Last days of Long Distance

If you look at the long distance companies today, they are in a world of hurt. AT&T, MCI and Sprint and feeling the heat, and basically working hard on strategies to survive. What the Bells have snatched away from them, VoIP is going to, and it is only a matter of time before they feel like the fat kid who can’t get lucky even online. USA Today had a big piece this morning about the vanishing opportunities for these companies. It is pretty much like an extended version of my November 30th Telecom Report. Today piece outlines convincing arguments from scores of analysts about 2005 being the year when AT&T and MCI get snapped up. I saw the big news about Sprint & Nextel possibly hooking up in the Journal on my flight back to San Francisco. If you read between the lines, what Sprint is essentially saying: our long distance business is shit, and we are betting the farm on wireless. Yup… that’s one way to go, if you can’t get bought yourself. I think there is the second option: AT&T and Sprint merge, get rid of all long distance, and end up with about 30% of the enterprise market, and a wireless network to sell to large businesses. Now that should give Bells a reason to pause. Talking about Bells, my bold prediction, which could more or less prove to be wrong (or right) – long distance is dead!

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