July 14, 2004 Ottawa, Canada, and Seoul, Korea -- Meriton Networks today announced that its HSM architecture has been selected by IBM Korea, the country's largest 'e-business on demand' solutions provider. IBM Korea is expanding its optical network offering to meet the demands of service providers who are struggling to increase their revenues and improve their profitability through value-added services.
Today, it is difficult for telecommunications service providers to expand current profit levels with broadband network connections alone. Service providers are working to offer high value-added services such as Video On Demand (VOD), Gigabit Ethernet access, and disaster recovery networks through optical networks. To meet these market needs, IBM Korea will market, sell, and support Meriton Networks' systems, software, and extension products in the Korean market.
"IBM Korea selected our HSM architecture as one of the ways they can differentiate themselves as they go after the carriers," explains Rob Gaudet, director of product management at Meriton Networks. "The product that really differentiates us from the crowd is our 7200 OADX. The switching really intrigued them, and they liked how they can add flexibility into the network with it. The entire suite of products gave them something they felt was going to be able to help them sell into this telecom market," he adds.
Meriton is stepping up its efforts in the Asia market, particularly in Korea, which leads the world in broadband adoption. More than 50% of Korean households have access to broadband services. "Their broadband speeds are increasing even up to 20 Mbits/sec to the home," reports Gaudet. "It's quite incredible. The demands then trickle down into the network, so there's great possibility for a company like us in this market."
When people in North America think about Korea, they think Korea Telecom--the incumbent--but there are many large alternative providers there, claims Gaudet, including Hanaro Telecom, Thrunet, SK Telecom, LG Telecom, DACOM, Powercomm, and Dreamline. "It's a very competitive market to go after--both in terms of residential services as well as high-speed enterprise services," he says.
While the same HSM architecture satisfies the needs of both the North American and Asian marketplaces, those needs are vastly different, says Gaudet. "In North America, the incumbents are focused on capital costs and short-term profitability. In Korea, certainly cost is a factor, but technology and speed of service deployment are the keys to that market. How quickly you can bring 20-Mbit/sec services to the home? How quickly can you add Gigabit Ethernet for high-speed services? These are the drivers in the market today," he says. "Korea is leading the way to where other parts in the world will go."