DALLAS, Tex., April 5, 2000 - MCI WorldCom today announced Dallas as the fifth market for testing cutting-edge wireless technology which soon will offer customers a new, competitive alternative for high-speed, broadband service. The Dallas trial is the latest step in MCI WorldCom's overall strategic efforts to offer high-speed, broadband services using radio spectrum designated for an advanced technology known as Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS).
"The Dallas / Ft. Worth area is an ideal incubator for our MMDS trials," said John Stupka, President of MCI WorldCom Wireless Solutions. "The lessons we learn here we can apply to any of the markets we cover - from rural areas with no choice for high-speed Internet service to markets not wired for DSL or cable modem service."
With the merger of MCI WorldCom and Sprint, the combined company will offer its broadband "fixed wireless" service to customers in more than 100 markets by late 2001. It is the combination of MCI WorldCom and Sprint MMDS assets that will allow accelerated deployment of wireless broadband services to rural areas and markets traditionally underserved by the cable and local phone companies.
By using MMDS technology, MCI WorldCom will offer customers wireless Internet and broadband services at speeds far greater than traditional copper phone lines or cable modems.
For the Dallas field test, MCI WorldCom will deploy an end-to-end MMDS solution developed by technology partners Cisco Systems, Inc. of San Jose, Calif., and Motorola, Inc., of Schaumburg, Ill. Using Cisco's Vector Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (VOFDM) technology ensures a more reliable signal to customer locations previously out of reach due to line-of-sight issues.
"Cisco is delighted to work with MCI WorldCom to enable broadband access services such as high-speed Internet, virtual private networks and voice applications," said Constantin Loudiadis, Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Access Business Unit at Cisco. "Cisco is excited to demonstrate the superior value of VOFDM technology, which will lower deployment costs and increase subscriber coverage in non-line-of-sight conditions. In early test trials, VOFDM has proven to perform error free in markets like Dallas where conventional single carrier QAM solutions are significantly challenged."
"Together, Motorola and Cisco, have created a powerful alliance, which continues to expand with the addition of collaboration for MMDS and VOFDM technologies," said Rickie Currens, Motorola Corporate Vice President and Group General Manager. "We believe the combination of Motorola's RF and infrastructure capability together with Cisco's networking expertise form a powerful team to address MCI WorldCom's broadband wireless access needs."
MCI WorldCom MMDS service trials with schools, residential and business customers are underway in Jackson, Miss., Baton Rouge, La., and Memphis, Tenn. Trials in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area and Boston will begin in the coming weeks.
"Market reaction to our existing service trials has been overwhelmingly positive," said Stupka. "We'll run similar service trials in Dallas this summer using a mix of customers before we roll out service by the end of the year."
MCI WorldCom (NASDAQ: WCOM) is a global leader in "all-distance" communications services with operations in more than 65 countries. Revenues in 1999 were $37 billion, with more than $15 billion from high-growth data, Internet and international services. MCI WorldCom and Sprint have announced a merger agreement, which the companies expect to close in the second half of 2000 after regulatory and shareholder approvals. For more information go to http://www.wcom.com.