UK systems and services company ICL has built a pan-European telecommunications backbone network to the tune of #6 million. ICLNet is a managed ATM network for ICL's large national and international customers.
Before ICL built its own network, it relied on the infrastructure of other telcos, including Transco and BT.
However, the company was unsatisfied with the service it was getting.
Charles Hugs, senior executive in the services division at ICL, said: "We couldn't get the global reach or the quality of service we wanted.
One of the services we offer is guaranteed response times and we have to pick up liabilities from customers if these aren't met.
"Now ICL can control the ICLNet backbone that enables the company to offer solid guarantees of security and 100% availability and reliability where businesses need this level of contractual service," he added.
ICLNet is a wholly owned network in Europe which uses an ATM core. It spans Finland, Scandinavia, Benelux, Germany, France, the UK and Ireland and across to the US and Japan, with points of presence in New York and Tokyo. Built around a network of 45Mbps and 155Mbps links, ICLNet uses ICL's UK microwave network, that was outsourced by Transco, the gas transportation company, in 1997 and provides more than 500 points of presence in the UK. Two network management centres control the network and provide full resilience. Backbone switches were provided by Cisco and include BPX 8600's in the core.
ICL expects its enhanced services capability will enable the company to increase its network services business ten-fold over the next five years. It also anticipates that these network services will underpin #3 billion of network-enabled business in five years' time, as the company plans to take advantage of the convergence of corporate IT and telecoms services.
Nigel Hartnell, managing director of ICL's services division, said: "ICLNet is the capability that will underpin all our services. We have more than 1,000 staff dedicated to providing the business network services and have extensive expertise in network management. ICLNet enables us to maintain control over the delivery of service to our customers.
"Right now ICLNet is the only way we can achieve such service guarantees and commit to providing managed, network-based business solutions that are fully reliable across international boundaries. That is what our customers need. Today the network is their single biggest headache; we can take that problem away from them."
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