article

AT&T-BT Venture Adopts Carriers’ Carrier Strategy

Posted: 09/1998

Business News

AT&T-BT Venture Adopts Carriers’ Carrier Strategy

By Khali Henderson

As part of their global venture, AT&T Corp. and British Telecommunications PLC (BT)
have announced plans to become "the industry’s pre-eminent ‘carriers’ carrier,’
providing wholesale transborder services to telecommunications companies and Internet
service providers (ISPs) around the world. Despite AT&T’s poor reputation among
domestic resellers of its long distance services, industry insiders say the pair’s vast
network and its perceived high quality will ensure its success in the international
wholesale market.

"There have been quite a number of people that have gone away from AT&T
because of the treatment they have received, but in a fast-moving industry like telecom,
people have short memories," says Brian Cotton, research director for Frost &
Sullivan, Mountain View, Calif.

Cotton says the AT&T-BT venture presents an opportunity for "carriers that
believe AT&T is a kinder, gentler AT&T." Besides, he says, if a reseller is
dissatisfied with the service at the end of the contract term, there may be a number of
other options.

Today, those options range from GlobalOne and WorldCom Inc./MCI Communications Corp. to
emerging carriers such as STAR Telecommunications Inc., PGE Co., Teleglobe Inc., Viatel
Inc., Primus Telecommunications Group Inc., FaciliCom International, Hermes Europe
Railtel, COLT Telekom and others.

"I think they will fare very well against these other folks," says Cotton.
"The biggest thing they have going for them is brand equity. The awareness of
AT&T and BT is huge compared to say a STAR Telecom. With that awareness, comes a
positive perception that these people are solid, they are going to be around and they know
how to handle mission-critical needs…One of the selling points for these resellers is
likely to be that we are on the AT&T-BT global network. I think end users are going to
be attracted to that."

Dr. Judy Reed Smith, chief executive officer of Boston-based strategy consulting firm
ATLANTIC-ACM, agrees. "If people are still saying it’s the best network and if
internationally there are still so many networks that are terrible, it may be there are a
lot of people that would want to use AT&T-BT because internationally they might have
quality. So, if [the reseller] is going to serve large businesses or customers that care
about a quality network, that AT&T-BT brand name wins in the marketplace."

Based on ATLANTIC-ACM’s research on the U.S. wholesale market, AT&T earns the
highest scores for quality of network based on surveys of their reseller customers.

"They do still get the votes for high-quality network," Reed Smith says.
"Therefore, the companies that are going to choose based on high quality network even
with less responsive service are going to maybe choose AT&T-BT."

The success or failure of these other international wholesalers vs. the AT&T-BT
wholesale proposition is going to be in some part due to how much it is going to cost,
Cotton says.

"In a bloody, price-based competition like that [in the United States],
AT&T-BT clearly has the advantage because they have the resources and the very deep
pockets to withstand this sort of price undercutting," he says.

"As has been said or both suckers and entrepreneurs, there’s one born every
minute. The lure of growth prospects in international long distance traffic is a huge
attraction to entrepreneurs, particularly to people that don’t have a lot of telecom
experience but have a lot of money and are willing to risk some of that capital for a
large return."

Patricia Robinson, a spokesperson for AT&T, says it is too early to speak to the
venture’s specific plans relating to wholesale programs and pricing. In a press
announcement, AT&T and BT have projected initial annual revenues for its International
Carrier Services business to be $4.5 billion.

Bell Atlantic and GTE Merger Troubles Long Distance Carriers, Consumers

Like previous mergers among the Bell companies, the proposed merger of Bell Atlantic
with GTE Corp. has raised concerns of long distance carriers and consumer groups who are
doubtful that yet another monopoly pairing will do much to bring about competition in
local markets.

"Rather than opening local markets to competition as required by the Telecom Act
of 1996, the telephone monopolies are merging to become even more stifling and
powerful," says J. Richard Devlin, executive vice president, general counsel for
Sprint Communications Co. "This latest horizontal merger would further the trend of
monopolistic consolidation of telephone lines into the hands of a few companies, depriving
consumers of the opportunity for competitive choices, higher quality service and lower
prices."

