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Level 3 Gears Up For Broad VoIP Rollout

After quietly building on its VoIP offerings since 1999, Level 3 is preparing to unwrap a broad spectrum of Web phoning services for markets ranging from wholesale through enterprise to residential markets. The actual unveiling will begin at the end of the month at the Spring 2004 VON Conference and Expo in Santa Clara.

"Level 3 will have what we believe is the broadest suite of VoIP services in our industry," said Level 3 Chief Executive Officer James Crowe in a statement. In providing VoIP services and products on a wholesale basis and avoiding marketing directly to end users, the firm believes its customers will appreciate the fact Level 3 is not in competition with them.

Level 3 said it will offer its VoIP products and services in a three-pronged rollout. First, carriers and other voice service providers will be sold wholesale services directly. Second, local phone companies, value-added resellers, and other distribution channels will be offered a brace of services for their small and medium-sized business customers. Finally, cable companies, ISP providers, and other communications companies will be offered VoIP services that they can market directly to residential customers.

Level 3 indicated it will build on the VoIP services it has released in recent months. These include its VoIPSM Local Inbound, and VoIP SM Toll Free services, both of which are sold to call centers and conferencing providers. Level 3's Voice Termination product can also be used for the delivery of various voice services to business and enterprise customers.

The Company's Tone Business, which provides local and long distance voice services for small businesses, is another way for resellers to leverage Level 3's IP-based network. Level 3 believes Tone will be attractive to real estate, retail, construction, bank and health care market segments.

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