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Issue #2003 - 17 (May 2003)
(Updated May 24, 2003)


Sprint Markets Local Service, Hoping to Increase Wireless
Source: Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Sprint Corp. is moving to sell local phone service to its cellular and long-distance customers, a belated embrace of the industry's attempts to overcome its tumult by wooing consumers with all-inclusive calling plans. 

It may seem counterintuitive, but Sprint believes the local plan could develop into an effort to get more people to drop land lines and go wireless. 

That strategy, described by a Sprint executive Tuesday, acknowledges the grave threat that Internet-based communications and other technologies pose to traditional calling. 

Sprint has been test-marketing packages of local, long-distance and wireless service to customers in 35 states for several months. 

The company plans to extend the packages without much fanfare, largely by adding inserts to bills to its 18 million cellular and 6 million long-distance customers, Len Lauer, head of wireless division Sprint PCS, said in an interview. 

The move is designed to keep Sprint competitive with telecommunications rivals that offer "bundles" of services. 

Sprint's top two long-distance competitors, AT&T and MCI, offer local service in many states. 

Meanwhile, the Baby Bell regional phone carriers are aggressively packaging long-distance with local service, high-speed Internet access and in some cases wireless calling. Verizon Communications, the Northeast's main local carrier, surpassed Sprint last fall as the No. 3 long-distance seller in terms of customers, though Sprint is third in revenues. 

An estimated 5 percent of phone customers have cut the cord and use cell phones as their primary or only lines.

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: Getting local telephone service from your cellular service provider is good for the consumer so long as it is cheaper and as reliable. It will increase the competitions. We support this trend in the interest of consumers and business users. One day, we are hoping, we shall have one portable that will work with both fixed line and cellular networks. Sprint offer starts with a bundled pricing plan. 

Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of Securities Exchange act of 1934 in USA. Similar provisions exist in other countries. There is no assurance that the stipulated plans of vendors will be implemented. MobileInfo does not warrant the authenticity of the information. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.

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