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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

May 18, 2006 at 4:54 PM

Embarqing on a new mission

Embarq announced its has officially spun out from Sprint Nextel today and started trading on the New York Stock Exchange as an independent, public company.

Embarq consists of Sprint’s wireline division and is led by Dan Hesse, who has spent 27 years in telecommunications, including three years as president and CEO of Redmond-based AT&T Wireless (now part of Cingular Wireless).

We talked to Hesse right after he was appointed the position of CEO of the wireline division a year ago.

He said today that he has learned a lot since then.

“The first thing is, as much as I loved Seattle, I find that Kansas City is truly a find — a fantastic place to live, where the people are great. We live in Kansas City and we walk to all the great shops … the kids can walk to school. For urban living, it is the poster child.”

On the business side, he said: “I’ve applied a lot I’ve learned in the wireless world to this business. When we launched, we offered a full suite of communications products, including voice, data, Internet, wireless and entertainment via satellite TV.”

Specifically, he said Embarq will offer two new wireless services starting June 5.

People who have an Embarq cellphone and Embarq local phone service, will have one voice mail box. No matter where someone leaves a message — on the landline or on the cell — it will end up in the same box, which will also be available online.

The other wireless service will be for cellphones themselves. They will have the ability to jump seamlessly from the cellphone network to a Wi-Fi network when the user walks into her home or office.

Hesse would not say what type of technology Embarq would be using to provide this hand-off. It sounds an awful like UMA, which T-Mobile USA is also working on. Embarq resells cellular service provided by Sprint Nextel.

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