France Telecom Reveals International Strategy

France Telecom
announced
Thursday that it would pursue an aggressive global strategy, following its
acquisition of corporate telecom service provider
Global One.


With full control of Global One, already a worldwide brand in
corporate communications, the French telecom giant is better positioned
to develop its voice and IP carrier wholesale business, especially
across Europe.


“This acquisition is a major step forward in France Telecom’s international
strategy,” said Michel Bon, chairman and chief executive officer of France
Telecom.


Bon said that a combination of global size and strong local presence would
allow the
companies to offer business customers a solution that answered
all their needs.


France Telecom started Global One in January 1996 as a joint venture
with Deutsche Telekom and Sprint. It has since become a leading corporate
telecom service provider with 1999 revenues of $1.1 billion.


30,000 companies, including UPS, Unilever, Coca Cola, Hewlett Packard and
Nortel Networks use Global One, which has a sales presence in the U.K. and
over 60 other countries.


France Telecom has stated that one of its strategic goals is to become
the leading European wholesale carrier for both voice and IP.
It sees single ownership of Global One as being an important step towards
achieving that goal.


The original shareholders in Global One have guaranteed continuity of
service for a two-year transition period.


“To achieve this transition, the major short term objective will be to
implement a series of aggressive action plans addressing key management
and operational issues,” said Daniel Caclin, who is expected to be
named shortly as the new chief executive officer of Global One.


Global One’s worldwide ATM-based network reaches more than 800 cities
in 40 countries. Its services include VPN, call centers, frame relay,
LAN-to-LAN, together with Internet and Intranet solutions and its
flagship service Global ATM.

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