Lumen Technologies Company Profile

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Lumen Technologies
Company Profile

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00021174

Publication Date: 2111

Report Type: VENDOR


Lumen, which is the rebranded name for the former CenturyLink, is a top
communications services provider, wireline telecommunications company,
and global network services firm, the latter in large part attributed to
the 2017 acquisition of Level 3 Communications. As of
2020, Lumen maintains 916,000 miles of copper plant and 450,000 route
miles of fiber-optic plant in its local exchange networks, although in
August 2021 the company announced plans to sell its incumbent local
carrier exchange business in 20 Midwest and Southeast states to Apollo
Funds. In early 2021, the company reorganized its products and services
into two segments: Business and Mass Markets. This report looks at Lumen’s operations in greater detail.

Report Contents:

Fast Facts

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Name: Lumen Technologies
100 CenturyLink Drive
Monroe, LA 71203
Phone: (318) 388-9000
Toll-Free: (800) 871-9224
Fax: (318) 388-3369
Service Areas: Nationwide US
Founded: 1930 (Oak Ridge Telephone Company); 2011 (CenturyLink)
Stock Symbol: LUMN (NYSE)


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Lumen (formerly CenturyLink) is a top US telecom carrier, CSP (communications
service provider), and – following its 2017 purchase of Level 3 Communications –
wireline telecom and global network services. Although it changed its name
from CenturyLink to Lumen in September 2020, the company retained the CenturyLink brand for traditional network residential and
small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) customers.
Lumen’s network connects more than 350 metro areas in 60 countries and 100,000 fiber-enabled,
on-net buildings, including 10,000 in the the Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America
markets alone. The
2017 acquisition of Level 3 positioned the company to provide:

  • A broader, more innovative product portfolio of network technology and
    advanced IT services for meeting technology and threat-protection needs.
  • Services over a large-scale, fiber-rich global network.
  • Improved reach and speed of global infrastructure for small businesses
    and consumers.

Lumen is organized into two operating segments: Business and Mass Markets.
The Business segment consists of:

  • Compute and Application Services, including Edge Cloud services, IT solutions, Unified Communications
    and Collaboration (“UC&C”), data center, content delivery network (“CDN"), and
    Managed Security services.
  • IP and Data Services, consisting of Ethernet, IP, and VPN
    data networks, including software-defined wide area networks ("SD WAN")
    based services, Dynamic Connections, and Hyper WAN.
  • Fiber Infrastructure Services, which include dark fiber,
    optical services, and equipment.
  • Voice and Other, which include Time Division Multiplexing (“TDM”) voice, private line and other legacy services.

The Mass Markets segment consists of:

  • Consumer Broadband, including high speed fiber-based and
    lower speed DSL-based broadband services to residential customers.
  • Small Business Group (“SBG”) Broadband, comprising high
    speed fiber-based and lower speed DSL-based broadband services to small
  • Voice and Other, consisting primarily of local and
    long-distance services, retail video services (including linear and TV
    services), professional services, and other ancillary services.
  • Connect America Fund (“CAF”) II, which consists of Connect America Fund Phase II payments to support voice and broadband
    in FCC-designated high-cost areas.

In August 2021, Lumen announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell its incumbent local exchange carrier
(ILEC) business, including its consumer, small business, wholesale and mostly copper-served enterprise customers and assets, in 20
North Central and Southeastern states to funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. for $7.5 billion. Under the terms of the transaction, Lumen will retain its ILEC assets in 16
Midwest and Western states in addition to Florida, as well as its national fiber routes and competitive local exchange carrier
(CLEC) networks. Assets in the 20 states being acquired include: local fiber and copper network;
broadband and voice for consumer, enterprise, and wholesale customers; fiber and copper connectivity to enabled buildings;
connectivity to tower sites, and central offices.

