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Search engine shows who is dominant in telecoms to global energy sector
15 April 2014
BackChannel’s latest survey probes the world’s energy business and identifies the leading operators in providing IP services to energy companies in every region
Fortune Global 500
Level 3 leads provision of IP services to the western European
German company BCC, owned by energy company EWE, is high in the
Operators from the US, the UK and Germany dominate the energy
market, according to the latest research by BackChannel,
conducted for Global Telecoms Business. And this is not
surprising, as energy companies from the same three countries
also dominate the market.
UK-based research company BackChannel will be conducting
regular surveys for GTB of telecoms operators’
market share in a number of major industries.
For the first BackChannel report, published in the
January/February issue, the company surveyed 15,912 different
IP services used by companies in the financial services sector.
In this issue the company has researched the energy industry.
To be eligible for inclusion in any of the surveys, users have
to be owned by one of the Fortune Global 500 companies
— the universe of company data that BackChannel has
used in previous research for Global Telecoms Business.
The aim of all the surveys is to identify the type of service,
the customer, the service provider and the location of the IP
As with previous surveys by BackChannel, this research, carried
out exclusively for GTB and published here for the first time,
uses BackChannel’s own in-house search engine
technology to discover the use of IP services by different
BackChannel identified 70,836 total IP services delivered by
ISPs and telecoms operators to Fortune Global 500 companies
operating in the energy industry.
The research shows that services are provided to more than
19,000 locations in the US and 6,500 in the UK, with about two
thirds of the total number of locations in the top 12 countries
and one third in all the rest of the world.
In terms of service providers, US-based operators are hugely
dominant. BackChannel found that fully 45% of all IP services
to the energy industry are delivered by US companies.
AT&T leads in providing IP to the North American energy
business, with 12% of all services identified by BackChannel,
followed by Cogent at 9% and Level 3 at 8%. A total of 17
companies share 64% of the business, with around 80 others
identified by BackChannel as having at least some measurable
Level 3 leads the western European energy market, says
BackChannel, with small UK-based operator euNetworks in a
surprising second place. In third place is the low-profile
German company BCC — largely unheard of outside the
energy sector, but the fact that it is owned by German energy
company EWE is likely to be a reason for its high profile in
the BackChannel research.
European incumbents Deutsche Telekom, BT and Telefónica
are in fourth, fifth and sixth places in providing IP services
to the western European energy business.
BCC is also prominent in central and eastern Europe, coming in
second place in BackChannel’s survey —
and this may be attributable to the fact that EWE has energy
interests in Poland and Turkey. Number one in central and
eastern Europe is GTS Central Europe — though Deutsche
Telekom agreed in November 2013 to buy GTS for €546
The Asia Pacific market is dominated by well known industry
giants, with China Telecom in joint first place, even though it
has little business outside mainland China; it shares its lead
with Korea’s LG Telecom. Each of those is more
than twice as big as their nearest rivals, Pacnet, SingTel,
KDDI and SK Telecom each with 6% of the market, followed by
AT&T on 5%.
In Central and South America, Telefónica takes a healthy
20% of the business, according to BackChannel, far ahead of
Level 3, in second position with 13%. BackChannel identified
more than 15 other IP service providers with 1% of more of the
business: it’s clearly a market dominated by
Telefónica and a small number of other large providers.
BackChannel also analysed the hugely diversified Russian
market. There, four Russian operators appear in the top eight
of IP service providers to the energy sector in Russia, with
three US companies and Deutsche Telekom picking up the rest of
BackChannel found around 50 other operators with smaller
percentages of the business, headed by NTT and