BT boosts mainland presence with deals
Telecommunications services giant BT Group is stepping up its expansion on the mainland after separately landing major deals with China Unicom and iSoftStone Holdings.
BT signed yesterday a so-called network to network interface (NNI) agreement with Unicom, the mainland's No 2 telecommunications carrier, to enable the British company's global customers to seamlessly connect to about 330 cities in China.
'This improved depth of coverage will translate to a more cost-effective solution for customers who require remote connectivity, as they expand operations further inland in China,' said Kevin Taylor, the president for Asia-Pacific at BT Global Services.
The Unicom partnership marked BT's second NNI contract on the mainland. It has an existing arrangement with Citic Telecom International CPC, a subsidiary of Citic Telecom International Holdings.
'If our customer needs connectivity in a remote location anywhere in China, we can seamlessly interconnect through our partner's network,' said Rod Bruggisser, BT senior portfolio marketing manager for Asia-Pacific. 'China is a vast geography, so a strong access network partnership helps customers achieve a faster go-to-market strategy.'
BT's customers on the mainland include Procter & Gamble, Novartis, Unilever, Nestle and PepsiCo. It also serves large Chinese clients with global requirements, including Huawei Technologies, Air China, ZTE Corp and Haier Group.
Taylor said BT would next focus on a potential NNI with China Telecom Corp, the country's biggest fixed-line network operator.
BT, which started its mainland operations in 1995, also announced a new alliance with domestic information-technology services provider iSoftStone.
Beijing-based iSoftStone recently invested an undisclosed amount to buy a 20 per cent equity interest in MDCL-Frontline (China), which is BT's mainland information-technology services joint venture. The stake acquired by iSoftStone was from the shareholding of Godwin Yau, the joint venture's founder.
'We expect iSoftStone and MDCL-Frontline to leverage each other's strengths and collaborate on strategic initiatives in areas such as health care and cloud computing,' said Eliza Kwok, BT China's managing director.