Consumer advocate James Love, director of the Consumer Project on Technology,
Washington, concurs. "With only a couple of big players, you have little or nothing
to compare. The disappearance of innovations in strategies, choices of technology,
pricing, etc., are harmful in a world where you have a monopoly in the local market,"
he says.

Further, Love says that the concentration of economic power as a result of the
combination gives Bell Atlantic-GTE and the proposed SBC-Ameritech undue influence on the
regulatory process. "At one point Bell Atlantic had offices in six states plus the
District of Columbia. After the merger with NYNEX, Bell Atlantic had a presence in 13
states plus Washington. If GTE is added, it will have a presence in most states in the
United States. This will enhance Bell Atlantic’s power in any major regulatory dispute
that concerns Congress and the [Federal Communications Commission]."

Bell Atlantic CEO Ivan Sedeinberg says the combination is a necessary strategy for the
company to gain the "financial, operational and technological resources to compete
effectively against the strategies of AT&T [Corp.]-TCI [Tele-Communications Inc.], SBC
[Communications Inc.]-Ameritech [Corp.], WorldCom [Inc.]/MCI [Communications Corp.] and
others, both current and future."

Under terms of the agreement, which are subject to regulatory approval, GTE
shareholders will receive 1.22 shares of Bell Atlantic stock for each GTE share they own.
The companies expect to complete the merger by next summer.

Second-Tier Long Distance Carriers Improve Customer
Satisfaction Ratings, Survey Shows

Second-tier long distance carriers have shown continued improvement in satisfaction
ratings and market share among residential consumers, according to the latest 1998 U.S.
Residential Long Distance Customer Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power and Associates, Agoura
Hills, Calif.

The study, which was based on responses from approximately 14,300 households
nationwide, found that market share of second-tier carriers is approaching 20 percent of
the U.S. residential household long distance market. It also found there is a narrowing of
the gap in satisfaction performance ratings assigned to these service providers compared
to the Big Three–AT&T Corp., MCI Communications Corp. and Sprint Communications Co.
Specifically, WorldCom Inc., LCI International Inc. and Excel Communications Inc. now
experience comparable overall satisfaction ratings to the leaders in each spending
segment.

Sprint maintained its dominance in customer satisfaction for the fourth consecutive
year in the high-volume long distance segment, which includes subscribers spending more
than $50 per month. Southern New England Telephone Corp. (SNET) captured the lead for the
second straight year among mainstream consumers who spend less than $50 per month.

"The continued strong performance of these two long distance providers is a
difficult accomplishment in a very competitive marketplace," says Peter Dresch,
director of telecommunications market analysis at J.D. Power and Associates.
"However, consumers are concerned about the ongoing changes in the telecommunications
industry and the ability of providers to honestly deliver products with no gimmick,
misleading ads or hidden charges."

More than 60 percent of respondents feel that recent and pending mergers may not be in
consumers’ best interest and nearly half agreed it was difficult to find a company they
could trust to offer the best value, he says.

Credibility/Cost/Value (32 percent) and Customer Service (29 percent) continue to be
the two most important factors impacting overall customer satisfaction in the long
distance industry. Other factors include Corporate Image (12 percent), Call Quality (10
percent), Billing (8 percent), Calling Card (5 percent) and Promotions (5 percent).

Williams Offers Usage-Based ATM Service

By Peter Meade

Williams Network, which re-entered the wholesale market earlier this year, now has
introduced the first usage-based asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) service in this market
segment. The Tulsa, Okla.-based carrier’s carrier has signed Concentric Network Corp. as
one of two beta testers for the new offering, which bills users only for the traffic sent
across Williams’ network as opposed to traditional flat-fee arrangements in which
customers pay for a permanent virtual circuit (PVC), whether it is used fully or not.

While such pay-per-use offerings are commonplace in the retail market, led by services
from MCI Communications Corp. and Sprint Communications Co., the migration of this
strategy to the wholesale arena should open many new business opportunities, says Jeff
Phillips, an Owasso, Okla.-based telecommunications consultant for TeleChoice Inc.

