AT&T Bets On Global IP Services With $1B Investment


The San Antonio-based company is taking advantage of the ongoing shift in network traffic from voice to data and IP-based data as customers migrate from legacy packet networks to MPLS-based VPNs and managed applications. The investment represents a 33 percent increase over last year's enterprise investment and more than double AT&T's investment in 2006.

"Companies worldwide are responding to the exploding need to deliver voice, data and video in real time to their end-users, no matter where they are, no matter what the device," said Ron Spears, group president, AT&T Global Business Services in a statement. "It is vital that we continue to invest in those geographies and services to meet this demand so our customers can connect their operations, partners and suppliers."

AT&T plans to add DSL as an emerging access alternative to China, Finland, Norway and Saudi Arabia. By year-end, DSL will be available as an access alternative in 21 countries. The company will also put resources in new network-to-network connections to extend network reach into high growth markets in Asia Pacific (India, Australia), Eastern Europe (Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Mongolia) and South America.

Another initiative calls for the integration of global network operations and processes it acquired through AT&T's recently expanded networking agreement with Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM.

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The company will also increase resources in the Asian, Caribbean, Indian and Middle-East markets by building and expanding subsea fiber optic capacity which will be used to extend its intelligent optical network into Europe and Asia with optical mesh restoration.

Additionally, AT&T will provide new core MPLS routers in Europe, Asia and the U.S., and expand access to AT&T's global network with new or additional MPLS based IP network access nodes in Europe (Paris, Moscow); the Middle East (Kuwait); India (New Delhi, Kolkata); Japan, Asia (Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore); and Central America (Guatemala).

The telecom giant will also enhance Ethernet network capabilities with the rollout of a global virtual private local area network solution, initially in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific. Sometime later this year, the company plans to make these services available in 14 cities --Frankfurt, London, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Dublin/Cork, Milan, Madrid and Zurich in Europe; and Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo in Asia Pacific. By year-end 2008, AT&T expects to have an Ethernet footprint in 39 countries.

New application performance management tools will also be introduced within AT&T's BusinessDirect portal to help companies manage and monitor their networks and services online.

With the recent acquisition of Interwise, a global provider of Web-based and audio conferencing service, AT&T will create and integrate communications services to accelerate the company's move into the unified communications space.