Caller ID Marks 10th Birthday
Over 2.6 Million Bell Atlantic Customers Have Service
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Bell Atlantic's precocious 10-year-old is still
delivering with name and number.
It was on this date, 10 years ago, Bell Atlantic became the first
telephone company in the nation to introduce Caller ID
, unveiling it in
New Jersey. Caller ID soon spread from there to the other states in
the company's Mid-Atlantic service area.
Not many 10-year-olds have captured the imagination and enthusiasm of
the public as has Caller ID. In its first decade, the service has
proven to be one of Bell Atlantic's most popular services. Currently,
over 2.6 million Bell Atlantic customers subscribe to the service and
more are signing on daily. The service is exceptionally popular in the
state of West Virginia, where nearly a third of all Bell Atlantic
customers have Caller ID.
Parents use Caller ID to make sure their children are where they
should be. For busy families, it keeps track of callers and their
phone numbers so that no one misses a call. And it tells when grandma
called, even though she hates to leave a message.
"Our customers who use Caller ID tell us they place a strong emphasis
on the home," said Margaret Gardner, director of Value Added Services
in Bell Atlantic's consumer line of business. "They don't want to
miss a call from children who are away at college or elderly parents
in the next town. This strong sense of family and community helps to
explain why so many of our customers depend on Caller ID."
Caller ID provides the phone number of a caller and the name
associated with the number before the phone is answered. It also
keeps a record of calls - including the name, phone number, time and
date - regardless of whether the subscriber answers the phone or the
caller hangs up without leaving a message.
Subscribers especially like this scrolling feature of Caller ID. The
information appears on the customer's Caller ID display unit, which
stores the telephone number and name associated with the phone number
of most incoming calls.
Here is what customers say about Caller ID:
"I have a teenager at home. I always look at the Caller ID display
before answering, since 99 percent of calls are for her."
"Caller ID lets me screen out calls from unwanted boyfriends."
"When I get home after a hectic day at work, my second job starts --
taking care of my one-month-old son - feeding, bathing, etc. Caller
ID is a lifesaver. I can let the phone ring if I need to and count on
Caller ID to be my electronic secretary."
"Caller ID is great for a senior citizen or a person who cannot get to
the phone quickly."
"Caller ID helps keep track of your children when they are away from
home. You always know where they are calling from. It provides peace
of mind when they are out."
Caller ID information is available on many, but not all calls. On
certain calls, such as cellular calls and some long distance calls,
the display unit may show the number only, an "out of area" message or
Those who do not want their name and phone number revealed on a Caller
ID device can elect, at no charge, to have the information blocked on
the calls they make. To activate Per Call Blocking, customers dial
*67 on a Touch-Tone phone (1167 on a rotary phone) prior to placing
Caller ID uses a display unit to provide the information or a
telephone with display capabilities. The cost of the units vary,
depending on the amount of phone numbers the unit will store.
Caller ID costs $7.50 per month for residential customers. For one
dollar less, Bell Atlantic also offers number-only service. This
service does not provide name information.
Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.