Denver, November 30, 1999 - Qwest Communications International Inc. (NASDAQ: QWST), a broadband Internet communications company, today announced that KPNQwest NV, the Dutch-based data communications company, successfully implemented a Master Services Agreement with COLT Telecom Group plc that will complete the local loop for the provision of secure, high-speed, high-capacity bandwidth to KPNQwest's customers in key markets across Europe. The agreement will give KPNQwest customers direct access to their sites in all cities served by COLT's European operations, using ultra-high speed services based on Internet Protocol (IP) and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technology.
"Through this agreement with COLT, our customers now have superior local connectivity to KPNQwest's EuroRingsTM , our pan-European high-speed macro-capacity fiber-optic network, and through our seamless links with Qwest's network to over 150 metropolitan cities in the U.S. It increases our ability to accelerate the arrival of the broadband Internet economy in Europe," said Jack McMaster, CEO of KPNQwest.
Under the terms of the agreement, COLT is a preferred supplier of local access circuits across its network, giving customers a competitive choice when planning pan-European networks. KPNQwest already uses COLT to reach over 100 customers in 5 countries. The one-stop-shop approach enables network design to be completed much faster than previously possible, and the resulting seamless solution performs better and is easy to manage. As the KPNQwest network, which already links 9 cities, rolls out across Europe, customers can take advantage of direct access at competitive prices in an increasing number of business locations.
KPNQwest (NASDAQ & ASE: KQIP) is a leading facilities-based, pan-European provider of data-centric Internet protocol-based services to business customers. It is deploying a technologically advanced fiber-optic network connecting 39 cities throughout Europe, enabling the company to provide a broad range of high-speed, high-quality data-centric Internet protocol-based services and other advanced telecommunications services. The company is the one of the largest business Internet service providers (ISPs) in Europe with operations in 14 countries. KPNQwest has 12 cybercenters and plans a 6 additional mega-cybercenters, of which two are extensions of existing cybercenters, on its high-capacity fiber-optic network to provide web-hosting, application hosting and telehousing services.
COLT Telecom Group plc (COLT) is a leading provider of telecommunications and Internet services to commercial and governmental customers in Europe. It currently has operations in eighteen European cities in nine countries and plans to be providing service in 24-26 cities by the end of 2000. During the year ended December 1998 COLT more than doubled its turnover to £215 million and carried over 3.4 billion switched minutes of traffic. At 30 September 1999 it had installed 1,710 route kilometers of fiber; provided 2.9 million private wire voice grade equivalents; had 3,271 buildings connected to its networks; and served 3,624 directly connected customer accounts. For the three months ended 30 September 1999 COLT had turnover of £104.5 million and carried over 2 billion switched minutes of traffic. COLT Telecom Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (CTM.L) and Nasdaq (COLT).
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, spans more than 18,500 miles in the United States, with an additional 315-mile network to be completed by the end of the year. For more information, please visit the Qwest web site at www.qwest.com.
Backgrounder: Technical issues
The EuroRingTM system consists of a number of bi-directional self-healing fiber-optic rings providing uninterrupted service. The six rings planned for introduction by the year 2001 will connect 39 major Western, Central and Eastern European markets.
ATM is a cell-based protocol which allows the customer to mix multiple media types and transfer information efficiently at ultra-high speeds. End-to-end services offered are based on Constant Bit Rate (CBR) and Variable Bit Rate non-real-time (VBRnrt). CBR offers stringent limits on delay variation across the network, and is used in real-time applications such as voice and video calls. VBR is used for applications which can tolerate variable delay, but require stringent controls on cell loss, for example data transfer.
Internet Protocol-based services are integrated into the network. Virtual Private Networks (VPN) using IP for data and voice provide flexibility for the customer. Voice is converted from its traditional analogue and narrow-band digital form to packets, which are then transmitted to the final destination by the most effective route and then re-assembled prior to reception. This allows the network to be adaptive to congestion, and fault-tolerant. Voice quality is maintained, thus the technology is transparent to the user, and the advantages are passed on to the customer in lower costs, better connect performance and higher network availability.
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, and 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.
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