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WILTEL INTERNATIONAL DEPLOYS MARKET-LEADING WILPAK FRAME RELAY IN EUROPE: FORMS STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIPS

 DALLAS, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- WilTel International is extending the market-leading WilPak frame relay service to key financial centers in Europe, employing new strategic relationships to enhance its ability to serve business customers' global requirements, it was announced today at NetWorld '93.
 WilTel International is a unit of WilTel, a full-service telecommunications company that owns and operates a fiber-optic network providing nationwide coverage in the United States. Strategic partnerships are being announced with IDB WORLDCOM and with Reuters.
 WilTel initially will use StrataCom IPX switches installed in London and Frankfurt, reflecting the majority of European connectivity requests the company has received from current WilPak users and from prospective customers.
 "Access to new WilPak locations in Europe will provide a tremendous benefit to our U.S.-based customers that want to obtain the efficiency and economy of cell-based services from a company with WilTel's experience," said John W. Barnett Jr., president of WilTel International.
 Administrative and procedural testing of the international WilPak service will continue through December, with general availability in January. Convex Computers of Richardson, Texas, and Sybase of San Francisco, WilPak users in the United States, will be first to use the service.
 Diversely routed international fiber-optic links are being supplied through a partnership with IDB WORLDCOM, the private line and international long distance telephone unit of IDB Communications Group Inc. (NYSE: IDBX). As part of the overall agreements, IDB WORLDCOM is using WilTel's U.S. network to significantly expand its long distance telephone origination capabilities to include all major business locations nationwide.
 IDB WORLDCOM traces more than a century of international telecommunications experience with more than 100 direct operating agreements providing a strong advantage for its partners who need to build high-quality overseas networks at cost-effective prices.
 "This strategic relationship positions both companies to better serve the ever-changing needs of our customers," said Steve Carroll, president of IDB WORLDCOM. "IDB WORLDCOM is able to expand its nationwide telephone origination capabilities while WilTel is able to extend its WilPak services to the European Community, both of which are critical to the growth of each company."
 The telecom division of Reuters Ltd., has been chosen as the facilities management partner for the European extension of WilTel's frame relay network. Through Reuters, WilTel will provide a single point of contact for seamless ordering, installation and ongoing support of customers' European nodes. This allows WilTel to maintain end-to-end responsibility for design control of customers' WilPak networks, as well as value-added services such as configuration assistance and internetworking equipment.
 Reuters is a 148-year-old company with extensive experience in global information and communications technologies. The telecom division of Reuters was established to provide a range of high-quality, cost-effective telecommunications services to more than 2,500 existing Reuters customers in the United Kingdom and Europe. Services launched to date under the ReuterConnect product name include point-to-point voice and data circuits, both internationally and within London, and international direct dial services.
 WilPak is the world's first public frame relay network, introduced in March 1991. WilTel has more than 100 WilPak users and nearly 1,000 customer nodes in the United States, more than any other frame relay provider.
 WilTel was an early strategic partner with StrataCom, adopting the StrataCom IPX as its frame relay platform months before its use by other carriers made the IPX the worldwide leader in frame relay switching equipment. WilTel has nearly 30 StrataCom IPX switches in use in the United States.
 Pricing of the international service will be structurally consistent with domestic WilPak, featuring non-mileage sensitive rates and port oversubscription. Each permanent virtual circuit will be assessed a surcharge for conductivity between regions (such as between the Untied States and Europe).
 Additional frame relay locations in Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim are under review, as are opportunities for strategic relationships with foreign-based carriers that need U.S. conductivity, Barnett said. WilTel also plans to provide private line services to Europe early in 1994.
 WilTel also has agreements already in place with IDB WORLDCOM and other international carriers allowing it to provide long distance calling worldwide.
 WilTel also will have in place one of the world's first asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) networks available to carry commercial traffic in the United States before the end of the year, assuring international users that WilTel will be in position to deploy this evolving high-speed technology on a global basis as demand warrants.
 "We are well prepared to extend to the world marketplace our expertise with frame relay and an expanding list of data communications products," Barnett said. "We believe our experience with these critical products and our ability to provide personalized service in conjunction with our strategic partners, will prove to be a key element in our international success."
 An agreement between WilTel and fONOROLA, effective last month, allows WilTel to resell private line services between the United States and Canada. This provides new options for U.S. businesses which need end-to-end private line connectivity to their operations in Montreal., Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and other Canadian cities. Extension of WilTel's frame relay service to Canada also is in development and is expected to be available during 1994.
 "Our initial focus has been to establish our quality data products in Canada, the United Kingdom and the European continent, followed in the second half of 1994 by deployment into selected markets in the Pacific Rim," Barnett said. "Toward this end, we will continue to evaluate the options for both tactical and strategic partnering.
 "After a recent series of meetings in the Far East, I am even more convinced that the quality data telecommunications products WilTel provides are required to provide our multi-national customers the economies of scale they deserve."
 WilTel is a full-service telecommunications company that offers data, voice and video products and services. WilTel owns and operates a nationwide digital fiber-optic network, one of only four in the United States, with access to more than 30,000 system miles.
 WilTel provides end-to-end network services, communications equipment and facilities management and maintenance and is the only fiber-optic network dedicated primarily to business communications services. WilTel, based in Tulsa, Okla. has sales and service offices in more than 100 U.S. cities.
 WilTel is one of The Williams Cos. Inc. (NYSE: WMB), a $5 billion corporation based in Tulsa that also operates three interstate pipelines and major natural gas gathering and processing facilities. Williams is listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges (symbol WMB).
 -0- 10/5/93
 /CONTACT: Kim Dewling of IDB WORLDCOM, 212-478-6185; or Peter Griffiths of Reuters, 071-510-6909; Gil Broyles of WilTel, 918-588-5752; or Ken Dennard of Morgen-Walke, 415-296-7383, for IDB/
 (IDBX WMB)


CO: The Williams Cos. Inc.; WilTel; Reuters Ltd.; IDB WORLDCOM ST: Oklahoma, California, Texas IN: TLS SU:

SG-ML -- SF005 -- 8967 10/05/93 15:01 EDT
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Date:Oct 5, 1993
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