IBM Corp and Italian state telecommunications holding company Stet – Societa Finanziaria Telefonica per Azioni – duly announced their preliminary agreement on a broadbrush alliance that will see the IBM Global Network combined with the Telecom Italia SpA backbone network in a 50-50 global joint venture, which is expected to expand in the coming months with the addition of other partners. The partnership will be the integration point for various data, speech, multimedia and industry implementation capabilities, running over an open multiprotocol architecture now in development. The companies plan to offer jointly a suite of value-added telecommunications and network services such as electronic mail, groupware, Internet navigation, Electronic Data Interchange services, public information kiosks, videoconferencing and network facilities management to their country partners worldwide, including Italy. And the two plan to form a new venture – involving Finsiel SpA – for computer systems facilities management services in the Italian market and collaborate on Stet’s introduction of interactive broadband services with plans to offer a full interactive multimedia system for homes and businesses. The agreements do include any equity exchanges.
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