Internet service provider UUnet Pipex has sold off Unipalm, its software distribution business, to Newmarket-based Awarenet. The sale will enable it to focus more closely on the Internet service side of its operations.
Awarenet will trade under the Unipalm name and the company will continue to distribute software focused on the Intranet marketplace. UUnet acquired the business as part of its takeover of Cambridge-based Unipalm Pipex but was always more interested in the ISP side.
Unipalm may benefit from a parent that is focused on its core business. It will continue to compete with broader based network distributors like Azlan and Integralis. Mark Norman, head of marketing at Unipalm Limited, will become managing director of the breakaway distributor and has ambitious plans to treble the size of the business within three years.
?Currently we distribute applications that run over HTTP, FTP, Telnet and so on but I want to expand the business to bring on board Internet-based groupware products and database access products,? said Norman.
Expanding on the thinking behind the sale, UUnet Pipex' spokesperson David Barrett said: "We wouldn?t really have done the distribution business justice. Our Internet services business continues to grow at an astonishing rate and more than ever it demands our undivided attention.?
Over in the US this week UUnet also announced a plan to roll out a new commercial service alongside its parent company, telco MFS, that will offer higher speed Internet access over traditional telephone lines in corporate metropolitan areas.
MFS? unswitched xDSL service will be made available early in the first quarter of 1997 in selected US markets but there is a possibility that it will head over to the UK before long. ?MFS has a fibre loop infrastructure around the London financial district and although we have no plans to introduce the service to the UK there is no reason why the service cannot be rolled out over here,? said Barrett.
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