August 16, 1999-WOBURN, MASS.-
Wireless customers want clear service and good coverage, regardless
of the routes they travel -- through highway tunnels, along the coastline
and around the city. That's why Bell Atlantic Mobile today has rolled
out its secret weapon to ensure high quality network performance in the
Boston and Eastern Massachusetts area.
It is a souped-up blue station wagon loaded
with a quarter-million dollars worth of sophisticated equipment. The vehicle
has 13 antennas and 3 Global Positioning Systems (GPS), protruding from
the roof like quills of a porcupine, strategically located to give each
of the wireless phones in the car an equal chance of picking up the signal
from the service provider it monitors.
Operated by Bell Atlantic Mobile's telecommunications
"techies, " the vehicle travels city streets as well as long and winding
roads and beyond -- to objectively measure the service quality of its
wireless network and the competitions' network. Simply put, the testing
vehicle is quality assurance on wheels, traversing the region five days
a week, logging some 1700 miles each month throughout the Boston area.
With Bell Atlantic Mobile's recent network
enhancements, digital service is now available from Bourndale to Orleans
on Cape Cod and in unlikely areas like the Ted Williams Tunnel (see network
expansions on attached matrix). The company plans to invest nearly three-quarters
of a billion dollars in its company-wide network this year.
"As competition in the wireless industry
rages on, carriers are more focused on call quality than ever before,"
said Robert Stott, president of Bell Atlantic Mobile's Northeast Region.
"Because it is so affordable, over 33,000 new customers are signing up
for wireless service each day in the United States. However, attractive
pricing and high-tech phones mean nothing if our network cannot stay ahead
of the growing customer demand."
"Boston's competitive wireless marketplace
has six different carriers, operating on three different technological
platforms, so measuring the reliability of each network --fairly and consistently
-- is no small task," Stott added. " We rely on computerized monitoring
equipment and software to allow network engineers to simultaneously compare
all networks. The information gathered helps us improve the quality of
service we deliver to our customers."
Stott said monitoring the performance of
the company's network with this new equipment challenges Bell Atlantic
Mobile to exceed its own benchmarks and strive to remain the leader in
overall customer satisfaction among wireless users.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless
network in the East, covering 120,000 square miles, and the largest chain
of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging.
Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 6.2 million customers
and 8,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary,
in the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community service program,
the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve
security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent is
one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic
operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe
and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit:
www.bam.com; on global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.
Editor's note: Photo opportunity. The vehicle can also
be seen in operation.