RealTime IT News

Telecoms Tally European Deals

Two U.S. telecom players announced longterm services deals in Europe this morning.

Sprint has renewed a 10-year wide area network pact with SWIFT, a Belgium cooperative providing secure messaging software and services to 7,500 financial institutions in 199 countries.

The Overland Park, Kan., company will provide and manage international phone lines to the SWIFT backbone networks in Europe, Asia and the United States, ensuring SWIFT's bank and brokerage customers can conduct business quickly.

The agreement also includes new service level agreements that cover performance, availability and installation. Financial details of the SWIFT contract were not disclosed.

The deal helps solidify Sprint's position in the financial services sector, spokeswoman Barbara Mellott told internetnews.com.

Other customers in include Bank of America, Digital Insight and BOK Financial Corp., Mellott said.

Sprint also announced a second enterprise customer, landing Sweden's GCE Group for a four-year $3 million dollar deal over other bidders.

Sprint has created and a secure WAN for the gas industry manufacturer maker to run its business operations remotely from its hub site in the Czech Republic. The consolidation is expected to make GCE's network more efficient.

The deals come a day after Sprint announced a plan to save $1 billion a year over the next three years by streamlining its corporate structure and eliminating redundacies.

Meanwhile, Lucent said it has been tapped by London carrier O2 to assess its mobile infrastructure. The three-year agreement will help O2 map plans to improve its voice, e-mail and messaging services in the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland.

Lucent is in the midst of supplying ATM equipment and services to O2, Lucent spokesman John Verdon told internetnews.com.

For Murray Hill, N.J.-based Lucent, the win furthers its services strategy. Lucent is pushing its services -- network design, integration, management and maintenance -- to take advantage of the expertise of its employees.

In recent months, it landed $50 million in new contracts to upgrade and integrate voice and data networks at Army bases in North America and Asia and a $100 million deal to manage a new 3G mobile network in New Zealand.

Lucent likes the deals beacause they provide recurring revenue and allow it to work on lucrative projects even if it isn't the primary gear supplier.

The O2 deal also helps the company raise its profile in Europe.

"Europe plays an important part in Lucent's global operations," Verdon said.

Though he declined to release specific numbers for its European operations, Verdon said about $4.2 billion of the company's $12.2 billion of business came from outside of the United States last year.