Sprint Inks Services Pact

Sprint , which yesterday said it would quit the Web hosting business to focus on communications services, has landed a new contract with Agilent Technologies .

The carrier will help Agilent, a maker of semiconductor test equipment, improve its network efficiency and help it cut costs. Earlier this year, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Agilent cut staff to reduce expenses.

Specifically, Sprint’s Asynchronous Transfer Mode service will handle the high-speed transport of a very high volume of data information to Agilent’s field locations.

In addition, its reliable frame relay services will be used for global data transport and Sprint’s private line services will be used for core backbone.

“By delivering an integrated suite of services, Sprint will be able to provide functionality, efficient

management and ultimately tangible savings to Agilent,” said Kevin Kunkel, a Sprint vice president.

Sprint, based in Overland, Kan., said it would wind down its money-losing hosting and co-location business. As a result, 500 employees will be laid off and the company will take a second-quarter charge of between $400 million and $475 million.

It’s not the first to exit the hosting business. In April, Level 3 Communications said it would dump its hosting business (a holdover from its Genuity acquisition) and send customers to Computer Sciences Corp.

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