The term corporate network refers to the strategy of combining previously separate networks - optimized for their respective use in research, development, manufacturing, service, training and administration - to form a heterogeneous infrastructure. Corporate networks are company networks designed to meet specific company requirements.
Corporate networks can be regional, national, international or global in scope. Corporate networks can be used for all telecommunications services such as the transmission of voice, data, text, graphics and moving images. Value-added services and messaging services such as e-mail or electronic data interchange( EDI) can also be offered via corporate networks. They are generally based on leased lines.
The main advantages of corporate networks are network integration; one network is used for all services; cost reduction, optimization of use and control of bandwidth requirements, uniform planning of all telecommunications services, security, availability, improved information management, etc. The approval concept for corporate networks drawn up by the Federal Minister of Posts and Telecommunications came into force in time for the start of the single European market on January 1, 1993. This enables companies to set up corporate networks (Unternehmensverbund) for the optimum handling of their telecommunications requirements.
Providers of value-added services can also be satisfied with the new regulations that have been in force since 1993: they are allowed to provide services for telephone service and voice switching for others.
Permits for the operation of corporate networks apply exclusively to the switching of information, not to the network infrastructure. As a rule, operators use Deutsche Telekom's existing network offering, such as direct data links, monopoly transmission paths or dial-up connections, and implement the corporate network on top of these. There is individual approval and general approval, which are applied depending on the corporate agreement or the group of subscribers. In Germany, the Federal Office of Posts and Telecommunications examines the licensing requirements and issues the license.
The technical possibilities of corporate networks go far beyond the legally and politically prescribed regulations. They take into account the progressive development of computer and video technologies and the associated multimedia applications.