MCI Worldcom has drawn up aggressive plans to take customers from its former partner BT.
The US telco was recently freed from its Concert joint venture with BT, following the collapse of their merger plans and its takeover by Worldcom. It now wants to ensure that it takes many Concert joint customers with it.
The company has declared "war to retain our customers", focusing particularly on attracting users of Concert's frame relay network to the MCI Worldcom equivalent. It will offer lower prices and claims its Nortel based network is faster.
US paper 'Internet Week' also learned that MCI executives outlined, in an internal strategy meeting last week, plans to woo Concert's ATM and Internet clients too.
The prime targets are Concert's 500 US and UK based customers, plus 200 clients of Hyperstream International, a frame relay service operated by Concert, which will be disconnected in two years' time. MCI aims to woo them to its own Hyperstream frame relay network, which currently covers the US only, but will be integrated with Worldcom's international infrastructure through interfaces.
Customers that do make the move will have to buy new local access equipment, something that is relatively cheap in the US but expensive in Europe.
MCI Worldcom is building a new frame relay network covering 38 countries by next June. It currently addresses 22 countries, compared to Concert's 40.
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