Concert Announces New IP Services

WASHINGTON (07/31/2000) - Concert, the global communications joint venture between British Telecommunications PLC and AT&T Corp., announced the launch Monday of new Internet Protocol -based and wireless services aimed at a broad swath of the market.

Concert will offer the new services under the umbrella name Concert IP (for Internet Protocol) to its 270 multinational corporate customers and to small, medium and large companies that have international telecommunications needs, Concert officials said during a conference call.

Concert IP broadens Concert's market presence by a factor of 10, said Justin Sims, president of global products for Concert.

"The portfolio is designed to serve not only the needs of multinational corporations, our traditional and target markets, but also the needs of medium-sized and even small companies with some sort of international presence," Sims said.

The Concert IP services are based on a customer's size and business needs, rather than a one-size-fits all approach. The portfolio of services includes customized services for large multinational corporations that want to build and manage their own networks. It also offers pre-packaged solutions for medium-to-large enterprises and off-the-shelf solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.

Concert IP will address business opportunities in corporate infrastructure, Internet access services, intranet support and extranet and community of Internet network support, said David Dorman, chief executive officer of Concert.

The services offer retail and wholesale customers a mix-and-match variety of capabilities, a pre-packaged product offering or a range of products and services from off-the-shelf to configurable solutions to complete outsourcing of network capabilities, Dorman said.

"Central to this new portfolio is our single global IP platform. We're building ubiquity and embedding value in that network which will transform and simplify the way customers use business communications today," Dorman said.

Concert is moving toward full integration and expansion of its IP backbone, which currently is capable of transporting data at 2.5G bps (bits per second) and is connected with AT&T's and BT's domestic IP backbones, reaching in excess of 800 POPs (points of presence) in the United States and Europe. More than 80 percent of Concert's data network traffic is IP traffic, Dorman said.

Concert said it will offer the new portfolio to its 270 multinational customers through its 2,000-plus dedicated sales force, and to its targeted 30,000 business customer base through its global network of distributors, including AT&T and BT in the U.S. and European markets.

One set of services announced on Monday is packaged in Concert's IP VPNs (virtual private networks), which offer businesses new capabilities for voice, data and multimedia applications over intranets and extranets.

IP Equip, which will be available in October, includes off-the-shelf products combining IP transport, Internet access and voice-over-IP capabilities targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises. IP Select, which will be available in the second quarter next year, is a more sophisticated private IP VPN for mid-sized to large multinationals. IP Extra, to be available in August, is an integrated VPN extranet service for businesses that want to build VPNs to extend their communications with customers and business partners.

Concert's IP Enablers offering provides enhancement to Concert's ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) and frame relay and Internet access services.

"These are mainly existing Concert capabilities such as our frame-relay service, our bandwidth solutions and router capabilities ... that have been re-packaged, re-branded and re-priced so that they target our multinational customers requirements for IP connectivity," Sims said. Concert's frame-relay network reaches every major city in the U.S. and U.K., as well as 170 cities in an additional 47 countries.

IP Applications, another new Concert IP offering, includes new applications to serve businesses operating in Web-centric environments, while IP Voice Services is a new voice-over-IP product for corporate customers.

Concert also is introducing new wholesale global wireless services for carriers and mobile operators so they can provide subscribers with wireless voice and data global connectivity. Additionally, Concert will offer to its 270 multinational customers the new WorldConnect, WorldView and PocketNet wireless services announced earlier this month by the AT&T and BT Advance mobility alliance.

Concert can be found on the Web at http://www.concert.com.

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