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2.5 Million Marconi Package Will Drive Powernet Expansion

Manchester-based Powernet Telecom has ordered a 2.5 million package of equipment from Marconi Communications to drive its expansion as a national supplier of telephony, Internet, data and multimedia network services.

Powernet has purchased a Marconi System X switch and an IN Intelligent Network (IN) Services Platform, together with IP (Internet protocol) routers and servers, which it will use to launch a new portfolio of communications services on 1 July.

Marconi Communications sales director Rod Smith, said:

"This is a strategically important development for both our companies. It demonstrates Marconi's ability to supply class-leading, complete solutions in a market increasingly driven by the convergence of telephone and Internet-based technologies.

"It also signals, in the emergence of Powernet Telecom, the arrival of a new generation of entrepreneurs who are able to leverage our solutions to become highly competitive in a wide spectrum of fast-changing communications markets."

Powernet plans to use its Marconi equipment package as a base from which to sell services directly to business end-users, and to resellers of Internet and telephony/multimedia network services.

CEO Ian Carey said:

"We have chosen to base our expansion on Marconi equipment because we believe it will enable us to apply the resilience and power of the company's switching platform to server-based solutions for Internet service providers.

"It also gives us the flexibility to develop and market new added-value telephone services which will enable us to offer our customers fully-featured and highly competitive communications packages, which will meet all their present and future needs.

"The support, network development expertise and upgrade options available from Marconi mean that we will be able to continue our expansion into new national and international markets as our customer base grows."

Products under development by Powernet include new Internet services with content tailored specifically for UK business users and facilities for processing e-commerce transactions electronically. Powernet will also offer its new Internet service to corporate bodies wishing to utilise the facilities as a virtual Internet service provider (VISP).

Marconi's equipment package is being installed at the Telecity shared user facility at Manchester Science Park, where it will go live by the end of June.

Marconi Communications is a world leader in smart broadband transmission, access equipment and network integration. It has sales to more than 140 countries, a major presence in the United Kingdom, the USA, Italy and South Africa and is wholly owned by GEC, a global manufacturer of intelligent electronic systems.

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Powernet Telecom

Based in Bracken House, Charles Street, Manchester, Powernet Telecom is a privately-financed company that is the largest independent UK reseller of free-to-call numbers to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals.

The company has strategic alliances with Cable & Wireless and Orange.

Powernet was established in 1995 to market telecoms and Internet products to the SME and domestic sectors. Building on the company's financial success to date, coupled with its ability to provide telecoms and Internet services to the corporate marketplace, substantial revenue growth is predicted for the next two years and thereafter.

Powernet's chairman is the 13th Marquis of Huntly. The CEO, Ian Carey, is a former account director with Saatchi and Saatchi, with a background in financial services, marketing and business publishing.

Marconi Communications

The Marconi System X switch ordered by Powernet is the latest version of the exchange equipment which is at the heart of more than 70% of BT's trunk telephone network. It is also used by many of Marconi's customers, who include network operators in more than 140 countries.

Marconi's IN Services Platform works with System X to provide a vast range of added-value intelligent network services, including free call, low-cost, national and premium rate calls, number portability, caller line identification, call waiting, call barring and call diversion.

The order from Powernet for servers and routers demonstrates Marconi's increasing capabilities as a supplier of integrated IP and telephone network solutions.

Earlier this year, Marconi's parent company, GEC, acquired the US RELTEC Corporation, giving it "best in class" products in both US Access and SONET technologies.

Marconi Communications Press Office   0115 906 4687


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