Privately-held Colt has launched a US network covering 13 major US cities to enable it to connect the US to Europe and Asia for its multinational customers. This offering also connects Colt’s 650 financial service customers to key financial hubs.
Colt will provide enterprise bandwidth services up to 100Gbit/s delivered over entire wavelengths and Ethernet plus private network options and a number of wholesale services.
The launch into the US puts it head-to-head with key rivals such as CenturyLink, which in its guise as Level 3 cosied up to Colt on more than one occasion looking to buy the firm’s dense European fibre network.
If Colt can make the US offering work, it will inevitably makes itself even more attractive to acquisition – despite its continual reluctance.
Colt’s strategy is not to go after US native businesses that operate solely within North America – that’s not where its strength lies. Rather, it will seek to cherry pick multinationals who have operations in Europe and/or Asia or, even more likely, European firms that have key offices in select cities in the States. It will also laser focus on the verticals it has strength in, such as financial services.
Unlike CenturyLink, which now has a consumer and SME business, Colt remains focused on large enterprises and specifically multinationals. To some extent its hand has been forced in terms of this expansion, because more and more multinationals and large enterprises are calling their carriers in for review – seeking to reduce the number of partners from 30+ to 3 or 4 globally. To make the short list you not only need a quality network and reach, but value-added services (VAS) as well.
Colt divides its offering into enterprise, capital markets and wholesale. It argues that it has particular strength in capital markets because of its highly secure, reliable and low-latency network. Colt’s PrizmNet connects 115+ financial exchanges, venues and service providers. In addition to specific vertical market expertise, Colt emphasises its pay-for-use business model and says this gives it an advantage in the US where SONET networks were not designed for such a model and still rely on subscription.