ATLANTA -December 15, 1999 ? BellSouth Corporation (NYSE:BLS) and Qwest Communications International Inc., (NASDAQ:QWST), the broadband Internet communications company, today announced they have been awarded in excess of $250 million in multi-year contracts to provide broadband information networks that will carry Internet, image, data and voice communications services for business throughout the southeast and United States. The companies said they have won 27 contracts for communications services and have over 250 proposals pending with business customers in the government, retail, financial, and health care industries.
Qwest and BellSouth have closed contracts for data and Internet services with large customers such as the State of Tennessee and other organizations in the public and private sectors. The State of Tennessee contract calls for the two companies to provide a converged information network to carry the state's Internet, image, data and voice communications. This new broadband information network will connect the entire Tennessee government system including; Tennessee Board of Regents, the University of Tennessee System, and other eligible entities including libraries, city and county governments and non-profits. The network provides a seamless, scalable solution for future Internet and communications services. BellSouth and Qwest are providing these services in a manner consistent with other teaming arrangements that they each have with other carriers.
To increase support for the customers Qwest and BellSouth have won through the teaming efforts associated with their alliance announced on April 19, 1999, the two companies have established a new Customer Resource Center. Qwest's web-based billing and support systems will be combined with BellSouth's industry-leading customer service operations and staff to provide customers with fully coordinated account service and management.
"Our alliance with Qwest is paying immediate dividends for our customers and shareholders," said Duane Ackerman, Chairman and CEO of BellSouth. "The BellSouth/Qwest relationship is on track to achieve the goals we planned when we announced our agreement. The awarding of these contracts further validates our combined strength to bring superior end-to-end services to today's digital marketplace."
"We continue to be impressed with the success of our coordinated marketing efforts in the Southeastern US and how quickly we have been able to penetrate the market," said Joseph P. Nacchio, Qwest's Chairman and CEO. "The 27 contract wins and the fact that we have a significant number of proposals pending with other businesses in the region illustrates the growing demand for the Qwest/BellSouth broadband communications solution. This demand is coming from both smaller customers, and customers as large as the State of Tennessee."
As part of their teaming agreement, Qwest and BellSouth will provide a host of broadband and electronic commerce services, including dedicated Internet access, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), frame relay and private line services. These services are used by businesses to interconnect their own operations, link with their suppliers, and deliver solutions to their customers. In addition to their recent success in the marketplace, the two companies have also completed agreements for:
- Qwest to be the long distance provider for 1-800-BellSouth calling, and other related services.
- Qwest to migrate a portion of its long-distance traffic to BellSouth's facilities, resulting in a cost savings for
- Qwest and revenue growth for BellSouth.
- BellSouth and Qwest to share co-location space in facilities across the U.S. to support the delivery of end-to-end broadband applications and services to customers. This action will minimize the need for Qwest and BellSouth to separately build or lease centers, resulting in additional cost savings for both companies.
- BellSouth and Qwest to expand the product portfolio provided to customers to include Internet Protocol (IP) services.
Following the announcement of the Qwest/BellSouth alliance on April 19, BellSouth bought a 10 percent equity stake in Qwest in a transaction that closed May 27. The companies are respectively providing leading-edge services from long distance data, e-commerce and a wide range of local digital services for millions of customers.
BellSouth (NYSE: BLS) is a $25 billion communications services company. It provides telecommunications, wireless communications, cable and digital TV, advertising and publishing, and Internet and data services to more than 36 million customers in 20 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit the BellSouth web site at www.bellsouth.com.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (Nasdaq: QWST) is a leader in reliable, scalable and secure broadband Internet-based data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. The Qwest Macro Capacity® Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking equipment for speed and efficiency, spans more than 24,500 miles in North America. In addition, KPNQwest (Nasdaq: KQIP), Qwest's European joint venture with KPN, the Dutch telecommunications company, is building and will operate a high-capacity European fiber optic, Internet-based network that will span 9,150 miles when it is completed in 2001.
This release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents filed by Qwest with the SEC, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including potential fluctuations in quarterly results, dependence on new product development, rapid technological and market change, failure to maintain rights of way, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks, Qwest's ability to achieve Year 2000 compliance, adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment, and failure to complete the merger with U S WEST and achieve projected synergies and financial results timely or at all. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties, for which Qwest assumes no responsibility. Qwest undertakes no obligation to review or confirm analysts' expectations or estimates or to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. The Qwest logo is a registered trademark of Qwest Communications International Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries.
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