BellSouth: Wikis

  
  

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BellSouth Corporation
Type Private (subsidiary of AT&T Inc.)[1][2]
Founded 1983
Headquarters Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Key people F. Duane Ackerman, Chairman and CEO
Industry Telecommunications
Products Telephone, Internet, Television
Employees 63,000
Parent AT&T Inc. (2006-present)

BellSouth Corporation is an American telecommunications holding company based in Atlanta, Georgia. BellSouth was one of the seven original Regional Bell Operating Companies after the U.S. Department of Justice forced the American Telephone & Telegraph Company to divest itself of its regional telephone companies on January 1, 1984.

In a merger announced on March 5, 2006 and executed on December 29, 2006, AT&T Inc. acquired BellSouth for approximately $86 billion (1.325 shares of AT&T for each share of BellSouth) [1]. The combined company retained the name AT&T. The merger consolidated ownership of Cingular Wireless and YELLOWPAGES.COM, both of which were joint ventures between BellSouth and AT&T.

With the merger completed, wireless services previously offered by Cingular Wireless are now offered under the AT&T name. In addition, BellSouth has formally become AT&T South, its Bell Operating Company doing business as AT&T Southeast, and ceased doing business under the BellSouth name on June 30, 2007.

BellSouth was the last of the Regional Bell Operating Companies to keep its original corporate name after the 1984 AT&T breakup, as well as the last one to retain the Bell logo. Cincinnati Bell, an independent Bell System franchise not part of the AT&T breakup, continues to actively use the "Bell" name, but dropped the Bell logo from advertising in mid-2006. Verizon still uses the Bell logo on payphones and on the back of Verizon trucks, but not as a main logo. Malheur Bell, a wholly-owned, but separately-operated subsidiary of Qwest Corporation, continues to use the logo, and is now the last former-AT&T entity to continue to use the Bell logo.

BellSouth also operated in the Australian and New Zealand market. BellSouth operated in New Zealand under the name of BellSouth New Zealand Limited from 1993 until 1998 when it was acquuired by Vodafone. It competed against Telecom New Zealand. Its operations in Australia were under the name of BellSouth Australia Pty Limited.

Contents

Organization and services

The original 1984 BellSouth logo.

The telephone operating companies Southern Bell based in Atlanta and South Central Bell based in Birmingham, Alabama combined in 1992 to operate under the name BellSouth Telecommunications. A shared services company known as BellSouth Services was created to provide centralized functions such as engineering and information technology to Southern Bell and South Central Bell. Services provided in the BellSouth operating area include telephone and DSL/Dial-Up Internet services in the States of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Satellite television service was provided as a partnership with DirecTV. Cable television was provided in limited markets as BellSouth Entertainment Americast.

The company maintained its largest operation centers in Atlanta and Birmingham. Region-wide headquarters operations were also primarily in Atlanta and Birmingham. State-wide operations centers were located in Birmingham, Miami, Atlanta, Louisville, New Orleans, Jackson, Charlotte, Columbia, and Nashville.

Toward its end, BellSouth realigned itself in two important areas, wireless and broadband. A 40% joint venture with now-parent AT&T (formerly SBC) in U.S. wireless telephone service provider Cingular Wireless provided a large percentage of BellSouth's revenue. Continued increase of broadband penetration and applications in the consumer market was a key strategy to the company. These activities were being funded in part by the sale of Latin America operations.

BellSouth became the first "Baby Bell" that did not operate pay telephones. By 2003, BellSouth's payphone operation was discontinued because it had become too unprofitable, most likely due to the increased availability of cell phones. Cincinnati Bell has taken BellSouth's place for payphones in northern BellSouth territory; independents have set in further south.

BellSouth's main operating units at its end were the Communications Group, Domestic Wireless, and Advertising and Publishing. The communications group operated two wholly owned subsidiaries, BellSouth Telecommunications Inc. (BST) and BellSouth Long Distance, Inc. (BSLD). The main marketing groups for the communications group were consumer, small business, large business, and interconnection (wholesale services). The communications group provided wireline communications services, including local exchange, network access, intraLATA long distance services, and Internet services, as well as long distance services.

The domestic wireless group provided wireless services through its 40% ownership of Cingular Wireless (formerly BellSouth Mobility, jointly owned with SBC/AT&T).

The advertising and publishing group was responsible for printing and distributing telephone books, selling advertising, and operating online electronic directories.

The BellSouth - SBC/AT&T relationship went further than just Cingular Wireless. BellSouth & SBC/AT&T also co-owned yellowpages.com (formerly RealPages.com and SmartPages.com).

BellSouth licensed its trademark to US Electronics, which produced telephones under the BellSouth brand.

AT&T Midtown Center, Atlanta, AT&T Southeast headquarters.

BellSouth stops displaying caller ID from Sprint customers

As of January 1, 2006, BellSouth customers no longer receive caller ID information from Sprint PCS customers. Any incoming call originating from a Sprint PCS cell phone will usually display the City, State format on the caller ID display instead of the name or business name associated with that number. Based on a 1996 agreement between Sprint and BellSouth, it is likely that this is a result of a 10 year contract. In 2003, Sprint sued BellSouth for $20 million as a result of Sprint claiming Bellsouth violated a 1996 contract by not providing Sprint caller-identification information to BellSouth customers.[3]

Similar caller ID "deals" have been left to the consumer to fight either with their own carrier or through government regulatory commissions for what they should have displayed on their caller ID device. In 2002, Sprint and SBC Communications could not come to an agreement on fees charged to carriers to lookup the caller name information.[4][5]

Alleged NSA cooperation

In 2006, USA Today published an article which claimed that three of the largest United States carriers, including BellSouth, had been supplying calling records to the National Security Agency for all international and domestic calls. This data, the article claimed, is being used to create, "the largest database ever assembled."[6]

On May 16, 2006, BellSouth released a statement claiming that no contract with the NSA existed and that they had never provided information such as calling records to the NSA.[7]

USA Today posted a retraction on June 30, 2006 stating that:

"On May 15, BellSouth said it could not categorically deny participation in the program until it had conducted a detailed investigation. BellSouth said that internal review concluded that the company did not contract with the NSA or turn over calling records."[8]

See also

References

External links








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