More Telecom Marriages Ahead

Business 2.0 Telecom Report: The news of the SBC/AT&T marriage is going to spark a new wave of couplings in the telecom industry. Telecom watchers have been waiting for the industry consolidation for some time because the telecom business is once again going through a realignment as cable companies emerge as an option for phone service. Cable companies such as Comcast have retooled their networks and, by using Internet-based technologies, can offer phone services at bargain-basement prices and throw in their video and high-speed Internet services as a further inducement. The battle between cable companies and phone operators is going to be costly and bloody, analysts say.

SBC is simply shoring up its defenses, buying into the more lucrative corporate market as it tries to build out fiber networks to offer voice, video, and data services to consumers. Other regional Bell operators are also likely to contemplate similar strategies. Many investors are already betting that Verizon will make a bid for beleaguered long-distance player MCI. But some in the industry are speculating that Verizon might be wiser to go after Sprint instead. That would be a smarter deal because Sprint has a better network, local assets, and a wireless network that could mesh very easily with Verizon’s wireless network. Continue reading at Business 2.0