Company of the week: British Telecom
Sunday 19 September 1999
BT and AT&T believe the deal will let them compete better against Vodafone AirTouch, the world's largest wireless company. New technology has companies racing to provide phones that can access the internet and corporate networks from anywhere in the world without wires.
"Mobile communications is very much the future," said Nigel Hawkins, an analyst with Williams de Broe. "It's fair to say that Vodafone AirTouch - in pole position - had to expect that some of the big beasts in the telecoms jungle would try and emulate them over the next couple of years."
Together, BT and AT&T's mobile operations serve 41 million customers in 17 countries and have annual sales of $12bn (pounds 7.4bn). The new alliance, called Advance, won't be a separate company.
More than 226 million customers use cell phones worldwide, and the number is growing by 52 per cent a year. Europeans are leading wireless use, partly as the continent shares a single transmitting standard, allowing callers to use their mobile in any European country. Network operators in the US and Europe use different standards, making most mobiles useless for travellers who cross the Atlantic.
Manufacturers are now making so-called dual- and tri-band phones for use on different standards. Countries and firms around the world also are trying to rally around a new generation of phone service that would use the same standard.
To benefit from a single standard, mobile-phone firms are scrambling to unite to offer global services. AT&T and BT are betting their Advance alliance will be ahead in the contest for business clients.
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...