Japan’s largest telecoms operator by revenue, NTT Corp, has resurrected efforts to build up its overseas presence, reportedly earmarking ‘billions of dollars’ of investment abroad to build corporate IT systems to compete with the likes of IBM, Accenture and Hewlett-Packard. The Wall Street Journal notes that despite is decade-long disastrous foray into markets overseas, NTT is trying once again to ramp up its international activities and is spending heavily – mostly in the US – to establish a beachhead. The telco is opening a research centre and showroom in Silicon Valley and seeking partnership deals with local companies to make its IT systems more ‘user-friendly’, the report claims. Last year, NTT Corp group companies reportedly spent more than USD2.4 billion on international deals – a three-fold increase year-on-year – according to data from Dealogic. The overseas push is seen as crucial to keeping profits up at NTT Corp, a behemoth with annual revenue of USD105 billion, cash reserves of USD11 billion and operations that span fixed line and mobile telecommunications as well as IT services. Almost 90% of its revenue comes from its home market, where growth is stagnating. NTT now hopes to reduce its dependency on its traditional markets, but must be wary if it is to improve its poor track record where it comes to spending overseas. Having ploughed up to USD15 billion in stakes in AT&T Wireless (US), KPN Mobile (Netherlands) and Hutchison 3G UK in the late-90s onwards, it subsequently took a hit of USD7.8 billion when those investments went south.
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