In part 1 of this article, I gave my own impressions of NTT America. For a more direct perspective, Telecom Ramblings talked to Chris Davis, Director of Marketing for NTT America.
TR: NTT America has long offered the more established CDN services such as caching and website acceleration, do you have any plans to offer services such as streaming or large object delivery?
CD: We have one of the only fully integrated IP networks with a robust CDN layered on top, which allows for full control of the network, to deliver high quality streaming.
We’ve deployed a number of new technologies to enable us to handle the type of traffic our customers are exchanging. Further, we work continually with vendors to see that the network can manage our customers’ needs. We do streaming for QuickTime, Real and Windows Media today. Flash Media Server is on our roadmap. We are testing large object delivery.
TR: NTT has been one of the biggest proponents of IPv6, have you begun to see substantial migration from IPv4 in the USA yet? When might it achieve critical mass?
CD: NTT America has been implementing IPv6 networks commercially since 2001 and is a global leader in IPv6. Five years ago we were talking to people who didn’t know what IPv6 was, now customers are asking specifically for a dual stack service. Although we have not seen a substantial migration to date, we anticipate it will happen in the next few years. What we have seen has been adoption of IPv6 by the critical infrastructure providers such as RIRs, BIND providers, DNS providers, webhosting and colocation operators, search and more. Infrastructure will obviously have to migrate first. Migration is best done via dual-stack connections. This allows the operator to begin adding IPv6 into their network while maintaining their current IPv4 access. Benefits of IPv6 include much better support for plug and play, better support for mobile devices and mandatory IP security. IPv6 will meet the Internet’s long term requirements with restoration of the Internet’s true model (end-to-end), much larger address space, stateless auto configuration, better support for mobile devices, and mandatory IPsec in implementations.
Less than 15% of the IPv4 address pool remains, and that percentage decreases every month. If this trend continues we will run out of addresses by mid 2012.
TR: Your network infrastructure in the US has long been based on wavelength IRUs, do you see potential benefit in ownership at the fiber level at some point?
CD: NTT must continue to invest even in hard economic times because demand for access to our backbone and the associated traffic is increasing. Our CTO, Kazuhiro Gomi, recently said. “Our network traffic is not slowing down, and in fact it has a very healthy growth rate. Investment in the network is predicated upon traffic patterns, traffic growth, current sales and our forecasts.” At this time, we are quite pleased with how our network is architected and do not have plans to own at the fiber level.
TR: How has the economic crisis affected NTT America's sales pipeline?
CD: The current economic issues have had a ripple effect through all industries. Ours is not immune to these issues, and we have seen some change in the buying patterns of our wholesale customers. Having said that, NTT America has probably the lowest churn rate of any carrier in our space, and that customer retention speaks volumes to our service and pricing levels.
Our network traffic is not slowing down, and in fact it has a very healthy growth rate. Investment in the network is predicated upon traffic patterns, traffic growth, current sales and our forecasts. With our current growth rates and forecasts, we took the opportunity to invest in Juniper T1600’s and to deploy them worldwide. We were the first carrier to do so. The current economic issues have not affected Internet traffic.
While cost is an element to any informed business decision, it turns out to be only one element in making an informed decision on such a critical element of a company’s Internet business future.
TR: Where do you see the greatest demand coming from in 2009?
CD: This question can be viewed two ways – first in terms of traffic type and the second in terms of geography:
Traffic: Traffic-wise, we see the biggest source coming from further adoption of the Web 2.0 model, which incorporates rich media, user generate content (photos, videos) and persistent contact. As these rich media types move to high-def, this will only increase bandwidth requirements.
Geography: Geographically, data that was once kept regionally, now travels globally due to the rich media that the world has experienced.
- NTT Com is bridging two emerging and high-growth markets: South America and Asia.
- NTT Com’s commitment to B.R.I.C (Brazil, Russia, India, China)
- Development with TransTelecom
- Aggressive push into China
- Expansion in India
- Investment in Brazil, Argentina & Chile
- According to IDC, Brazil & South America lead Enterprise growth in IT spending.
We have some of the largest carriers from Latin America as customers. Their Internet traffic growth ranks high on the global scale. In fact, international Internet traffic to and from Latin America grew 120 percent in 2008, more than twice the global average. Asia continues to grow well too. We continue to see solid demand on our trans-Pacific network. Our global IP network recently surpassed 210Gbps of trans-Pacific bandwidth, further extending our lead of the largest trans-Pacific network operator.
In 2008, NTT America saw more than 700 percent growth in the purchase of the company’s dual-stack bandwidth, and a significant increase in 10GigE and GigE ports provisioned.
TR: What is the biggest challenge NTT America faces in 2009?
CD: If there was one item to choose, it would likely be managing our costs to maintain financial performance.
2009 has already been a challenging year in many ways – from spending, influenza scares, the economy, banks, and more. There is no telling what is going to creep up next. As with any business, driving revenues while keeping costs in check is key, though this isn’t revolutionary. For our company however, we are focusing on the fundamentals- ensuring our customer support and operations are the best in the business. It is important for us to not lose focus on our core business despite some of the distractions. We are investing in our infrastructure, expanding our points of presence and scaling our network for our current demand and forecasts.
TR: Thank you, Chris, for taking the time to talk with Telecom Ramblings.