Wednesday, January 5, 2005

SBC to Adopt "U-Verse" Brand for Broadband IP Services

SBC Communications will promote its forthcoming IPTV, accelerated broadband and wireless/wireline services under the "U-verse" brand when the services begin rolling out later this year. At the heart of the U-verse portfolio is Project Lightspeed, the company's previously announced approximately $4 billion initiative to deploy fiber to 18 million households across 13 states by the end of 2007.

"This is the year when excitement and dependability finally get on the same page -- when connections and electronics finally come together to provide the convergence that our industry has been promising and our customers have been expecting," said Edward E. Whitacre Jr., SBC's chairman and CEO, speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Whitacre said testing of Microsoft's IPTV platform was going well. Whitacre also noted that SBC Communications recently activated its 5 million DSL line, giving it a leadership position in the U.S. broadband market.

The U-verse suite will also include Unified Communications, which combines wireline and wireless voice mail, e-mail and faxes into one mailbox. The service is available today but will continue to be enhanced in the coming months. Also, the U-verse family of services will include a consumer-based VoIP service that the company plans to unveil in first-quarter 2005.

  • In October, SBC Communications selected Alcatel as its primary network infrastructure and services supplier for Project Lightspeed. The deal is estimated to be worth $1.7 billion to Alcatel over the next five years. Specifically, Alcatel will supply access and fiber technologies, IP routing and Ethernet switching solutions, and network systems integration services.


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