dcsimg
RealTime IT News

AT&T Locks in Lockheed's Data

Building on a longterm relationship, AT&T has signed a 3-year, $60 million contract with Lockheed Martin to provide voice and data networking services.

The Bedminster, N.J., carrier has worked with the Bethesda, Md., defense contractor for more than 14 years.

Under their latest pact, AT&T will manage local and long-distance voice, data and Internet services for Lockheed Martin's far-flung facilities. In all, the company has more than 900 locations in the United States and a presence in 56 other countries.

Other services in the deal include: frame relay and Asynchronous Transfer Mode services; around-the-clock network management; a single point of contact for service orders and installations; and inventory and performance reports.

"Lockheed Martin was looking for a partner with a large global reach, that could provide security for transmissions and applications," Barbara Cattolica, an AT&T spokeswoman said. "Also, they did not want to have (their) people getting into the managing network business."

The network should help improve Lockheed Martin productivity. For example, engineers will use the high-speed access and reservationless conferencing to collaborate on designs either online or by phone, she added.

Citing confidentiality agreements, Cattolica declined to list other defense contractor customers. The sector is attractive however, because of its need for speed, geographic reach and security requirements, she said.

The contract exemplifies the kind of business AT&T is pursuing as part of its strategy to transformitself from a carrier of consumer long-distance calls to a provider of IP services for enterprises.

Meanwhile, contracting with AT&T is also consistent with Lockheed Martin's renewed focus on its core business. On Tuesday, the company announced the sale of its COMSAT General Satellite business to Intelsat for $90 million in cash.

COMSAT General provides telecom services and equipment, concentrating on international fixed and mobile satellite systems for clients with quick response and high availability needs.

The relationship between the two companies goes beyond service provider and customer. AT&T business units often serve as subcontractors for Lockheed Martin on government contracts. For example, a recent deal that flowed through Lockheed Martin calls for AT&T to handle networking service for several U.S. Army installations.