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Business News – Williams Rolls Out Switched-Voice Platform

Posted: 06/1999

Business News

Williams Rolls Out Switched-Voice Platform
By Khali Henderson

Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams Network is making good on its promise to bring wholesale
switched long distance voice services to market June 1. Williams’ wholesale switched
services include 1+, toll-free, international termination and calling card services.

Ron Harden, Williams’ vice president of marketing and business development network,
says the company already has quoted some customers, primarily those to which it already is
selling wholesale transport services or with which it had a prior relationship as WilTel,
its carrier’s carrier unit that was sold to LDDS/WorldCom Inc. (Now MCI WorldCom Inc.) in
1995.

Through WilTel, Harden says Williams took eight years to build a $1 billion book of
business; the company’s goal is to achieve that same level in three years or less.
Williams was formed in January 1998.

Harden says Williams is building out its switched network with the installation of
DMS-250 long distance switches from Richardson, Texas-based Nortel Networks in 13 cities
nationwide by 2000. Kansas City, Mo., and Houston will be in service second quarter.
Switches in Anaheim, Calif.; Atlanta; and San Francisco will be cut over in third quarter,
and switches in Chicago and Newark, N.J., will be turned up in fourth quarter. Seven
additional switch sites are planned for deployment in 2000, but have not been named.

The company is using Sprint Corp. as its off-net provider for domestic traffic, and at
press time was negotiating partnerships with international carriers to provide
international termination.

In a crowded switched-services market, Harden says Williams is banking on its
non-legacy multiservice broadband network to bring efficiencies to its cost structure and
to the products and services offered to its resale customers. "Inherent in the
nonlegacy network is a significant cost advantage. Others are security and pipeline
availability right away," he says. "It allows us to move voice, video and data
across the same pipes. There are no digital cross-connects in this network, [there are] no
boxes, which means less space and power requirements and less management. This is a major
cost advantage over the legacy players."


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