Energis has come up with new technology to manage companies' data networking and reduce network management costs.
Called "virtual private data networking", the service will be possible because of unspecified new carrier scale internetworking products, although these are not available yet, Energis said.
"The routing functions which customers use to manage their networks will be built into the network itself and controlled by the telecoms operator," explained Chris Burke, network director at Energis.
It works in the same way as Centrex, the system for managing PBXs, in that companies can hand over control of their network infrastructure to third parties.
Despite touting this as a way for companies to outsource their entire data network, Energis has no plans to manage whole enterprises.
"Currently we are looking at providing only single services, for example a business that uses Email might require us to manage its Email server, or maybe its remote access service," said Burke.
Companies will save money as they will no longer need as many IT staff and won't have to continually replace routers and switches as they go out of date, Energis claimed.
Burke said Energis will provide virtual data networking in the third quarter of this year, although he does not expect much take up of it until 1999.
The company is also shortly to install a new telecoms system for the National Grid, extending its network by a further 1,450km and taking Energis into Swindon, Guildford, Crawley, north Kent, Stoke and Middlesborough.
Mike Grabiner, Energis CEO, said the company intends to apply for a "third generation" mobile phone licence when the government auctions the necessary radio spectrum next year, creating a combined mobile and fixed phone company.
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