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AT&T Expands Its Business VoIP Services

AT&T has announced a major expansion of its business voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service portfolio following the signing of equipment interoperability agreements with IP PBX providers Alcatel, Nortel Networks and Siemens.


April 1, 2004  


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AT&T has announced a major expansion of its business voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service portfolio following the signing of equipment interoperability agreements with IP PBX providers Alcatel, Nortel Networks and Siemens.

The company previously signed similar agreements with Avaya and Cisco.

Tom Valovic, program director of IP telephony at International Data Corp. said the business enterprise represents a critical segment for the growth of VoIP, as this emerging technology matures in terms of quality, availability and feature functionality.

AT&T’s expansion plans and approach further validate the growing market and momentum for VoIP services, he said.

The company, which has reduced its debt load from US$56 billion to US$8 billion, unveiled plans in late February to transform itself from a telecommunications company to a global integrator of enterprise and application networking solutions.

William Hannigan, president of AT&T, told a group of investment analysts at the time that the goal is to expand its “addressable” market by US $50 billion over the next four years.

“The network is the place where business gets done,” he said. “It’s the lifeblood of companies. This is no longer a debate.”

The company plans to continue to expands its hosting business and open four Internet Data Centers in Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo and London, and more than double its Wi-Fi footprint, which currently covers an estimated 2,900 hot spots in 22 countries.

In late March, it also introduced Internet Protect and AT&T Personal Firewall, which it claims will provide businesses and government agencies worldwide with some of the most powerful weapons available to date in their ever-increasing battle against cyber security attacks.

According to Computer Economics in Carlsbad, Calif.,

the worldwide impact of cyber attacks has grown steadily from US$3.3 billion in 1997 to an estimated US$12 billion in 2003. The new capabilities provide early warning of potential threats and give businesses and government agencies the ability to secure and more effectively protect their networks and employee workstations from cyber attacks.

Many managed security service providers today offer services that address cyber security attacks after they have affected a customer’s network and applications, AT&T says.

AT&T Internet Protect is designed to alert businesses via a secure Web portal to potential threats before they become full-blown attacks.

AT&T says it will notify customers within minutes of identifying critical malicious activity, including denial of service attacks, and provide recommended immediate action to be taken by the customer.

The company will back it up with a service level agreement. If it fails to notify a customer of a network-based denial of service attack before the customer reports it, the customer will be credited the charges for AT&T Internet Protect for that month’s service.

David Stroud, president of AT&T Global Services Canada said the company is seeing significant growth in business as it relates to providing a network infrastructure for U.S. multinationals. There are currently 10 nodes in Canada, which are part of a global 180-node network.

The company’s current focus, said Richard Blacklock, director of business strategy and development, is meeting the business demands of global multinationals in Canada and around the world.

“We began to see an acceleration of migration from legacy-based networks towards IP networks in the latter part of last year,” he said. “There’s been quite a dramatic shift, frankly stronger than we believed might happen.

“The rationale for that is not a glamorous one – it’s principally because customers need to reduce costs.”


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