"In a market such as wholesale, where margins are being squeezed more and more
each day, it’s easier for some customers to justify paying only for what they use,"
he says.

Usage-based services are especially attractive to emerging carriers, such as
competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) and Internet service providers (ISPs),
Phillips says. These organizations may not have yet determined their sustained traffic
levels; have unpredictable traffic levels; or need to enter new markets quickly without
being able to afford flat-rate PVCs.

The usage-based service charges for allocating a PVC connection across Williams’
network plus an additional charge for the number of megacells of data that are received at
a destination location. As part of the service, customers will receive detailed traffic
reports on their usage, says Scott Williams, manager of process and product development
for Williams Network. The information, which includes details by location, on circuit
usage and bandwidth used between locations, then can be used for the customers to bill
their own end users.

Williams also offers a web-based interface for customers, phase one of which is limited
to a network management system that provides alarms and trouble tickets. In January,
customers will be able to view all their usage statistics and billing information online,
Williams says.

Carriers that sign up for the usage-based service must give a three-month commitment,
after which time they are free to switch to flat-fee service if it better serves their
traffic usage, he says.

Williams also offers an averaged payment option, similar to ones used by utilities, in
which future payments are averaged after the first three months of usage, so customers can
better budget their costs. Customers may switch back and forth between the usage-based and
flat-rate services on a reasonable basis, he says.

Next year the carrier plans to roll out an on-demand version of the usage-based system.
While the current offering uses switched virtual circuits that are always turned on, the
on-demand service will be turned up only when the customer needs the bandwidth using an
interface between the customer’s on-premises equipment and Williams’ network, Williams
says.

AT&T Completes TCG Merger

AT&T Corp. has completed its $11 billion merger with Teleport Communications Group
Inc., a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC), putting the No. 1 long distance carrier
squarely into the local service business and improving its position as an Internet
services provider.

Effective immediately, AT&T is incorporating all TCG services nationwide. It also
will test-market an "any distance" services to businesses in Chicago, Houston,
Boston, Milwaukee and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The company plans to roll out integrated end-to-end service in 34 more markets this
year. By early next year, it will integrate local service into its business offerings
throughout 66 of TCG’s markets.

TCG has more than 10,000 miles of fiber optic cable and 50 local switches. Its network
encompasses more than 300 communities nationwide. AT&T says it will continue to build
facilities in critical markets and expects to add 10 to 12 markets a year.

The merger, combining AT&T’s Internet protocol (IP) business with TCG’s Internet
unit, CERFnet, enables AT&T to expand its Internet services business. The company
plans to further upgrade these facilities, quadrupling its capacity.

Williams, WorldCom Reach Fiber Settlement

Williams Communications and WorldCom Inc. have settled their dispute concerning use of
fiber acquired by WorldCom when it purchased Williams’ WilTel Network Services in 1995.

The settlement gives Williams the right to purchase, with restrictions, a single strand
of fiber on WorldCom’s constructed long distance networks. The fiber strand is to be used
by Williams to carry video and Internet traffic, but excludes fax or voice transmissions
throughout the public switched network.

Access to WorldCom’s local and long distance networks acquired through the subsequent
acquisitions of MFS Communications Co. Inc., Brooks Fiber Properties Inc., MCI
Communications Corp. and any future acquisitions are excluded from the right to purchase.
All restrictions on Williams’ use of its retained fiber will expire July 2001. In
addition, WorldCom will have the right to purchase a single fiber on selected routes along
Williams’ existing network and its fiber in development.

In March, Williams sought a declaratory judgment in Oklahoma District Court in Tulsa
County ordering WorldCom to abide by a 1994 contract between the two companies, which
included giving Williams the right to purchase capacity throughout WorldCom’s fiber
network.

After selling its WilTel Network Services business to WorldCom, Williams had a
three-year non-compete agreement, which expired earlier this year. In the agreement,
Williams had retained a fiber strand throughout the 11,000-mile WorldCom network for
transporting multimedia traffic.

Cable & Wireless Buys MCI’s Internet Business,
Clearing Way for WorldCom Merger

MCI Communications Corp. has sold its Internet backbone facilities and wholesale and
retail Internet businesses for $1.75 billion in cash to Cable & Wireless Inc. The
transaction has cleared the way for approval of the proposed merger between MCI and
WorldCom Inc.