History & Milestone Events

Lumen can trace its roots to 1930 when
partners William Clark and Marie Williams purchased Oak Ridge Telephone Company,
a small local exchange carrier with 75 subscribers. In 1968, the company
expanded into three states and incorporated as “Century Telephone and
Electronics,” later shortened to Century Telephone Enterprises in 1971. In 1999,
it was renamed CenturyTel and, following its 2008 acquisition of
Embarq, rebranded itself as “CenturyLink.” Qwest
Communications, meanwhile, began operations in 1992 as a construction
company that built fiber-optic networks for carriers including GTE, WorldCom,
and Frontier. The company used a patented rail-plow fiber deployment to lay
fiber 42" to 56" below ground – deeper than competitors’ lines. It
began operating as a network service provider in 1995. The CenturyLink/Qwest merger came about
in April 2011. With this
share-transfer agreement, which was valued at $22.4 billion, CenturyLink assumed $11.8
billion in Qwest debt.

Other major points in Lumen’s history include the following:

  • 1972 – Purchases La Crosse (Wisconsin) Telephone
    Corporation, expanding its markets further.
  • 1989
    Acquires all the assets of Universal Telephone.
  • 1992
    Buys Central Telephone of Ohio, a Centel subsidiary.
  • 1997
    Acquires all the
    assets and operations of Pacific Telephone International (PTI).
  • 1998
    – Acquires 89,000 access lines in northern and central Wisconsin
    from Ameritech … Separately, Qwest merges with LCI International in a US$4.4 billion
    deal that created the fourth largest US long distance carrier at
    the time.
  • 1999 – Changes its corporate name to
    CenturyTel … Separately, Qwest agrees to acquire US WEST in a $34.7 billion
    deal and sells its long-distance
    operations in the US WEST region to Touch America, a subsidiary of
    Montana Power, for $200 million.
  • 2000
    Buys 230,000 access lines in Arkansas from GTE and 133,000 lines from Verizon
    in Wisconsin.
  • 2001 – Acquires CSW in Arkansas.
  • 2002 – Expands its operations to 22 states with the
    acquisition of 300,000 access lines in Alabama and 354,000 lines in
    Missouri from Verizon … Sells its cellular business to
  • 2003 – Acquires Digital Teleport’s 5,700 route mile
    fiber-optic network, covering parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois,
    Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, renaming the
    company LightCore … Purchases the Midwest Fiber Optic Network from
    Level 3.
  • 2005 – Completes the acquisition of fiber networks
    in 16 markets, primarily in the central US, from KMC Telecom Holdings.
  • 2007 – Expands its operations in Alabama,
    Illinois, Georgia, and North Carolina with the acquisition of 165,000
    access lines and a 2,400-mile-long fiber network from Madison River …
    Separately, Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio is convicted in federal court on
    fraud charges and insider trading for accounting irregularities.
  • 2009 – Completes the acquisition of Embarq, the
    former Sprint Local Telecommunications Division.
  • 2010 – Agrees to acquire Qwest
    Communications in a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction worth about
    $10.6 billion, plus the assumption of about $10.8 billion in debt.
  • 2011 – Completes the Qwest
    merger and
    re-brands the combined company as the new “CenturyLink” after
    receiving all necessary regulatory approvals … Acquires
    all of the assets of SAVVIS, an international Internet backbone and
    managed services provider, for $2.5 billion.
  • 2012 – Establishes two divisions out of its business- and government-focused interests: the Business Markets Group and Enterprise
    Markets Group.
  • 2013 – Acquires AppFog for its
    pay-per-use platform service
    capabilities, as well as Tier 3 for its cloud services platform … Receives a FCC grant to build high-speed broadband fiber networks in rural
  • 2014 – Appoints former Liberty Global
    executive Aamir Hussain as CTO. Renames its SAVVIS data-hosting
    segment as “CenturyLink Technology Solutions.”
  • 2015 – Announces the retirement of
    Global Markets President Karen Puckett.
  • 2016 – Reveals plans to acquire Level 3 Communications for
    $34 billion, helping fund the transaction by selling off 57 data centers
    and its collocation business for $2.15 billion.
  • 2017 – Completes its acquisition of Level 3 Communications
