As reported by the BBC, BT, the UK telecoms giant, is planning a massive overhaul of its telephone and data networks. Dubbed "21CN" (21st Century Network), the upgrade is going to cost BT in the region of Â£3 Billion per year. Asides from benefits passed onto customers in terms of cheaper calls and better connectivity, BT expects the move to save them Â£1 Billion a year when completed.
Alongside upgrading the network, BT plans to move its phone customers from the traditional analog network to IP based systems. This will begin in 2006, with the aim to get the majority moved over by 2008. The company also plans to offer a system where users can plug-in a variety of devices to their broadband connection, allowing easy connectivity on everything from PCs to mobile devices. BT will be rolling out trials of both these systems later this year.
BTs internet ventures have so far proved very sucessful, with a 10% increase in profitability this year. In Q4 of 2003/4, BT gained 35,000 new broadband subscribers a week, lifting total subscribers to over 2.5 million people.
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