Excel Communications is the fourth largest (in minutes or gross revenue, not sure?) long distance company in US. Excel uses network marketing or direct selling in stead of traditional advertising and telemarketing. This marketing approach allows the company to expand into other countries (Canada in April 99, and the UK in Nov. 2000) without up front advertising costs, etc. For instance, Excel's launch into Canada gained over 100,000 long distance customers in less than a year, while AT&T had 200,000+ customers after 6 years. AT&T has essentially vacated the Canadian market.Excel and Teleglobe (Canada's former international phone company, now privatized) merged over two years ago. Teleglobe has huge infrastructure around the world including 35 low orbit satellites. This merger combined a marketing force with global infrastructure.Now the merger of Excel/Teleglobe and Bell Canada adds fuel (capital) to the formula, plus global management expertise. To run the global operation, IBM has been hired to integrate global services, billing, ect.BTW, I am an Excel Rep in Nevada, so that is my bias. However, watching and comparing the performance of BCE, AT&T, MCI and Sprint, Bell Canada has best weathered the dip in the telecomm industry of the past year. Plus, BCE has a P/E of around 3.5. Might be a good buy and hold. What do you think? Barry
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