Conditioned upon the divestiture of MCI’s Internet business, the U.S. Department of
Justice and the European Union both approved the MCI-WorldCom pairing in July. At press
time, the merger still required final regulatory approval from the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC).

The sale of MCI Internet assets includes all associated traffic, revenue and backbone
facilities. MCI Internet business is projected to have revenue of approximately $375
million in 1998. The agreement with Cable & Wireless is contingent upon approval of
the MCI-WorldCom merger.

Bell Atlantic, MCI, Frontier Enter Compensation Dispute

By Jennifer Knapp

In mid July, Bell Atlantic Corp. approached the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
in an effort to recover $18 million it feels it is owed for the use of Bell Atlantic
payphones by long distance customers of MCI Communications Corp. and Frontier Corp.

Bell Atlantic filed two complaints with the FCC seeking damages from the two long
distance carriers, claiming they have failed to compensate the company for use of its
payphones to complete nearly 65 million calls between October 1997 and March 1998.

The basis for Bell Atlantic’s claims stems from an FCC mandate requiring carriers to
pay payphone service providers for long distances calls completed from a payphone.

MCI and Frontier contest the complaint, however, claiming that Bell Atlantic has not
met the requirements the FCC outlined for payphone providers to be eligible for
compensation.

"Frontier is one of a number of long distance companies that are contesting the
eligibility of a few local telephone companies to collect payphone fees at this
time," says Martin McCue, senior vice president and general counsel for Frontier.
"Our main concern is whether the costs of payphones are being recovered more than
once."

MCI holds the same position, noting there are certain difficulties with Bell Atlantic’s
position.

"First they have not removed all payphone costs from access charges as the FCC
requires. Second, they want consumers to pay twice for the same service; once in the cost
of the call and once in the form of access charges. Third, we pay more to Bell Atlantic
than we have withheld in the dispute," says Jamie DePeau, spokeswoman for MCI.

News Briefs

IXC Communications Inc. and Time Warner Telecom, a competitive local
exchange carrier (CLEC), have reached a two-year agreement enabling Time Warner to offer
long distance services to its local business customers nationwide.

IXC will provide domestic and international long distance, 800, operator-assisted,
directory assistance and calling card services.

Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. has signed a $15 million, 15-year agreement with Intermedia
Communications Inc.
to lease additional fiber optic infrastructure on its network to
Intermedia. Metromedia operates a high-bandwidth, private, fiber optic communications
infrastructure within major U.S. local markets.

Qwest Communications International Inc. has entered an agreement with Facilicom
International
(FCI) whereby FCI will obtain OC-3 capacity on Qwest’s network between
London and New York, New York and Miami and New York and Los Angeles. FCI’s international
traffic will be terminated throughout the United States by Qwest, while Qwest’s U.S.
outbound traffic will be terminated by FCI in Europe.

In other news, Qwest announced it has reached a nine-year carrier agreement worth $122
million with Electric Lightwave Inc. (ELI) Qwest will provide private-line services
for ELI’s expanded Internet backbone and data services.

Internet Cable Corp. has formed an alliance with Carolina Communications
Network Inc.
(CCN) in which CCN will market Internet Cable’s telephone dial tone
service to cable subscribers who choose to use their cable modem for telecom services.

Williams Network has signed a long-term agreement with Universal Access Inc.
to provide private line, frame relay and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) services to the
Chicago-based wholesale telecom provider.

A securities class action has been commenced on behalf of purchasers of prepaid phone
card service provider SmarTalk Teleservices Inc. securities for the period between
Aug. 14, 1997, and May 13, 1998. The complaint alleges that SmarTalk misrepresented
SmarTalk’s results and prospects for the purpose of selling $52 million of its own stock
and for raising $125 million in a notes offering.

NTC Inc. of Harrisonburg, Va., has agreed to license Highland Lakes
Software’s
Computer Accounting System (CAS). Specializing in shared tenant campus
housing, NTC will use CAS for billing local, long distance and other enhanced services.

