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Global Telecoms Business
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Crowe: mixing management know-how and new technology

01 April 1999

Level 3 Communications is deploying a state-of-the-art IP network that will be cheaper to use and improve than other networks owing to conduits that allow for continuous fibre upgrades. It also benefits from an experienced management team responsible for the success of MFS. The operator's president and CEO James Crowe talks to Mark Holmes about the company's plans.

Level 3 Communications is building an IP-based network, which can be constantly upgraded. It has already managed to raise $6.5 billion so far to fund its network and is clearly one of the best capitalized start-up businesses. It has been able to raise these funds owing to an original business plan and the experienced management team led by the president and CEO, James Crowe.
Crowe has virtually rebuilt the management team behind the success of the competitive access provider MFS Communications, which was eventually sold to WorldCom for $14.3 billion in 1996. The company had only started up in 1989. Investors clearly believe that Crowe can repeat that success with Level 3 Communications and attract a significant share of large enterprise clients that benefited from previous contacts with MFS.

According to Stephanie Comfort, principal telecoms analyst at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Level 3 can leverage two main advantages: "Level...