As expected, much of the industry saved up news to release today. Let's take a quick look at a few from the network operator side of things:
Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) won a national enterprise contract with Stein Mart. The fashion retailer will be using Level 3's Smart WAN solution to hook up 262 department stores across the country. Stein Mart is overhauling its applications infrastructure and unifying its network. This is exactly the kind of deal that Level 3 hopes will power its organic growth over the next few years.
Northeastern operator sidera became the latest to sign up with Global Capacity's One Marketplace access exchange. Sidera hopes that leveraging the online pricing platform will help it expand its organic growth rate. Global Capacity will also be helping them optimize their off-net access services. Global Capacity built a similar relationship with FiberLight last year.
Fellow northeastern fiber operator Lightower continued its southward expansion by opening an office in New Jersey at 101 Eisenhower Parkway in Roseland. Lightower's main assets are in New York and New England, but they have been building out into the state for a couple years now and now has fiber all the way south to Princeton. I think eventually they make it all the way to DC, although it may take a while.
And finally, Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings) may not be a network operator, but they made a big move today of interest to the space. They formally launched their Aura Network Solutions product line, which consists of managed and licensed CDN capabilities aimed at network operators. This has been a long time in coming, and reflects the challenge both from the telecom side (e.g. Level 3, Tata) and from the pure CDN side (Edgecast, Limelight, federations, etc). Akamai is talking explicitly about enabling CDN federations through the Aura product line, I'm quite curious about the details of how that will work out.
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