FiveCom Inc. will advance its NorthEast Optic Network (NEON) using Northern
Telecom Ltd.’s (Nortel’s) S/DMS TransportNode OC-48 and OC-12 products. NEON will link
Boston; New York; Portland, Maine; Nashua, N.H.; Springfield, Mass.; and White Plains and
Springfield, N.Y., and plans to lease capacity on the network to interexchange carriers
(IXCs), local exchange carriers (LECs), competitive LECs (CLECs) and wireless carriers by
the end of the year.

OAN Services Inc. and EXL Information Corp. have entered a joint
marketing agreement under which the two companies will offer EXL’s UniCom convergent
billing and customer care system in a service bureau environment. The venture will form
the basis for OAN’s least-cost billing applications for interexchange carriers (IXCs),
local wireline service providers and resellers.

Teleflex Systems Inc. has added New Millennium Communications Corp., a
facilities-based carrier, to its customer base. Teleflex’s Genius Billing Platform and
Intelink Voice Processing Unit will aid in New Millennium’s rollout of enhanced services,
supplying billing and voice processing applications through one database and on one
platform.

Epoch Internet now offers Metropolitan Boston business customers TSpeed using
digital subscriber line (DSL) technology for dedicated Internet access at speeds up to 1
megabit per second. Initial offerings of TSpeed will be available in Boston, Brookline,
Burlington, Cambridge, Waltham and Wellesley.

WinStar Communications Inc. has signed reseller agreements with CIMCO
Communications Inc.
in Chicago and Gillette Global Networks Inc. in New York
carrying a minimum commitment of $3 million over three years.

In related news, WinStar will purchase 850 megahertz of bandwidth in New York from CellularVision
USA Inc.’s
local multipoint distribution service (LMDS) license. The new bandwidth
will be added to WinStar’s existing 38 gigahertz licenses.

WinStar also has consolidated its multiple billing platforms onto Billing Concepts
Corp.’s
Modular Business Applications business support system. The system will support
WinStar’s long distance, local resale, calling card and enhanced provisioning requirements
for retail and wholesale customers.

Dakota Carrier Services (DCS) has signed a network equipment and services
agreement with Coyote Network Systems Inc. DCS will provide wholesale international
long distance voice services to Mexico, using 200 compressed E1 circuits and signaling
system 7 (SS7) intelligent networking.

Network Plus has agreed to augment its existing network by deploying Northern
Telecom Ltd.’s
(Nortel’s) DMS-300/250 international gateway/long distance switching
platform, DMS-250 long distance switching platform and ServiceBuilder IN (intelligent
network) platform. Network Plus will deploy the new switches in Los Angeles, New York and
Chicago.

Teltrust Inc., a wholesale provider of telecom services, has secured an
additional $10 million revolving line of credit from Fleet Bank for expansion of
Teltrust operations. First Union Capital Market also has joined Fleet Bank as a
participating lender.

IDT Corp. has installed and upgraded its second switch at its Atlantic seaboard
facility. The 100,000-port Nortel DMS 250/300 switch allows IDT expand its traffic volume
as well as manage its domestic and international networks under one switch at up to eight
times the capacity of its former system.

In related news, IDT completed an upgrade to its prepaid platform allowing users to use
a single PIN from any of IDT’s worldwide local access nodes.

Deals

The European Commission and the national regulatory authorities of Germany, Denmark and
Belgium have determined that the proposed merger between SBC Communications Inc.
and Ameritech Corp. poses no antitrust concerns in Europe. The merger still
requires approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Department of
Justice (DoJ) and state public utilities commissions in Illinois and Ohio.

The staff of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has
reviewed the proposed merger between Tellabs Inc. and Coherent Communications
System Corp.
and has determined not to take any further action.

RSL Communications Ltd. (RSL COM) has agreed to acquire Westel
Telecommunications Ltd.
, a Canadian facilities-based telecommunications company, from
the British Columbia Railway Co. for Canadian $55 million. RSL COM will combine Westel’s
operations with Canadian-based customers of Westinghouse Communications.

RSL COM also has signed an operating agreement with Itissalat Al-Maghrib of
Morocco for the direct exchange of telecom traffic.

