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Takeover Target MCI Takes Data Services To Europe

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — MCI Inc., the target of possible offers from Verizon Communications Inc. and Qwest Communications International Inc., is beefing up its international data business with Ethernet services in Europe.

In domestic markets, MCI has been trying to upgrade frame-relay and ATM services with private-line Ethernet, using Ethernet in the first mile and Metro Ethernet Forum standards to develop LAN-LAN interconnections.

This week, MCI expanded the service to nine European countries, using Synchronous Digital Hierarchy rather than Sonet as the physical-layer backbone. It is also using Nortel Networks Inc.'s Optera optical-Ethernet equipment. The network connects corporate LANs via a transparent LAN service ranging in speed from 2 to 100 Mbits/s.

The service will be available in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, financial analysts and news services were reporting at least three possible financial deals in play for MCI, formerly WorldCom. Qwest has reportedly bid more than $6 billion for MCI, according to The Wall Street Journal, while Verizon is still preparing a counteroffer.

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