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AT&T Leads in U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN Space

March 29, 2022

Vertical Systems Group reported the following seven companies achieved a position on the year-end 2021 U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN Services LEADERBOARD (in rank order based on site share): AT&T, Comcast Business, Hughes, Verizon, Windstream, Lumen, and Aryaka. These service providers each have two percent (2%) or more of the installed and billable Carrier Managed SD-WAN customer sites in the U.S. as of December 31, 2021.

“The U.S. Managed SD-WAN services market emerged from the pandemic in 2021 with solid growth in new site installations, driven by accelerated network transformations and more flexible solutions for customers,” said Rick Malone, principal of Vertical Systems Group. “Competition is heating up as evidenced by the shake up in top provider rankings on our year-end 2021 U.S. LEADERBOARD benchmark.”

Three companies attained a Challenge Tier citation for 2021 (in alphabetical order): Fusion Connect, MetTel and TPx. This tier includes service providers with between one percent (1%) and two percent (2%) share of U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN sites.

Research Highlights

  • Rankings changed for five of the seven market leading providers on Vertical’s 2021 U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN LEADERBOARD based on latest site share results as compared to the previous year.
  • AT&T retains first position overall for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Comcast Business rises to second position, up from fourth in 2020 based on site share that includes organic growth plus sites added from its Masergy acquisition.
  • Hughes moves to third position, from second overall in 2020. Verizon moves into fourth position, a change from third in the previous year.
  • Lumen advances to rank fifth, up from sixth position. Windstream drops to sixth position from fifth in 2020. Aryaka retains seventh position and rounds out the roster of top providers for 2021.
  • Additionally, TPx drops into the 2021 Challenge Tier from the LEADERBOARD.
  • MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Certification has been attained by five of the 2021 U.S. LEADERBOARD companies: AT&T, Comcast Business, Verizon, Lumen and Windstream. Each of these providers also has employees with MEF SD-WAN Certified Professional training certification.
  • Primary technology suppliers to the service providers ranked on the 2021 Carrier Managed SD-WAN LEADERBOARD include Cisco, Fortinet, Versa and VMware. Additionally, SD-WAN providers Aryaka and Hughes utilize internally developed technologies.
Market Players include providers selling Carrier Managed SD-WAN services in the U.S. with site share below one percent (1%), including global network providers that manage U.S. customer sites. For 2021, the Market Player tier includes the following companies (in alphabetical order): AireSpring, American Telesis, Arelion, Astound Business, Bigleaf, bSimplify, BT Global Services, C Spire Business, CentraCom, Cincinnati Bell, Cogent, Colt, Consolidated Communications, Cox, Crown Castle, DQE Communications, FirstLight, Frontier, Great Plains Communication, GTT, InfoStructure, Intelsat, Lightpath, Logix Fiber Networks, Meriplex, NTT, Orange Business, PCCW Global, PS Lightwave, SDN Communications, Segra, SES, SingTel, Sparklight Business, Spectrum Enterprise, Syringa, T-Mobile, T-Systems, Tata, Telefonica, Telstra, Transtelco, Unite Private Networks, Uniti, Veracity Networks, Virgin Media Business, Vodafone, Zayo and others.

Vertical Systems Group defines a Carrier Managed SD-WAN Service for segment analysis and share calculations as a carrier-grade offering for business customers that is managed by a network operator. Required components and functionality for these offerings include an SDN service architecture that provides dynamic optimization of traffic flows, a purpose-built SD-WAN appliance or CPE-hosted SD-WAN VNF at each customer edge site, support for multiple active underlay connectivity services, automated failover fast enough to maintain active sessions, and centralized network orchestration with traffic and application visibility end-to-end. Security capabilities may be supplied by a managed SD-WAN service provider based on customer requirements.

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