BT and KDDI Team Up in Japan

The British phone company signs a joint venture agreement with Japan's second largest telco. It gives both companies a better global reach

BT has signed a joint venture agreement with Japan's second-largest telco, KDDI.

The two companies will from this summer team up to offer global managed network and IT outsourcing services.

BT Global Services has had marked success in this area in recent years, driving a new wave of growth at the telco. Its international competitors for large network-plus-IT contracts include AT&T, NTT - Japan's largest telco and fierce KDDI rival - Orange Business Services (previously Equant), Sprint and Verizon Business (previously MCI).

The 50:50 joint venture, which kicks off with 100 staff, could help BT target businesses in Japan that are reluctant to use a non-Japanese supplier, at home or abroad.

For KDDI, it gives a better global reach.

BT has had a low presence in Asia in recent years. At one time - during the telecoms bubble of the late 1990s - it built up stakes in providers in the east of the continent but retrenched as new management sought to reduce levels of debt and concentrate on markets nearer to home as well as services such as broadband and outsourcing.