WASHINGTON -- The pace of shotgun weddings in the telecommunications industry accelerated yesterday as MCI Communications Corp. moved closer to joining a wireless telephone alliance with Bell Atlantic Corp. and Nynex Corp.
With only 15 days left before an important regulatory deadline expires, any company with aspirations in wireless communications is scrambling to form partnerships that make it possible to establish nationwide wireless networks.
MCI, the nation's No. 2 long-distance carrier, has been looking for wireless partners for months, because it wants to match AT&T Corp.'s recent acquisition of the McCaw Cellular Communications Corp.
Executives at two of the companies in the talks said yesterday that MCI hoped to reach a definitive agreement with both Bell Atlantic and Nynex within a few days.
Sprint Corp., the third-largest long-distance carrier, is negotiating with four of the nation's biggest cable television companies to set up a wireless network that would use new radio frequencies being auctioned by the Federal Communications Commission in December.
The mating efforts have reached a fever pitch because the FCC has ordered all companies seeking to bid in a coming auction for personal communication services to disclose their partners by next Friday.