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Globalization takes over as key driver for network investment

04 октября 2007

Survey highlights main factors behind business network expansion; AT&T reiterates international growth strategy. Expanding globally is now the biggest driver for businesses investing in their networks, according to the findings of a new survey announced Wednesday by the Economist Intelligence Unit and AT&T.

28% of the 497 senior executives surveyed said their main driver for network investment is to support their company's expansion into global markets, with a total of 67% saying that "reach" was an important or critical attribute of their network.

This compares with the 26% who said improving customer service and customer relationships was the main driver, while 23% see it as a means for supporting greater collaboration with external partners.

"This is the first year that global expansion figured so highly," said Denis McCauley, director of global technology research at the EIU.

According to AT&T, which co-operated with the EIU on the research, the main driver of globalization for companies with multinational aspirations is no longer based solely on the prospect of entering a high growth market.

"Globalization was driven initially by growth, then profitable growth," said Tom Regent, head of EMEA at AT&T.

"The third step we really see happening now is competitive advantage," he said.

The survey was carried out earlier in 2007 before economic uncertainty created turmoil in the credit markets.

"We've seen eruptions in financial markets in recent months," said McCauley, who commented that it may have led some companies to scale back their plans for global expansion.

However, he stressed that "globalization is not synonymous with the economic outlook. Slow downs in some places provide opportunities in others."

It hasn't put AT&T off. Regent reiterated the company's plans to invest $750 million globally by the end of 2007.

"It's at the forefront of our growth strategy," he said, highlighting AT&T's need "to be where our customers need us to be, when they need us."

Reports earlier this week revealed that AT&T has applied for a unified access license in India in collaboration with Mahindra Telecommunications.

While the U.S.-based carrier is confident its application will be accepted, "it is unclear at this stage" when it will be processed, explained Niall Hickey, director of EMEA communications, AT&T.

Источник: Total Telecom

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