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Global Telecoms Business
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Ebbers: yielding the best return for shareholders

01 March 1999

Following an aggressive acquisition strategy, WorldCom, now MCI Worldcom, has been transformed from a US national long-distance player, into one of the world's leading telcos. Basil Ballhatchet talks to Bernard Ebbers, the president and CEO of MCI WorldCom, about the operator's strategy and plans.

MCI WorldCom has been one of the biggest success stories in telecoms over the past few years. The company has gained prominence through an aggressive acquisition strategy and an ability to serve millions of US business and consumer customers with a fully integrated package of long distance, local, data, Internet and other communications services. It has one of the largest fibre-optic nation-wide networks in the US spanning over 45,000 miles. The company has over 100 fibre-based, high capacity local networks with direct connectivity to more than 33,000 office buildings. Its seamless network also spans Canada and Mexico. Its Internet business is growing at 70% annually and yields over $2 billion in annualized revenue.

Stephanie Comfort, principal telecoms analyst at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, explains why she believes that the company has been so successful: "They have been able to heavily focus on the business market. They have been able to...