Troubled fast Internet service provider Covad Communications has turned loose another 400 workers, dropping its payroll to about 2,300. The cuts follow the layoffs of 400 employees in November. The company also will close 10 percent of the 2,000 offices where it houses Digital Subscriber Line equipment. Covads stock has taken a beating, falling more than 95 percent last year.
Talk Like an Egyptian
France Telecom has extended its global reach into Egypt, buying Motorolas stake in MobiNil Telecommunications for $252 million. The deal boosts the French companys stake in the holding company that controls Egypts leading global services for mobile communication operator — Egyptian Company for Mobile Services — from 46.1 percent to 71.25 percent. France Telecom will transfer the MobiNil interest to its Orange mobile-phone subsidiary after Orange makes its public offering in February.
Dec. 31, 2000 came and went, and the Federal Communications Commission still had not defined frequencies that wireless carriers might use for third-generation services, missing a deadline set in a plan by President Bill Clinton that was to speed deployment of advanced wireless services.
End of the Road
Working to satisfy Department of Justice conditions on its acquisition of MediaOne Group, AT&T says that it will unwind its Road Runner joint venture with Time Warner by April. AT&T Broadband and Time Warner will take back the assets that MediaOne and Time Warner contributed when the high-speed Internet service was formed in 1998. They will also divvy up customers and 21 data centers, and cash out other investors.
Global Crossing, on the verge of completing its undersea fiber-optic network, says that David Walsh has replaced Gary Cohen as president and chief operating officer. Cohen will head a new unit, Global Crossing Solutions, created to provide communications services.
Wireless with That Latte?
A deal foaming among MobileStar Network, Microsoft and Starbucks will allow customers to use wireless-enabled laptops, smart phones and handheld devices to access the Web while sipping espresso. MobileStar will begin installing network infrastructure in Starbucks stores this spring. Microsoft will supply software and technology, as well as The Microsoft Network content and services.