MCI-WorldCom Merger Approved

After winning Federal Communications Commission approval yesterday for their $40 billion merger, MCI and WorldCom are getting ready to roll out a host of new voice and data services.

The newly merged MCI WorldCom will make new end-to-end voice and data services available by year's end, according to MCI WorldCom senior VP of marketing Brian Brewer. The company will announce new frame relay, asynchronous transfer mode, private-line Sonet services, and virtual private network voice services within the next month, Brewer says. The carrier will also announce services that will let companies establish global intranets and extranets.

Announced late last year, the merger combined the No. 2 and No. 4 U.S. long-distance carriers into a $30 billion company.

MCI WorldCom is quickly standardizing on single network platforms to offer the services instead of trying to merge the two companies' networks. Over the next few years, existing customers will be slowly migrated off the network platforms that will cease to exist. "We are making it Job One to make this transparent and seamless," Brewer says. "We are not going to strand any customer or make it difficult to migrate." Brewer also promises that all of the new services will be as good as any current MCI or WorldCom service. "There will be no step-down in functionality."

MCI WorldCom believes its success will hinge on its ability to have one account team offer local and global services in 80 top U.S. cities and in 16 overseas countries. That breadth provides the opportunity for big volume discounts. Brewer says customers who turn over a large percentage of their local traffic to MCI could see the local portion of their phone bills drop by 20% or more.

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