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AT&T, Siemens Seal Pact

Extending a relationship that stretches to 1999, AT&T said it will continue providing networking services for Siemens under a four-year, $174 million contract renewal.

AT&T is Siemens' primary networking services provider in North and South America, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and parts of Europe, running an IP Virtual Private Network .

"This deal confirms our ability to serve the needs of global multinational customers -- a key pillar of our strategy," said AT&T spokesman H. Gordon Diamond, who noted that there were at least four other bidders for Siemens' business.

Siemens, based in Munich, Germany, is a major manufacturer of electronics and IT components. The company has 430,000 employees and customers in 190 countries.

For Bedminster, N.J.-based AT&T, the renewal represents the kind of deals it covets -- long-term managed network services for enterprise customers -- as it looks to offset sliding long-distance revenues.

In other AT&T news, the company said it opened a new Internet Data Center (IDC) in Singapore to enhance its ability to offer business services in Southeast Asia. It's the sixth IDC in the Asia-Pacific region and the company's 26th overall.

The new IDC is designed to provide flexible hosting services, including security, storage, content distribution, disaster recovery and load-balancing options with VPN and data-networking integration.

The new Singapore IDC is linked to the other five Asia-Pacific IDCs, located in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney and the United States to provide customers with comprehensive redundancy options.

Finally, AT&T CFO Thomas Horton told analysts at the Credit Suisse First Boston conference that the company will beat its 2004 earnings goal of $4.8 billion, according to a Reuters report. Cost-cutting efforts are also ahead of schedule, he said.



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