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Z-Tel Communications, Inc. Upgrades to Protector 10.0

PROTECTOR 10.0 PROVIDES REAL-TIME TELECOM FRAUD DETECTION

Nashville, TN - August 8, 2003 - Nashville-based Equinox Information Systems today announced that Z-Tel Communications, Inc. has upgraded its telecom fraud management software to Protector 10. As one of the industry's most widely deployed fraud detection systems, Protector 10 enables telecom carriers, such as Z-Tel, to quickly focus on suspect and fraudulent activity.

Z-Tel has been a customer of Equinox Information Systems for several years. In this new agreement, Z-Tel will not only be upgrading its current Protector software to Protector 10 but will also be acquiring an additional Protector 10 license. Protector 10 provides real-time fraud protection to carriers by identifying instances in which a customer's actual usage varies from expected usage in a manner that suggests fraudulent activity.

"We have used Protector 9.0 successfully in the past to limit our exposure to telecom fraud," noted Debra Pate-Taitt, Z-Tel's Fraud Manager. "We are looking forward to taking advantage of the new anti-fraud features that Protector 10.0 offers. By employing the most powerful fraud detection software on the market, Z-Tel is protecting its customers, employees, and shareholders."

"Z-Tel's decision to upgrade to Protector 10.0 as well as to purchase an additional Protector 10.0 license demonstrates the value of Protector fraud management software to telecommunications providers," said David West, Equinox Executive Vice President. "We look forward to working with Z-Tel to keep its fraud rates as low as possible for many years to come."

About Z-Tel

Z-Tel was founded in the wake of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. With the establishment of the Unbundled Network Element-Platform (UNE-P), competitive telecommunications companies like Z-Tel became able to provide telephone service to end-users over the incumbent local telephone providers' network. Unlike its competitors, Z-Tel was formed with the vision of developing technology that would imbue the telephone with "Intelligent Dial Tone," wherein telephone service can be personalized to meet consumers' and businesses' diverse communications needs intelligently and intuitively. Z-Tel offers residential and business customers in 47 states value-added bundled local and long distance phone service, commercial broadband services and powerful Internet-accessible and voice-activated calling and messaging features. Z-Tel also makes its voice services available on a wholesale basis. Current customers include Sprint and the MCI group. For more information about Z-Tel's innovative services, please visit the Company's Web site at www.ztel.com.

About Equinox

Since 1986, Equinox has helped telecom customers around the globe protect and optimize revenue. The company offers a full range of business assurance solutions that address profitability and network efficiency issues, including data mediation, fraud management, revenue/expense management, routing assurance, usage analytics, network analysis, and custom application development. Equinox is an established solutions provider for the wireless sector with experience in: wireless data verification; cell site traffic analysis; mobile traffic reporting; external/carrier bill validation; roaming usage verification and audit; and subscriber market analysis. For more information, visit www.equinoxis.com.