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Global Telecoms Business
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Qwest: going global through acquisitions and alliances

01 June 1999

Qwest Communications International, founded in 1988 as a subsidiary of SP Telecom, is already a major global communications company. It has sold a 10% stake to BellSouth for $3.5 billion and is completing the build of one of the most advanced fibre-optic networks. Chairman and CEO Joseph Nacchio talks to Global Telecoms Business about the operator's plans.

Qwest Communications International was founded in 1988 by Phil Anschutz, owner of Southern Pacific railroad. In 1997 Joseph Nacchio was appointed CEO. Since then the company has been transformed into a leading global multimedia communications company through a number of acquisitions and alliances. In March 1998 Qwest acquired LCI, the fourth largest long-distance company in the US. In April it bought EUnet International, an ISP with branches in 14 European countries. In November Qwest announced the formation of a joint venture with KPN, the incumbent operator in the Netherlands.
It has also secured alliances with Microsoft to create a seamless LAN/WAN network and stimulate IP-VPNs and E-commerce and with Netscape to faciliate the provision of one-stop shopping to consumers for telecoms and IP.

At the same time the operator has been building a nation-wide fibre-optic network that will stretch for almost 19,000 miles. In April 1999 the company sold a...