Sprint Picks Up The Pace

For years, Sprint Corp. has been an afterthought in the long-distance market. With only about 9% of the business, it trailed so far behind AT&T and MCI Communications Inc. that it was sometimes literally overlooked. When MCI unleashed a torrent of discount plans in the early 1990s, its catchy ads targeted AT&T, never even acknowledging Kansas City (Mo.)-based Sprint. Meanwhile, poor customer service, ineffective marketing, and billing problems kept a lid on growth and put Sprint's long-distance profits on a roller coaster.

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