Qwest Communications And Tellium Form Multimillion Dollar Strategic Relationship For Optical Switching

DENVER and OCEANPORT, N.J., Sept. 20, 2000 – Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband Internet communications company, and Tellium, Inc., the world's first provider of intelligent optical switching solutions, today announced a multimillion dollar, multiyear strategic agreement that will support Qwest's deployment of a next-generation all optical broadband Internet network. Under the agreement, Qwest has agreed to purchase Tellium's optical switching equipment.

Tellium's core optical switches will be deployed as part of Qwest's all-optical network initiative, which exploits the latest in optical technology to significantly reduce operating costs and to provide customers with unprecedented capacity at a lower cost. This equipment will result in greater capital efficiencies for Qwest and is part of Qwest's previously announced capital expenditure projections for 2001.

Qwest will be using Tellium's Aurora Optical SwitchTM, a high-capacity, scalable optical switch that will deliver 1.28 terabits of capacity with interfaces that scale from Optical Carrier (OC)-48 up to OC-768. Tellium expects to begin shipping the Aurora Optical Switch, coupled with its StarNet Operating SystemTM and Wavelength Management SystemTM, to Qwest in the first quarter of 2001. Qwest also plans to evaluate additional Tellium equipment, including its third-generation platform, the Aurora Full-SpectrumTMswitch, which is currently in development. The Aurora Full-Spectrum switch will provide customers with a migration path from Tellium's current family of Aurora intelligent optical switches, combining all-optical bypass switching with electronic control and processing to enable carriers to scale in port count, bit rate per port, and raw capacity.

"We believe Tellium is a partner that can keep up with Qwest's leading-edge optical network," said Mike Perusse, Qwest's senior vice president of engineering and technology. "By integrating Tellium's core switching platform into Qwest's global broadband Internet network, we gain network efficiencies and additional resources to provide broadband Internet applications and services with greater performance and reliability."

Qwest chose Tellium based on the port-density and high-level of scalability of Tellium's optical networking products. Qwest also received certain rights to purchase an ownership position in Tellium.

"This win gives Tellium great momentum," said Dr. John Ryan, chief analyst at telecommunications analysis firm RHK Inc. "This is the company's second major customer win announced in the past two weeks. Tellium is carving out a strong position for its core optical switching products, as service providers get ready to meet the network demands of the decade of traffic growth ahead."

"This is a great victory for Tellium. Qwest was in the market for a scalable core optical switching product able to deliver the high-speed, high-reliability and high scalability requirements of its leading edge global optical network," said Harry Carr, Tellium's chairman and chief executive officer. "We are gratified that Qwest determined that Tellium is a company able to meet their demanding criteria. We are very proud to be associated with such a leader."

Supporting 512 OC-48 connections in its initial configuration and at 1.28 terabits per second (Tb/s) capacity, the Aurora Optical Switch today is at least twice the capacity of the nearest competitor while occupying significantly less floorspace. Moreover, it utilizes field-proven software from Tellium's first-to-market and first-in service optical switch, the Aurora/32.

About Qwest
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) 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 104,000 miles globally. For more information, please visit the Qwest web site at www.qwest.com.

About Tellium
Tellium, pioneer of the world's first in-service, intelligent optical switches, delivers high capacity, high density, cost-effective solutions to service providers offering advanced optical services. Using Tellium's Aurora/Full-SpectrumTM product line, service providers can tame the dramatic growth in network traffic to quickly and reliably deliver services in anticipation of their customers' dynamic bandwidth needs. Founded in 1997 by optical experts from Bellcore, Tellium's intellectual property portfolio includes more than 50 patents in the optics field. Tellium is led by a team of industry veterans from the leading telecommunications and data communications companies worldwide, including AT&T, Ascend Communications, Bay Networks, Nortel Networks, Lucent Technologies, MCI, Cisco, Cascade, Yurie and Telcordia, among others. More information is available at www.tellium.com.

Tellium…smarter, faster optical networks.

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 and U S WEST, Inc. 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 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, adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment, and failure to achieve the synergies and financial results expected from the acquisition of U S WEST. 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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