• United States

Virtela offers unified DSL service in 100 countries

Jul 05, 20043 mins
Internet Service ProvidersNetworking

* Virtela adds the Philippines, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Thailand to DSL portfolio

VPN service provider Virtela is offering what it claims is the world’s largest DSL footprint, reaching 100 countries worldwide.

Virtela offers global fully managed DSL services through a single contract. New countries supported by Virtela include Indonesia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Thailand.

The company launched its business-class DSL services a year ago with 50 countries. Among the 100-plus corporate customers of Virtela’s DSL services are Cendant, EMC, Northwest Airlines, Swissport and webMethods.

Virtela executives say that their DSL offering is a cost-effective upgrade for some companies still using dial-up services, while other companies are replacing expensive T-1 lines used for back-up applications with more affordable DSL service.

“At the end of the day, this service is about getting better support and being able to do business more efficiently,” says Vab Goel, Virtela’s chairman and a partner at Norwest Venture Partners, which is an investor in Virtela. “In some cases, companies are keeping their bandwidth the same and cutting the price. In other cases, they’re paying more than they were for dial-up but not as much as they’d pay for T-1 service.”

Goel says Virtela’s DSL service is as much as 80% to 90% less expensive than T-1 service, depending on the country involved. Virtela’s 128K bit/sec service costs anywhere from $350 to $1,000 per month, while T-1 pricing ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 per month.

“At some locations, companies were paying a few thousand dollars a month for T-1 lines, and we can cut that cost down to a few hundred dollars,” Goel says.

Virtela supports broadband DSL speeds ranging from 128K bit/sec to 5M bit/sec. The company provides a single point of contact for ordering, provisioning, support and billing on DSL services.

Virtela has relationships with more than 200 access providers. The company uses special routing protocols to move its traffic over the networks of these providers at the lowest cost and fastest rate.

“Customers regularly see two-to-three times performance improvements if they use [our DSL services] because we can accelerate over different IP networks,” Goel says. 

Virtela says it is the only carrier to offer DSL services in 100 countries; indeed, company officials say competitors little more than a dozen countries.

“If a company wants to do this themselves, they’d have to sign 25 different contracts and 25 different SLAs – all in different languages,” Goel says. “With us, they have one phone number, one [service-level agreement], one bill.”

Virtela plans to add 20 or 30 more countries to its DSL services this year, Goel says.