    … Announces that Level 3 President and CEO Jeff Storey will join
    CenturyLink as President and COO, also noting that Storey will be
    first-in-line to succeed Glen Post as CEO "effective January 1, 2019,"
    with Post becoming Executive Chairman at that time … Sells its data
    center and collocation business to funds advised by BC Partners.
  • 2018 – Appoints Neel Dev as EVP and CFO, Guarav Chand as EVP,
    Marketing, and Shaun Andrews, EVP, Product Management …
  • Sees the US Department of Justice approve the divestiture of Level 3
    metro network assets in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Boise, Idaho, and
    Tucsan, Arizona.
  • 2019 – Acquires video-optimization company Steamroot … Adds
    Google Cloud Platform support to the Cloud Connect Dynamic Connections
    service … Is selected to upgrade South California’s 9-1-1 system to a
    NG 911 (Next Generation 9-1-1) system … Rolls out the Private Cloud
    for VMware Cloud service … Extends the Cloud Connectivity portfolio to
    include IBM Cloud Object Storage platform.
  • 2020 – Renames itself as Lumen Technologies … Names Hugo
    Teufel as Chief Privacy Officer … Upgrades its DDoS Mitigation Service
    … Partners with Zoom to offer the Zoom service as part of its UCC
    Suite … Reaches agreement with VMware to deliver edge services using
    integrated VMware technology … Contracted to provide network
    connectivity and managed IT services for the state of Arizona … Awarded a task order to manage NASA’s voice traffic and provide secure
    network connectivity for more than 15 space centers and regional
    research facilities … Adds IBM Cloud to its Cloud Connect
    Dynamic Connections portfolio … Introduces Engage as part of its
    portfolio of voice and real-time communication services.
  • 2021 – Announces it has nearly quadrupled the capacity of its content
    distribution network (CDN) in Latin America, including tripling the amount of fiber route
    miles in Mexico to 2237 miles … Names Jason Lish as Chief Security Officer … Wins
    a task order to provide secure high-speed connectivity, WiFi, unified communications and
    managed network services to the US Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps … Launches
    Lumen Solutions for Microsoft Teams, a managed, unified communications solution that leverages
    the Lumen platform to improve worker productivity, business agility, and customer support …
    Expands its fiber network infrastructure in Europe with the construction of a new fiber route
    of more than 180 miles between Lyon, France, and Geneva, Switzerland, with connections to
    Grenoble, Chambéry and Annecy … In July, signs a definitive agreement to sell its Latin
    American business to Stonepeak for $2.7 billion … Sells local incumbent carrier operations
    in 20 states to Apollo Funds for $7.5 billion … Announces that Dave Young has taken on a
    newly created role as Senior Vice President, Strategic Sales, and Zain Ahmed has been promoted
    to fill Young’s previous role as Senior Vice President, Public Sector … Selected by the US
    Postal Service (USPS) to strengthen and modernize network services that support more than 32,000
    post offices and mail processing sites around the country.


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Lumen focuses on helping organizations to capitalize on emerging applications
and powering the "4th Industrial Revolution" by supporting "unprecedented need
for an advanced application delivery architecture" for handling "complex and
data-intensive workloads of next-gen technology and businesses." Lumen
integrates network assets, cloud connectivity, security solutions, and voice and
collaboration tools into a single platform in order to help leverage data and
adopt next-gen technology.


Lumen strengths include:

  • Strong presence in communications services, wireless telecom, and global
    network services.
  • Operations in 60 countries worldwide.
  • Presence across over 350 metro areas and 100,000+ on-net buildings.
  • Network featuring 82Tbps of global peering capacity, and spanning
    approximately 450,000 route miles, worldwide.
  • 916,000 miles of copper plant.
  • 340 colocation facilities and data centers.
  • 37,500 route miles of subsea fiber optic cable systems.
  • 170,000 Fiber On-net buildings.
  • Gateway and transmission facilities used in connection with operating
    the Lumen network, worldwide.


