Cable & Wireless in ‘landmark’ Tesco deal

28 May 2008

Cable & Wireless has signed a five-year €125m contract with Tesco to create a new next-generation telecommunications network for the retail group’s UK and international operations.

The company will become the exclusive supplier of data, fixed and mobile voice telecommunications to Tesco in the UK, streamlining the group’s existing systems into a single, efficient IP network, based on next-generation platforms.

The network will have 40 times the capacity of Tesco’s current network and will be built on Cable & Wireless’ Multi Service Platform (MSP).

It will bring together all of Tesco’s existing UK communication infrastructure, connecting more than 1,800 Tesco sites, including stores, regional offices and distribution centres.

Internationally, it will directly connect Tesco’s operations in 14 separate countries, including Ireland, China, India, Japan, the US and Turkey, connecting over 400,000 people.

VoIP will be implemented on the system to reduce Tesco’s voice bills. A fixed-mobile convergence system will be established for Tesco’s UK employees.

This will enable staff to use their existing mobile phone for all calls, operating as a fixed-line phone in the office and roaming on to a mobile network when outside.

The MSP-powered network will also allow Tesco’s management to consider a range of innovative communication tools, such as in-store information kiosks, telepresence videoconferencing and staff presentation and communication tools.

“This is a landmark customer win for Cable & Wireless,” said Jim Marsh, CEO Cable & Wireless Europe, Asia & US. “We’re very happy to be working with the UK’s largest supermarket group and a world leader in Tesco.”

“Innovation was at the core of the service. This next-generation network opens up a new set of opportunities for us. We can be much more creative in terms of the services we can offer our customers, as well as our staff,” said Nick Folkes, Tesco’s IT director, UK infrastructure and operations.

By Niall Byrne