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AT&T plans $1 billion network investment

By , IDG News Service
March 05, 2008 10:20 AM ET

IDG News Service - AT&T will spend US$1 billion in 2008 to expand its IP (Internet Protocol) networks for large businesses, driven by an "explosive surge" in data, voice and video traffic, the company said Wednesday.

AT&T's investment in its enterprise networks in 2008 will be a 33 percent increase from 2007 and more than double its investment in 2006, the company said.

Among AT&T's 2008 network expansions:

-- Added subsea fiber-optic cable capacity to Japan and other parts of Asia as well as the Caribbean. AT&T plans to invest in multiple under-the-sea cable systems to Southeast Asia and Australia and import existing cable servicing India and the Middle East.

-- New Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) routers in Europe, Asia and the U.S., with new or additional MPLS-based IP network access nodes in Paris, Moscow, Kuwait, India, Japan and other countries.

-- Enhanced Ethernet network capabilities, including the rollout of a global virtual private local area network product, initially in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific. AT&T plans to make these services available in 2008 in 14 cities: Frankfurt, London, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Dublin/Cork, Milan, Madrid and Zurich in Europe; and Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, and Tokyo in Asia Pacific. By year-end 2008, AT&T expects to have an Ethernet footprint in 39 countries.

-- The addition of DSL (digital subscriber lines) as an access alternative to China, Finland, Norway and Saudi Arabia. By year-end, AT&T plans to have DSL available as an access alternative in 21 countries.

"Companies worldwide are responding to the exploding need to deliver voice, data and video in real time to their end-users, no matter where they are, no matter what the device," Ron Spears, group president, AT&T Global Business Services, said in a statement. "It is vital that we continue to invest in those geographies and services to meet this demand so our customers can connect their operations, partners and suppliers."

In the fourth quarter of 2007, AT&T's Global Business Services unit saw hosting revenues grow by 19 percent, enterprise IP data services by nearly 21 percent, and VPN revenues by 31 percent.

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