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UK to benefit from AT&T $1bn spend

The US telco plans to invest $1bn on upgrading its networks and services this year, including facilities for the UK and Europe
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor on

US telecoms giant AT&T on Tuesday announced a $1bn (£656m) investment plan for this year, including upgrades to its UK and European facilities.

The investment package is part of AT&T's overall existing capital plan, but the company has not previously given details of how it intends to direct its spending. In general, the telco is looking to extend its international network, scale its ability to deliver applications and services for multinational companies, and build up its range of services for small businesses in the US.

In the UK, AT&T will build a new datacentre in London and setting up a new telepresence room in Redditch, in the Midlands. It is also planning to increase UK capacity for AT&T Digital Media Solutions, a service that lets businesses manage and distribute video and rich media content.

Further afield, the telecoms giant intends to increase the capacity of its undersea cables carrying traffic between the US and Europe.

The company said it will expand its application services offerings, including managed hosting, cloud-based services, telepresence, unified communications, digital media services and security, and will invest in long-term evolution (LTE) and Wi-Fi-based applications.

On the network side, AT&T said it would deploy, upgrade or add multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) nodes in Europe capable of handling IPv6 traffic to support services such as Layer 3 VPN.

The UK is not targeted for this investment, but AT&T said it would spend on MPLS nodes in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain and Sweden.

The company's local competitor BT is also in the midst of ongoing network upgrades, and last week it named a third set of exchanges that will be enabled with its fibre-based broadband services. The British telecoms giant is spending £1.5bn to make fibre-based broadband available to 10 million homes by 2012.

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