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11.15.1995Enterprise Tech

WilTel unveils powerful "transcend" service at TRA conference

ORLANDO, Fla. (November 15, 1995)-- WilTel, the wholesale arm of WorldCom, Inc., has unveiled Transcend, a product designed to enable carriers to prosper in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The first product of its kind in the telecommunications industry, Transcend unbundles the cost components of a long distance call and features proprietary computer software that provides full audit capability and regional customer calling patterns.

Roy Wilkens, WilTel president and chief executive officer, announced the new product to more than 2,000 attendees at the Telecommunications Resellers Association's convention being held here. In his announcement, Wilkens said the product is representative of the importance WilTel places on its carrier and reseller customers. "WilTel can attribute much of its phenomenal growth in the past decade to the fact that we take the time to listen to the issues the resellers and carriers are dealing with on the street," Wilkens said. "Our customers have expressed a need for a product that would allow them to be even more competitive, offer them greater flexibility in marketing their services and give them more control over their costs. "By allowing the rebillers to secure operator service branding, migrate to real-time CDRs for same day billing and customer services, gain direct access to the switch database for audits and network management and target low-cost markets with responsive products, our new product essentially allows the rebiller to 'Transcend' current limitations and become a virtual switched carrier. "As the new virtual facilities-based carriers enter tomorrow's markets, they will be equipped to compete aggressively in all facets of our industry. Transcend is the means to their success."

Transcend separates Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) access and egress charges from the transport element provided by WilTel. Transport charges are not sensitive to the time of day or interstate versus intrastate service. By unbundling LEC charges from transport service, Transcend gives WilTel customers the capability to target market their products in regions with higher revenue and profit potential. The LEC rates will be provided to WilTel's customers through a database, updated monthly, that includes all charges including access, egress and Service Management System 800, an 800-number record management tool. Since the database is updated monthly, WilTel's carrier and reseller customers will realize any LEC rate reductions almost immediately. In addition, Transcend includes a software program that allows carriers and resellers to examine calling patterns and to audit the LEC charges.

The Windows-based software reads daily traffic and unbundles the cost elements of those calls. The software then provides the capability to analyze the calling patterns and costs of those calls to determine higher margin areas where the reseller can target its marketing effort. "The long-distance business is extremely competitive, especially when our customers, the regional resellers, are trying to compete with companies whose advertising budgets are greater than the resellers' annual revenues," said Charlie Cole, vice president of carrier sales. "Transcend is one more tool the resellers can use to compete head-to-head with any long distance provider. This gives the reseller market information that is not readily available to their competition." Other suppliers to the wholesale market "blend" higher LEC charges with lower LEC charges, Cole noted.

Transcend passes the LEC charges to the carrier or reseller customer. Thus, they are paying for the specific costs they incur and not an average of the highs and lows across the country or around the globe. Cole said that in addition to providing resellers with an immediate competitive advantage, Transcend positions the resellers for the future. "There are tremendous regulatory changes on the horizon. That means telecommunications is sure to be even more competitive in the future than it is now. Our customers need Transcend to meet the needs of their own customers in this new environment," Cole said. Since some of WilTel's larger customers may still prefer the postalized rate structure for their pricing convenience, WilTel will still have that option. Wilkens said the option of a traditional postalized rate structure or the Transcend product positions WilTel to continue its growth in the wholesale telecommunications market. "According to analysts, WilTel supplies nearly one-third of the wholesale capacity to switchless resellers and more than 20 percent of the needed capacity to facilities-based carriers," Wilkens said. "While those are impressive figures, we are always working to provide service that will help us capture an even greater share of the market." With telecommunications reform, it is likely more companies will be moving into reselling long distance and that there will be more emphasis placed on regional markets. Wilkens said the increased competition will force long distance providers to react quickly to changing market conditions.

Transcend gives WilTel customers all of the information, including costs, customer use and profit margin, needed to make effective decisions. At the same time, Transcend gives the switchless resellers a virtual switch, enhancing the reseller's competitive positioning on a real-time basis. One of the four largest long distance telecommunications companies in the United States, WorldCom, Inc. offers domestic and international voice, data and video products and services to business customers, other carriers and the residential market. It operates a nationwide digital fiber optic network and has worldwide network capacity.

The common shares of WorldCom, Inc. trade on The Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol WCOM.