International Wholesale Carriers – Ecosystem Players’ Evolution: Mergers & Acquisitions, Open Initiatives, and Potential New Entrants in the Digital Transformation Era

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"International Wholesale Carriers – Ecosystem Players’ Evolution: Mergers & Acquisitions, Open Initiatives, and Potential New Entrants in the Digital Transformation Era", a thematic research report by GlobalData, lays out key strategies wholesale providers and major Internet players have been harnessing to meet the changing requirements of the wholesale market in the digital transformation era.

Global wholesale carriers are under pressure to accelerate the rollout of new services, reduce exposure to voice and migrate to new agile business models. Alongside traditional international wholesale players, global Internet players (including cloud and content providers) are also experiencing rising international bandwidth requirements for their services.

In this report, we explore three key strategies international wholesale providers and global Internet players are deploying to meet the rapidly evolving marketplace – M&As, open ecosystem initiatives and global Internet players turning into their own wholesale providers.

Wholesale ecosystem players are racing to cut exposure to wholesale voice, expand services portfolio and serve new forms of demand. These market requirements are prompting wholesale ecosystem players to evolve, harnessing a set of strategies ranging from M&As to open ecosystem initiatives and Internet companies investing in their own international capacity.

The report is structured as follows –
– Section 1: Market Context; an overview of the main transformative trends shaping the international wholesale market and prompting the transformation of the wholesale players' ecosystem.
– Section 2: The Evolving Global Wholesale Player Ecosystem; an analysis of three key strategies wholesale ecosystem players are harnessing to meet the marketplace's evolving requirements – M&As, open ecosystems and global Internet players turning into their own wholesale providers.
– Section 3: Case Studies; provides four international wholesale providers M&A case studies and one case study of a major Internet player having invested substantially in its own undersea cable capacity. This section analyses the key drivers and rationale behind these moves and how these can help wholesale players meet the requirements of the wholesaler of the future.
– Section 4: Findings and recommendations; we conclude the report with a set of key findings and recommendations for international wholesale ecosystem players to help them evolve and meet the requirements of the digital transformation era.


– M&As can help global wholesalers expand the depth of their product portfolio, the reach of their networks and most critically their addressable markets.

– Open platforms can be used as a strategy to lower the barrier to entry and time-to-market of developing a new digital service or capability.

– Given their scale, global Internet players can increasingly consider the opportunity of fully/partially investing in their own undersea cables and cloud connectivity capabilities to better control the QoS and margins of the services they render to end users.

Reasons to Buy

– This Thematic report provides a comprehensive examination of three key international wholesale ecosystem players' evolution strategies to meet the requirements of the digital transformation era. The report objective is to help industry executives fully understand the drivers, benefits and implications of each strategy – M&As, joining open ecosystem platforms and global Internet players investing in their own undersea cables capacity.

– Five case studies illustrate the findings of the report, providing insights into the key international wholesale ecosystem players' evolution strategies; this will help industry executives understand the drivers, benefits/implications of industry M&As and global Internet players investing in their own undersea cable capacity and how these can be leveraged to meet the evolving market requirements.

– The report analyses the concrete drivers & benefits of each evolution strategy in terms of elements such as services portfolio expansion, gaining access to new digital capabilities, customers base strengthening, increased value chain control and costs/sales synergies.

– With more than 15 exhibits, the report is designed for an executive-level audience, to help them understand and determine the adequate evolution strategies for their global wholesale business.

Console Connect
Level 3
Liquid Telecom
Neural Path
Optic Zoo Networks
TI Sparkle
Vodafone Carrier Services

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Table of contents 3

List of exhibits 5

Executive summary 6

Section 1: Market context 7

Winds of change in the global wholesale market 8

Section 2: The evolving global wholesale player ecosystem 9

Three key trends 10

M&As 11

Open ecosystems 12

Internet players 13

Section 3: Case studies 14

Liquid Telecom’s acquisition of Neotel and Raha 15

Tofane’s acquisition of iBasis and Altice 17

CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3 19

PCCW’s acquisition of Console Connect 21

Google’s investments in undersea cables 23

Section 4: Key takeaways and recommendations 25

Appendix 27

Acronyms and definitions 28

Companies mentioned 30

About the authors 31

Related research 33

Contact information 34


List of Figures

Exhibit 1: Wholesale player landscape’s selected macro trends and key drivers 10

Exhibit 2: Sample wholesale players’ strategic positioning and M&A activity 11

Exhibit 3: Sample open ecosystem platforms 12

Exhibit 4: Internet players’ sample consortium investments in undersea cables coming on stream from 2018 13

Exhibit 5: Liquid Telecom, Neotel, and Raha company profiles 15

Exhibit 6: Liquid Telecom’s South Africa network map 16

Exhibit 7: Tofane, iBasis, and Altice company profiles 17

Exhibit 8: iBasis’ key financials 18

Exhibit 9: iBasis’ global MPLS map 18

Exhibit 10: CenturyLink and Level 3 company profiles 19

Exhibit 11: Level 3’s fiber network 20

Exhibit 12: CenturyLink IP MPLS map 20

Exhibit 13: Console Connect and PCCW Global company profiles 21

Exhibit 14: Console Connect Platform snapshot 22

Exhibit 15: Google’s undersea network 23

Exhibit 16: Google’s cloud platform regions 23

Exhibit 17: Google’s undersea cable network offers speed, reliability, and security to Google cloud 24

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