article

Agency Channel: News Briefs

Posted: 10/2000

News Briefs

* Master agency PentaStar Communications Inc.
(www.pentastar.com) has acquired Telecomm Industries Corp.
(www.tcmm.com), making it the “largest communications services agent in the nation.”

TCMM, previously an agent for Ameritech Corp.
(www.ameritech.com), BellSouth Corp. (www.bellsouth.com) and Qwest Communications International Inc.
(www.qwest.com), provided voice, data, cellular, video and network solutions, and generated average annual revenues in excess of $9 million. With the TCMM acquisition, PentaStar says it now covers 22 metropolitan markets and services more than 40,000 small to medium-sized business customers.

* SBC Communications Inc.‘s
(www.sbc.com) wireless division launched its “Start Talking” prepaid wireless service for local and long-distance calls made within the continental United States. SBC agents will offer the service under the Ameritech Cellular or Cellular One brand names.

Agents can sell the service under the Ameritech Cellular brand name in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, and under the Cellular One brand name in parts of Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia. Start Talking prepaid cards also are available at retail locations throughout SBC’s territory.

* Excel Communications Inc.
(www.excel.com) announced the launch of its wireless services in Buffalo and New York, N.Y.; Denver; Minneapolis/St. Paul; New Orleans; Orlando and Tampa, Fla.; St. Louis; San Francisco; and Tucson, Ariz. The services are available through Excel’s network of independent representatives. Excel, a facilities-based subsidiary of Teleglobe International Inc.
(www.teleglobe.com), rolled out wireless service earlier this year in Boston; Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; Memphis, Tenn.; Portland, Ore.;
Raleigh, N.C.; and Sacramento, Calif. Nationwide expansion is planned this fall.

* YellowBrix Inc.
(www.yellowbrix.com) launched an agent program. The company, an Internet content provider, expects agents to benefit by offering additional products and services, such as news information and an ad-to-content matching engine.

The company says arming agents with a suite of online content products, traditionally targeted toward portals and ISPs, will help them build relationships with their customers.

YellowBrix provides content to such sites as America Online
(www.aol.com), CNN (www.cnn.com), Monster.com
(www.monster.com), Netscape (www.netscape.com) and ZDNet
(www.zdnet.com). Primary products include
NewsReal, a categorized news story feed from more than 800 sources, and
IndustryWatch, which provides news, stock information and weather.

The content is updated in real time and provided on a customizable, private-label basis.

* BuyTelco.com Inc.
(www.buytelco.com) introduced during September’s AgENt Conference & Expo in New Orleans a back-end system that allows agents to manage orders and run activity reports. Agents place orders through the portal, earning commission.
BuyTelco.com, launched in June, provides instant quotes and provisions orders for circuits, including ISDN,
DSL, traditional voice circuits and point-to-point T1s. It integrates its electronic system into a carrier’s paper-based system, streamlining the provisioning process. The company is vendor- and technology-neutral, offering LAN, e-commerce and bandwidth calculators to assess visitors’ telecom needs and competing technology reviews.


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