NTT Beefs Up in Europe
NTT Communications Corp. (NYSE: NTT) has reminded its international business services rivals such as AT&T Global Network Services , BT Global Services , Orange Business Services , and Verizon Enterprise Solutions that it's a force to be reckoned with, by bolstering its physical presence in Europe and the U.S., offering new service guarantees, and announcing a security services-oriented acquisition.
The Japanese giant has agreed to buy Integralis AG , a German firm specializing in IT security services, for €75 million (US$105.5 million), or €6.75 per share. It expects the deal to close in September this year. (See NTT Com to Buy Integralis.)
The news sent investors flocking to the security firm's stock, sending its price up by €1.50, about 33 percent, to €6.65 in morning trading on the Xetra European exchange.
If the takeover is completed, Integralis, which generated revenues of €42 million ($59 million) and broke even during the first quarter of this year, will become a subsidiary of NTT and be run by the same management team.
NTT says demand is increasing for IT security services from its global corporate customers, which face an increasing threat from hackers and viruses. (See VoIP Security Vendors Watch & Wait for the Worst, Securing the Walls of UC Platforms, and Threats Become Big Business.)
The physical presence involves the addition of a global IP-VPN point of presence (POP) in London from July 1, and plans for a similar POP in its Paris data center later this year. The carrier also announced the extension of its Arcstar global IP VPN service to Atlanta from July 1 and Denver later this year. (See NTT Extends IP VPN Reach.)
NTT also cemented its reputation as the carrier standard-bearer for IPv6 services by announcing a "service-level agreement (SLA) guaranteeing 100 percent network availability, as well as latency and packet loss levels, to customers using IPv6 services" delivered across its global IP backbone from July 1. (See NTT Offers IPv6 SLA.)
The carrier has long positioned itself as a proponent of IPv6 service introduction -- see NTT America Extends IPV6 , NTT Joins IPv6 Conclave, NTT America Integrates IP, and NTT Com Expands IPv6 Coverage (the last, news from 2003!) -- and is now seeing other operators offer expanded IP address support. (See Comcast Braces for IPv6, Limelight Supports IPv6, Interoute Supports IPv6, IIJ Offers IPv6 Access, Orange Boosts Asia/Pac Network, AT&T Plans $1B Global Spend, IPv6, Anyone?, Level 3 Aids IPv6, and Free Deploys IPv6.)
NTT's moves come as the likes of Verizon Business and Orange Business Services bolster their services offerings, and as other international services players seek out new partnerships to extend their reach and benefit from economies of scale. (See Verizon Offers Dynamic Ethernet, MTN Joins BICS Alliance, Verizon Unveils Cloud Services, Verizon Tackles Apps Performance, BT, Tata Team Up, Orange Deploys AlcaLu Gear, Orange Business Boosts SLAs, and Telefónica's New Battleground.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading