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Racal Electronics Plc and British Petroleum’s computer services group Scicon Inc have set up a joint operating company to follow British Telecom into the facilities management business for large data networks. The companies have already have already announced a link to bid to maintain and run the Central Computer and Telecommuncations Agency’s, CCTA, shared data network project to build a network to be shared by four government dapartments. They are competing with four other consortia for that contract – Cable and Wireless with ICL; Computer Sciences Corporation with British Telecom; Electronic Data Systems with Northern Telecom; and Plessey with CAP. But the two companies aim to pursue the market further, which British Telecom anticipates will be worth some UKP500m every year in the UK by the 1990s. Since Scicon’s headquarters are now in the US and Racal has numerous US subsidiaries mean that the two are well placed for contracts in overseas markets. The CCTA contract involves an initial 85,000 terminals spread spread over some 3,000 sites, on an X25 network. Details of the joint company have not yet been finalised, and neither partner was ready to reveal the name, headquarters location or ownership split.

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