DENVER, May 5, 1999 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (Nasdaq: QWST) today announced it has been awarded a communications contract worth approximately $9 million from Walgreen Co., the nation's largest drugstore chain. Under the agreement, Qwest will deploy frame relay, private line, virtual networking services (VNS), toll free, calling card and audio conferencing services, which will allow Walgreens to improve customer service and gain internal business efficiencies.
Qwest's frame relay services will be used to connect several hundred Walgreens locations to the data center and provide a high level of response time on their in-store applications. Qwest will provide Walgreens with VNS for intra-company communications as well as outbound calling to all 2,700 locations, including stores, corporate headquarters, distribution centers, district offices and Walgreens Health Initiatives locations. The VNS will allow Walgreens to communicate internally through a unique seven-digit dialing plan. Toll-free services will be used to support Walgreens' automated prescription refills, store locator service and corporate prescription programs.
"Qwest is pleased to be selected to provide communications and data services by the forward thinking leader in pharmacy chains, Walgreens," said Shaun P. Gilmore, Qwest senior vice president of National Accounts. "Walgreens has recognized the value that Qwest's low-cost, high-speed and reliable data and voice services will bring to their entire organization and growing customer base."
"As America's largest and fastest growing retail pharmacy chain, our first priority is the customer. We serve millions each day with a "customer first" philosophy that has been the cornerstone of our business since 1901," said Trent Taylor, Walgreens chief information officer. "Technology is a key component of elevating customer service and developing a competitive advantage in the market. Qwest understands our communication needs and is providing us with world class data and voice services."
Walgreen Co. is the nation's largest drugstore chain, with fiscal 1998 sales of $15.3 billion. The company operates 2,689 stores in 36 states and Puerto Rico, and plans to open more than 365 new stores this year.
Qwest 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 9,000 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 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 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. 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.
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