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SPRINT IS SPONSOR OF CNN WORLD ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CONGRESS -- Executives Cite Pivotal Role of Telecommunications in World Marketplace --

 SPRINT IS SPONSOR OF CNN WORLD ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CONGRESS
 -- Executives Cite Pivotal Role of Telecommunications in World
 Marketplace --
 WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Sprint is a leading sponsor of the CNN World Economic Development Congress, the first international conference of global business leaders, government and political figures dedicated to "Building the Global Economy." The conference, currently underway, precedes the annual Washington meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
 Ron LeMay, president and COO, Sprint Long Distance Division, and Paolo Guidi, president of the company's international telecommunications subsidiary -- Sprint International -- at a press briefing today highlighted telecommunications as a key infrastructure linking the world economy.
 Assessing the role of telecommunications in the world economy, LeMay said that "technological, social and political changes are converging to make telecommunications an elemental force in worldwide economic development."
 The much heralded Information Age, LeMay said, is less a futuristic vision and more of a reality as advances in electronics increasingly erase time and distance barriers. Comparing information technology to the steam engine as the catalyst for productivity in the 19th century, "in the 21st century, information is the basic fuel ... and advanced computer and communications technology is the new engine of increased productivity," LeMay said.
 Both developing and developed nations today are compelled to modernize their telecommunications infrastructures in order to remain competitive. "Slow domestic growth, saturation of domestic markets, the strategic need to join regional economic blocs and the related trend toward fewer restrictions on foreign trade," all are factors fueling the trend toward modernization, LeMay said.
 At the same time, regulatory restrictions in formerly closed markets are easing. Countries are opening their telecommunications frontiers so that they can support a competitive industrial base with value-added international service and ensure the availability of voice, video, and data services that will support everything from worldwide marketing to computer-driven manufacturing processes," LeMay said. "It boils down to a widespread recognition that telecommunications is essential to the attraction and retention of industrial investment."
 LeMay noted that many nations have opened competition in the value-added services arena, if not yet to voice services. He noted that Sprint's international strategy to expand its SprintNet global data network -- the world's largest -- has capitalized on this trend and gives Sprint a strong presence around the globe.
 "Sprint has developed a global posture which positions us in two critical ways. First, we are fully able to meet the growing demands of domestic customers for global connectivity. Secondly, we're expanding our broader competitive position in a world market that is immense -- and growing rapidly," he said.
 Guidi described how widespread advances in telecommunications technology have impacted specific industries within the global economy. "The proliferation of global data communications has enabled a worldwide credit validation system, which in turn has made possible the globalization of the credit card market and the introduction of a host of new consumer pro"?
 In the banking industry, this same ubiquitous information highway enables financial institutions to transfer funds around the world in a matter of seconds, and allows banks to offer such customer conveniences as Automated Teller Machine access to their accounts, Guidi said.
 "In every major commercial center, retailers -- from department stores to mail-order companies -- are using telecommunications to access new markets and to link globally dispersed operations. And manufacturing today has been internationalized, as high-speed data lines link headquarters with production lines, engineering and suppliers located on several continents."
 He noted that political and social developments around the globe have opened new markets. These emerging markets -- such as in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa -- have vast unmet demand which will fuel this explosive growth and provide ample opportunity for carriers now and in the years to come.
 Sprint is well positioned to meet this global demand through its 21 joint ventures and subsidiaries, its SprintNet global data network which provides connectivity to more than 100 countries, and its diverse product portfolio which includes voice, data and video communications services geared specifically for the transnational organization and the international business traveler, Guidi said.
 Sprint also is sole sponsor of the CEO Gala Dinner at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum where Sprint's LeMay will introduce the featured speaker, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Additionally, Guidi will participate on a panel on telecommunications during a summit on Large-Scale Infrastructure Projects, one of five major CEO summits held during the Congress.
 Sprint (NYSE: FON) is a diversified international telecommunications company with $8.9 billion in annual revenues and the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network. Its divisions provide global long distance voice, data and video products and services, and local telephone services to more than 4 million subscriber lines in 17 states.
 -0- 9/18/92
 /NOTE: SprintNet is a registered trademark./
 /CONTACT: Janis Langley of Sprint, 202-828-7427 or, after hours, 703-533-3322/
 (FON) CO: Sprint ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:


TW -- DC018 -- 1153 09/18/92 13:16 EDT
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Date:Sep 18, 1992
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