BT and AT&T today named their $10 billion joint venture Concert, but a delay in receiving approval from US regulators means the new company won't be up and running until next year.
Concert is already the name of BT's international subsidiary that targets multinational companies' global network needs via a network of distributors. Concert will renew contracts with all 47 distributors, but will also start approaching companies directly.
The joint venture company gained approval from European regulators in March, but approval from the Security and Exchanges Commission in the US has taken longer than expected. The new Concert now expects to start selling services from January next year, not later this year as originally planned.
"We're not quite open for business, but we expect to be open soon," said a Concert spokeswoman.
The new Concert will get a new logo, new marketing campaigns and new staff, boosting its workforce from 1,700 to 5,000.
"In terms of customers who purchase our products through the distribution channel today will be supported in the same way they are today," she said. "For multinationals we're targeting them to be handled directly. They'll be sold directly to."
Analyst Chris Lewis, at the Yankee Group Europe, said the fact Concert will be selling directly will benefit some customers.
"There are a number of major global accounts that will be better managed from central location," he said.
BT and AT&T let major customers help select the name from a list of alternatives.
"Our findings revealed that more than three out of four customers believed it best represented the promises our new business wants to convey and suggested an imaginative, global company working in partnership with their businesses," said David Dorman, chief executive of the joint venture.
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