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Cincinnati Bell chooses Carmel for subsidiary's headquarters

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Cincinnati Bell Inc. has selected Carmel as the headquarters for a new, expanding subsidiary that has launched a line of business products under the name Evolve, the company announced Tuesday.

The publicly traded telephone company has 100 employees in place to staff the Carmel facility, including 30 it has hired within the past year. Most are sales and support staff, as well as call-center workers.

Hiring will continue, although it’s unclear how many employees will be added, said Dave Heimbach, vice president and general manager of Evolve.

Cincinnati Bell is rolling out its bundled voice and data systems to Midwestern cities such as Indianapolis, Louisville, and Columbus, Ohio, before venturing into Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Nashville, Tenn.

“In Cincinnati, we’ve got a very mature market and a highly penetrated market,” Heimbach said. “We’ve found the competitive environment in Indianapolis to be favorable.”

Cincinnati Bell entered the Indianapolis market through its $18 million acquisition in late 2007 of Carmel-based eGix Inc.

eGix provided bundled voice and data services, as well as high-speed Internet-access and messaging products, to about 17,000 commercial customers. The 57-employee firm operated in Indiana and Illinois, plus another 21 states.

Evolve will compete with AT&T, Verizon and also cable companies Comcast and Brighthouse.
 
Cincinnati Bell’s arrival in Indianapolis set up an unusual battle with AT&T for commercial customers. In no other city do two original “Bell” companies square off in the lucrative business market.

Cincinnati Bell was one of only two companies in the old Bell system owned independently of the former AT&T Corp. before the antitrust suit prompting AT&T’s breakup in 1984.

Cincinnati Bell will move within the next few weeks from its site on North Meridian Street to another location in Carmel, at Hamilton Crossing Boulevard near U.S. 31 and West 131st Street.

Shares of Cincinnati Bell were down 2 percent Wednesday morning, to $2.91 each.
 

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