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MICHIGAN BELL SPEEDS NETWORK MODERNIZATION

               MICHIGAN BELL SPEEDS NETWORK MODERNIZATION
    DETROIT, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan Bell announced today it


will spend more than $215 million over the next five years to purchase and install 70 new digital call processors throughout the state.
    The decision increases by nearly 40 percent the number of digital call processors Michigan Bell planned to have in operation by 1996.
    Michigan Bell President Kenneth E. Millard said, "This project will allow Michigan Bell to offer advanced residence and business service on nearly 80 percent of our 4.3 million customer lines by 1996 -- 21 percent more lines than we had planned for.
    "Services like automatic callback and digital Centrex will be reaching our customers just that much sooner," said Millard.
    In addition, Millard said, each digital switch will be able to provide integrated services digital network (ISDN) capabilities, which allow voice, data and video to be sent at the same time over an ordinary copper telephone wire.
    Today, some 11 percent of Michigan Bell customer lines have ISDN capabilities.
    The Michigan Bell initiative is part of a broader effort by its parent company, Ameritech, to upgrade the telecommunications network serving the five-state Great Lakes region.  Together, Michigan Bell and the other four Ameritech Bell companies will be installing 276 digital switching systems to add digital capabilities to 80 percent of their 16.4 million customer lines by 1996, a 45-percent increase over the earlier plan.
    "The consolidated purchasing process -- combining the buying power of all the Ameritech Bell companies -- is a win for our customers," said Millard.
    Bob Barnett, Ameritech vice chairman and president of the Ameritech Bell Group, said contracts for the digital equipment recently were awarded to Northern Telecom, Siemens Stromberg-Carlson and AT&T Network Systems.
    "We're making this investment to provide the kinds of advanced communications services that residential and business customers across our five states tell us they want," said Barnett.
    Ameritech is the parent of the Bell companies serving Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, and other information-related companies, both foreign and domestic, providing mobile communications, directory publishing, systems integration, lease financing, voice messaging and audiotex services.  Ameritech's 1990 revenues were $10.7 billion.
    -0-                     11/12/91
    /CONTACT:  Phil Jones, 313-963-2398, or Dean Hovey, 313-223-7197, both of Michigan Bell/
    (AIT) CO:  Michigan Bell ST:  Michigan IN:  TLS SU: JG-ML -- DE008 -- 3401 11/12/91 11:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 12, 1991
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