Qwest to Merge with LCI International and Becomes 4th Largest U.S. Telco
Qwest Communications has announced a definitive merger agreement with LCI
International. The all stock transaction is valued at approximately $4.4 billion
and will create the fourth largest U.S. long distance company behind AT&T, the
combined WorldCom-MCI and Sprint. The merger is intended to qualify as a tax-free
reorganization and should be finalized by fall.
According to the terms of the agreement, each
LCI share will be converted into roughly $42 of Qwest common stock. The actual
number of shares of Qwest common stock to be exchanged will be determined by dividing
$42 by a 15 day volume weighted average of trading prices for Qwest common stock
prior to the closing, but it will not be less than 1.0625 shares or more than
1.5583 shares. If Qwest’s average stock price is less than $26.95, LCI may
terminate the merger unless Qwest then agrees to exchange the amount of its
stock determined by the formula. Based on the closing prices of Qwest and
LCI on March 6, 98, LCI shareholders would receive approximately 122.4 million
newly issued shares of Qwest stock, or 36.4 percent of the company’s combined shares.
The terms of the agreement also call for an integration team composed of four senior
executives from each company to be formed to oversee the merger ensuring that all
operational benefits are realized. LCI will receive two seats on Qwest’s board of
directors as well, one of which will be filled by LCI’s CEO H. Brian Thompson, who
will become vice chair of the board.
The transaction is subject to the majority vote of the shareholders of Qwest and LCI
and to other customary conditions such as receipt of regulatory approvals. The
majority shareholder of Qwest has already agreed to vote in favor of the transaction.
Qwest and LCI had combined 1997 revenues of $2.3 billion, offered service to two million
business and residential customers, and have a current total equity market
capitalization of over $11 billion.
LCI is a long distance telecommunications carrier, providing an array of global voice
& data transmission services to businesses, residential consumers, and other carriers.
LCI operates a 4,500 optic mile network which will be 8,500 optic miles by years end.
Brooktrout Introduces Development Tools for Real Time IP Fax
Brooktrout has announced the availability of Real-Time Fax API, which is integrated
with Brooktrout’s TR Series voice and fax boards to provide the means for developing
real time IP Fax gateways. It will feature new functions including simple initiation
of a fax session, selection of real time fax protocols, and connectivity over any type
of packet switched network. Real Time Fax API will support X.38 and X.39 fax standards
via Brooktrout’s FaxPAD line of products and will enable the migration to other
evolving fax standards such as T.Ifax2.
The Real-Time Fax API is currently available and is priced at $1,995.
eFusion Unveils its Interactive Web Response System
eFusion has announced the availability of its 10 port eBridge Interactive Web Response
(IWR) System. The system is a gateway application that is installed as a front-end
to a businesses ACD or PBX. The system works in concert with eFusion’s Push to
Talk technology enabling consumers to initiate communications with call center
agents by clicking a Push to Talk button on a vendor’s website.
A Push to Talk session is initiated by the consumer’s click on the Push to Talk button.
The eBridge system will then confirm that the consumer would like to initiate
communications. When the consumer agrees, the eBridge system will disconnect
the consumer from the ISP and automatically dial directly into the call
center’s modem pool. Once connected, the call center agent can then direct
the consumer to web pages while using an Internet phone to discuss business
transactions. When the session is over, eBridge will reconnect the consumer
with the ISP. All communications during the Push to Talk session are secure
The eBridge system is also available in 24, 48 and 96 port configurations.
The system is currently undergoing a trial evaluation with undisclosed companies.
The solution is expected to be commercially available in Q2 ’98.
In a separate announcement, eFusion and Intecom, a call center/PBX solution provider,
will work together to co-market IP telephony call center solutions to businesses.
Franklin to Introduce IP Fax Server
Franklin Telecom has unveiled the Cyclone-F fax server, an IP tool with T1 speed,
digital telephone circuits, a LAN router, and integrated modem bank functionality.
The server provides users with Internet accessibility and web browser functions.
Those functions enable users to connect to the server over the Internet from any
location in the world to send facsimiles or change configuration information
(with proper authentication).
The Cyclone-F has seperate voice and modem cards which allows the addition of
voice ports to the system by swapping a voice card for the fax card.
The product will be available in April. Pricing will depend upon the mixture of
fax, voice and modem ports.
DSP Research introduces VoIP DSP Based Resource Board
DSP Research has introduced the VIPER-12 548/PC, a MVIP DSP resource board.
The VIPER-12 is a high density MVIP DSP resource board for VoIP, voice mail and
telecommunications infrastructure applications. The board combines the MVIP
bus with the power of 12 Texas Instruments TMS320LC548 DSPs. At 80 MIPS of
performance, the DSP allows for multiple channel or port assignments per DSP.
With 12 DSPs on board, the VIPER-12 can provide support for up to 48 channels of
H.323 VoIP on a single board.
The VIPER-12 548/PC is supplied with the QuickSTART DSP operating environment,
and host APIs for MVIP switch control and DSP-host communications as well.
Development tools including Texas Instument’s C compiler with assembler and linker,
a DSP program loader, and the CodeComposer Debugger are also available.
Single board pricing for the VIPER-12 548/PC starts at US $5,995.
For detailed product information go to http://www.dspr.com/products/vip548.htm
DSP Research specializes in TMS320 DSPs from Texas Instruments, offering development
systems, emulators, and OEM application solutions for wireless, Internet telephony,
and computer telephony applications.