Dutch Foreign Ministry signs 5-year deal for Equant IP VPN

17 July 2003 The Hague, Netherlands/London Lightwave Europe -- Equant has signed a five-year, 160-site contract with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The deal is for a fully-managed IP VPN network to connect Dutch embassies and consulates around the world with the Ministry's headquarters in The Hague.

- 160 Dutch embassies and consulates worldwide to be linked with flexible, secure MPLS-based solution

17 July 2003 The Hague, Netherlands/London Lightwave Europe -- Equant has signed a five-year, 160-site contract with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The deal is for a fully-managed IP VPN network to connect Dutch embassies and consulates around the world with the Ministry's headquarters in The Hague.

The IP VPN will link the different locations via terrestrial and satellite connections. The Ministry had a legacy network based on frame relay and satellite technology from different providers, but it decided that IP VPN technology and a single provider would better meet its global requirements.

Roll-out of the new network is planned to start in September 2003 and to be completed by mid-2004, offering the Ministry the following benefits:
- The highest level of security. Because Equant IP VPN runs on Equant's private network and is monitored around the clock by Equant experts, the Ministry can feel confident that its communications, both classified and unclassified, will reach their destination safely.
- Flexibility. The any-to-any connectivity inherent in Equant IP VPN gives the Ministry great flexibility and ease in expanding the network to new locations.
- Coverage. Equant is able to meet the Ministry's needs with the most extensive IP network available. Equant IP VPN is currently available in more than 140 countries
- Traffic prioritisation. Equant IP VPN has five classes of service, the most in the industry, which will enable the Ministry to prioritise its mission-critical applications, as well as Internet and intranet browsing.

The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, "The Ministry wanted to outsource its complete network to one networking partner, rather than several. Equant's worldwide coverage and ability to provide an advanced IP VPN solution with local support for our remote sites were key differentiators."

Detlef Spang, Equant's senior vice-president of Western Europe Markets and Sales, said, "The agreement highlights our ability to tailor cutting-edge solutions for governmental organisations, as well as for the world's top multinational companies."

Equant recently announced a contract with the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, another one of the 16 foreign offices and governmental bodies that Equant serves.

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