AT&T, Verizon Global Aims

AT&T and Verizon Communications , two of the
largest telephone operators in the U.S., are taking their advanced data
services worldwide, either expanding on existing services or venturing
forth for the first time.

In today’s increasingly-shrinking global market, corporations are looking
to expand operations outside the confines of North America and expand
overseas using frame relay and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)
technologies to using high-speed services like videoconferencing and
critical information sharing.

Verizon is venturing forth for the first time using its global fiber
network to deliver advanced data products to customers doing business in
Asia and Europe. The Baby Bell has a network spanning the globe, with data
centers in key cities like Dusseldorf, Germany; Milan, Italy; Honolulu; and
Tokyo.

Eduardo Menasce, Verizon enterprise solutions group president, said new
contracts with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Serono
International S.A. underscore the growing demand for dedicated
international voice and data services.

“We believe this is an opportune time to offer international services to
corporations that need to communicate with customers, suppliers and other
company locations around the globe,” he said. “More than ever before, these
companies are seeking increased diversity and alternate routing for their
global communications — and they want highly reliable service from a
trusted provider.”

AT&T, on the other hand, is an old hand in the international services
department, providing big-name corporations with secure and private network
nodes for data and voice traffic.

In Europe, Ma Bell is rebounding from its failed
$10 billion joint venture with British Telecom, dubbed Concert. Putting a
new plan in
action
that keeps ties between the two phone giants, AT&T has been
offering its international services to large-scale businesses.

Expanding on its big-business clientele, AT&T officials announced Tuesday
mid-sized businesses to the same class of services Fortune 500 companies
can expect. In addition to costly frame relay and ATM services, these
smaller companies can scale its international operations down to a 56Kbps
line spanning the Earth.

Larry Marino, AT&T vice president of integrate offers, says the service is
similar to what you’d expect from a telephone company, but worldwide.

“Customers like the fact that ABN provides a virtual telecom department,”
he said. “No one else in the industry provides a comparable offer, giving
us a clear competitive advantage in the mid- sized company market.”

Targeting mid-sized businesses in the U.S. for frame relay and ATM
services, nationally or internationally, is a booming commodity. According
to Cahner’s Instat, a Arizona-based research firm, enterprise and
middle-market firms generate 64 percent of all business Internet access
revenues.

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