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Virtela Announces Managed Ethernet Service

Managed service provider Virtela Communications said Tuesday (Feb. 8) that it can now provide native Ethernet wide-area networking services to 200 cities in 50 different countries.

The Denver-based startup Virtela, which has won praise for its managed IP VPN and MPLS WAN services, said its customers have been asking for similar Ethernet-based services.

"We've heard again and again that our customers want to connect all their offices end-to-end over Ethernet," said Vab Goel, Virtela's chairman and CEO. With its new Ethernet Service Fabric offering, Virtela said it can offer on-demand provisioning of Ethernet at transmission speeds ranging from 1 Megabit per second to 1 Gigabit per second. Goel said the company will also allow customers to purchase the service on an as-needed basis, instead of signing a long contract.

"For some businesses there is a seasonal or special timing demand for more bandwidth," Goel said. "Within minutes, you can increase [the Ethernet speed] from 5 to 50 Megabits [per second]." While Goel did not provide precise pricing for the Ethernet service, he said an average price might be in the range of $500 to $1,000 per Mbps of throughput.

While some network managers or CIOs might be hesitant to trust their communications to a relatively small (about 125 employees) company that resells wholesale services from larger providers, Goel said Virtela may offer a more-dependable partner in the wake of the current consolidation wave of major telecom service providers. Virtela also said its ability to partner and offer services from many different suppliers gives it a service footprint larger than that of even the biggest service providers.

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