US communications giant AT&T has unveiled European plans for a new infrastructure, a new sales structure and a raft of new services.
Analysts have said that a beefed up AT&T European presence should increase competition and bring potentially lower network costs for European multinationals, especially those with a major US presence.
According to AT&T, its failed Concert joint venture with BT will formally close at the end of March. With an eye to keeping as much of that business as possible and expanding its global offerings, the telco said it will invest £213.3m ($300m) this year to extend its global network.
But rather than build out infrastructure, AT&T explained that it will buy capacity wholesale, keeping its investments for network edge equipment.
"We will lease transport, not buy and not build," said Gary Weis, senior vice president, AT&T International Operations. In all, around 80 nodes will be added, primarily in Europe, according to the company.
Analysts believe that the strategy should allow AT&T to quickly transition customers from the Concert alliance.
"With the amount of bandwidth and equipment available AT&T will want to, and will be able to, get customers onto its networks quickly," said Kate Gerwig, principal analyst at CurrentAnalysis.
While AT&T looks to extend its network and its presence in Europe the company is also introducing new services and a new internal structure to boost its profile.
The company has introduced two virtual private network (VPN) offerings for multinational customers that want to upgrade their frame relay wide area networks using multi protocol label switching, or wanting to use the internet or AT&T's IP backbone to create an intranet using IPSec technology.
For both recent VPN offerings, AT&T sales teams will work with potential customers.
AT&T's 8000+ sales reps will now sell anything across the company's different product lines, an option previously available to only the telco's largest customers.
Analysts have suggested that the changes could spell a new and potentially lucrative focus for the US giant.
"AT&T is finally finding out that it can be good at being a business services company, and that it can perhaps transform that into a global business," said Gerwig.
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