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US WEST: bucking the merger trend to gain speed

01 February 1999

In June 1998 US WEST, the smallest RBOC bucked the merger trend of its competitors, when it completed a division into separate telco and cable companies. US WEST's president and CEO Sol Trujillo explains the thinking behind this move to Basil Ballhatchet and describes his vision of the new digital economy.

While other US operators sought to boost market share through mergers and acquisitions in 1998, US WEST adopted a diametrically opposite approach. In June 1998, the company completed a split into separate telco and cable companies.
The new, leaner US WEST remains focused on its core territories and aims to remain independent for the foreseeable future. US WEST has virtually focused all investments on its 14 state operating territory. "They offer a diverse range of services from traditional voice telephony and data services to wireless services, "commented Tom Aust, a telecoms equity analyst at Chase Research.

The company may not have the most expansive international policy, but US WEST has been one of the leaders in offering high-speed Internet and data services. It has a "Megabits" service, which offers customers speeds from 256 kbps to 7 Mbps. Customers receive their own private link to the Internet, their existing phone line, increasing security and reliability....