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RealTime IT News

SBC Steps Onto Siemens' IP Platform

SBC has awarded a five-year contract to Siemens to provide the platform for the San Antonio telecom's hosted Internet Protocol services.

Launched in November, SBC's PremierSERV portfolio provides Voice over IP (VoIP), virtual private networks and other offerings to large corporate customers in 30 U.S. cities.

"To get to market fast, we went with a outsourced solution," SBC spokesman Shawn Dainas told internetnews.com. "We'll be in about 100 markets by the end of the year."

Dainas declined to disclose the value of the deal, but unnamed industry sources told Reuters that the German IT giant will receive about $100 million over the life of the agreement.

For SBC, PremierSERV is key to increasing enterprise business. Because VoIP isn't currently subject to the same stringent regulations as legacy voice network traffic, it's an easier way for SBC to expand its geographic reach and potentially revenues and profit.

In addition, the services are relatively flexible, so SBC can phase-in customers without hitting them for a large capital equipment bill upfront. The actual amount of gear a company needs to use the service will vary, however the VoIP offering works with any analog or IP phone.

Most regional and nationwide phone companies are rolling out service plans as their traditional wireline business ebbs. These big names are competing with cable operators and smaller private companies for early IP service customers.

Today's news also dovetails with SBC's purchase of network consulting specialist Callisma last month. That deal enhanced SBC's ability to design large networks that support a number of key corporate services such as VoIP, storage and security.

For Siemens, the deal will be handled by its Information and Communications Network (ICN) unit, a Boca Raton, Fla., group that provides voice and data equipment for service providers and enterprises.

Siemens ICN will supply its Surpass soft switch, a carrier-grade IP convergence platform designed for converting legacy systems to IP. A spokeswoman for the company was not immediately available.