Level 3 Communications wants to help businesses get their network functions to the next level. The company operates one of the world's largest fiber-optic communications networks, connecting customers in 45-plus countries. Services include broadband Internet access, wholesale voice origination and termination, enterprise voice, content distribution, broadband transport, and colocation. Level 3's wholesale customers include ISPs, telecom carriers, cable-TV operators, wireless providers, and the US government. Level 3 markets directly to businesses, state agencies, and schools. Its content delivery unit targets video distributors, Web portals, online gaming and software companies, and social networking sites.
Level 3's core network services include transport and infrastructure, IP and data services, and local and enterprise voice services, primarily for clients in North America and Europe. Its transport and infrastructure group encompasses point-to-point connections of fixed bandwidth, dark fiber leasing, colocation sites, and transatlantic cable transport. The company's IP and data services include high-speed Internet access, dedicated Internet access, ATM and frame relay, VPN, and content delivery services for a wide variety of clients, including content providers such as MLB.com and video game publishers such as CCP Games and Wargaming.net.
After watching sales drop through two years of the global recession, Level 3 got its revenue back to double digit growth in 2011, bringing it, in fact, to its highest mark in the last decade. Gains came primarily from its core network services, specifically in data, content delivery network, and Internet protocol services, as demand for enterprise bandwidth surged. Also growing were the company's transport and infrastructure services and colocation services. Level 3 gets nearly 30% of its communications sales from its top ten clients. Despite again having several hundred million dollars in losses, Level 3 did improve from an operating loss in 2010 to an operating profit in 2011, thanks to the increase in higher margin core network services.
Key to Level 3's strategy and market competitiveness is its expansive global network infrastructure, which reaches major metropolitan markets in the US, Europe, and Latin America. Expanding that network is a major component of the company's strategy. Relying on its own network instead of other carriers (which it needs for some locations) drives its customer targeting.
Although its network reaches a portion of Asia/Pacific, this is a region that has much room for expansion. In 2011 Level 3 acquired Global Crossing in a $3 billion stock deal that positions the combined company to better compete against other global network operators, particularly in Asia. Accompanying investor Singapore Technologies Telemedia (which now owns nearly a quarter of Level 3) gives Global Crossing's new parent greater access to opportunities in that region.
The company's ongoing expansion efforts have included launching an expanded service offering in 2012 for enterprise customers in France. Also that year it opened a new data center in Omaha, Nebraska, and expanded services in Georgia the year prior. Also in 2011 it expanded capacity and services in Mexico and several countries in both Europe and South America. Level 3 also continues to expand its portfolio of services to include more bundled options for clients looking to add support for wireless broadband connectivity (Clearwire) and managed video networking services (FOX Broadcasting), among other advanced services.
In 2013 it launched new high-speed networks in Argentina (Buenos Aires) and Colombia (Bogota).