Range Telephone Cooperative Selects Fujitsu FLASHWAVE Platforms for Montana and Wyoming Network

11/22/2002 - Fujitsu Network Communications, the leader in the optical telecommunications market, announced that Range Telephone Cooperative has selected the FLASHWAVE® 4300 and FLASHWAVE 4500 optical transport platforms, as well as the FLEXR® GT craft interface software to connect and manage their southeastern Montana and northeastern Wyoming linear OC-48 network.

As a local exchange carrier providing a wide range of telecommunication services to more than 11 counties covering 1,500 miles of fiber optic facilities, Range Telephone Cooperative, Inc. chose the Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 4000 products for their flexibility, density and scalability to handle their optical transport requirements. The merging of data services support, full cross connect functionality and next generation SONET support of multiple OC-48 rings and OC-192 on a single shelf enables Range Telephone Cooperative to deliver more services on a single platform. With support of DS1 to OC-192, ATM, full wire speed Gigabit Ethernet, M13 Transmux, test head access with full DCS capabilities, the FLASHWAVE 4000 products provide the best business solution to help Range Telephone Cooperative serve their customers.

“We wanted to replace existing equipment and expand our network with a solution that would allow us to utilize DS1 and DS3, as well as Ethernet and ATM, to transport traffic on a linear OC-48 backbone,” said Curtiss Fleming, CEO and general manager of Range Telephone Cooperative, Inc. “We evaluated several different vendors and chose Fujitsu because the FLASHWAVE products allow us to distribute different traffic types on a single platform more efficiently throughout our network, as well as keep our operational costs low.”

Range Telephone Cooperative, Inc. currently provides communications service to approximately 7,000 customers in 16 exchanges in SE Montana and NE Wyoming. This 450-mile fiber project is a joint effort among several Range-owned companies including Range, RT Communications (RT), Advanced Communications Technology, Inc. (ACT) and Dubois Telephone Exchange (DTE). RT provides communications service to approximately 17,000 access lines throughout Wyoming. DTE supplies communications service to approximately 3,000 access lines in Wyoming and Colorado. ACT provides non-regulated services to all of the Range family of companies including long distance, OSS, computer networking, Internet and broadband transport and access.

Along with the deployment of SONET for interexchange and toll traffic, ACT will deploy both Ethernet and ATM for their broadband network needs. Additionally, high-speed Internet services over DSL will be launched in all four companies, using the FLASHWAVE 4000 Ethernet and ATM capabilities as the backbone for this ISP Network.

“Our FLASHWAVE platforms will help the Range Telephone family of companies reduce their Capital Expenditures (CAPEX) by absorbing the functionality of over a dozen SONET network elements, as well as handling multiple services in a single shelf,” said George Chase, group president and chief operating officer of Fujitsu Network Communications. “The modular design of these platforms mean Range Telephone will only need to install the cards necessary to support their current optical transport needs with the opportunity to grow their network as traffic demands change.”

Fujitsu Network Services, the service division of Fujitsu Network Communications, is currently working with the Range Telephone family of companies to provide Engineering, Furnishing and Installation (EF&I) services, test and turn-up, and network management for the deployment of the FLASHWAVE platforms. With a scheduled completion date in November, this ten-node network will support 25,000 customers with services ranging from basic voice and long distance to high speed Internet and future video applications.

About Range Telephone Cooperative
Range Telephone Cooperative, Inc. is a local exchange carrier providing telecommunication services to southeastern Montana and northern Wyoming. Established in 1953 as a non-profit cooperative, Range Telephone currently serves over 7,000 subscribers in sixteen telephone exchanges. Range Telephone is the parent company of RT Communications located in Worland, Wyoming, Dubois Telephone located in Dubois, Wyoming, Advanced Communications Technology located in Sheridan, Wyoming and SpectraCom, Inc. located in Casper, Wyoming. In total, the new Fujitsu network will support advanced services to over 25,000 customers in Montana and Wyoming.

About Fujitsu Network Communications
Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. delivers next-generation optical transport and photonics solutions optimized for metropolitan, regional, long haul and ultra long haul, high capacity applications. The company’s comprehensive consulting and network services offer support at any network development, deployment and maintenance stage. The company is the leading optical transport equipment vendor in the metro aggregation market with 60% market share. Fujitsu Network Communications is a division of Tokyo-based Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702), a provider of comprehensive IT and networking solutions for the global marketplace. Fujitsu Limited reported consolidated revenues of 5 trillion yen (about US$38 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002.

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