Sprint's Phone Rings Off The Hook

Call it a Bell ringer. The bidding among Baby Bells to land Sprint as a partner in a nationwide cellular network is getting intense. Industry sources say talks among the Kansas City-based telephone company and Nynex and Bell Atlantic could lead to a deal by the end of September. The three would merge their cellular operations, creating a network slightly larger than that of market leader AT&T-McCaw. If the talks fizzle, Sprint could still do a cellular deal with U S West and AirTouch Communications. Sprint also is talking to John Malone's Tele-Communications, among others, about bidding together on lucrative personal communication service licenses at the federal government's auction in December.

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