Williams Communications is planning to launch its Asynchronous Transfer Mode and frame relay services in major cities across Europe.
The US company built its business providing broadband network services to telcos and big businesses, such as SBC Communications and Boeing. The new move comes as part of a global expansion strategy to extend the reach of its international private line services.
The Williams network, built on the back of its pipeline and power networks, connects 125 US cities, but its international plan is more limited. The company said it plans to serve the top 20 to 40 global markets only.
In Europe, these will include major cities in Denmark, France, Germany, Spain and the UK. A new London office will serve as a European headquarters.
According to the company, European Union service providers and major companies are increasingly looking for global capabilities.
"Having a European base will facilitate our ability to meet the growing international demand and effectively provide a seamless service for our international customers," said European managing director Peter Gardener.
But according to analysts, Williams will have to do more before it becomes competitive with existing international players such as Cable & Wireless, Equant and Global Crossing.
Jason Knowles, network services analyst at CurrentAnalysis, said that Williams' international service portfolio was thin.
"This puts Williams at a disadvantage when facing competitors that offer a full suite of global services, including voice, internet and IP," he said.
The company will be disadvantaged by its network reach as it does not have local networks in Europe.
This means it will have to hand off traffic to a local provider, reducing its control over the customer's data traffic, said Knowles.
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