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AT&T ups Middle East presence
|11 сентября 2007|
MPLS network nodes being deployed in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait; company also wins Ericsson Middle East VPN contract.
AT&T announced on Monday that it is expanding its presence in the Middle East, with network node deployments in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and a virtual private network services (VPN) contract across the region with Ericsson.
AT&T is ramping up its services in the Middle East, "as part of an ongoing strategic investment in the region," said a company statement, released at Gulfcomms 2007.
In cooperation with Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) and NavLink, a company in which AT&T has a minority stake, the network node first announced by the U.S. carrier last year is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2007.
The new infrastructure is being rolled out to allow AT&T and NavLink customers interconnectivity with STC's national MPLS network.
AT&T also said it is working with QualityNet and NavLink again, to deploy a network node in Kuwait.
The deal will allow AT&T to offer IP-VPN services to Kuwaiti-based enterprises, as well as multinationals looking to expand their Middle East presence, said AT&T.
The Kuwaiti MPLS node is expected to be activated during 2008, and the telecoms giant said it is growing its Dubai-based sales and support team in order to complement its expanded network reach.
The expansion initiatives form part of a $750 million global investment programme announced by the telecoms giant earlier in the year.
The U.S.-based carrier said at the time it planned in 2007 to focus on high-growth emerging markets in Asia Pacific and Latin America, as well as the Middle East.
Furthermore, in a separate announcement also made Monday, AT&T said it has been selected by Ericsson to provide VPN services across the Middle East region in a contract worth $6 million.
AT&T said the deal will see it provide services to Ericsson's operations in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
"A reliable network, backed by a comprehensive service level agreement, the ability to execute locally and speedy implementation, were all key requirements for us when choosing our network provider in the Middle East," said Carl-Magnus Månsson, CIO of Ericsson, in a statement.
"We are dedicated to the Middle East as a growth area of our business and feel that this is matched by the commitment that AT&T has made to the region," he added.
"Through our direct investment in NavLink, partnerships with other key players in the Middle Eastern telecommunications market and our regional office in Dubai, we are confident that we can serve the needs of enterprises in these high-growth markets," said Tom Regent, head of EMEA operations, AT&T, in a statement.