Bell Atlantic Moves Forwart to Meet Data Demand

Bell Atlantic Moves Forward to Meet Data Demand

Market-Leading ATM Technology from Ascend Drives Data, Voice and
Video Over One Network

October 21, 1998


Maureen Flanagan, Bell Atlantic, 212-395-3519

Julie Asher, Alexander Communications, 404-897-2300

Todd Koch, Ascend Communications, 510-747-2672

NEW YORK -- With the market for data communications expected to at
least double over the next five years, Bell Atlantic is gearing up to meet
the explosive requirements of its local and long distance customers.

The company has selected Ascend Communications, Inc. to supply
multiservice Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) products to combine
data, voice and video services over a single network, making innovative
products and services available at affordable prices.

"Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of combining data, voice and video,
enabling our customers to use one network for all their communications
traffic," said Joe Farina, president and chief executive officer of Bell
Atlantic's Data Solutions Group (DSG). "Use of leading-edge technology
from Ascend will provide the capacity, reliability and flexibility we will
need to deliver the latest products and services to satisfy the ever more
sophisticated data demands of our customers."

Ascend, recently named the top ATM provider to public carriers by
Vertical Systems Group, is the latest vendor chosen to provide key
elements of Bell Atlantic's long-distance network, which will serve
customers across the company's home region, as well as national and
global customers. Construction of the new network began in July.
Deployment of services over this network depends on regulatory
approvals, the first of which are expected to occur in the first quarter of
next year.

"We are building a state-of-the-art, ATM backbone network to meet the
increasingly complex needs of our data customers while delivering high-
quality voice and video services," said Stu Verge, president-Bell Atlantic
Global Networks, a unit in DSG created to build and manage Bell
Atlantic's next-generation, long distance network.

The Ascend equipment will enable the company to easily interconnect
with other carriers in its service region and around the world to offer
customers a seamless integration of local and long-distance data

The market for data services in Bell Atlantic's region could top $80-90
billion annually by the year 2003. In expectation of that tremendous
growth, the new network will be ready to support services such as virtual
private networks, work-at-home and audio and video streaming over the
World Wide Web. The network also will provide high-quality, high-speed
transport services; platform services such as Internet access and backbone
transport, and a complete range of value-added applications, such as
Intranet/Extranets, electronic commerce and video conferencing.

"Bell Atlantic is raising the bar for advanced network services with the
roll out of its next-generation, long-distance network," said Tom DeCanio,
vice president, product marketing, Core Switching Division at Ascend.
"We are pleased that Bell Atlantic chose Ascend to provide key ATM core
and multiservice switching technology for this groundbreaking project."

The Bell Atlantic network is based on Ascend's GX 550 "Smart" Core and
CBX 500 ATM switches. These platforms, when combined with
Ascend's Navisa Core and NavisXtend family of network management
products, will enable Bell Atlantic to offer customers a full suite of
advanced products and services on a single network, greatly reducing the
cost of using separate networks for data, voice and video communications.

Bell Atlantic will deploy GX 550 switches at a series of hub locations in
major markets throughout its region including New York, Philadelphia,
Washington, DC and Boston. The switches will be activated as soon as
the company receives permission to enter the long distance business.

Formed in March 1998, the Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group (DSG) is
dedicated to providing globally integrated network solutions that
seamlessly connect businesses with their customers, partners and
employees. DSG provides all aspects of data networking from network
transport and integration to advanced network applications such as
Intranets and Extranets, virtual private networks, web hosting and
multimedia services. DSG will offer complete, end-to-end solutions
through third party alliances and partnerships it will form nationally and

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 41 million telephone access lines
and more than seven million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic
companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data
services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest
publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also
among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications
markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.

Ascend Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASND) develops,
manufactures, sells and services wide area networking solutions for
telecommunications carriers, Internet services providers and corporate
customers worldwide. 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. Ascend is headquartered at One Ascend Plaza,
1701 Harbor Bay Parkway, Alameda, Calif. 94502; phone is
800/ASCEND4 and fax is 510-814-2300.