Alliance Formed to Provide Voice Messaging Coast to Coast


June 12, 1996size = +1>


Alliance's Directory Could Include Over 7 Million Users

Imagine sending a voice message to 10 business associates in 10 different
locations around the country -- recording that message only once -- and
knowing they'll get your message even though they're on different voice
mail systems. Thanks to a joint venture announced today by href = "http://www.ameritech.com/">Ameritech,
Bell Atlantic, "http://www.nynex.com/">NYNEX and
Pacific Bell Information Services,
all of this will soon be a reality.

The joint venture, called The Messaging Alliance, L. P., will enable the
companies to link their voice messaging services, currently used by over
4 million customers across the nation. Through The Messaging Alliance's
directory service, voice mail customers will have the ability to send
messages from one mailbox to another. To address a message, all they'll
need to know is the recipient's phone number. The enhancement is
significant for the voice mail market, which totals 45 to 50 million

In addition, The Messaging Alliance signed a memorandum of understanding
with Stentor, the alliance of Canada's major telephone companies, which
will provide The Messaging Alliance's first international gateway. This
means that voice messages can be exchanged between the United States and
Canada--expanding the potential directory listing by an additional 3
million subscribers.

Voice mail customers, both businesses and consumers, who subscribe to
this new service will be able to send messages directly from one mailbox
to another, faster and cheaper than the traditional way of sending
messages -- even if they use different voice mail systems and providers.
For example, it will take only one phone call for: a national sales
manager to communicate new pricing information to every sales
representative; a financial firm to notify all of its customers of new
rates; or a new parent to let each family member know about the birth of
a child.

Once service agreements are final, The Messaging Alliance plans to begin
offering service to the four alliance participants in the fourth quarter
of this year and to expand service to include other voice messaging
providers nationwide in 1997.

The voice messaging providers will determine specific pricing for their
business and residential customers. Long-distance charges will apply on
messages sent across LATA boundaries and will be paid to the sender's
long distance company.

The Messaging Alliance also will offer a fax mailbox-to-fax mailbox
directory service to the companies who offer fax mailboxes.

"The Messaging Alliance represents a solid solution for local phone
companies and service bureaus to interconnect their millions of
users--both public and private--through new, dynamic open-standards
messaging capabilities," said Terry Mulready, chief executive
officer of Pacific Bell Information Services, and chair of the Alliance's
Management Committee. "What sets this apart from other previous
announcements of the global messaging concept is that we will start with
a potential directory of seven million business and residential users who
will be able to exchange messages."

"This is a very real, very exciting first step in creating a true
global system that will make it easy for businesses and consumers
everywhere to exchange voice and fax messages at any time of day or
night," said Thomas Reiman, president of product management at

The Messaging Alliance is planning to deploy a directory service on an
IBM platform that provides open system and network connectivity. ITU-T
X.400 and X.500 will be the backbone technologies; AMIS-Analog and
AMIS-Digital interfaces will allow addressing and routing of voice mail
and fax messages from one system to another regardless of what system
they were created on. The Messaging Alliance will add Internet mail
protocol (SMTP/MIME) support this year.

The platform has been tested successfully with the exchange of messages
between voice mail systems manufactured by Boston Technology, Centigram,
Digital Sound, Octel and Unisys. Many of these systems are used by
alliance members to provide voice mail to their business and residential

"We're eliminating barriers to sending messages between different
voice mail systems, by making voice messages as seamless as telephone
calls," said Mark
, Bell Atlantic Small Business Services president and vice
chair of the Alliance's Management Committee. "Small businesses
can use this service to communicate easily and efficiently with their
associates, suppliers and industry peers across the country. College
alumni associations will be able to communicate with their chapter
presidents across the country and local governments can get in touch with
volunteer groups about upcoming community events."

"In addition to the small business market, we see high-growth
potential in the consumer market," said NYNEX Vice President, Core
Marketing Amy McIntosh. "Consumers will find this service
affordable, convenient and easy to use."

"Our involvement with The Messaging Alliance is in line with our
commitment to provide U.S. and Canadian-based companies with operations
in North America complete, cross-border, seamless telecommunications
solutions," says Carol Stephenson, president and chief executive
officer, Stentor Resource Centre, Inc. "This is only one of a
number of cross-border services we will offer that allow our customers to
more effectively manage their North American communications services."


Media contacts:

    Ameritech, Rich Maganini, 312-364-2134

    Bell Atlantic, Joan Rasmussen, 703-974-8815

    NYNEX, Sharon Beadle, 212-395-1802

    Pacific Bell Information Services, Sandy Hale, 510-806-4438

    Stentor, Patti Murphy, 613-781-6674

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