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AT&T, PTT TELECOM NETHERLANDS AND UKRAINE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AGREE TO EXPAND JOINT TELECOMMUNICATIONS VENTURE

 AT&T, PTT TELECOM NETHERLANDS AND UKRAINE MINISTRY
 OF COMMUNICATIONS AGREE TO EXPAND JOINT TELECOMMUNICATIONS VENTURE
 NEW YORK, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T (NYSE: T), PTT Telecom Netherlands and the Ukraine Ministry of Communications, in a joint meeting in Kiev last week, agreed to expand their existing joint telecommunications venture, UTEL, to include Deutsche Bundespost Telekom of Germany.
 In a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Kiev, the four telecommunications carriers agreed to develop detailed plans to modernize and expand Ukraine's international and long-distance telephone network and, in addition, to provide local connections to these networks for 25,000 key Ukrainian customers.
 The UTEL joint venture was announced last January by AT&T, the Netherlands PTT and the Ukrainian Ministry. The January agreement included plans to modernize Ukraine's international network but covered only 13 of Ukraine's 25 long-distance regional networks.
 The expanded venture would give AT&T and Deutsche Bundespost equal shares of 19.5 percent. The Dutch ownership will be 10 percent and Ukrainian ownership will be 51 percent.
 AT&T Vice Chairman Randall Tobias, who was in Kiev for the signing of the agreement, said AT&T was pleased that the Deutsche Bundespost agreed to participate in the joint venture. "AT&T has cooperated successfully with our German and Dutch partners for more than 60 years in providing international long-distance services between our countries," he said. "This will add another dimension to our relationship."
 He added, "By strengthening Ukraine's telecommunications system, the partners of this venture will help lay the foundation for business and industrial expansion in one of the most important republics in the Commonwealth."
 Ukrainian Minister of Communications Oleg Prozhivalsky said that the entry of the Deutsche Bundespost "significantly increases the power of UTEL and enables it to develop telecommunications in all 25 regions of Ukraine."
 Since January of this year, 60 new circuits have been added between Ukraine and other countries. Of these, 30 link Ukraine to North America and another 30 link Ukraine with Western Europe and Israel via the Netherlands. Previously, all communications traffic to and from Ukraine was routed through Moscow where only 150 circuits were available for all the former Soviet states. Since May, callers in the United States have been able to dial Ukraine directly rather than placing calls through an international operator who made the connection.
 To connect the country's telephone districts, AT&T will supply 12 5ESS switches to Ukraine. The first switch was delivered in March and is in operation in L'Vov. The remaining 11 switches will be manufactured in Ukraine and delivered over the next two years.
 With a population of 52 million people, Ukraine has ambitious plans to expand its communications infrastructure. There are 7 million telephone lines in service today; 34 of every 100 people in the capital city of Kiev have telephones, a relatively high teledensity among the republics of the Commonwealth. By the turn of the century, Ukraine plans to have 22 million telephone lines in service.
 AT&T has been providing international long distance service between the United States and the former Soviet Union since 1943. AT&T is the largest provider of telecommunications circuits between the United States and the Commonwealth of Independent States and offers videoconferencing to Moscow. Last October AT&T inaugurated direct dial telephone service between the Republic of Armenia and the rest of the world, using an AT&T 5ESS gateway switch providing 180 circuits.
 -0- 7/1/92
 /CONTACT: Marge D'Amico of AT&T, 201-644-7001/
 (T) CO: American Telephone and Telegraph Company; PTT Telecom
 Netherlands; Ukraine Ministry of Communications; Deutsche
 Bundespost Telekom ST: New York IN: TLS SU: JVN


BN-EA -- NY030 -- 5549 07/01/92 09:57 EDT
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Date:Jul 1, 1992
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