Renesys: Level 3 Leads, Global Crossing, NTT, Tinet Surge

January 12th, 2011 by · 1 Comment

Renesys has put out its traffic rankings for the end of 2010, and the field continues to shift.  In general, the trend is the old guard treading water or even dropping, with the alternative US carriers and Asian and European PTTs rising in response. I always find Renesys's year-end graphs fascinating, even if they track traffic rankings which doesn't necessarily translate to progress in revenue or EBITDA.  But it does give insight into who is aggressive in the rough and tumble world of wholesale IP transit, and who is backpedaling.

Level 3 is now way out in front, their battle with the revenue growth monkey sitting on their back has not affected their presence in this alternate dimension.  But Global Crossing is now in clear second and still rising.  They have been quiet for a few months in terms of PR, but had a traffic surge in December that suggests they've been busy.  Sprint's low capex rates are showing up in spades, the former front runner has fallen to third and seems likely to drop below a surging NTT soon if it hasn't already.  Tinet continue to rise, reaching seventh and within easy striking distance of the top tier.  And below the top 13 Renesys usually tracks, XO and Hurricane Electric have moved up to challenge Qwest and Cogent.

And of all those rising the most in the rankings, what do they have in common?  Hmmm, one commonality is that it is usually those who don't operate wireless networks.  Those who do are spending their effort chasing other dollars, and not as much on expanding the scope of their data backbones.  But I wonder how much of the effect of shifts in the CDN marketplace on the transit world are detectable with these metrics.  Will Level 3's win at Netflix translate into a surge in early 2011 on this graph?

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Categories: Internet Backbones · Internet Traffic

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  • Anon says:

    at risk of pessimism, and clearly without any real science, it appears that this index is almost perfectly inversely correlated to profitability.

    someone more proficient at web dev could take the charts at renesys and overlay Rob’s charts re margin and would note that L3 and GX (#1 and #2 on Renesys) are perhaps the least successful economic networks on the planet. also, that XO and Hurricane are moving up to challenge Qwest and Cogent (both profitable) is further confirmation. That sprint is the largest IP network vs ATT and VZB, its competitors is also interesting.

    Perhaps the real story is one we all know — namely that IP is not a particularly profitable service and that private networking (especially enterprise) is a better biz.

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