Lumen is similar to a number of cable and
communications service providers in that it has been forced over time to
diversify its previously limited range of services. As a result, a growing number of companies now compete to serve
the communications needs of the same customer base, an effect that
continues to place pressure on the demand for – and pricing of – Lumen’s services.
Despite its August 2021 sale of ILEC (incumbent
local exchange carrier) operations in 20 states, it retains similar
operations in 16 others. This gives
it “carrier of last resort” obligations that include the necessity for
providing service to all prospective and current customers in its service
area, as opposed to just those that are more profitable.

Other top weaknesses Lumen
faces include:

  • Waning telephone industry
  • Network disruptions, outages, and breaches
  • Network capacity limitations
  • Third-party reliance
  • Industry consolidation


Company officials believe that Lumen’s continued focus on de-leveraging
will allow it to continue to lower and narrow its net cash interest
outlook, moving forward. According to President and CEO, Jeff Storey, Lumen will continue to "invest in addressable markets that
are growing," as well as in its own "digital transformation," thus
helping to improve revenue trajectory over the long term. One such
example is the company’s sale of its Latin America business to investment
firm Stonepeak for $2.7 billion, freeing up cash for its growth ambitions.
Lumen’s President of Global Customer Success Laurinda Pang stated, “We are
investing globally to continue enhancing our assets and capabilities and recently
announced network expansions in France, Spain and Switzerland. Lumen’s global value
proposition remains unchanged: We will continue to meet our customers’ application
and data needs where they operate in the world and our future investments will reflect
that commitment.”1

Product Lines

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Lumen’s core products and services include local and
long-distance, broadband, private-line (including special access), MPLS,
integration, managed hosting (including cloud-based), Ethernet,
network access, video, wireless, and other ancillary services. The
allows customers to bundle several products and services, many of which
use the Lumen telecommunications network, including
voice and data switches, copper cables, fiber-optic cables, and other

Table 1 looks at Lumen’s Services Portfolio.

Table 1. Core Services
Service Type Services
Communications Calling Services, Contact Center, Next-Gen Voice, and UC
Hybrid IT & Cloud Cloud Connectivity, Hybrid Infrastructure, Managed Cloud, and Managed & IT
Managed & IT Services Managed and IT Consulting Services
Networking Software-Defined Networking, Cloud Connectivity, Content Delivery,
Internet & Networking, and Managed & IT Services
Security Analytics & Threat Management, BlackLotus Labs, DDoS & Web Application
Security, Managed Firewalls, and Professional Security Services.

Network Architecture

Lumen’s services are provided via the company’s expansive telecom network,
which consists of voice switches, data switches and routers, high-speed
transport equipment, fiber-optic and copper cables, and other equipment. Its
local exchange carrier networks also include central offices and remote site
assets, and also form a portion of the PSTN (public switched telephone network).
A substantial portion of its equipment operates with licensed software. The
Lumen network encompasses:

  • 450,000 route miles of fiber-optic plant.
  • 900,000 miles of copper plant.
  • 360 collocation facilities and data centers, worldwide.
  • 37,500 route miles of subsea fiber-optic cable systems.
  • Multiple gateway and transmission facilities, used in connection with
    operating its network throughout North America, Europe, and Latin America.

Figure 1
provides a map of Lumen’s network presence.

