Optical/IP Networks

MCI Rolls Out Euro Biz VOIP

READING, U.K. -- MCI, Inc. (NASDAQ: MCIP) today announced that it has begun its European roll-out of MCI Advantage, a portfolio of IP-based services designed for companies wanting to converge their voice and data networks. MCI Advantage, which includes networked voice over IP and Hosted IP telephony, will be introduced throughout the next year. The initial offering, MCI Advantage IP Integrated Access, is now available in the UK and will soon be available in France, Germany and the Netherlands.

With MCI Advantage IP Integrated Access, customers can capitalise on the cost efficiency of IP telephony - on-net calls are free and integration provides access cost savings - whilst using their existing PABX. Other enhancements, including DSL access, hosted and managed IP-PBX solutions, will follow later in 2005.

"MCI Advantage IP Integrated Access allows customers to evolve to a converged networking solution whilst reducing expenses," said Roberta Mackintosh, Senior Director of Product Management, Pricing and Analysis for MCI in Europe. "With MCI Advantage we are able to provide a portfolio of services that meet the evolving voice and data needs of our customers."

MCI Advantage combines voice, multimedia and data across a single IP link allowing customers to converge their telephony, data exchange and messaging applications on a seamless network infrastructure. The company has enabled its voice and Internet products for convergence through implementing intelligent network-hosted Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) capabilities and routing servers. (SIP is a standards-based protocol for establishing and terminating media sessions, e.g. for e-mail, streamed video and instant messaging, that are controlled independently from the underlying network.)

"Gartner is finding that VoIP is continuing to gain momentum because the technology has moved on sufficiently to make it an affordable proposition for a business, with an easy to calculate return on investment," said Neil Rickard, Research Vice President, Gartner.

"The key elements needed to serve the enterprise market's initial requirements for supporting voice applications in a converged environment, are site-to-site Voice over IP (VoIP), site-to-public (VoIP) and hosted and/or managed IP telephony," said Rickard. "Later requirements will include hosted/managed contact centers and unified communications. The first wave of applications is being deployed on the basis of obvious cost savings, plus an increase in agility and flexibility."

MCI Inc.

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