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April 15, 1994

SPRINT LAYS CAUTIOUS PLANS FOR ITS UK PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS LICENCE

By CBR Staff Writer

Sprint Corp, the first US long-distance carrier to receive a public telecommunications operator licence in the UK, says the permit gives it full interconnection rights with British Telecommunications Plc, and allows it to offer domestic UK services, and international simple resale services. Sprint already offers some international services in the UK, but until now, it has been allowed to offer services only where connections to the public switched telephone network were at one end only – the other connection had to be made via a dedicated link. For this reason, it has only been viable for the company to offer services in locations close to its switch in London; now, however, it will be able to offer international services across the country, through interconnection with British Telecom’s network. Sprint – in common with the other companies to be awarded licences – does not, however, have a free hand to offer services to all countries. The UK Department of Trade & Industry has stipulated that service should be available only to countries where there is reciprocity, and to date, it has approved service only to Canada, Sweden and Australia. However, Vincent Gargaro, the company’s chief executive for northern Europe, says that Sprint is currently investigating whether it can route calls to one of the three approved countries, and then on from there. Although Sprint can also now offer domestic resale services, Gargaro says the company believes that it cannot add sufficient value to them to make this a commercially attractive plan.

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