BellSouth is planning to expand the reach of its digital subscriber line services and to further upgrade its network backbone with gear from Alcatel and Redback.

Terms of the deal were not announced.

BellSouth is in the process of modernizing its network infrastructure to support more Internet Protocol-based technology. To help make DSL services available to more users, the company said it will use the Alcatel 7330 Dslam and Redback SmartEdge gateway to push up to 12 megabytes of information per second over a standard single copper phone line and 24 Mbps over a bonded pair of lines.

“We believe it is possible to provide speeds fast enough to make triple play services over IP a reality using a mosaic approach of fiber and next generation DSL,” said Bill Smith, chief technology officer of BellSouth, in a statement. “This is an important step in the design and construction of our advancing network that will bring unparalleled digital subscriber line speed and capabilities to the Southeastern U.S.”

While BellSouth is losing standard phone service customers, the number of DSL subscribers is increasing.

The company ended 2004 with 2.1 million DSL subscribers and expects to add another 600,000 this year.