Why Mci World Com Wants Nextel

It would be pricey, but going without wireless could cost more

Bernard J. Ebbers, chief executive of MCI WorldCom Inc., has long argued that he doesn't need to sell wireless service. Why? The corporate customers he caters to buy a host of communications services--including local, long distance, and data--from him. But when it comes to wireless, he said, they let employees buy their own. Besides, cellular properties are expensive, and an acquisition would likely hurt MCI WorldCom's share price. So, when asked at a March investment conference to describe MCI WorldCom's wireless strategy, Ebbers answered: "We don't have one."

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