1. SARENET Leverages Ethernet over Bonded Copper in Spain’s Competitive Enterprise Market

    CEN Feature (Nov 8 2012)

    1. SARENET Leverages Ethernet over Bonded Copper in Spain’s Competitive Enterprise Market

      It’s a mistake to dismiss copper as yesterday’s technology, one that can’t compete with fiber. Just ask SARENET, a Spanish ISP that’s implementing Ethernet over copper (EoC) as the foundation for its suite of enterprise services.

      Earlier this year, SARENET selected Overture’s 400 and 4000 platforms to enable EoC services over bonded copper, initially at 20 Mbps, with the potential for up to 60 Mbps. The operator sees Ethernet as key for attracting and retaining enterprise customers, such as those that want a straightforward way to integrate their LANs with WANs.

      “Ethernet is the enterprise language for data,” says Roberto Beitia, SARENET president and founder. “All of our messaging will press on that.”

      But many of its competitors offer fiber services at far higher speeds, so SARENET has to educate potential customers about why its Ethernet services aren’t underpowered. 

      “When the customer knows about the fiber solutions, it’s difficult to explain that with copper, 10 Meg to 30 Meg solutions are enough for them,” Beitia says.

      SARENET’s sales and marketing tries to educate enterprises about why fiber speeds often are expensive overkill. For example, it provides a tool that enables customers to monitor their usage to see exactly how much throughput they’re actually using versus how much would go unused with faster, higher priced fiber services.

      “That’s the way we try to convince them that an EoC solution is enough,” Beitia says.

      That strategy is particularly valuable in the midst of a recession, which has Spanish enterprises scrutinizing every euro of spending.

      “It’s a question of economy,” Beitia says. “You can get what you need. Why spend more?”

      New technology gains illustrated by graph of a migration where packet delay is reduced to half (from 17,1 to 7,3 miliseconds.

      SARENET’s portfolio includes fiber services for customers that need higher speeds. For example, some SARENET customers have multiple facilities around the country but require fiber only at their headquarters.

      “At their other places, EoC is more than enough,” Beitia says.

      SARENET’s marketing also emphasizes that its EoC services are symmetric, which sets the stage for the operator to support videoconferencing if and when Spanish enterprises start to choose that option.

      “The symmetric solution and high bandwidth are perfect for videoconferencing, but the need is not there,” Beitia says.

      Instead, SARENET plans to play up Ethernet as an opportunity for customers to save money on voice, such as by connecting multiple offices to bypass the PSTN.

      “You get a lot of savings,” Beitia says. “The cost of the new equipment isn’t high. I think that integrating voice will be a driver.”

      SARENET also will emphasize QoS for both VoIP and data.

      “We can check the quality in real time and show the customer how the quality is,” Beitia says. “If any line has problems, we can detect it in real time and implement a solution.”

      It will take another five months or so to complete the EoC rollout. So far, about 200 customers are on the new platforms.

      “For Ethernet solutions, Overture is the best positioned as a supplier because of the good efficiency that you get from the copper line and because we need a symmetric solution for companies,” Beitia says. 

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