Global One inks deal with NATO

Global One, the joint venture between France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and Sprint, has signed a deal with the North American Treaty Organisation (NATO) to provide telecommunications services to government agencies within NATO member states.

Global One signed the agreement with NATO's Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) and will supply products and services, including voice networks and data networking and computer equipment, to all eligible NATO bodies, Global One officials said.

Together, NATO and Global One signed an accord called the NATO Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) that will allow eligible purchasers -- including NATO organisations and NATO contractors, as well as government agencies of any NATO member country or signatory country of the Partnership for Peace Agreement -- to order Global One technology or services. The idea is to allow government organisations associated with NATO to order communications products efficiently and at a lower cost, Global One officials said.

Terms of the NC3A-Global One BOA were not disclosed. The product ordering agreement will exist for an indefinite period of time.

Some of the Global One products and services available via the channel include ATM (asynchronous transfer mode), frame relay and IP (Internet protocol) networking systems and services, international private lines and managed bandwidth, satellite systems, calling cards, call centres, virtual private networks and Internet and intranet-based technologies.

The wide-reaching agreement is good news for Global One, which has struggled to gain such contracts in an increasingly competitive global communication services market in the past two years. With the likes of MCI WorldCom and the possible tie-up between British Telecommunications and AT&T , the more loosely-assembled global telecommunications ventures face ever-increasing competition.

More information about Global One can be found on the venture's World Wide Web site at http://www.global-one.net/.

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