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21st Century Communications World Forum

Speaking at the 21st Century Communications World Forum conference in London, Paul Reynolds, Chief Executive of BT Wholesale, shared his perspective regarding what is changing the telecom sector � and specifically BT�s plans as they learn to adapt to this change.

Reynolds said that established service providers can learn a lot from business models like Google and Skype. In fact, BT is in the process of preparing the launch of Web 21C, which is a strategy of �services designed in software.� More details about this new vision will be shared within the coming months.

Regarding BT�s previously announced 21st Century Network (21CN) vision, Reynolds recapped the company�s goals. First, shrink the product launch cycle from the prior 18 month window, down to 6 months or less. Second, radically enhance the customer experience. Third, reduce the company�s cost base, both radically and continually.

Regarding BT�s lessons learned from implementing the above mentioned goals, he had the following insights to share with the audience at the Forum.

1. Make it �carrier class� so that it can scale. Base it on open standards, with built in interoperability.
2. Be open and transparent about business plans. Deliberately be more �public� than ever before.
3. Be fast. Maintain the current PSTN, while developing new IP platforms. A five year plan may be too slow. Ask is there a better, cheaper, and less duplicative way.
4. Don�t start unless you intend to transform your business and network �everywhere.� BT has attained 99.8 percent broadband availability in the UK.
5. Be global. It�s no longer a UK business. In fact, BT is more advanced outside the UK, and it�s now bringing the national network in alignment with international. The first customers will migrate to 21CN in Cardiff, during November.

In summary, Reynolds conceded that breaking the �proprietary vendor� influence and stranglehold on BT�s business was by far the toughest challenge the company has encountered thus far, in reaching its 21CN transformation vision.

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