Verizon unveils global network plans

InfoWorld |  Networking

VERIZON, THE NEW York-based telecommunications company created by the merger between Bell Atlantic and GTE, announced Wednesday plans to build and operate its own global network carrying data, Internet and voice traffic and linking the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Verizon's network will begin by connecting New York to six cities in Europe by the second quarter of the year, Verizon said in a statement. Those cities will be Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Milan, and Paris, Verizon said. It said that links between Hawaii, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Sydney are already operating.

By 2003, the company will extend the network to additional cities in Europe, such as Geneva, Zurich, and Madrid, and in Asia (Singapore) and Latin America (Buenos Aires, Caracas, and Mexico City), Verizon said.

Verizon's long-term goal is to offer customer services, including Web-based services such as provisioning and billing, along with the multinational network's telecommunication services. Verizon expects to invest about $1 billion over five years in the network, the company said.

The announcement comes the day after Sprint outlined its plans to expand its global IP network across Europe and Asia and build data centers as part of a revamped international strategy. Specifically, Sprint said it will build out its IP network to connect 15 cities in 13 European and Asian countries by the end of the year, with the network growing to reach 35 European and Asian cities by the end of 2003.

Verizon's new worldwide network will put the telecommunications company into more direct global competition not only with Sprint but also with AT&T/British Telecommunications, Cable & Wireless, France Télécom/Equant, Infonet Services, and WorldCom.

Verizon will work closely with partners Flag Telecom Asia and Metromedia Fiber Network (MFN) to build the multinational network, the company said. Flag is currently installing trans-Atlantic cable between New York, London, and Paris that is expected to begin working in March, Verizon said. Flag is also developing a trans-Pacific cable, and will be responsible for a north Asian loop, the company said.

MFN has been contracted by Verizon to operate gateway switches in New York, Los Angeles, and Honolulu, with a London-based European network operations center to be built and launched by the second quarter of the year, Verizon said.

Financial details of the partnerships were not disclosed.

Verizon's plans for marketing its global network and services to businesses in Europe, Latin America, and Asia will be announced "shortly," the company said.

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