BT to double MEA growth

British Telecommunications has announced plans to boost its business in Africa and the Middle East.

BT this week announced a series of initiatives aimed at doubling its business across Turkey, the Middle East and Africa.

These initiatives build on similar programs in Asia Pacific and Latin America, where orders in the first nine months of this financial year were up over 50%.

According to BT's research, the addressable market in Turkey, the Middle East and Africa was worth a combined USD8.5bn in 2011. IT spending growth across the regions is expected to top 10% in 2012.

Jeff Kelly, CEO BT Global Services said: " Sub-Saharan Africa remains largely a new frontier for ambitious businesses and is currently showing strong growth rates in a number of countries. We are extending our network capabilities in that region beyond our strong South African operation, with the ambition of serving our customers wherever they seek new opportunities. We are also seeing the emergence of a new generation of local companies in these regions, eager to expand globally. Our new initiatives show that when we talk about global ambitions, we truly mean global."

As part of the new program, BT will hire around 170 new employees across the three regions, including highly skilled professional services specialists to provide local support to customers and deliver consulting, integration and managed services.

Customers in the regions will be able to access a wider range of "intelligent" network services provided by the BT Connect portfolio. Local companies with global aspirations will fully benefit from BT Connect's ability to provide services in 197 countries and territories. Leveraging this infrastructure, new propositions will be launched in the regions, providing innovative networked IT services.

Network reach and access options are being improved in Sub-Saharan Africa. These include the recently announced international routing facility in South Africa and a new network connection between Cape Town and Johannesburg. These will make BT the first global operator with its own network infrastructure in the country. Specific interconnection agreements with local partners extend BT's network reach into Sub-Saharan Africa.

Three new network nodes are being launched in the Middle East, while additional network interconnections will be rolled out in Turkey.

The announcement is part of a wider investment program supporting BT's global strategy. Previous announcements include similar programs in Asia Pacific and in Latin America, improvements to BT's global portfolio and network capabilities, investments in highly skilled professional services resources, and the development of strategic global sector teams to better serve multinational customers.

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