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AT&T on Monday said it plans to spend an additional $1 billion this year on its global telecommunications network to expand services offered to businesses.
AT&T, which competes with Verizon Communications, plans to improve its network infrastructure for delivering Internet-based data and video as companies worldwide increasingly shift to the Web for communications with customers, suppliers, and employees. The latest investment would increase the amount of money AT&T has spent on business-focused networks, systems, and applications since 2006 to more than $3 billion, according to the company.
The money expected to be spent this year would improve AT&T's virtual private network portfolio and wide area network, and its telepresence, hosting, and digital media services. In the area of hosting, for example, AT&T plans to increase data center capacity in Atlanta; Annapolis, Md.; and the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area in the United Sates, as well as in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and the United Kingdom. AT&T today manages a total of more than 2.6 million square feet of data centers in 10 countries.
On the mobile side, AT&T's planned investment is expected to help it keep pace with the increasing number of people and businesses turning to mobile devices for communications while using landlines less. AT&T plans to focus on global positioning systems for more location-based services and to offer a better platform for accessing business applications on handheld devices. AT&T also plans to improve its network for communications between computer systems spanning multiple companies.
AT&T has partnered with IBM in delivering networking and computing technology. Among the projects the partners will be working together on is the deployment of IPv6 on AT&T's global network. IPv6 is the next-generation Internet Protocol that is still in its infancy in terms of general worldwide deployment. The technology is capable of connecting far more devices over the Internet than the older IPv4.
With their services in decline, carriers struggle with how to build applications as cost-effectively as the Facebooks of the world. InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of this topic. Download the report here (registration required).