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.

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