For the last couple of years lenders have been taking the call from the telecommunications industry. Next year they may want to get in on a "friends and family" plan.

Telecommunications companies have been banks' best corporate customers. Since 1998 the telecom industry has received 180 loans worth $119 billion, more than in the three previous years combined, according to Thomson Financial Securities Data. The borrowing frenzy may not be over, according to bankers and analysts. Apart from Internet-related ventures, they say, there is no more dynamic industry than telecommunications - a sector driven by intensifying competition and need for capital.

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