Feeds

Marconi savaged after failure to win BT 21CN deal

Share price falls 40 per cent

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

Shares in telecoms equipment outfit Marconi plummeted more than 40 per cent this morning after it confirmed it had not secured a slice of a major £10bn contract from BT.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange Marconi announced it "has not been selected as preferred supplier for BT's next-generation 21st Century Network (21CN) project".

"This is a disappointing outcome from a very competitive tender process," said Marconi chief exec Mike Parton. "Our products performed extremely well technically, but we have been unable to meet BT's commercial requirements."

The failure to win a slice of the action sent shockwaves through the City. By El Reg's midmorning coffee break, shares in Marconi were down 207.5p (43 per cent) at 274.5p.

Putting a brave face on things Marconi added that it would continue to supply equipment and services to BT under existing contracts it has with the UK's dominant fixed line telco.

Earlier today BT named eight companies - whittled down from more than 300 across the globe - as its preferred suppliers for its 21CN project. The telco is investing £10bn over the next five years in the new network designed to deliver whizzy high-speed communications services.

The eight companies are Fujitsu, Huawei, Alcatel, Cisco, Siemens, Lucent, Ciena and Ericsson.

Said BT WHolesale boss Paul Reynolds: "21CN is a key infrastructure that will fuel the UK economy and provide a flexible way for consumers to use new services. The selection of the preferred suppliers is an incredibly important building block towards that vision. 21CN will also radically reduce BT's cost base, with identified savings of around one billion pounds a year."

Last year BT announced plans to migrate its national phone network to an Internet Protocol (IP) platform. The move will take five years to complete and should produce savings of £1bn a year for the UK's dominant fixed line telco.

The new multi-service IP-based network will carry both voice and data services and replace the UK's public switched telephone network (PSTN). 21CN will involve installing IP kit, called Multi Service Access Nodes (MSANs), in exchanges which are capable of carrying both voice and data traffic. The mass migration of customers onto the new network is set to begin in 2006 with the majority shunted across by 2008.®

Shares in BT were up 1p (0.5 per cent) at 198p at the time of writing. ®

Related stories

BT's 21CN is 'exciting, radical and now'
BT to trial fibre-to-the-home
BT to save £1bn a year with IP network

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.