, VP for worldwide sales at Renesys, describes as a “changing of the guard”. With Sprint dropping from second to third, AT&T plummeting from fifth to ninth, and Verizon slipping one position to seventh, it was another unsettling year for US carriers. Meanwhile, Level 3 sat unchallenged at number one and Tata moved up two places to fifth, proving that emerging markets are the place to be right now. In a nutshell, that will most likely be the case again during 2012.
Alex Hawkes, Deputy Editor
Wholesale service provider rankings referenced in this column are taken from data up until December 1 2011.