Feeds

Marconi savaged after failure to win BT 21CN deal

Share price falls 40 per cent

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.