BT has awarded UK technology group Marconi a five-year contract to build the telco's high-capacity European broadband network.
The award of the £2bn contract follows BT's announcement at the start of last year that it would invest in building new European optical networks. Marconi staff are already developing network design, project management and integration for BT's network expansion project.
Marconi said the deal is expected to create new jobs at its optical systems factory in Coventry and at other facilities in the Midlands, Cambridge, Stratford and Italy.
The company will supply BT with optical networking and high-performance SDH (synchronous digital hierarchy) equipment and related services. SDH is the world standard for digital transmission used in core communications networks over which broadband, video, data and voice services run.
The network will go live in April next year for customers and testing with the current network. Services carried over the network, such as voice, data and video services, will be faster and better quality, claims BT.
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