Orange Business Services (France), AT&T (U.S.), and Verizon (U.S.) topped Vertical Systems Group’s (VSG) latest leaderboard for global carrier-managed SD-WAN. They were followed in the rankings by NTT (Japan), BT (UK), Telefonica Global Solutions (Spain), and Vodafone (UK). [The rank order is based on site share outside of the provider’s home country, as of June 30, 2021.]
Rosemary Cochran, principal analyst and co-founder of Vertical Systems Group said that global networks are far more complex to manage and administer compared to domestic SD-WAN offerings. They often require service providers to negotiate contracts with multiple countries, meet diverse regulatory requirements, and support numerous network technologies.
This industry benchmark for multinational SD-WAN market presence ranks companies that hold a 5% or higher share of billable retail sites outside of their respective home countries.
Twelve companies qualify for the Mid-2021 Global Provider Managed SD-WAN Challenge Tier (in alphabetical order):
Aryaka (U.S.), Colt (U.K.), Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Global Cloud Xchange (India), GTT (U.S.), Hughes (U.S.), Lumen (U.S.), PCCW Global (Hong Kong), Singtel (Singapore), Tata (India), Telia (Sweden) and Telstra (Australia).
The Challenge Tier includes companies with site share between 1% and 5% of this defined SD-WAN segment.
“We’re pleased to release the first benchmark that measures Global Provider market presence based on multinational managed SD-WAN customer sites,” said Rick Malone, principal of Vertical Systems Group. “Enterprises with business-essential applications that span multiple regions of the world are choosing SD-WAN solutions from network operators with the global infrastructures, experience, partnerships and technical expertise necessary to deliver world-class services.”
Research Highlights for Global Provider SD-WAN Services:
- Orange Business Services gained the top share rank on the Mid-2021 Global Provider Managed SD-WAN LEADERBOARD with the largest number of customer sites installed.
- Vertical’s SD-WAN Coverage Analysis for five regional markets – North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa/Middle East, Asia/Pacific – shows that all seven companies ranked on the Mid-2021 Global Provider SD-WAN LEADERBOARD have good to strong coverage in at least three of these regions.
- COVID-19 continues to appreciably impact every region of the world. Just being able to get the SD-WAN equipment and support the services has been a disruptive experience for service providers and their customers.
- Challenges cited by Global SD-WAN operators include: workforce health protection, tracking the shift back from remote to office environments, service disconnects due to business closures, and supply chain disruptions.
- Most multinational Managed SD-WAN customer implementations are hybrid network configurations that incorporate MPLS, IP VPN, Cloud connectivity or other services, plus multiple security capabilities that are integral or supplied by technology partners.
- SD-WAN customers with MPLS connections are migrating to more cloud-suitable broadband services that provide bandwidth flexibility and lower pricing.
- Ethernet DIA (Dedicated Internet Access) is the preferred choice for SD-WAN customers that require dedicated, symmetrical connectivity.
Fictitious image of a global mesh connected SD-WAN
Five of the seven companies on the Mid-2021 Global Provider SD-WAN LEADERBOARD are ranked on the 2020 Global Provider Ethernet LEADERBOARD (in rank order): AT&T, Orange Business Services, Verizon, BT Global Services and NTT.
- Two companies ranked on the Mid-2021 Global Provider SD-WAN LEADERBOARD – AT&T and Verizon – have attained MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Services Certification to date. Additionally, three companies cited in the Challenge Tier – Colt, PCCW Global and Telia – have MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Services certification.
- The primary technology suppliers to the nineteen Mid-2021 Carrier Managed SD-WAN LEADERBOARD and Challenge Tier companies are as follows (in alphabetical order): Cisco, Fortinet, HPE Aruba, Nuage Networks (Nokia), Versa and VMware.
The Market Player tier includes providers with site share below 1%. Companies in the Mid-2021 Market Player tier are as follows (in alphabetical order):
Batelco (Bahrain), China Telecom (China), Claro Enterprise Solutions (Mexico), CMC Networks (South Africa), Cogent (U.S.), Epsilon (Singapore), Etisalat (Abu Dhabi), Expereo (Netherlands), HGC Global (Hong Kong), Intelsat (U.S.), KDDI (Japan), Masergy (U.S.), Meriplex (U.S.), PLDT Enterprise (Philippines), SES (Luxembourg), Sparkle (Italy), StarHub (Singapore), Syringa Networks (U.S.), T-Mobile (U.S.), Telenor (Norway), Telin(Singapore), Transtelco (U.S.), Virgin Media (U.K.), Zayo (U.S.) as well as other providers (unnamed) selling SD-WAN services outside their home country.
This VSG report highlights the disparate implementations of global SD-WANs. “…implementations are hybrid network configurations that incorporate MPLS, IP VPN, Cloud connectivity or other services, plus multiple security capabilities that are integral or supplied by technology partners.”
That is because there is no clear definition of functionality (yeah we know about MEF’s definition) and no specification of any exposed interfaces, e.g. UNI, network node to network node, or NNI between two SD-WAN networks.
As such, global SD-WANs are really a concept, not a set of required networking technologies with defined reference points and standardized interfaces/APIs. As a result, it’s a serious challenge for the global SD-WAN operator to ensure interoperability between each of the different subnetwork interfaces so that end to end connectivity is achieved.