WorldCom vows to beef up its global data network

Just days after calling off its merger with Sprint in the face of overwhelming government opposition, WorldCom this week detailed plans to expand its global data network infrastructure.

Officials at the Clinton, Miss.-based telecommunications giant said they plan to extend frame-relay capabilities, add Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) network connections and bring private switched-circuit services to more than 20 countries by the end of this year.

For example, WorldCom plans to extend its frame-relay services to such places as Sweden, Japan and Mexico, and provide ATM network connections to nations such as Singapore, Denmark and Italy.

According to Jim DeMerlis, a WorldCom vice president, the additional services would give the company 90 percent coverage in the world's largest and fastest developing markets. DeMerlis pegged the cost of the project at $US7 billion.

WorldCom's network upgrade plans "shows that the company is still quite serious about expansion in a post-merger environment," said Brownlee Thomas, an analyst at Giga Information Group.

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