$12 Million High-Tech Facility Is Open; Bell Atlantic Mobile Launches Digital Technology And Advanced Services
September 15, 1997
Bell Atlantic Mobile
ALBANY, NY. -- Bell Atlantic Mobile announced today
the completion of its $12 million, regional mobile switching center
and digital switching facility and the launch of its digital wireless
service to consumers in the Capital region.
The new service, called DigitalChoicesm, delivers improved call
clarity and gives customers the ability to answer pages, receive voice
mail and identify the number of the incoming call, all while providing
extended battery life and better security. In the Capital region,
Bell Atlantic Mobile is the only wireless carrier to provide dual-mode
capabilities. Customers can use the new phones virtually anywhere in
the United States because Bell Atlantic Mobile wireless service is
integrated, working on both analog cellular and compatible digital
Bell Atlantic Mobile, previously Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile in Albany,
leads the industry in deploying Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)
service. This 'next generation' wireless technology provides enhanced
service features, and operates on the most extensive, integrated
network on the East Coast.
"The sound quality of our digital network is so good that people won't
believe they're on a cellular phone," said Jack Plating, president of
the Northeast Region of Bell Atlantic Mobile, at today's press
conference at RPI Technology Park. "We can provide customers with the
best technology and most extensive network on the East Coast.
Customers have the best of both worlds and can use our digital
service in our markets, including New York City, and then hop on a
plane or drive outside our East Coast service area and use the phones'
analog capability anywhere in the country.
The company broke ground just nine months ago on the $12 million
digital switching facility, which houses the network switch that
supports digital service. The 26,000-square foot building, located in
RPI Technology Park in North Greenbush, will house approximately 30
Bell Atlantic Mobile employees from engineering, construction,
operations, maintenance and administration.
Price plans for DigitalChoice begin at an access rate of $29.99 per
month which includes 60 minutes of home air time. There is no
activation fee. Bell Atlantic Mobile is selling handheld digital
phones at its Communications Stores throughout the Upstate region
starting at $199, or $149 with a cellular/PCS phone trade-in. For
more information, call 1-800-255-BELL.
While on the digital network, DigitalChoice service provides
- free first minute of airtime on incoming calls within the home
airtime rate area which includes: New York, Connecticut,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, depending on
rate plan selected
- free caller ID -- lets you know who's calling | free voice mail with
message-waiting indicator | dramatically increased battery life
- built-in electronic fraud protection
- free call forwarding, call waiting and three-way calling
- optional text messaging for an added monthly charge of $12.99 or
operator-assisted text messaging for $24.99
Consumers are invited to preview the service this week (September
15-20) at Bell Atlantic Mobile Communications Store locations in
Clifton Park, Crossgates Mall, and Albany's Central Avenue where they
can make a free DigitalChoice call to anyone in the continental United
States. With Bell Atlantic digital service available in Boston,
Hartford, metro New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh,
Washington/Baltimore, Charlotte and Spartanburg, NC, and Columbia and
Greenville, SC., the company has the largest digital coverage area on
the East Coast.
Bell Atlantic Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on
the East Coast and the second largest in the United States. The
company owns and operates the most extensive network in the east,
covering 111,000 square miles, and the largest chain of wireless
retail outlets offering a full range of wireless personal
communications services, including voice, data and paging. Based in
Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 4.9 million customers and
7,000 employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and,
through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. The company is the
chief wireless subsidiary of the new Bell Atlantic, formed through the
merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX corporations.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mark Lowenstein of the Yankee Group is currently using
Bell Atlantic Mobile's CDMA DigitalChoice service. For comments,
please contact Mr. Lowenstein at (617) 956-5000. For a demonstration
of the service and/or for an interview with a Bell Atlantic Mobile
spokesperson, please contact Lynn Luczkowski at (203) 393-1101.
IMPROVED VOICE QUALITY: Research concludes the 13-kilobit voice
coder (vocoder) of CDMA technology provides the wireless service that
is closest to landline voice quality, virtually eliminating cross-talk
and static. The 13-kilobit vocoder uses a unique noise suppression
technique that emphasizes and improves voice quality, while greatly
reducing background noise.
ALL THE TIME, EVERYWHERE COMMUNICATIONS: Customers can use the new
phones virtually anywhere in the United States because Bell Atlantic
Mobile digital phones work on both compatible digital and existing
analog networks. The handset will automatically select the digital
service if available.
INCREASED BATTERY LIFE: The battery life for CDMA digital handheld
phones is dramatically improved when operating in the digital mode,
allowing as many as five hours of talk time and two full days of
standby time -- 2-5 times more than most analog phones.
GREATER PRIVACY: Voice privacy is greatly enhanced. Each digital
call is coded by converting voice to a stream of 1's and 0's and then
scrambled by a unique code, so it is better protected from
FIRST INCOMING MINUTE FREE: DigitalChoice service plans allow
customers to receive the first minute free on local incoming calls in
the home area.
FREE VOICE MAIL WITH MESSAGE WAITING INDICATOR: Customers will be
alerted when a message is waiting by visual or audible tones.
Customers can store up to 40 five-minute messages up to 30 days.
BUILT-IN FRAUD PROTECTION: For added protection and convenience,
the phone is equipped with Authentication technology, which protects
against cloning while eliminating the need for a PIN (personal
identification number) in the customer's home area.
CALL WAITING, CALL FORWARDING AND THREE-WAY CALLING are included in
all DigitalChoicesm rate plans.