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Cable & Wireless unveils $1 billion European network

ATM backbone first, then fibre-optic links

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Cable & Wireless has announced a five-year, $1 billion plan to build a voice and data network across Europe, linking 40 of the continent's largest cities in 13 countries. Work on the network will commence with the delivery of a high-speed (155Mbps) Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) backbone across Europe linking "key European business centres". European carrier Hermes Europe Railtel will be supplying this part of the network. It will also be wired into C&W's networks in the UK, US and Asia/Pacific. Work is already in progress connecting those three hubs together. The aim is to provide global Internet services. Over the next two years, C&W will roll outfibre-optic links between 18 key European cities. This part of the network will be bought from Global Crossing's Pan European Crossing network. It will be capable of handling five million simultaneous phone calls, said C&W. The network will then be extended to the remaining 22 locations and will begin to provide IP. First of all, however, C&W needs to obtain voice and data telephony licenses in most continental European countries. ®

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