Grid teams with Sprint for Brazil phone bid

National Grid's plans for 'Energis 2' are heading for Rio...

The UK National Grid's plans to repeat its success with Energis look set to kick off in Brazil, with a joint venture with US giant Sprint. Energis, National Grid's telecoms arm, has been successfully floated off, but the outfit plans to repeat the formula on a larger scale, internationally. Brazil and Sprint look a promising combination to do this with. The Brazilian telecoms market is underdeveloped, but potentially massive. Sprint meanwhile has spent the last five years developing its Integrated On-Demand Network (ION) system, which is designed to be a combination broadband voice and data system covering the US. Sprint's expertise here could therefore dovetail well with an approach similar to the one National Grid took with Energis. The two companies are setting up a £600 million consortium to bid for construction of a national phone network in Brazil. Bids for this, and for four regional ones, are due in by the end of this week. ®

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