In other news, Metro Holding AG BAAR has agreed to pay $45 million to double its
investment in RSL COM. Metro will own more than 3 million shares in RSL, which represents
about 7 percent of the issued and outstanding shares of RSL.

Equalnet Communications Corp. has received shareholder approval to acquire SA
Telecommunications Inc.
, a facilities-based long distance carrier with operations in
Texas and California. Shareholders also approved the company’s name change from Equalnet
Holding Corp. to Equalnet Communications Corp.

Advanced Telecommunications Inc. (ATI) will purchase One Call Telecom Inc.,
a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) serving the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.,
areas. ATI will merge One Call into Cady Communications, ATI’s existing CLEC subsidiary
serving the Twin Cities market.

Davel Communications Group Inc. has agreed to merge with Peoples Telephone
Company Inc.
Coupled with the recent merger agreement between Davel and PhoneTel
Technologies Inc., the combined companies will operate more than 125,000 payphones in the
United States.

WorldPort Communications Inc. has agreed to purchase International
InterConnect Inc.
(IIC), a Florida-based company specializing in international long
distance services for 19 countries in Latin America. IIC customers include multinational
corporations, foreign embassies and businesses.

Level 3 Communications Inc. has acquired UltraLine Ltd., a high-speed
transatlantic service provider. As a part of the transaction, UltraLine founder, Colin
Williams, formerly with WorldCom, will join Level 3 as president and CEO of Level 3
International and as executive vice president of Level 3 Communications Inc.

International Telcom Ltd. has acquired the customer base of MTC-Netsource,
following MTC’s Chapter 11 reorganization. The takeover will bring 150,000 customers to
International Telcom. MTC will be operated by American Telesis Inc., an affiliate of
International Telcom.

AMNEX Inc. recently conducted an asset purchase from NTelTech Corp. LLC
for a payphone route located principally in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. As a
result of the purchase, AMNEX now owns and operates 11,000 payphones in the Northeast.

Retail Watch

WorldxChange Communications has launched a 5 cents-per-minute domestic and
international long distance promotion, called Take 5. The 10-10-502 dial-around promotion
will continue through Oct. 1, at which time domestic intrastate calls will return to 7
cents per minute.

Frontier Corp. recently released its Frontier TransAction voice and data
communications solution for banking, investment, mutual fund and brokerage companies.
TransAction will include frame relay, dedicated Internet and web-hosting applications.
Frontier also released its Frontier ServicePro solution for retailers. The voice and data
communications solution includes cellular, paging and toll-free access.

GST Telecommunications Inc. has agreed to distribute HotOffice Technologies
Inc.’s
HotOffice service from GST’s website, bundling the secured Internet software
with GST’s Internet access CD-ROM. GST will resell the service through its outbound
regional sales agents.

Digitec 2000 Inc. has launched its New York Direct, the company’s local access
long distance phone card. With the New York Direct card, callers in the 212, 516, 718, and
914 area codes can make any domestic call for 5 cents per minute with a 25-cent connection
fee.

ICG Netcom and Olen Properties, a Southern California real estate
company, have agreed to bring ICG’s telecom services to Olen’s Spectrum Pointe business
park in Irvine, Calif. The agreement will bring local, long distance and high-speed
Internet access to Spectrum Pointe.

AT&T Corp. will reduce its rates for Washington in-state, direct-dialed long
distance customers by 50 percent. Also, business rates will decrease by 16 percent. This
promotion is available to AT&T’s One Rate, One Rate Plus and basic schedule calling
plans through Oct. 31.

International News

Telegroup Inc. has partnered with Sungwoo Information and Communica-tions Co.
Ltd.
, a Korean alternative telecom provider. Sungwoo will terminate Telegroup’s
wholesale and retail traffic in Korea, and Telegroup will terminate Sungwoo’s traffic
worldwide.

Coyote Network Systems Inc.’s network services subsidiary, American Gateway
Telecommunications
(AGT) has initiated international U.S.-originated traffic with
termination services to the Caribbean, India and the Middle East. AGT will leverage
Coyote’s digital signaling system (DSS) switches to route international traffic at least
cost, using the Internet where possible.

