In its first full evaluation of the European WAN Services marketplace, Forrester research says that in spite of the apparent maturity of the MPLS market, there were surprising differences between the technology providers, each of whom had their own market niche.
In Forrester's 62-criteria evaluation of 12 European MPLS-based WAN service providers, the industry found that COLT Telecom, Orange Business Services, and Verizon Business led the pack with the best overall combination of current offering and strategy.
Forrester then ranked the remaining nine providers as strong performers. BT Global Services had the greatest market presence and was seen to be winning the most new business, but AT&T was presenting itself as a major challenger to BT for the largest European deals. Cable and Wireless offered end users an alternative to the four majors, and Easynet very much in the deal flow, offering what Forrester regarded as competitive pricing for lower-speed networks.
Interoute and KPN have what the analyst feels are innovative solutions and Global Crossing was seen to be building on its success in the
The report added that European use of MPLS-based IP VPNs (virtual private networks) for corporate networks has reached maturity, with many enterprises now carrying IP voice and video across their networks. Adoption of carrier Ethernet services was seen to be growing and catching up with adoption of MPLS-based IP VPNs: a quarter of firms currently used carrier Ethernet, and many more were planning to bring it on board.