RealTime IT News

AT&T, Verizon Global Aims

AT&T and Verizon Communications , two of the largest telephone operators in the U.S., are taking their advanced data services worldwide, either expanding on existing services or venturing forth for the first time.

In today's increasingly-shrinking global market, corporations are looking to expand operations outside the confines of North America and expand overseas using frame relay and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) technologies to using high-speed services like videoconferencing and critical information sharing.

Verizon is venturing forth for the first time using its global fiber network to deliver advanced data products to customers doing business in Asia and Europe. The Baby Bell has a network spanning the globe, with data centers in key cities like Dusseldorf, Germany; Milan, Italy; Honolulu; and Tokyo.

Eduardo Menasce, Verizon enterprise solutions group president, said new contracts with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Serono International S.A. underscore the growing demand for dedicated international voice and data services.

"We believe this is an opportune time to offer international services to corporations that need to communicate with customers, suppliers and other company locations around the globe," he said. "More than ever before, these companies are seeking increased diversity and alternate routing for their global communications -- and they want highly reliable service from a trusted provider."

AT&T, on the other hand, is an old hand in the international services department, providing big-name corporations with secure and private network nodes for data and voice traffic.

In Europe, Ma Bell is rebounding from its failed $10 billion joint venture with British Telecom, dubbed Concert. Putting a new plan in action that keeps ties between the two phone giants, AT&T has been offering its international services to large-scale businesses.

Expanding on its big-business clientele, AT&T officials announced Tuesday mid-sized businesses to the same class of services Fortune 500 companies can expect. In addition to costly frame relay and ATM services, these smaller companies can scale its international operations down to a 56Kbps line spanning the Earth.

Larry Marino, AT&T vice president of integrate offers, says the service is similar to what you'd expect from a telephone company, but worldwide.

"Customers like the fact that ABN provides a virtual telecom department,'' he said. "No one else in the industry provides a comparable offer, giving us a clear competitive advantage in the mid- sized company market."

Targeting mid-sized businesses in the U.S. for frame relay and ATM services, nationally or internationally, is a booming commodity. According to Cahner's Instat, a Arizona-based research firm, enterprise and middle-market firms generate 64 percent of all business Internet access revenues.