Telecom Italia launches BBNED in the Netherlands to offer nationwide broadband service

10/26/2000 - 00:00 PM

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Telecom Italia announced today the launch of Bbned, a new company based in Amsterdam, which will offer a complete portfolio of broadband services in the Dutch market for Internet Service Providers, Applications Service Providers, small and medium enterprises (SME) and large enterprises.

Bbned, 100% owned by Stet International Netherlands (SIN, the company that holds all the international participations of the Telecom Italia Group in fixed and fixed-mobile telephony), will be capitalized with an initial investment of around 100 million euros.

As important industrial partners for the project, Telecom Italia has also chosen KPMG as software provider and Cisco as network provider and end-to-end connection services.

Oscar Cicchetti, Head of Telecom Italia´s International Operations, stated, "Bbned fits exactly Telecom Italia´s strategy to exploit the broadband explosion in Europe. Bbned aims to achieve a primary position in the Netherlands as a leading broadband Internet service provider, by developing by the end of 2001 a national network, the first after that of KPN."

The company´s strategic plan calls for more than 100,000 subscribers to be connected to a DSL (Digital Subscriber line) network. Target clients include large wholesale end-users, internet and application service providers, and small and medium sized enterprises, for which Bbned will provide fast DSL service, guaranteeing maximum efficiency and customer satisfaction through excellent quality of response.

Bbned will offer to its customers an unlimited broadband connection for a flat rate. Bbned´s customers will also be able to activate and monitor the company´s service directly via their own computer.

Bbned uses DSL technology to make the existing infrastructure of copper cables suitable for ultra-rapid data traffic. In contrast to its competitors, BBned is focusing exclusively on the Dutch broadband market.

Hans Rietkerk, Managing Director of Bbned, stated: "By investing heavily in our roll-out and thanks to the expertise of Telecom Italia, we are convinced that we will quickly become the largest supplier of broadband services in the Netherlands. Customer care is our main concern. With a full front and back office support system we will provide 100% managed care that our competitors lack."

In early November Bbned will start the test phase of the company´s network. By mid-November the network will be operational and the company will commence commercial activities. The goal is to achieve a rollout in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht before the end of 2000, with national coverage to be achieved by end 2001.

About Telecom Italia
The Telecom Italia Group is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, and domestic leader in Italy. The Group´s international presence is concentrated in Europe, Latin America and the Mediterranean Basin.

One of Italy´s largest corporations, the Group at June 2000 registered a turnover of 14.2 billion euros (an increase of 8.5% compared to the first six months of 1999). The consolidated net profit at 30 June 2000 equaled 979 million euros (an increase of 7.5% compared to the first six months of 1999). The company´s operating income was 3.4 billion euros in the first half of 2000. At 30 June 2000, the Telecom Italia Group employed roughly 128,000 people.

Connections to the Telecom Italia fixed line network reached 27 million, while mobile lines exceeded 20 million in Italy, and 40 million worldwide. The Group´s internet subscribers amounted to 3.5 million at June 2000.

At the end of 1999, Telecom Italia´s backbone included over 400,000 km of fiber optic cables installed in Italy. At the end of June 2000, ASDL service was offered in 41 cities, and is planned to be extended to a total 114 cities by the end of 2000 and to 250 cities in 2001.

The company´s recently introduced organizational structure, based upon differentiation between corporate and business activities, has resulted in the creation of the following business units, each of which operates in its own market sector: Wireline Services (voice traffic, data transmission, call centers), Mobile Telephony (TIM), Internet (Seat-Tin.it), Satellite Services, IT Services (IT Telecom), Venture Capital and Innovation (Telecom Italia Ventures), International Operations.