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Ascend Extends Worldwide Leadership in Frame Relay with Multiservice Enhancements.

ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 28, 1998--

Market-Leading Frame Relay Switches Extend Multiservice Solutions with ATM and IP Modules, Enabling Revenue Generating Services

Ascend Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASND), a leader in wide area networking (WAN) solutions for providers and users of the New Public Network, today announced new features for the company's market leading B-STDX(tm) 8000 and 9000 Multiservice Frame Relay WAN switches. Supplying increased capabilities for revenue-generating services and cost saving solutions, the B-STDX Multiservice switch enhancements include a 12-port T1/E1 Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) Module, a 2-port 10/100 Fast Ethernet Module for IP, support for carrier-class Frame Relay Switched Virtual Circuits (SVCs), Frame Relay accounting and MultiLink Frame Relay (MLFR).

According to Dataquest's 1997 year-end statistics for the WAN networking market, Ascend maintained the number one position in Frame Relay sales worldwide. In the recently released report, Ascend continued to lead the competition, with 38.3 percent revenue market share in Frame Relay, and increased its revenue in ATM by 247 percent.

"In today's networking environment, the ability to support traditional Frame Relay and ATM services with new IP services is a key advantage for service providers," said Bob Sullebarger, director, Product Marketing, Core Systems Division at Ascend. "Supporting Multiservice capabilities with additional ATM and IP elements will enable our customers to offer high margin services that directly effect their bottom line. Being a leading provider of carrier-class Frame Relay WAN switching, Ascend is well positioned to extend that promise to deliver carrier-class ATM and IP services."

Delivering the most widely deployed platform for Public Data Services with millions of ports installed, Ascend's multifunctional switches are installed in the core of the world's largest service provider's networks. In 1997, Dataquest, IDC, Vertical Systems Group, and Infonetics Research named Ascend's B-STDX the market-leading carrier class WAN switch for Frame Relay. With added functionality for the B-STDX 8000 and 9000 switches, Ascend continues to be the worldwide leader in Multiservice Platforms for increased revenue-generating capabilities with a low cost of operations.

Cost effective ATM for Multimedia Support

The 12-port T1/E1 ATM Module delivers excellent support for multimedia services, providing concentration of voice, video, and data over an ATM connection, which translates to cost-effective ATM connectivity to Ascend's installed base of customers worldwide. This module enables service providers to cost effectively offer T1/E1 ATM services on the large installed base of B-STDX Multiservice Platforms. Target applications for the 12-port ATM module include low-speed ATM access and low-speed ATM trunking.

IP Support Extends Internet Services and QoS

The 2-port 10/100 Ethernet module for IP connectivity requirements enables service providers to easily offer both Internet hosting services and value-added IP routing and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services that are inherent in IP Navigator(TM). Ascend's Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) via the IP Navigator solution offers additional advantages with its software implementation for easy upgrade and the unique ability to offer absolute QoS for IP services. The 2-port Ethernet module applications include local connections to LAN devices, efficient aggregation of MAX TNT access users into IP (MPLS) backbones, Web hosting services, and PPP or Frame Relay access concentration into routed backbone networks.

Frame Relay SVCs Enable Service Providers to Offer On Demand Services

Ascend is the first WAN switch service provider vendor to support carrier-class Frame Relay Switched Virtual Circuit services, giving its service provider and enterprise customers the edge in delivering new Frame Relay services that support dynamic connectivity. Frame Relay SVCs allow service providers to offer new on-demand Frame Relay services that are optimized for applications such as voice over Frame Relay, videoconferencing and other intermittent applications.

Flexible Billing Plans with Frame Relay Accounting

The new NavisXtend(tm) Accounting Server allows service providers to bill Frame Relay services based on the amount of bandwidth the customer actually consumed on their SVC or Permanent Virtual Circuits or on the length of the SVC call. This technology opens up new possibilities for competitive billing plans that are more precisely tailored to end-user needs.

Network Cost Savings with Multi-Link Frame Relay

MLFR allows service providers to scale their backbone capacity in a cost-effective manner by bridging the gap between T1/E1 and T3/E3 trunking by bonding multiple T1/E1 links together. MLFR combines multiple physical links between two B-STDX switches creating a single greater capacity logical facility. Ascend's MLFR is a software-based solution, which requires no hardware upgrade to the B-STDX. MLFR allows service providers to extend their networks into new markets more easily, thus expanding their addressable customer base.

Service Providers Herald Scalable, Cost Effective B-STDX Multiservice Solutions

"This announcement reaffirms that Ascend understands the realities of our business," said Daniel David, general manager of IPF.NET. "We are getting tremendous value out of the B-STDX, and Ascend keeps adding features and functions to the platform that allow us to introduce new services which drive additional revenue for us."

"We think that MLFR will play a key role for us. We've been looking for a cost-effective way to extend our Frame Relay service into new markets that we don't currently serve, but were held back by the cost of DS3/E3 facilities. Ascend's new MLFR support allows us to capture this revenue without incurring a big jump in our recurring costs," said Mike Johnson, senior director, WAN Engineering of Intermedia Communications, Inc. "MLFR also allows us to enhance our extensive network to network interface (NNI) infrastructure already in place. Multiple T1 NNIs can now be enhanced to operate as a single High-Speed NNI as opposed to individual T1 pipes. This will prove extremely advantageous to our NNI partnerships and our own DSL infrastructure."

Complete Navis Network Management

Ascend Navis service management products, NavisCore(tm) and NavisXtend(tm), are powerful network management applications that enable service providers to deliver newer, more competitive networking services to business and enterprise customers.

Pricing and Availability

MultiLink Frame Relay is available today at no cost as an integral component of B-STDX software. The 2-port Ethernet Module is $25,000 domestic/$26,250 international and will be available Q3, `98. The NavisXtend Accounting Server is $10,000 per license and is available today. The 12-port T1/E1 ATM Module is $30,000 domestic/$31,500 international and will be available Q3, `98.

About Ascend Communications

Ascend Communications, Inc. develops, manufactures, sells and services wide area networking solutions for telecommunications carriers, Internet service providers and corporate customers worldwide.

Press and industry analysts please contact Stephanie Prentice, Alexander Communications, (404) 897-2300 or sprentice@alexandercom.com. Investors and financial analysts, please contact Kristina Graziano, (510) 747-2345 or kristina.graziano@ascend.com. For all other inquiries please call toll-free: 800/ASCEND4.

For more information about Ascend and its products, please visit the Ascend web site at www.ascend.com, or send e-mail to info@ascend.com . Ascend is headquartered at One Ascend Plaza, 1701 Harbor Bay Parkway, Alameda, Calif. 94502; phone is 800/ASCEND4 and fax is 510/814-2300. The foregoing statements may contain forward looking statements that are based on current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from these expectations as a result of factors including, but not limited to, the Company's success in developing, introducing or shipping new products, competition, the mix of distribution channels employed, the Company's dependence on single or limited source suppliers for certain components used in its products, risks inherent in international sales, seasonality and general economic conditions. These and other factors are discussed in Ascend's 10-K, 10-Q and other filings made periodically with thONTACT: Alexander Communications

Stephanie Prentice, 404/897-2300

sprentice@alexandercom.com

or

Ascend Communications

Mike Robinson, 978/952-1576

michael.robinson@ascend.com

KEYWORD: CALIFORNIA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: COMPUTERS/ELECTRONICS COMED TELECOMMUNICATIONS

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 28, 1998
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