Europe's central banks have begun the process of picking network service providers for the Target2Securities (T2S) system, with telecoms firms expected to challenge inter-bank co-operative Swift for the two licenses up for grabs.
Banca d'Italia, acting as the contracting authority with a mandate from the Eurosystem central banks, has invited tenders for the two licences to provide connectivity services for T2S, a pan-European securities settlement system.
The seven year contracts will require the winners to design and build the network, linking central securities depositories with the European Central Bank, and then let them charge fees to users.
BT, Deutsche Telekom and Swift are all expected to show interest in the licenses, with bids needing to be placed by September.
The T2S initiative has been dogged by controversy since it was first mooted back in 2006 with an update report last year setting the latest go live date at September 2014.
You can read the contract notice here:» Download the document now 145.7 kb (PDF File)