DENVER, June 17, 1999 -- Qwest Communications International Inc. (NASDAQ: QWST) and Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced an extension of their strategic alliance with a multi-year agreement to develop the world?s most advanced communications platform to support the migration of traffic from traditional legacy networks to Qwest?s high-speed Internet Protocol network. The Qwest network platform will be built predominately on Cisco communications equipment and will be the leading all-Internet based network deployed in the United States. Under this agreement, more than 80 percent of all Qwest?s new-world services will travel over Cisco-built networks.
With Qwest?s recently announced intentions to acquire both US West and Frontier Communications, this alliance will enable Qwest to move US West?s traditional network onto Qwest?s world class IP backbone. With greater than 50% nationwide market share in Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), US West is the market leader in providing high-speed DSL services that allow broadband access services to residences and businesses over traditional copper lines. Qwest?s interest in acquiring US West is to deliver new technology and broadband communications services to local customers.
The deal also extends into application development and the marketing of Internet services. Both companies plan to co-develop applications for Internet-based data, phone and image services, which would be sold to businesses and consumers by Qwest. The Qwest/Cisco alliance enables Qwest to lead the market as it migrates the networks of Frontier and US West from circuit switching onto its world-class IP backbone.
?We believe the Internet is the future of all communications, and will be a competitive advantage for companies who understand this shift and are prepared to move fast,? said John Chambers, president and CEO of Cisco Systems. ?Qwest?s aggressive announced plans to acquire US West and Frontier demonstrates the company?s commitment and ability to migrate customers from traditional voice and data networks to a digital IP infrastructure, and we are excited about the opportunity to help them in this bold initiative. In my opinion, US West is leading all local exchange carriers in the migration of their traditional telephone network to the Internet.?
Qwest is the leading service provider in building a global broadband IP network and has been Cisco?s leading customer in the deployment of the high-speed routers required to build the nation?s premier OC48 IP backbone. This partnership enables Cisco to accelerate the deployment of a packet-based infrastructure to the marketplace.
?Cisco shares our vision of the future of communications, and together we will accelerate the movement from traditional telecommunications to Internet-based communications,? said Joseph P. Nacchio, Qwest Chairman and CEO. ?We are excited to work with Cisco on creating and deploying Internet applications that will change the way we deliver these rapidly emerging high tech services.?
As the largest end-to-end Cisco Powered Network service provider of Internet and data services, Qwest will leverage Cisco?s marketing channel to help drive sales of Qwest?s suite of Internet communications services. Cisco will also build an organization dedicated to the engineering and development of leading-edge product and services for the Qwest network. Qwest will also be joining Cisco and Microsoft in endorsing and leading the Directory Enabled Network (DEN) initiative that will increase efficiency and reduce costs for managing the converged, multi-service network of the future.
To speed the migration to Internet-based networks, Cisco and Qwest will focus their broad partnership in four key areas:
1) Internet applications ? the converged network will offer integrated IP services, such as VPNs, unified messaging and web-centric call centers.2) Optical Internet technologies ? packet-enabled optics and dynamic packet transport to provide the efficiency and platform for the future growth in broadband applications. 3) Internet voice services ? the Cisco Virtual Switch Controller will provide a distributed and open call control for rapid application development for converged IP/voice services.4) Internet operational support system ? open ecosystem of partnerships and Directory Enabled Networks (DEN).
About Cisco SystemsCisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.
About QwestQwest Communications International Inc. (Nasdaq: QWST) is a leader in reliable and secure broadband Internet-based data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. Headquartered in Denver, Qwest has more than 8,500 employees working in North America, Europe and Mexico. The Qwest Macro Capacity® Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking, will span more than 18,500 route miles in the United States when it is completed by mid-1999, and an additional 315-mile network route that will be completed by the end of the year. In addition, Qwest and KPN, the Dutch telecommunications company, have formed a venture to build and operate a high-capacity European fiber optic, Internet Protocol-based network that has 2,100 miles and will span 9,100 miles when it is completed in 2001. Qwest also has nearly completed a 1,400-mile network in Mexico. For more information, please visit the Qwest web site at www.qwest.com.
This release contains 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 complete the network on schedule and on budget, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks, Qwest?s ability to achieve Year 2000 compliance, and adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment. 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 such publicly available information 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.
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