AT&T announced that it has budgeted $1 billion this year to upgrade its international network. The company said that amounts to double what it spent in 2006 and more than 30% higher than 2007’s network investment. The $1 billion will go toward expanding the carrier’s global network reach and capacity, and to upgrading networks to handle new technologies, including demand for Internet protocol services, such as voice transmissions.
“Companies worldwide are responding to the exploding need to deliver voice, data and video in real time to their end-users, no matter where they are, no matter what the device,” said Ron Spears, group president of AT&T Global Business Services, in a statement. “It is vital that we continue to invest in those geographies and services to meet this demand so our customers can connect their operations, partners and suppliers.”
AT&T said its network upgrade plans include: new sub-sea fiber-optic cable capacity to Japan and Asia; new core MPLS routers in Europe, Asia and the United States; new network-to-network connections to extend reach into high growth markets in Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and South America; increasing data center hosting capacity; integrating and developing unified communications capabilities from its recent acquisition of Interwise; and offering global IP-based audio-conferencing services.
The carrier said these network investments will help it continue to capitalize on the ongoing shift in network traffic from voice to data, and IP-based data as customers migrate from legacy packet networks to MPLS-based VPNs and managed applications. AT&T customers can currently make calls on six continents and in more than 200 countries, and access wireless data roaming in more than 145 countries.