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SBC Taps Amdocs For IP Services Billing

SBC said it is a step closer toward the widespread rollout of IP services over fiber-optic cable.

The San Antonio, Texas, telecom today announced that it will use Amdocs software for ordering, billing and customer relationship management for its fiber-delivered IP services.

SBC described the contract, which also includes consulting and systems integration services, as a multi-year, multi-million-dollar deal.

"The ability to rapidly launch competitive and innovative services, while delivering a differentiated customer experience, is essential for success in the new IP-based economy," Lea Ann Champion, an SBC senior executive vice president, said in a statement.

It's not the first time the companies have worked together. Two years ago, SBC selected Amdocs for a lucrative, long-term deal supporting its services unit.

SBC's fiber plan, called Project Lightspeed, is a $4 billion capital initiative to build an IP-based network to deliver TV, broadband and voice services by deploying fiber-to-the-neighborhood and fiber-to-the-premises technologies.

The company expects the network to reach 18 million households by the end of 2007. The first set of services should be offered in late 2005 or early 2006. Similar efforts are being mounted by Verizon .

For the Baby Bells, the aim is to compete directly with cable companies and be able to offer a triple play of services to consumers: voice, data and video.

SBC has already awarded a number of other contracts for the project. For example, it will use Microsoft's IP TV platform.

Denise Koenig, an SBC spokeswoman, said several other contracts are still pending, including one for set-top boxes. She declined to comment on the vendors involved in the process or the timetable for making a decision.