AT&T to build $350 million global IP network for GM

By Jack McCarthy, InfoWorld |  Networking

AT&T officials said on Tuesday that the company has signed on to build and manage a global IP network for General Motors in a contract worth $350 million.

The automaker's multiple networks will be replaced with a network set up by AT&T Solutions, the carrier's professional services subsidiary, according to a joint statement from the companies.

GM and AT&T Solutions will also standardize and manage future development of GM's IT infrastructure throughout its global operations, according to the statement. Moreover, AT&T Solutions will deploy networking capabilities that allow GM teams to work together in design facilities in Michigan, Brazil, Germany, and Singapore.

AT&T also announced Tuesday that it would provide similar services to Delphi Automotive Systems, one of the world's largest automotive systems and components companies, for $160 million.

For GM, AT&T Solutions will work closely with Electronic Data Systems (EDS), GM's current primary network and computer-services provider, to ensure continued operation of legacy systems while the next-generation IP network is being built.

The network will provide connectivity among GM's 1,100 locations in more than 40 countries.

The telephone company will also provide GM with domestic and international inbound and outbound long-distance voice, data and video services, local phone service via AT&T Digital Link, and corporate calling cards.

AT&T Solutions will use the services of Concert, the joint venture between AT&T and British Telecommunications, which will provide global transport for voice and data services. Together, AT&T Solutions and British Telecom Syncordia Solutions (BTSS), British Telecom's network outsourcing subsidiary, will provide managed data, voice, and video services in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. BTSS also will manage relationships with local phone companies overseas.

GM's new network will utilize IP-over-SONet, or Synchronous Optical Network, technology -- including voice-over-IP transmission -- at GM's five-building headquarters in the Detroit-Warren, Michigan, area.

AT&T will engineer the network to interface with Automotive Network eXchange, an IP-based extranet created by the automotive industry to enable electronic commerce and data exchange, officials said.

AT&T Solutions will manage GM's networking capabilities from its Global Client Support Center in Dublin, Ohio, via the AT&T Solutions Global Enterprise Management System (GEMS). GEMS offers network management capabilities -- including predictive management -- by integrating proprietary software developed at AT&T Labs with third-party software.

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