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SPRINT PLANS INFORMATION SUPER-HIGHWAY

 KANSAS CITY, Mo., Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Students seated at computers at home will someday "commute" to classes using a Sprint information highway, a virtual classroom of the future. Videoconferencing computers will allow students to watch and listen to lectures, to ask questions during lectures, and even to discuss lecture topics with fellow students before, during and after classes.
 This virtual classroom -- and other future applications like it -- will be made possible by a new telecommunications technology called SONET.
 Sprint today issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) for Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) transmission equipment and outlined a strategy to deploy the technology throughout its network. Sprint plans to deploy this technology throughout its nationwide fiber-optic network beginning in 1993.
 SONET -- which will offer customers speeds beginning at 12 times the maximum speed available from today's networks -- is the emerging North American telecommunications standard for fiber-optic transmission systems.
 Sprint expects to spend more than $500 million on the project over five years and will announce the winning vendors by the end of June. Sprint plans to build more than a dozen long distance SONET routes by the end of 1994.
 When its all-SONET network is in place -- and through its part-ownership in the Trans-Pacific 5 and the Trans-Atlantic Telecommunications 12/13 fiber optic cables -- Sprint will be the first carrier to offer end-to-end synchronous capacity from Europe to the Pacific Rim.
 "Sprint's commitment to optical fiber in the mid-1980s changed the telecommunications industry for the next decade," said Mick McCarthy, senior vice president, Sprint's network division. "In a like manner, Sprint plans to lead the industry into the 21st century with our SONET deployment."
 Today's networks have a user speed limit of 45 megabits-per- second (mega equals million), which limits users' computer, Local Area Network, video and multimedia applications. SONET will offer much higher speeds and additional capacity for users' applications. Sprint's initial SONET network will handle data at 12 times today's speeds, or 600 megabits-per-second, and will be upgradable to much higher speeds.
 "SONET is the Autobahn of today's telecommunications highways," McCarthy said. "It will offer our customers the capacities they need for tomorrow's applications and it will improve reliability."
 For example, today's telecommunications networks can re-route traffic around a fiber cut in less than 30 minutes, Sprint's all- SONET nationwide network will restore traffic in less than a second.
 Sprint's planned all-SONET network is the enabling technology for many broadband applications. In addition to the faster speeds and greater reliability SONET equipment will offer, it will enable computer-to-computer applications never before available.
 "Sprint's all-SONET network will enable people to use computers more effectively for broadband applications like the virtual classroom," McCarthy said.
 Sprint (NYSE: FON) is a diversified international telecommunications company with $9 billion in annual revenues and the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network. Its divisions provide global long distance voice, data and video products and services, and local telephone services to more than 4 million subscriber lines in 17 states.
 -0- 1/18/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Dykes, 202-828-7435 or, after hours, 703-242-1769, or Angela Peacock, 202-828-7415 or, after hours, 301-865-3766, both of Sprint./
 (FON)


CO: Sprint ST: Missouri IN: TLS SU: PDT

KD-TW -- DC006 -- 5814 01/18/93 10:21 EST
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Date:Jan 18, 1993
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