BT has signed contracts with the remaining four preferred suppliers for its next generation 21st Century Network (21CN) programme.
Network hardware contracts have been signed with Alcatel, Cisco, Ericsson and Fujitsu. These deals follow the contracts signed last December with the other preferred suppliers of Ciena, Huawei, Lucent and Siemens.
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BT’s 21CN will see BT convert its core telecoms infrastructure to one based purely on IP technology. IP will allow the UK’s biggest telecoms provider to offer users new and more flexible telecoms services.
The new network, which is costing BT around £10bn, will help BT to widely offer services like voice over IP and video-on-demand to businesses and consumers.
The new network is expected to save BT £1bn a year by 2008/09. The first customer lines to be migrated to the new network will be the ones in Cardiff, in the second half of this year.