Bell Atlantic Signs Network Technology Agreements with Nortel Networks, Alcatel and Westell Technologies

Bell Atlantic Signs Network Technology Agreements with Nortel
Networks, Alcatel and Westell Technologies

Agreements Provide Technology to Upgrade Bell Atlantic Network
and Expand Voice and Data Services, Including Infospeedsm DSL

April 8, 1999


Mark Marchand,

NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic has signed five-year agreements with Nortel
Networks and Alcatel, allowing the company to continue upgrading its
network and to expand the availability of voice and data services.

In addition, Bell Atlantic has extended an existing agreement with Westell
Technologies to continue providing DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) data
products, including customer premises equipment for some customers who
purchase Bell Atlantic's Infospeedsm DSL product. The Westell agreement
extends the Bell Atlantic - Westell relationship for an additional five

These three agreements support Bell Atlantic's 1999 plan to make its
high-speed Infospeed DSL service available in communities with about
eight million households throughout the region served by the company.
Bell Atlantic Infospeed DSL service is now available in parts of the
Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas, as
well as in the Hudson River waterfront communities in New Jersey. The
company will deploy the service in the New York City and Boston areas
this spring.

"These new contracts meet our objective of bringing the best technology
and service to our customers in the most cost-effective manner," said Paul
Lacouture, Bell Atlantic president for Network Services. "With these
contracts signed, we will move forward with our aggressive plans to
expand availability of our high-speed data products and to deploy more
high-capacity capability in our network."

Under the agreements with Nortel and Alcatel, Bell Atlantic will spend
about $1.3 billion over five years to acquire voice and data access
hardware and software products, such as feature-rich fiber-optic systems
known as Next Generation Digital Loop Carrier systems. The deployment
of this mix of products positions Bell Atlantic to provide high-capacity
data and voice services over its network.

Bell Atlantic employed a competitive bid process and negotiated with
technology suppliers prior to reaching the agreements announced today.
Following the competitive process, the company made its selections based
on proposals that could best meet Bell Atlantic's total cost, quality, service
and technology requirements.

Lacouture cited the following features of the contracts:

  • voice and data products and services available.

  • Bell Atlantic will be able to control or reduce network
    deployment costs, while continuing to serve customers with the
    best technology available.

  • The contracts contain provisions under which Bell Atlantic will
    regularly review the quality and cost of technology provided by
    the companies, and make adjustments in how much it spends
    with each company based on results of the reviews. Also, Bell
    Atlantic will conduct a marketplace review after the third year
    of the contracts, ensuring that the two suppliers continue to
    provide Bell Atlantic with a competitive advantage. Based on
    that review, Bell Atlantic could re-negotiate terms of these

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access lines
and 8.6 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.