Supermarket giant Sainsbury's has signed a new five-year deal with BT for a next-generation network that will increase network capacity by 400 per cent.
The new service will see Sainsbury's 1,000 stores and 23 depots move from a leased line to a broadband-based network, with stores that had been used to a fixed line connection of 256Kbps now benefiting from an ADSL Connect speed of 24Mb per second.
The five-year deal follows a six-month tender process for a next-generation network which saw BT shortlisted alongside Cable & Wireless and Talk Talk. There is the possibility of a two-year extension on the contract.
Peter Lickiss, director of IT and operations at Sainsbury's, said that although BT has supplied broadband to Sainsbury's since 2003, the company won this deal fair and square following a competitive tender: "We chose BT because of the capacity and availability of its '21st Century Network', as well as value for money."
The 21st Century Network has seen the network switch from a legacy public switched telephone network to one that converts access technologies wherever possible into IP over a single backhaul network technology.
BT has already upgraded 300 convenience stores to the ADSL Connect service following a pre-investment with BT, which saw it tasked with converting these stores over a 12-week period.
The remaining 700 stores will be upgraded by June next year.
"The network will allow us to send multimedia updates to stores, such as briefings from the CEO Justin King," said Lickiss. "We will also be able to send videos to store managers regarding how stores should be dressed, for example."
In addition, the solution provides sufficient bandwidth for Sainsbury's to provide wi-fi to customers in store and it is currently piloting the service at its Stanley, Crawford, Lincoln and Heaton Park supermarkets.