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MCI WorldCom Completes World's First Live Commercial Trial of Terabit per second Internet Capability using Nortel Networks' Next-generation Optical Internet Solution


    
    DALLAS, Jan. 18 /CNW/ - MCI WorldCom has successfully completed the
industry's first live commercial trial of next-generation optical networking
equipment from Nortel Networks (NYSE/TSE: NT), setting the stage for a new era
of networking. In the trial, MCI WorldCom successfully carried a Terabit of
traffic per second on a single, hair-thin strand of fiber -- sufficient
capacity to enable one million 1-megabit multimedia connections.
    The late-December trial was staged carrying live Internet, voice and data
traffic on the MCI WorldCom existing network span linking Dallas and Longview,
Texas and relied on Nortel Networks' OPTera LH backbone system and the OPTera
1600G optical amplification system. The demonstration unequivocally showed the
ability of the Nortel Networks open optical system and existing MCI WorldCom
fiber to carry terabit-level traffic.
    "MCI WorldCom is committed to being on the leading edge, utilizing
next-generation technology to meet the needs of our customers," said Fred
Briggs, chief technology officer, Technology and Engineering, MCI WorldCom.
"We are proud to enter the new Millennium as the first service provider to
have trialed the world's fastest and highest capacity technology for backbone
networking."
    "We see the explosive demand for bandwidth continuing to exceed the
industry's broadest expectations," said Greg Mumford, general manager, Optical
Networks, Nortel Networks. "First-mover initiatives such as the introduction
of terabit per fiber networking by Nortel Networks, and MCI WorldCom's
leadership in trialing this technology are the kind of bold steps needed to
move the industry forward in support of the high performance Internet."
    Nortel Networks announced its OPTera 1600G system in May 1999 for
availability in 2000, and MCI WorldCom announced at that time plans for a live
commercial trial of this new technology. The OPTera LH platform is
commercially available now, and the OPTera 1600G optical amplification system
will be available in early second quarter 2000. The system, operating on a 10
Gbps platform, uses Dense-Wavelength Division Multiplexing to split the light
into as much as 160 channels to maximize the capacity on each fiber. At
maximum capacity, the OPTera 1600G system is capable of simultaneously
transmitting 360,000 distribution quality versions of feature-length movies.
    Briggs explained that advances in capacity-per-fiber transmission on
optical networks position MCI WorldCom to stay ahead of the exponential demand
for the high-performance Internet resulting from the increasing usage of
multimedia and e-business applications. The breakthrough technology will
accommodate such applications as e-commerce and e-service, multimedia
transmission and all other types of Internet traffic.
    "This technology will provide an unprecedented capacity per fiber for
communication, collaboration and commerce, with signals traversing the nation
in seconds," said Mumford. "We are driving the cost of networking down while
maintaining the highest reliability levels in the industry."
    Industry analysts estimate the global market for optical networking will
reach US $20 billion by 2002 based in growth in excess of 20 percent annually.
    In September, 1995 MCI was first to commercially trial Nortel Networks'
10 Gbps system (OC-192) on the same Dallas to Longview, Texas route. Just over
four years later, Nortel Networks and MCI WorldCom have moved the industry
from gigabit per-fiber networking to terabit levels. In that space of time,
Nortel Networks has become widely recognized as the world's leading supplier
of high-capacity 10 Gbps SONET/SDH systems with over 90 percent global market
share. Building on that experience in 10 Gbps networking, Nortel Networks has
also led the industry in setting new benchmarks for open optical system
capacities up to 1.6 Terabits per second on a 10 Gbps platform, and 6.4
Terabits per second on a scalable 40-80 Gbps platform.
    MCI WorldCom (NASDAQ: WCOM) is a global leader in communications services
with 1998 revenues of more than $30 billion and operations in more than 65
countries. MCI WorldCom's global networks provide high-capacity connectivity
to more than 45,000 buildings worldwide. MCI WorldCom and Sprint have
announced a merger agreement, which the companies expect to close in the
second half of 2000, following regulatory and shareholder approvals. The new
company will be called WorldCom. For more information go to
http://www.wcom.com.
    Nortel Networks is a global leader in telephony, data, wireless and
wireline solutions for the Internet. The Company had 1998 revenues of US$17.6
billion and serves carrier, service provider and enterprise customers
globally. Today, Nortel Networks is creating a high-performance Internet that
is more reliable and faster than ever before. It is redefining the economics
and quality of networking and the Internet through Unified Networks that
promise a new era of collaboration, communications and commerce. Visit us at
www.nortelnetworks.com

    Certain information included in this press release is forward-looking and
is subject to important risks and uncertainties. The results or events
predicted in these statements may differ materially from actual results or
events. Factors which could cause results or events to differ from current
expectations include, among other things: the impact of price and product
competition; the dependence on new product development; the impact of rapid
technological and market change; the ability of Nortel Networks to integrate
the operations and technologies of acquired businesses in an effective manner;
general industry and market conditions and growth rates; international growth
and global economic conditions, particularly in emerging markets and including
interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; unanticipated impact of
Year 2000 issues; and the impact of consolidations in the telecommunications
industry. For additional information with respect to certain of these and
other factors, see the reports filed by Nortel Networks with the United States
Securities and Exchange Commission. Nortel Networks disclaims any intention or
obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a
result of new information, future events or otherwise.



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For further information: Jeff Ferry, Nortel Networks, (703) 712-8339, 
jferry@nortelnetworks.com; Paul Goyette, Nortel Networks, (905) 863-4702, 
goyette1@nortelnetworks.com; Virginia Gettemeier, MCI WorldCom, 
(918) 590-1807, virginia.gettemeier@wcom.com;
Archived images on this organization are available through CNW E-Pix at 
www.newswire.ca. Images are free to members of The Canadian Press.

SOURCE Bell Glomedia

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