RealTime IT News

BellSouth Connects With Sprint Nextel

BellSouth has signed a new internetworking agreement with Sprint Nextel to expand its offerings and coverage area. The Multi-Protocol Label Switching service is expected to launch in early 2006.

"The nationwide MPLS service will give BellSouth the ability to serve customers throughout the nation, whether they are existing customers or not," Todd Smith, a BellSouth spokesman, told internetnews.com.

That said, the Atlanta-based carrier is counting on signing up existing enterprise customers for the national service.

Details of the offering are still being developed, but quality of service, competitive service level agreements (SLAs) and knowledgeable sales and customer service teams will be key selling points, Smith said.

Terms of the partnership between BellSouth and Sprint Nextel were not disclosed.

BellSouth will not be alone in selling managed network services (Internet connectivity, Web hosting, virtual private networking , Voice over Internet Protocol Nationwide network operators such as AT&T and MCI have increasingly focused on the market as consumer long-distance revenues have dwindled.

In fact, such contracts were drivers of Verizon's $8.4 billion bid for MCI and SBC's $16 billion acquisition of AT&T.

Those mega-mergers are still months away from completion, but are expected to clear shareholder and regulatory hurdles.

BellSouth sat on the sidelines during the bidding wars for AT&T and MCI, choosing to take the partner route.