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AT&T to Enter Cloud Storage Market

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BOSTON (Reuters) - AT&T Inc, the biggest U.S. telephone company, plans to offer Web-based data storage services for corporations using "cloud computing" technologies developed by data storage equipment maker EMC Corp.

The telecommunications giant will join International Business Machines Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Symantec Corp, Iron Mountain Inc and others in offering storage as a service product, which allow companies to use the Internet to transfer information to remote storage facilities.

AT&T said on Monday it will initially run the service from two data centers in the United states, although the company intends to expand overseas.

It is still early days for the industry.

Market researcher Gartner forecasts that revenue from cloud-based storage and backup services will rise 22 percent this year to about $400 million.

Cloud-based storage services charge companies for space as they use it at an agreed rate per gigabyte per month, rather than requiring them to purchase storage equipment in advance or pay for maintaining that gear.

Copyright 2009 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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