DENVER, December 10, 2003 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) today announced the first of a phased deployment of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services to customers in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Qwest is the first major telecommunications provider to offer VoIP services to residential customers.
?The future of voice communications will be based on the Internet, and Qwest is excited to lead the way for customers,? said Richard C. Notebaert, Qwest chairman and CEO. ?Voice over the Internet allows us to offer customers greater features, functionality and convenience while also saving them money on their telephone services. Offering voice over the Internet makes good sense for our customers and for Qwest.?
Qwest?s unique blend of local and long-haul network assets make VoIP a natural evolution because the company can offer the ?last mile? broadband connection to customers? homes through DSL and then transport the long-haul traffic onto its nationwide data and IP network.
With VoIP, customers can enjoy new features and:
- Go to a Web site and view a call log of missed, incoming or outgoing calls as well as ?click-to-dial?
- Add personal contacts and place them in groups for later ?smart? call forwarding
- Specify call forwarding locations for different groups of callers
- Schedule calls to automatically forward to an alternate number during designated times and days of the week
- View and listen to voice mail messages online (will be available in a subsequent phase)
The above features are in addition to the standard telephone features customers have enjoyed in the past with traditional telephony service.
"To date residential VoIP services have been limited and have generally been delivered by a combination of specialty carriers and cable MSOs", said Tom Valovic, Program Director for IP Telephony at IDC. "With this announcement, Qwest becomes the first RBOC to enter this emerging market, a significant milestone in the rapidly advancing development of VoIP services. As Qwest increases the scope of this deployment, availability of the new services will lend major momentum to the progress of VoIP as a next-generation solution."
How VoIP Works
VoIP gives customers the ability to use a high-speed data connection to make voice calls to others over the Internet or a private network rather than over the Public Switched Telephone Network.
Following is a description of the VoIP call process:
- Calls are made using a VoIP phone or a wireline phone that is connected to a VoIP adaptor device
- The VoIP phone or VoIP adaptor is connected to a DSL or cable modem at the customer?s home
- For transmission, the conversation is broken down into smaller units called packets which are sent across the Internet
- The Qwest VoIP network provides the features selected by the customer (such as call forwarding) and routes the call appropriately
- At the receiving end, the packets are reassembled in the appropriate order and converted back to an analog signal
Qwest plans to provide VoIP services to additional residential and small business customers as well as to medium and enterprise business customers during the first half of 2004.
Qwest VoIP B-Roll available starting at 10 a.m. Mountain time: Members of the media, click here www.thenewsmarket.com/qwest to obtain broadcast-standard video digitally, by tape or satellite via the APTN Global Video Wire.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services to more than 25 million customers. The company?s 47,000 employees are committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.
Forward Looking Statement Note
This release may contain projections and other 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 us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, 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 but not limited to: the duration and extent of the current economic downturn in our 14-state local service area, including its effect on our customers and suppliers; access line losses due to increased competition, including from technology substitution of our access lines with wireless and cable alternatives; our substantial indebtedness, and our inability to complete any efforts to de-lever our balance sheet through asset sales or other transactions; any adverse outcome of the SEC's current investigation into our accounting policies, practices and procedures and certain transactions; any adverse outcome of the current investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver into certain matters relating to us; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by Congress, regulatory authorities, media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; further delays in making required public filings with the SEC; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; any adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings, including any adverse outcome of current or future legal proceedings related to matters that are the subject of governmental investigations, and, to the extent not covered by insurance, if any, our inability to satisfy any resulting obligations from funds available to us, if any; potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of our stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete including the likelihood of certain of our competitors emerging from bankruptcy court protection or otherwise reorganizing their capital structure and competing effectively against us; changes in demand for our products and services; acceleration of the deployment of advanced new services, such as broadband data, wireless and video services, which could require substantial expenditure of financial and other resources in excess of contemplated levels; higher than anticipated employee levels, capital expenditures and operating expenses; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business; and changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included in our significant accounting policies.
The information contained in this release is a statement of Qwest's present intention, belief or expectation and is based upon, among other things, the existing regulatory environment, industry conditions, market conditions and prices, the economy in general and Qwest's assumptions. Qwest may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in Qwest's assumptions or otherwise. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this release should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that Qwest or persons acting on its behalf may issue. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties for which Qwest assumes no responsibility.
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