Swisscom North America now offers worldwide end-to-end telecom services. The
company will provide carrier’s carrier and retail services, including international
private lines, managed bandwidth, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and frame relay, local
area network (LAN) interconnects and integrated services digital network (ISDN) gateways.

Brite Voice Systems has reached an agreement with Cellnet to provide a
digital prepay package for the United Kingdom. The Cellnet system alerts users to their
remaining credit, and offers call capabilities from 77 countries with whom Cellnet has
roaming agreements.

RSL Communications Ltd. has activated a 45-megabit circuit on its Gemini
transatlantic cable, quadrupling RSL COM’s capacity for carrying telephone calls between
the United States and 15 European countries.

Franklin Telecom’s subsidiary FNET Corp. has entered an agreement with IDM
Satellite Division to provide voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services in Guatemala,
El Salvador and Honduras.

NTT WorldWide Telecommunications Corp. (NTT-WT), a unit of Nippon Telegraph and
Telephone Corp. (NTT), and International Digital Communications Inc. (IDC) have
entered a reseller agreement for discount services. NTT-WT will resell volume domestic
discount services offered by NTT and volume international discount services offered by
IDC.

Amdocs Ltd., a billing and customer care solutions provider, has opened a
customer care center in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Customers for the center include
BellSouth/Safra-owned BCP cellular operations.

One.Tel, an Australian telecom carrier, will purchase Summa Four Inc.’s
VCO/4K switches for deployment in Australia, Europe and the United States. Using One.Tel’s
1478 access code, customers seeking competitive pricing on long distance and international
calls have their calls routed to One.Tel, where the VCO/4K switches will select the
least-cost routing path to the desired location.

IMagic Infomedia Technology Ltd. and Turner International Inc. have
completed a joint licensing agreement involving CNN Interactive and PowerPhone,
iMagic’s multimedia public payphone and information system. As a result of the agreement,
Hong Kong’s public now can access CNN Interactive for free on a PowerPhone unit.

Changes

IXC Communications Inc. has named Dominick DeAngelo, formerly with Sprint
Communications Co., as senior vice president of Internet services. DeAngelo brings to his
new position 25 years of telecom experience in marketing, engineering, operations and
development of Internet and managed network service.

IXC also has named David Hughart as head of its nationwide retail business
initiative Eclipse Telecommunications Inc. Hughart joins IXC with 34 years of service at
AT&T, where most recently he was responsible for developing and implementing marketing
and distribution plans for AT&T’s multibillion-dollar Business Middle Markets
organization as marketing vice president.

The Competitive Telecom-munications Association (CompTel) has named Terry Monroe
as vice president of state affairs. Previously, Monroe was director of state affairs.
Prior to joining CompTel, Monroe was a member of the New York Public Service Commission.

AVIRNEX Communications Group recently appointed John Field chairman and CEO.
Field brings his experience with ICG Communications Inc. as executive vice president for
United Artists Entertainment and American Television and Communications Corp.

American Telco recently named Matt Asmus president of the local and long
distance service provider. Asmus joined American Telco in 1988 as a facility assistant,
and most recently was vice president of services.

TotalTel USA Communications Inc. has promoted executives throughout its management team
including Richard Scheps as executive vice president of operations, Mitchell
Brown
as senior vice president of product and business development, James Rose
as senior vice president of operations, Dawn Raposa as vice president of marketing
and communications and Nicholas Faragasso as vice president of commercial sales.

J.D. Power and Associates recently appointed Zaiba Nanji as a partner
responsible for the Telecommunications Service Group. Nanji will manage proprietary and
syndicated research studies of customers in the wireline, wireless and cable/satellite TV
industries in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

Teltrust Inc. has completed relocation of its corporate headquarters from the
Salt Lake City International Center to a larger facility in the Cottonwood area of Salt
Lake City, which will put the headquarters closer to Teltrust’s largest call center
operation.

Billing Concepts Corp. will locate a customer service center in Corpus Christi,
Texas, bringing more than 150 full-time jobs to the city. The billing service provider
plans to expand operations in the center to 400 positions over the next several years.


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