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MCI to Launch First Nationwide Sonet/ATM Network press release
From: David Farber <farber () central cis upenn edu>
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 1995 20:58:02 -0500

            MCI TO LAUNCH FIRST NATIONWIDE SONET/ATM NETWORK


         Network Will be First To Combine Advanced Switching and
              Transmission Technologies for Commercial Use




           DALLAS, TX, January 30, 1995 - MCI today announced that in
March of this year it plans to activate the world's first nationwide
"virtual" high-speed commercial telecommunications network, combining
advanced information age technologies known as Synchronous Optical
Network (SONET) And Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).


        Marking a major milestone in the development of the
information super- highway, the new network will be capable of
combining voice, data and video transmissions together at 155 megabits
(155 million bits of information) per second over MCI's high-speed
backbone network, currently operating at 2.5 gigabits (2.5 billion
bits) per second -- the equivalent of transmitting the entire U.S.
Mail list of names and addresses across the country in less than a
minute.


        "This network is the first-of-its-kind to combine both of
these advanced telecommunications technologies in one seamless
commercial operation nationwide," said John Gerdelman, president of
networkMCI Services.  "SONET and ATM will allow voice, data and video
signals to be transmitted over the same channel simultaneously, and
are vital components of the innovative multimedia applications and
information services that we are developing."


        As communications technologies converge, MCI customers will
continue to have available to them an increasing array of new
services, from advanced telemedicine applications and rapid image
transfers to remote data access and online shopping -- at the touch of
a button.


        Last year, the company introduced networkMCI BUSINESS, the
first software application combining important business tools, such as
electronic mail, fax messaging, document sharing, videoconferencing
and information services, in a single product.  MCI also launched it's
HyperStream ATM service, currently the Fastest on the market, and is
the only carrier offering SMDS.  This now gives MCI the lead in
providing the nation's most complete data services.  Other recent MCI
innovations include internetMCI, a portfolio of services giving customers
easy, high-speed access to the rapidly growing and increasingly popular
Internet.


        MCI continues to invest in the latest telecommunications
technologies, such as SONET and ATM, faster than other long distance
carriers.  Recently, the company added ATM capabilities and plans to
provided SONET to its Developers Lab in Richardson, Texas, bringing
the power and intelligence of these technologies to outside developers
for the first time.  The Lab, which MCI refers to as "the twenty-first
century garage," offers developers the opportunity to test innovative
applications in a live network environment.


        According to Gerdelman, MCI's goal is to create the "network
for the information age," and provide not only access to information
services, but content as well.


        "With SONET you gain certain benefits in terms of reliability
and overall network performance," said Gerdelman.  "ATM gives us the
advanced switching capability for multiple signal transmissions.
Combine the two and you have the foundation of a network that is well
positioned to generate new revenue from these emerging markets."


        MCI plans to boost its transmission speed to 10 gigabits (10
billion bits) per second in early 1996, and is currently introducing
new fiber optic technologies that will allow 40 gigabits (40 billion
bits) per second transmissions in the near future.


        "If you think transmitting the entire U.S. Mail list in one
minute is fast, just wait," said Gerdelman.  "At 40 gigabits we'll be
able to do it in only 4 seconds!"


        MCI, headquartered in Washington, D.C., has expanded from its
core long distance business to become the world's third largest
carrier of international calling and a premier provider of data
communications over the vast Internet computer network.  With annual
revenue of over $13.3 billion, the company today provides a wide array
of consumer and business long distance and local services, data and
video communications, on-line information, electronic mail, network
management services and communications software.  networkMCI Services
is the division responsible for developing MCI's information technology
and operating its global intelligent network.


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