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One of the UK's largest communications agreements this year

Cable & Wireless, the global telecommunications group, today (19 July 2001) announced a memorandum of understanding for a contract to supply managed telecommunications services to CGNU, the UK's largest insurer, which will be worth over #350 million over seven years.

CGNU will outsource the management and development of its voice and data infrastructure across more than 200 UK sites to Cable & Wireless. Cable & Wireless will install an internet protocol (IP) based infrastructure that is expected to support the future growth of CGNU while also producing cost efficiencies.

"This is an excellent example of advanced IP-based communications helping large, blue-chip organisations simultaneously improving services for their customers whilst delivering cost savings for the companies themselves," said Nick Jeffery, Executive Vice President, Markets Group, Cable & Wireless. "We believe IP is the future of business communications, so we are delighted to be working with CGNU to deliver a full suite of IP services in support of their migration to this advanced technology."

Cable & Wireless will migrate CGNU's data and voice communications to a scaleable IP-based network, allowing CGNU to exploit the most sophisticated communications technologies across the organisation. Over the course of the seven year agreement, these will include IP-based local and wide area networks (IP-LAN and IP-VPN), Voice over IP and intelligent multimedia contact centres. Migrating voice and data onto just the one IP infrastructure has the potential to deliver to CGNU further efficiencies.

"Innovative, reliable and cost effective telecommunications are essential to support CGNU's business ambitions," said Dr Ian Butterworth, managing director, Central Services, CGNU. "Today's agreement with Cable & Wireless will ensure that our current infrastructure is managed efficiently while also providing us with a pathway to exploit the next generation of communications technology."

The contract is believed to be the largest managed service communications agreement to be signed in the UK this year and builds on a long-standing relationship between Norwich Union and Cable & Wireless.

About Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless is a major global telecommunications business with revenue of over #8 billion (US$11 billion) in the year to 31 March 2001 and customers in 70 countries. Cable & Wireless' focus for future growth is on IP (Internet Protocol) and data services and solutions for business customers. It is developing advanced IP networks and value-added services in the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in support of this strategy. With the capability of its global IP infrastructure and its strength in key markets, Cable & Wireless holds a unique position in terms of global coverage and services to business customers. For more information about Cable & Wireless, go to

About CGNU

CGU plc and Norwich Union plc merged on 30 May 2000 to create CGNU plc, the UK's largest insurance group and one of the top-five insurers in Europe with substantial positions in other markets around the world, making it the world's sixth largest insurer based on gross worldwide premiums.

CGNU's principal business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide premium income and retail investment sales from ongoing business of over #27 billion and assets under management of more than #210 billion.

>From October 2000, the combined life and pensions, general insurance and retail fund management businesses in the UK operate under the Norwich Union brand, while the institutional investment business operates under the Morley Fund Management brand.

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