AT&T Enhances Reach for Global Enterprises in Crucial Middle East Market with Series of Strategic Initiatives
AT&T Investment and Growth in Region Highlights Global Strategy to Service MNCs in Key Markets Around the World
San Antonio, Texas, November 21, 2006
Dubai, UAE - AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) today announced the development of its global strategy to serve the needs of its global enterprise customer base in the Middle East region — one of the highest-growth economic areas in the world.
AT&T's strategy in the region is underpinned by a number of initiatives announced this week at the GITEX/GulfComms show, which include:
- Opening of AT&T Regional Headquarters in Dubai. AT&T announced it is opening a regional headquarters office in Dubai. The office will provide a headquarters for a small AT&T team to work with key local AT&T partners and customers and, for the first time, host a direct AT&T sales resource in the region. The office will support both retails and wholesale activity in the region.
- Qtel Investment in NavLink. Qtel, one of the region's leading communications providers, announced that it has taken an equity stake alongside AT&T in NavLink. Last year AT&T, NavLink and Qtel announced the deployment of the first world-class data centre in Doha, Qatar, that hosted the first Middle Eastern node of AT&T's global network. This investment will allow Qtel to strengthen its existing strategic relationships with NavLink and AT&T.
- Opening of AT&T Global Network Node in Dubai. This week saw a joint announcement from AT&T, NavLink and Etisalat that AT&T's global network node, providing advanced MPLS services, was now live in Dubai serving customers.
- Agreement With STC to Deploy AT&T Global Network Node in Saud Arabia. AT&T, NavLink and STC announced plans to deploy a state-of-the-art MPLS enabled node in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in 2007, in cooperation with Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC), adding significant reach for AT&T's global infrastructure to one of the key markets in the region. Deployment of the node is already under way, and it should be operational by the end of the first half of 2007. This agreement will see AT&T interconnecting to the largest MPLS network in the Middle East.
AT&T intends to further enhance its network reach and services in the Gulf region and North Africa, and work is well under way to deploy new nodes in a number of other countries, with further announcements next year.
Commenting on the agreements announced in the Middle East, John Vladimir Slamecka, head of AT&T operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said, "The Gulf region is one of the fastest-growing and dynamic economies in the world. We are seeing increasing demand from both our existing global customer base to reach into the region and now local businesses that are going global. Our approach, to partner with the best local partners, such as Qtel, Etisalat and STC, along with our own direct investment in NavLink, gives us the ideal model to service the needs of enterprises in these high-growth markets. We are able to have a local presence backed by a common global infrastructure and service, giving AT&T a unique way to serve our customers in these countries and providing us with a key competitive advantage."
These initiatives reflect the wider global strategy of AT&T to expand its reach in key growth and emerging markets to support the needs of its global enterprise customer base. They are complemented by a number of other recent global announcements including the inauguration of a new business venture in India last month (when AT&T became the first foreign telecom operator to secure a new telecommunications licence in the country) and the extension of AT&T's network in Vietnam through a partnership with local carrier Viettel announced last week. These moves reflect the wider global goal of AT&T to be able to deliver service to multinational customers wherever they need it Today, AT&T offers MPLS-based services in 137 countries from more than 1,600 service nodes. AT&T also offers remote access in 149 countries through 45,000-plus access points.
AT&T works closely with NavLink, a company that is a leading provider of managed data services to businesses in the Middle East, and has held a significant investment in the company for a number of years. NavLink currently provides services directly to a strong customer base in 17 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa and globally through AT&T's global private data network and AT&T's global network of data centres.
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