A recent survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit noted there are more Canadian executives wanting to migrate their networks over to IP than the global average. Seeing those findings, AT&T Corp. wants to be the company to help them make that jump.
“The Canadian market is absolutely the top priority of our global strategy right now,” said John Slamecka, vice-president AT&T business services for Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America Region, during a recent AT&T roundtable called “On the Road to an IP World” in Toronto.
One analyst at the roundtable expressed doubts about AT&T’s Canadian intentions.
“I’m not sure they understand the Canadian market. [Slamecka saying] Canada is very important to [their] strategy going forward is the oddest statement I’ve ever heard,” said Brian Sharwood, principle with the Seaboard Group in Toronto.
AT&T hasn’t always been at the forefront of IP. According to Hossein Eslambolchi, president of AT&T Global Networking Technology Services and AT&T CIO and CTO, when the company decided to develop an IP network in 1996, there was no business case for it.
One of the objectives Eslambolchi has for AT&T is to move from traditional voice services to what he calls services over IP.
“One way to design an IP network is that it has to support all classes of services and not one class of service like VoIP,” he said. Other services he envisions over IP include instant messaging, gaming, electronic collaboration and video over the Internet.
The company has been building its IP network over the years to the point where Eslambolchi believes AT&T now has the largest MPLS-based IP network in the world.
To drive forward its IP vision in Canada, Slamecka said AT&T would partner up with the likes of Bell Canada, Telus Corp. and MTS Allstream Inc.
Eslambolchi said in today’s virtual world, many businesses are moving to Canada and when designing a network, they need to build where their customers want to go and then offer the same quality of service.