Bell Atlantic Mobile Emphasizes Consumer Driving Safety in a Series of New Initiatives

Bell Atlantic Mobile Emphasizes Consumer Driving
Safety in a Series of New Initiatives

Requires Handset Makers to Include Voice-Activated Dialing Within
Two Years

January 27, 2000


Nancy Stark,
(908) 306-6762

Bedminster, NJ - Taking a stand on behalf of consumers who want the
accessibility of wireless communications, but also advanced "hands-
free" safety features, Bell Atlantic Mobile today announced a broad
program that encourages the use of new technologies to make using
wireless communications in a car easier and ultimately safer.

Bell Atlantic Mobile today made a commitment to only sell wireless
phones that are adaptable for hands-free capabilities. The company also
told manufacturers that future phones it sells must have a "universal
jack," giving customers more and cheaper options for hands-free
accessories. In an industry-leading move, the company also will require
its handset suppliers to produce wireless phones with voice-activated
dialing and two-way speakerphone capabilities within two years so that
users can dial calls without pressing any buttons.

In another move to offer products and services that make hands-free
cellular use available and affordable to all consumers, Bell Atlantic
Mobile announced:

  • Affordable hands-free: Beginning Feb. 1, the company will reduce the
    price on many of its hands-free accessories. Consumers can choose from
    a variety of hands-free devices, from headsets to installation kits, to
    purchase, starting at $14.99. The company also offers TalkDial(sm), a
    voice-activated dialing option that requires pressing only two buttons to

  • Safety Emphasis: By March, the company's Communications Stores
    will feature a separate accessory wall titled "Accessories with Safety
    in Mind," further emphasizing the availability and benefits of hands-
    free communication.

  • Free Shipping: Customers across the U.S. can shop on Bell Atlantic
    Mobile's Online Store (www.bam.com) for a wide range of wireless
    accessories, including hands-free car kits, headsets and ear pieces - all
    free of shipping charges. Customers also can visit one of Bell Atlantic
    Mobile's 250 Communications Store to explore and demonstrate hands-
    free options.

  • Safety Reminders: Moving forward, the company will more
    prominently feature safety reminders in customer communications, like
    bill inserts and advertising, and the company's web site.

As a participant in the annual Cellular Telecommunications Industry
Association (CTIA) National Cellular Safety Week, Bell Atlantic Mobile
has a longstanding commitment to educating customers about the safe use
of wireless phones while driving, reminding them of the following:

Tips for Driving Safely with Your Wireless Phone

  • When behind the wheel, safe driving is always your first responsibility.

  • Always use hands-free when driving and talking;. When you turn your phone on, put
    on/turn on your hands-free device.

  • Pre-program important and frequently-dialed numbers, including home, the babysitter,
    and 9-1-1, so you can dial them by pressing only a few buttons.

  • Never take notes or write down phone numbers while driving. Rather, pull off the road
    to a safe spot or leave yourself a message on your voice mail system.

  • Know your wireless phone number so emergency personnel can call you back. You
    may want to write it down and keep it in your car for quick reference.

  • If traffic conditions warrant your undivided attention, turn your phone off, and let calls
    go to Voice Mail or activate Call Forwarding.

"Bell Atlantic Mobile has long been a proponent of technologies that
improve the utility and mobility of wireless communications, as well as
the safety of our customers," said Jack Plating, the company's
executive vice president and chief operating officer. "Now, as we
continue to see our customers rely on wireless as their primary means of
staying in touch - especially when they're on the road - we are committed
to enhance our offerings that make using wireless while behind the wheel
easier and ultimately safer."

Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East and the
largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging.
Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 7.7 million customers and 8,800
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, Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:BEL)
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.