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Infostrada, Ingram Micro Join Forces

Infostrada, one of Italy's primary telecommunications providers, and Ingram Micro, a global distributor of technical products and services, recently signed an agreement that will introduce three dial-up products to professionals as well as small- and medium-sized businesses.

Working under the "Infuturo Business" trademark, the companies hope to capture a share of the country's growing Internet traffic with their turn-key packages.

"For the professional, working from home, the Infuturo Business PSTN 200 is an ideal choice," said a spokesman of Infostrada. "The 56Kbps speed combined with Infostrada's network will offer bands of 8Kbps during hours of peak usage, and a pre-established usage of 200 hours a year."

The second category of customers, small- and medium-sized businesses, will be offered the Infuturo Business ISDN 200 (64Kbps) with IP dynamics and band disposition of 12Kbps during periods of high traffic. Two hundred hours of usage also comes with the package. For those requiring greater online time, the Infuturo Business ISDN 400 is available, which doubles one's annual usage time.

Each Infuturo Business product supports industry standard SLIP and PPP protocol for connecting to Infostrada nodes and guarantees Web navigation, bidirectional files (ftp), News Group access, and two electronic mail addresses.

"The agreement with Ingram Micro represents an essential step in activating our Internet development plan," said Sandro Marchetti, marketing director for Infostrada. "We believe strongly in indirect channels of marketing--for our special offers in the marketplace--to reach professionals. Ingram Micro, with their distribution experience and Internet products, represent an ideal partner for us in reaching this market. We're convinced that our cooperative efforts will prove beneficial to the customer as well as ourselves."

Infostrada, a joint venture between Olivetti and Mannesmann, began operation in 1997 as a fixed network provider of telecommunications services. The company closed its first year of operation with over 2000 business clients. Infostrada plans to invest nearly one-billion dollars over the next four years for the development an enhanced infrastructure for national telecommunications, including high-tech Internet/Intranet technology.

According to Maurizio Capuzzo, director of marketing for Ingram Micro Italy, "The selection of Infostrada as a provider of Internet services for the professional market coincides with our business strategy. We are looking at two operative phases: the first, to offer Infostrada to all re-sellers that acquire Ingram Micro products. The second phase, will be to select a limited group of operators in the position to offer a base of high-level, professional clients. These will be certified as Infostrada dealers through Ingram Micro."

A California-based corporation, Ingram Micro has 31 affiliate offices around the world, distributing more than 145,000 products to over 100,000 re-sellers in 120 countries.