BT to expand its Latin America network, service presence

BT (NYSE: BT) is making a big bet on Latin America with a number of new investments that it believes will double its business in the region's key countries by 2014.

The service provider's bet isn't off-base. Research conducted by BT revealed that the Latin American region represents an $18.5 billion opportunity as of the end of March 2011 and is growing 7 percent per annum.

In 2011 alone, the service provider secured a number of large contracts with Latin American-based companies, including ECT--Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telégrafos (the state-owned Brazilian Post Office and Telegraph Company) and Caixa Economica Federal, to connect its data centers with its banking correspondents and lottery outlets in Brazil.

Among the many initiatives BT is taking to reach its Latin American growth goals are the hiring of 250 new staff members, building up its professional services capabilities, opening new centers and implementing a number of network and customer service improvements.

From a network reach perspective, BT will increase the number of its MPLS points of presence by about 20 percent and launch Ethernet services in 21 new cities. All of these efforts will be complemented with its satellite service capabilities, which serve about 37,000 sites today.  

The new investment will also play into global growth opportunities for Latin America-based companies by providing them with IP/VPN services in 197 countries/ territories, Ethernet VPN services in 28 countries and a global Applications Performance Management service.

Of course, BT isn't alone in its Latin American desires. Fellow European operator Orange Business Services recently launched an aggressive network upgrade initiative focused on Latin America and Level 3 (Nasdaq: LVLT) is going to become a bigger player in the region via its completed acquisition of Global Crossing.

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