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AT&T climbs to top in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for global network service providers

Gartner has published its first Magic Quadrant for the global network service providers since the summer of 2007.

As you probably know, the Magic Quadrant is a market assessment tool that rates vendors on their ability to execute (their service quality, pricing and track record) and their completeness of vision (an understanding of what enterprises want from their providers). Vendors who score high in ability to execute are challengers.  Vendors who score high in completeness of vision are named visionaries. Those who excel in both areas are leaders. Those who fail to excel in both areas are niche players.

The key takeaways from this quadrant:

  • AT&T has overtaken Orange Business Services and BT Global Services as the highest rated provider in the leaders quadrant.
  • The four providers in the leadership quadrant (AT&T, Orange, BT and Verizon Business) are all very tightly grouped together, meaning their abilities to serve enterprises are pretty evenly matched.
  • Gartner has added three providers to the quadrant: Telefonica, NTT Communications, and Reliance Globalcom. All are rated as niche players.
  • Cable & Wireless has slipped from visionary to a niche player.
  • T-Systems has climbed from the niche player quadrant to become the only challenger in the market.

In their market overview, authors Neil Rickard and Robert F. Mason wrote: “There are four leading providers, with the remaining players way behind, often focused on a particular market segment.”

They added that the increase in the number of providers in the Magic Quadrant represents increased competition, which is good for enterprises. However, it also means that smaller providers will struggle to compete in the market because they lack the ability to scale. They predicted that some market consolidation is possible given the global economy.

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