Level 3 this morning announced an interesting high profile deal over in Europe, where the company has been looking to rejuvenate its growth of late. The German automaker BMW has picked them to deliver both fiber and CDN services.
BMW is upgrading its infrastructure, putting Level 3's CDN to work speeding the flow of high-bandwidth data between its headquarters and the 4,000 dealers they have around the world. They had been sending it all via DVDs, which is sounding more and more old fashioned these days. Meanwhile, Level has also built its fiber into BMW's headquarters in Munich and installed DWDM gear there, bringing huge amounts of potential capacity to the table.
This sort of deal illustrates pretty clearly what Level 3 hopes will give it a leg up against the networking giants that dominate the multinational enterprise sector. CDN competition like Akamai can't supply the fiber side of things, while Deutsche Telekom and other global operators generally don't have the same sort of CDN assets to bring to the table, and few others have the sort of global presence that is required.
But Level 3's presence in continental Europe has always lagged its bigger UK business and of course the US. I continue to feel that the company's next M&A move is likely to be in this part of the world. Greater asset and revenue scale in the enterprise verticals of Western Europe would more closely replicate the sort of growth trend they've been finding in the US of late.