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AT&T expands service reach in India via Bharti Airtel pact

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AT&T (NYSE: T) is giving multinational corporations (MNCs), particularly those that are looking to establish a greater presence in India, another reason to consider it a global provider by establishing a new interconnection agreement with Bharti Airtel.

Current AT&T MNC customers can get access in five parts of the country--Delhi/National Capital Region, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad--via eight network nodes.

A key part of this agreement is expanded network access. Through this Network-to-Network Interconnection (NNI) agreement, customers will be able to access over 100 cities across India via over 130 of Bharti Airtel's MPLS-enabled IP network nodes.

An existing MNC customer could expand its global MPLS virtual private networks (VPNs) to Tier 1 and Tier 2 locations throughout India. To ensure network uptime, AT&T has linked all of its connections with Bharti to its own global network.

AT&T may have had a presence in India for over 25 years, but it's important for it to establish partnerships with local players such as Bharti Airtel as a way to address existing customers' expansion needs. Having another access option will also enable it to broaden the reach of its  Ethernet service capabilities, which MNCs are increasingly using to access IP VPN services.

According to Vertical Systems Group's global Ethernet Leaderboard, AT&T may still trail others like Colt and BT (NYSE: BT), but through this partnership and others the telco will make its Ethernet offerings more attractive to existing and new MNC customers that are considering it for their global network service.

Similar to earlier reporting periods, strategic business services, including Ethernet and IP VPN, grew 15.7 percent in Q3 2013 and now represent a $8.6 billion annualized revenue stream.

For more:
- see the release

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