Sprint Group Exits Data Biz

With an eye towards reducing costs and streamlining operations, Sprint executives Friday vowed to exit the data business, erasing 1,100 jobs.

Len Lauer, Sprint global markets group (GMG) president, said Sprint is
ending its high-speed Internet service and moving its data hosting business to other parts of the company.

Officials expect the severance checks will be offset by operating-cost savings,
making the move immaterial from a financial standpoint.

“These actions also reflect a need to better unify GMG sales teams and
ensure that our valuable customers have streamlined access for total
end-to-end solutions from Sprint,” Lauer said.

The decision to drop DSL from the L-D group comes only one year after a big
marketing push by the division to move into the high-speed data
arena. Sprint officials say the DSL service offered in Sprint’s business
group is unaffected by the announcement.

Also moving to Sprint’s business division is the Sprint E|Solutions
service, which provides Web hosting, data network consulting, sales and
support to business America. Customer and technical support will move from
GMG into Sprint’s network services department.

A complete exit from the high-speed service would hardly serve a company
that spent
$1.1 billion last November
to beef up its data network. The Nortel
Networks-equipped network kept E|Solutions and DSL service
close to home, rather than forcing the company to lease out asynchronous
transfer mode (ATM) lines to provide advanced data services like VPN and
voice over IP (VoIP).

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