SBC Merger Wont Derail AT&Ts Plans

AT&T officials say the company intends to expand its offerings beyond voice over IP to SOIP (services over IP), including conference, messaging, work collaboration, video and IP Centrex services.

SAN JOSE, Calif.—The proposed merger with SBC Communications Inc. wont derail AT&T Corp.s plans to aggressively develop its SOIP (services over IP) strategy, according to AT&T executives who spoke at the VON Spring 2005 conference here.

"There is going to be much more investment beyond what has already been announced individually by the two companies," said Behzad Nadji, vice president of AT&T Labs Research in Menlo Park, Calif.

AT&T is not content to just offer a VOIP (voice over IP) telephone service.

Its going to offer a broad range of IP-based services that go beyond the CallVantage VOIP telephone service that the company introduced in 2004, Nadji said.

These services will include conference, messaging, work collaboration, video and IP Centrex services designed to serve different market segments from residential consumers to small businesses and large enterprises, he said.

The combination will have the infrastructure that is capable of servicing millions of subscribers across all of these market segments, he said.

It will be able to provide service levels and quality of service that will exceed smaller telecommunications companies or the many VOIP startups, Nadji said.

"The combination of AT&T and SBC would have the necessary tools to manage a large number of people and customers," he said.

SBC announced Jan. 31 that it had reached an agreement to buy AT&T for $16 billion.

The buyout is currently under regulatory review and has to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission before SBC can close the deal.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read David Courseys opinion on why SBC should become AT&T—not the other way around.

Nadji noted that AT&T already has all the infrastructure it needs to expand its IP services, including the network functions, call control, electronic 911, and peering.

AT&Ts long-established network handles PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), cellular calls and Wi-Fi communications as different access methods that can be accommodated by the same network.

Next Page: AT&T touts proven capability.

John Pallatto

John Pallatto

John Pallatto has been editor in chief of QuinStreet Inc.'s eWEEK.com since October 2012. He has more than 40 years of experience as a professional journalist working at a daily newspaper and...