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AT&T, China Telecom Agree to Expand Services in China, U.S.

AT&T Inc., the largest U.S. telephone carrier, and China Telecom Corp. agreed to expand an 11-year partnership to provide more communication services to multinational companies in both countries.

AT&T will offer more services China, including so-called virtual private networks and provide additional technology, according to a statement today. The agreement will give Beijing-based China Telecom better network access to provide data services to Chinese companies with units in the U.S.

AT&T is using its global data network, which spans 886,000 miles of fiber worldwide, to win contracts from multinational companies to provide communication services in emerging markets in Asia and Latin America. In 2000, AT&T formed the first Sino-foreign telecommunications services joint venture in China, known as the Shanghai Symphony Telecommunications Co., with partners China Telecom and Shanghai Information Investment Co.

As part of today’s accord, AT&T will connect China Telecom to its data networks in the U.S. to provide service to Chinese multinationals. The two companies also said they will consider providing mutual support in other regions of the world.

AT&T, based in Dallas, rose 0.4 percent to $28.06 yesterday in New York. China Telecom, the largest fixed-line phone company and broadband Internet service provider in China, increased 0.7 percent to HK$4.60 in Hong Kong.

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