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Lucent and WinStar Enter Into $2 Billion Network Pact

Hot on the heels of glowing fourth quarter results, Lucent Technologies Thursday unveiled plans to enter into a $2 billion, five-year agreement with WinStar Communications, to develop WinStar's wireless broadband network.

Lucent will provide the technology, network design, integration and buildout services and the majority of the communications hardware and software for WinStar's network. In addition, Lucent will provide up to $2 billion in equipment financing to fund what it is calling the world's first global end-to-end broadband network.

Through WinStar's Wireless Fiber services, the network is to offer customers with a single, reliable source of local and long distance phone service and high speed data, Internet and information services. Lucent will provide the necessary flexible, scalable architecture to support WinStar's current and future voice and data service offerings. WinStar will also continue to operate and maintain final design authority for its network.

WinStar said the Lucent agreement gives it additional resources to complete national deployment of its wireless broadband network by the end of 1999. The company said the network buildout is ahead of schedule. The services will be offered immediately in 40 of the nation's largest cities. The additional $2 billion in Lucent financing will also allow it to expand on an international basis.

WinStar plans to incorporate a national fixed wireless broadband local network which will be integrated with an optical network using Lucent's 80-channel dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) optical networking equipment. Lucent's WaveStar OLS 400G will be employed to boost the capacity of fiber optic networks. The network solution will also implement Lucent's 5ESS AnyMedia switch and the AnyMedia Access FAST digital loop carrier. Lucent will also supply PortMaster Internet protocol remote access technology, remote access concentrators and network management software.

"This is a defining moment for WinStar," said William J. Rouhana, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of WinStar. "Lucent's major commitment of expertise and financing, combined with the overwhelming speed-to-market and cost advantages of WinStar's business model, clearly propels us to the top of the competitive local exchange carrier industry. With Lucent's network knowledge behind us, we are positioned to be the first competitive carrier to create a nearly ubiquitous end-to-end broadband network in the top 100 world markets.