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ECONOMIC REALITIES OF 1991 HELP RESHAPE TELECOMMUNICATIONS FIELD, SAYS INDUSTRY LEADER; SMALL, MID-SIZED BUSINESS SEGMENT SHOWS GROWTH

ECONOMIC REALITIES OF 1991 HELP RESHAPE TELECOMMUNICATIONS FIELD, SAYS INDUSTRY LEADER; SMALL, MID-SIZED BUSINESS SEGMENT SHOWS GROWTH
 VIENNA, Va., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- "Given the prolonged economic slowdown and increased competitive pressures, this was a year of dramatic change and opportunity for the telecommunications industry," stated Gabe Battista, chief operating officer for Cable & Wireless Communications -- one of the largest long distance companies in the United States and the only major carrier exclusively serving the business community.
 In a recent overview of industry events, Battista noted significant changes are taking place in the make-up of the U.S. labor force. These in turn are driving the demand by small and mid-sized businesses nationwide for new telecommunications features which greatly enhance business productivity, improve customer service and cut costs. Why the emphasis on this particular segment of the telecom industry?
 "Increasingly," he explained, "the U.S., is becoming a nation of small and mid-sized businesses -- those with less than 100 employees. Two catalysts are driving this change. First, the country's slow economic recovery which has resulted in more downsizing than we have seen in 10 years, has led a growing number of workers to strike out on their own. Second, this reality has fueled a new boom in entrepreneurship." Currently it is estimated that there are nearly 5 million small and mid-sized firms in the United States.
 At the same time on the international front, several of the world's leading economies continue to grow rapidly and compete effectively for the U.S. market share for their products and services. These international competitors often have access to both lower-cost capital and labor than their U.S. counterparts.
 The result? "U.S. businesses -- both large and small -- are increasingly focusing on improving worker productivity, upgrading customer service and enhancing operating efficiencies," Battista noted.
 "For telecommunications providers," he continued, "the small and mid-sized business customer segment is likely to grow dramatically over the next several years. In addition, this group will increasingly demand new and expanded voice and data systems which are feature rich, yet entail minimal capital expenditures."
 Some of these features, which only a short while ago were considered somewhat exotic, have quickly become absolute necessities in many business settings today. These include: consolidated telecommunications billing from many locations; vehicles for all types of servicing onto one statement; electronic billing; broadcast fax services; call accounting; and security codes for small and mid-sized firms.
 "Businesses today," Battista stated, "are increasingly turning to telecommunications-related data as the new management tool in their war to remain competitive. I believe we are only just seeing the beginning of this trend, which will most likely experience explosive growth as the decade continues."
 Cable & Wireless Communications, which is owned by one of the world's largest and most experienced telecommunications companies, is the only long distance company exclusively dedicated to serving the needs of the business community. The company is known for its innovative long distance and cost management and recovery services as well as its personalized approach to selling. Cable & Wireless enables companies in more than 130 U.S. cities to communicate via phone or facsimile to any destination in the United States or more than 170 other countries.
 -0- 12/19/91
 /CONTACT: Paul D. Feldman for Cable & Wireless Communications, 301-770-9254/
 (CWP) CO: Cable & Wireless Communications ST: Virginia IN: TEL IN: FC -- NYBFNS6 -- 3679 12/19/91 07:16 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 19, 1991
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