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Spotlight: Diplomats Gain Secure VPN Access

By | January 19, 2004

      The foreign ministries of the Netherlands and another European country have become the latest customers of Amsterdam-based Equant [NYSE: ENT], which is offering new secure satellite virtual private network (VPN) access services. Last week, Equant announced deals with the ministries to provide secure communications to their embassies and consulates in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

      The Dutch government has signed a five-year contract for Equant’s IP VPN access service to connect 40 of its 160 embassies and consulates in areas where terrestrial links are more expensive or generally unavailable. The other European country plans to migrate its existing satellite network to Equant’s IP satellite access service in the near future. A third foreign ministry, which the company also did not identify, has signed up for a pilot project to test the dedicated satellite access.

      A total of 16 governmental organizations and foreign ministries currently are Equant customers. The new satellite VPN offerings also are capable of serving corporations and other multinational organizations that need to operate in remote areas. The satellite services leverage Equant’s worldwide framework agreements with Intelsat and France Telecom, which provide the necessary high-speed satellite bandwidth.

      –Paul Dykewicz

      (Frederic Emmert, Equant, 571/643-7114)

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