ASPs Are Dead, Long Live Cybercarriers

VENICE, ITALY (03/20/2000) - One of the major technological challenges facing Internet ASPs (application service providers) as they attempt to deliver service to customers is how to move fast enough, according to Mark de Simone, global marketing vice president of Lucent Technologies Inc.

"The industry must move at the speed of light," Simone said here at the International Data Corp. (IDC) European Telecoms Forum today.

The Internet ASP's problem today is that it uses the Internet, a legacy network, he said, adding, "It doesn't have the quality of service or the pricing models (necessary to make such a business work)."

"The Internet ASP is dead," he said, adding that he hoped he had created some panic and confusion in the audience. The Internet ASP would be replaced by a new generation of "cybercarriers" integrating application hosting and data storage at the heart of an optical network.

"The routing model doesn't scale. More and more it's about light going from one part of the earth to another without being encumbered."

The logical conclusion of this is that computing must move from the electronic into the optical domain, but Lucent would not be building optical computers yet. "We are just one part of the value chain," Simone said.

Developing the optical way into servers and storage systems would fall to companies, such as Sun Microsystems Inc. and EMC Corp. "Sun and EMC understand their part very well, and we understand our part very well," he said.

Despite the absence of some key pieces of the all-optical jigsaw, the cybercarrier is already possible today, Simone said. He pointed to a number of companies that are already adopting the new model, including Eintsteinnet in Germany, a hosting and Terabit access company for enterprise users. "Ebis.com in Italy is another one," he said, noting that there would be many more soon:

"VC (venture capital) funding is going like crazy for cybercarriers."

IDC's European Telecoms Forum 2000, in Venice, Italy, continues through tomorrow.

IDC is a subsidiary of International Data Group, the parent company of the IDG News Service.

Lucent, in Murray Hill, New Jersey, can be reached at +1-908-582-5800 or http://www.lucent.com/.

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