RealTime IT News

Sprint Commits to Major International Expansion

[London, ENGLAND] Global communications company Sprint outlined its international strategy Tuesday, saying it is committed to expanding its Internet backbone in both Europe and Asia.

Sprint confirmed that London will be the location of its European headquarters, from which it will control a new pan-European IP network. It says it will be the first major telecommunications player to connect key business centers in Europe with a 10 Gbps backbone.

Massively increasing its Internet capabilities, Sprint plans to connect 15 cities in 13 European and Asian countries to its global IP network by the end of 2001, and 35 countries by the end of 2003. This will enable it to serve most of the world's Internet market.

The European cities in Sprint's initial phase are: Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Milan, Brussels, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamburg, and Munich. In the Asia Pacific region it will connect Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Len Lauer, president of Sprint's Global Business Markets Group, said the global investment strategy will allow Sprint to provide a single point of contact for its multinational customers, as well as allowing it to serve new customers in strong European and Asian markets.

"Our global IP network expansion is in line with the goal to have 50 per cent of Sprint's world-wide revenues derived from data and broadband services by 2003," said Lauer.

Sprint already offers global IP services through agreements with international partners. It says it will continue to provide global telecom services to multi-national companies based in the U.S., using the existing network.

Some of the expanded network capacity will come from two new international cable systems, eastbound TAT 14 and westbound Japan/U.S., in which Sprint has an investment. In fact, Sprint has shares in most of the major public undersea cable systems through which it links its IP network to its U.S. Tier 1 Internet backbone.

Last year, Sprint began expanding its global workforce, a process that will continue through 2001.

A snapshot of Sprint's current trading shows it has over 20 million business and residential customers and earns around US $23 billion in annual revenues.