Nextel, IBM Announce Outsourcing Pact

Nextel Communications Inc. , the nation's fifth-largest wireless operator, and IBM Friday announced an alliance to develop mobile solutions for large U.S. corporations, as well as an eight-year, $1.2 billion customer service outsourcing agreement.

The companies said in a joint statement that the outsourcing agreement is to manage and enhance Nextel's customer service, and International Business Machines Corp. will join with TeleTech Holdings Inc. to manage Nextel's six customer care centers. The transition of the centers will occur during the first quarter of 2002.

Nextel said the two agreements are expected to reduce its future costs by more than $1 billion over the eight-year term, as well as boost revenues through the deployment of new wireless data services. It did not say how much in revenues the deal might add.

The Nextel-IBM alliance agreement will pair Nextel's wireless technologies with IBM's global wireless e-business services in an effort to offer new wireless technologies that can be delivered through Nextel's national network.