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November 11, 1993

REVEALED: THE FRANCE TELECOM-BUNDESPOST PLAN

By CBR Staff Writer

Everyone wants to see exactly what it was that France Telecom and the Deutsche Bundespost Telekom proposed to the European Commission in the way of an alliance – and the Sudeutsche Zeitung has had sight of the papers – and shared what it saw with its readers. They show that expanded co-operation between the two state monoliths could lead to a global alliance in everything but local telephone services by the end of the decade. The papers go under the title Memorandum for a Strategic Partnership and say that the two could complete broad co-ordination of phone and data services by 1998. A Deutsche Bundespost Telekom spokesman confirmed to Reuter that the document existed, saying he would not challenge the accuracy of the information in the article, but would not comment further. In the memorandum, the pair say they are planning to build a global strategic partnership in order to better serve the needs of European customers around the world and argued the alliance was needed to improve the competitiveness of the two companies in advance of liberalisation of the European Community telecommunications market in 1998. France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom have the short-term goal of setting up a pan-European intelligent communications network for big businesses, the memorandum was quoted as saying. For small and medium-sized businesses, they would offer attractive prices and a broader spectrum of communications services.

AT&T

And by liberalisation in 1998, they plan to offer joint long-distance voice and data services in Europe and would combine all telephone services except for domestic local calls. The paper says that the two are seeking a strong partner to broaden their existing Eunetcom facilities management joint venture and that AT&T Co corresponds ideally to the plan. The companies also expect that joining forces with AT&T would give them greater access to equipment at lower prices, a key factor to remain competitive in the industry, it said. The paper reckons that the first joint data services to be offered by the Franco-German axis would be the next generation of on-line information services based on the X25 standard, such as Deutsche Telekom’s Datex-P service and the France Telecom Transpac system.

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