BT is to spend #300 million installing ATM into its own UK broadband network to improve its Internet and data communications services.
Under a five-year plan, the telco will put its own Cellstream ATM technology on to the network to enable users to flit between services such as frame relay and its first broadband data service - switched multi-megabit data network. Currently users need to access different networks for each service.
The company promised the investment will enable it to respond more quickly to changes in customer demand as well as speeding up the appearance of new offerings, such as asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL). BT is currently trialling the use of ADSL - which brings broadband services via the existing copper cable network - with 2,000 consumers in Ealing, west London.
John Matthews, principal consultant at consultancy Ovum, said: ?BT is not unique [in putting ATM over its network], but the investment does show it is on the ball. BT invests #3 billion in its network so this investment is not very large by BT?s standard, but it is a sensible first move.?
A BT spokesperson said the plan would not conflict with actual sales of Cellstream as this would offer users easier access to more services, such as Internet, frame relay and SMDS.
He said the technology would enable BT to save reduce costs but was not specific as to how and when this would be passed on the customer.
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