In the first move signaling AT&T may be finally throwing itself into the Internet arena, the phone giant has inked a deal with Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based access provider. The agreement allows AT&T to resell BBN's dedicated Internet access and other services, such as World Wide Web site consulting. It's the easiest and quickest way for AT&T to be able to supply total communications to its customers.
AT&T has guaranteed it will generate a minimum of $120 million during the next three years for BBN Planet, the subsidiary BBN set up for commercial Internet business. The signing of the deal caused BBN's stock to jump more than $18 per share to $27.62.
In other Internet business deals, UUNet Technologies Inc. was selected by the Securities Industry Association as the recommended provider for the SIA. The Fairfax, Va.-based Internet access provider will give special rates plus Internet security capabilities to the 700 securities firms in North America that are members of the New York-based association. SIA's new World Wide Web site can be found at http://www.sia.com
Another new Web page was unveiled last month by McLean, Va.-based Online Resources & Communications Corp., which markets home banking, bill paying and investment management services to financial institutions. Online's new home page, found at http://www.orcc.com/orcc, lists a directory of all banks, credit unions and investment and financial services companies that are offering interactive services and it offers press reports analyzing the different services.
In an international telecommunications deal, Sprint, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom have signed a joint venture agreement for their strategic alliance to provide seamless, global telecom services to businesses, individual consumers and carrier markets. The deal gives the alliance immediate points of presence all around the world.
Terms of the agreement include Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom purchasing a 20 percent equity investment in Sprint, which includes 86.2 million shares of newly issued Sprint stock.
But even as Sprint moves into the international scene, the company is considering getting out of the U.S. wireless business. The Sprint board of directors has announced it's studying strategic options for Sprint Cellular, including a possible spin-off of the unit to shareholders. If the deal goes through, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom would not have any investment in the new concern.