T-Systems expands with 360 contract

In an effort to expand its connectivity throughout Canada and the United States, T-Systems Inc. announced on Tuesday an extension of its multi-year contract with 360networks Corp.

This means that T-Systems, a global provider of IT and network services, would have access to 53,000 kilometres of an optical mesh fibre network that expands throughout 60 cities in North America, and includes 17 metro fibre networks in nine of Canada’s provinces.

Initially T-Systems will lease 2.5Gbps of optical wavelength, and will have the option to upgrade to 10Gbps wavelength.

The terms of the contract were not disclosed but Chris Mueller, vice-president of corporate development at 360 in Seattle, Wash., said the contract was a big deal, and represents upwards of $50 million.

Right now T-Systems’ Canadian clients are concentrated in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, but Sheila Wahl, director, product at T-Systems Canada in Toronto said this year it will be looking west to Vancouver and Calgary for expansion.

She said T-Systems clients in Canada are generally global players with connections south of the border and overseas and this extended contract with 360 will mean benefits for Canadian customers.

“Customers that are multi-branch locations across the country will have a better ability to interconnect with them on our own network instead of having do end-on-end network,” Wahl said. “So all of our managed services we offer will be more seamless and will we have more ability to provide special management capabilities to customer that may not be in the main cities.” She added that the ability for T-Systems to better control its own network costs is also a benefit because it will be able to rely on its own resources to carry data.

T-Systems is the North American subsidiary of Systems International, owned by Deutsche Telekom, based in Germany. Its IT offerings are comprised of services such as system integration, hosting and consulting while its network services include such things as IP services, Internet, private lines and ATM Frame Relay.

Mark Quigley, research director, Canadian telecom, at the Yankee Group Canada in Ottawa said the fact T-Systems is continuing its contract with 360 is a sign of confidence in a company that recently came back from bankruptcy.

360 recently bought defunct telco Group Telecom Ltd., expanding its network to connect 60 cities in North America.

“It’s an important announcement from the point of view that here’s a company just emerging from bankruptcy and they’ve been able to convince an existing customer to extend its contract with them,” he said. “Certainly in this marketplace, given the number of dead bodies at the side of the road, the ability to incur some type of customer confidence is very important.”

Mueller agreed. “It’s an endorsement by one of the largest global telecom players that they have confidence in our network and our ability to say financially sound,” he said.

For more information visit www.tsystems.ca.