Figure 1. Network Presence

Figure 1. Network Presence

Source: Lumen Technologies

Primary Competitors

Lumen faces competition in a
number of rapidly evolving and competitive markets, and only expects “intense competition to continue.”
Rivals include other cable and satellite companies, wireless providers,
and national telecommunications service providers (such as AT&T and Verizon Communications), among other types of vendors. Other areas of
competition include wireless telephone service providers, which
increasingly constitute a source of competition for ILEC (incumbent local
exchange carrier) services; CLECs (competitive local exchange carriers)
that resell ILEC local services in densely populated areas; cable TV
companies that market and provide traditional, circuit-switched telephone
services over cable networks; Internet-based VoIP service providers;
wireless providers that offer data transmission technology; and cable and
other types of companies that deliver broadband transmission. Finally,
Lumen competes with alternative communication systems that are
constructed by long-distance carriers, large customers, and alternative
access vendors; as well as non-carrier systems that offer services that bypass
local ILEC networks.


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Alliances and Joint Ventures

T-Mobile and Lumen announced a new
collaboration under which the pair will leverage T-Mobile’s 5G
network to power its Edge Computing platform. The goal of the
alliance is to help “enterprises effectively build, manage and
scale applications across highly distributed environments.” Lumen
plans to offer the new service at edge locations across the US, with
customers gaining access to 450,000 global route miles of fiber,
more than 180,000 on-net buildings, and 2,200 public and private
data centers via its network, in addition to the 5G
infrastructure T-Mobile brings to the table. This announcement
comes just one day after a similar collaboration was revealed
between Verizon and AWS surrounding their edge computing


T-Mobile and Lumen announced a new
collaboration under which the pair will leverage T-Mobile’s 5G
network to power its Edge Computing platform. The goal of the
alliance is to help “enterprises effectively build, manage and
scale applications across highly distributed environments.” Lumen
plans to offer the new service at edge locations across the US, with
customers gaining access to 450,000 global route miles of fiber,
more than 180,000 on-net buildings, and 2,200 public and private
data centers via its network, in addition to the 5G
infrastructure T-Mobile brings to the table. This announcement
comes just one day after a similar collaboration was revealed
between Verizon and AWS surrounding their edge computing


VMWare and Lumen
announced a significant expansion of their
partnership to fast-track the design, development, and delivery
of edge computing and more secure, work-from-anywhere solutions.
The companies’ combined capabilities are expected to allow users
to deliver “future-forward” experiences for any application or
device, from the global cloud core to the distributed network



Lumen posted its financial results for the
first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year. For the period, the
company’s revenue reached $5.03 billion, a modest decline from
the $5.23 billion reported for the same quarter in 2020. Net
income for the period was up, however, thanks to a nearly $100
million year-over-year drop in expenses. It rose to $475 million,
up from the $374 million posted for the year-ago quarter. This
resulted in earnings per share of $0.44, up from $0.35 for the
same quarter in 2020. On these results, Lumen updated its 2021
outlook to include expected earnings of $8.4 billion to $8.6
billion for the full fiscal year.


Lumen, formerly known
as Centurylink
published its financial results for the fourth quarter and 2020
fiscal year. For the final period, the company’s revenue reached
$5.13 billion, a minor decline from the $5.3 billion posted for
the same quarter in 2019. Unfortunately for Lumen, this decline
came during the same quarter when it was facing the integration
costs associated with the reorganization of the company under its
new name, pushing it deeply into the red. Specifically, Lumen
suffered a net loss of $2.29 billion, or $2.12 per share,
compared to a Net income of $223 million, or $0.21 per share
posted one year ago. Without these “integration and
transformation” costs, Lumen would have reported a net profit for
the quarter of $522 million, or $0.48 per share. For the fiscal
year, Lumen’s revenue was $20.71 billion, another modest decline
from its 2019 total of $21.46 billion. It reported an even more
dramatic net loss of $5.27 billion, or $4.92 per share here,
further worsening the $1.23 billion, or $1.14 per share, net loss
posted for the previous year.



1  Goovaerts, Diana. "Lumen Inks $2.7B Deal to Sell Its Latin America
Business" Fierce Telecom. July 26, 2021.


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