Consumer Payment Card News

New Major Calling Card

US WEST Communications and Frontier Corporation will announce today plans to issue more than four million calling cards in fourteen states in mid-April. The ‘US WEST Express 1-800 Long Distance Calling Card’ will be offered in US WEST’s 14-state territory and represents a major entry into the calling card market by US WEST. US WEST indicated this morning it plans to file for ‘interLATA Long Distance’ service later this year throughout its current markets.

FULL STORY:

In one of its first steps to expand its long distance business, U S WEST Communications announced today it has chosen Frontier Corporation of Rochester, New York, for the deployment of its new U S WEST Express l-80O Long Distance Calling Card. Together, U S WEST and Frontier plan to produce more than four million calling cards for distribution throughout U S WEST’s 14-state territory, and will introduce the new calling card in mid-April.

“We are particularly pleased with this agreement. It represents another step forward in our being able to offer customers one-stop shopping, with complete, integrated solutions to meet all their telecommunications needs,” said Solomon D. Trujillo, president and CEO, U S WEST Communications.

“We promised customers we would be bringing greater choice in their long distance services. Today, we’re beginning to deliver on that promise,” said Trujillo. He also emphasized that U S WEST Communications plans to file for interLATA Long Distance service later in the year throughout the 14-state territory.

The company’s entry into the 1-800 long distance calling card market is supported by U S WEST Long Distance, a subsidiary of U S WEST Communications Group. In addition, the entry will be supported by Frontier’s newly expanded, patented enhanced services at its LinkUSA subsidiary.

This multi-year agreement covers the transport components, certain long distance services and interactive voice response necessary for end-to-end calling card services.

The combination of Frontier’s state-of-the-art transport network and U S WEST Communications’ flexible billing services allows U S WEST to offer an extremely robust calling card program to complement the company’s expansion of its long distance operations. Under this unique arrangement, U S WEST Long Distance will be responsible for managing all contracted vendors as well as monitoring the reliability of the network through its own Service Management Center.

According to Kevin J. Bennis, president, Frontier Communications, “We are very pleased to be selected by U S WEST Communications to provide such a critical portion of its network. Frontier’s carrier services group has the experience, technical expertise and ingenuity to create communications solutions for local telephone and Regional Bell operating companies entering new lines of business.”

Frontier Corporation (NYSE: FRO) is the parent company whose long distance, local telephone and wireless operations provide a range of integrated services to customers. Frontier is a Fortune 500 company with annualized revenues approaching $2.6 billion. With sales locations nationwide and nearly 8,000 employees, Frontier is the fifth-largest long distance company in the United States.

U S WEST Communications Group (NYSE: USW) provides telecommunications services to more than 25 million customers in 14 western and midwestern states. The company is one of two major groups that make up U S WEST, a company in the connections business, helping customers share information, entertainment and communications; services in local markets worldwide. U S WEST’s other major group, U S WEST Media Group, is involved in domestic and international cable and telephony, wireless communications, and directory and information services.

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