Vertical Systems Group has released its 2018 U.S. Carrier Ethernet Leaderboard, which looks almost identical to the year-end 2017 leaderboard. The first six spots remain unchanged, with CenturyLink maintaining the top position. The only difference over the past 12 months is that Cox dropped out of the Leaders category into the Challengers tier.
CenturyLink, AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum Enterprise, Comcast, and Windstream held steady in 2018 in terms of the 1 through 6 positions in the U.S. Carrier Ethernet market, Vertical Systems Group reports. This means that each maintained at least a 4% market share, based on the number of billable retail customer ports in service. Overall, U.S. retail Ethernet customer installations grew to more than 1.1 million ports, a 12% increase from 2017.
Cox’s demotion indicates its market share shrunk below 4%. It joined Altice USA, Cogent, Cox, Frontier, GTT, Sprint, and Zayo as companies with at least 1% of the market but less than 4%. This marked the third year in a row the number of leaders has shrunk, with mergers a major factor. CenturyLink earned its top spot by buying Level 3, for example.
"Despite its relative maturity, the Ethernet market continues to expand at a healthy pace. U.S. port installations grew more than 12% in 2018, in line with our forecasts," noted Rick Malone, principal of Vertical Systems Group. "However, revenue growth is not keeping pace with port growth due to falling prices and changing service mixes. One notable catalyst is the deployment of SD-WAN, which is resulting in customers shifting from switched Ethernet services to dedicated Internet access."
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