02.22.1996Corporate

COLUMBIA GAS TEAMS WITH BELL ATLANTIC NYNEX MOBILE TO PUT LATEST TECHNOLOGIES TO WORK FOR CONSUMERS


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 22, 1996size = +1>


COLUMBIA GAS TEAMS WITH BELL ATLANTIC NYNEX MOBILE
TO PUT LATEST TECHNOLOGIES
TO WORK FOR CONSUMERS

PITTSBURGH, PA -- Columbia Gas and Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile have
combined some of their industries' latest technologies to help keep
western Pennsylvania residents safe, warm and comfortable during the
harsh winter months when temperatures dip and energy demand peaks.

The two companies are working together to meet the challenge presented
by a monitoring system that must be maintained 24 hours a day to
ensure correct pipeline pressure and proper natural gas flow rates.

Columbia Gas is one of the first utility companies to use Bell Atlantic
NYNEX Mobile's latest wireless data technology, Cellular Digital Packet
Data (CDPD), to transmit information from measuring points throughout
its system to its local submaster computer in Bethel Park,
Pennsylvania, and then on to its main monitoring center in Columbus,
Ohio. Should an adjustment be needed, operators can immediately return
a control command over the same wireless system.

The Columbia Gas Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
system combined with the advanced technology of Bell Atlantic NYNEX
Mobile's CDPD service, called AirBridge(sm)
Packet, provides a
monitoring system that is more efficient and more effective than ever
before while maintaining the critical high level of reliability.

Columbia's SCADA system in Columbus polls information from Remote
Terminal Units (RTUs) throughout western Pennsylvania. Each RTU is a
microprocessor-based, stand-alone computer which monitors a number of
gas flow points, updates and collects real-time data at a measurement
and regulation station.

From cost and technology stand points, however, the mountainous
topography of western Pennsylvania challenged the traditional method
of information transmission over a radio system. With Bell Atlantic
NYNEX Mobile's CDPD network already in place, Columbia Gas could avoid
additional construction and maintenance costs. CDPD is a technology
that efficiently transmits short bursts or "packets" of data
over the
cellular infrastructure.

"CDPD is a cost-effective solution for us," said Angel Rivera,
general
office engineer for Columbia Gas. "Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's
role
in getting this project off the ground was critical. They were there
in the beginning to assist us in resolving problems and continued
their strong support throughout the endeavor."

The benefits for this particular application include:

  • The system can be programmed to report only changes at a
    station,
    thus reducing the amount of data to one third of what was previously
    transmitted, making it more cost efficient;
  • Columbia Gas has the ability to poll more frequently during heating
    season when it is more critical and reduce the number of times
    during summer months when natural gas consumption is lower;
  • With CDPD, Columbia Gas can do its own diagnostics for transmission
    problems rather than rely on an outside source for tracking problems
    on a leased line;
  • By using the existing CDPD network, Columbia Gas is relieved of the
    costly burden of building and supporting a private radio
    infrastructure.

Columbia Gas tested their system with CDPD on a trial basis last
summer and expanded the technology to 12 sites for this winter, with
the expectation of more sites being added when the current heating
season ends.

Gary J. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of Columbia
Gas of Pennsylvania, believes strongly in working with other
businesses in sharing technology and expertise -- all to benefit the
customer.

"Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile is the wireless expert -- we're the
utility," Robinson said. "Our linkage to each other brings us
closer
to the customer."

"This wireless data application demonstrates how Bell Atlantic NYNEX
Mobile works with a company to design a system that addresses a
specific business need," explained Jerry Fountain, regional vice
president for Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile in Pittsburgh. "CDPD can
be
used any time information needs to be sent from a remote location."

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, with corporate headquarters in
Pittsburgh, is the largest investor-owned natural gas utility in the
state with more than 370,000 customers in 455 communities in 27
counties.

Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on
the East Coast and the second largest provider in the United States.
The company offers a full range of wireless voice, data, and paging
communications solutions to its three million customers in the
Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and through a separate subsidiary,
in the southwest. The company was formed in July, 1995 through the
combination of Bell Atlantic Mobile's and NYNEX Mobile's cellular
operations. The new company has more than 5,000 employees.

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for more information, contact:

    Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile:

    Patricia L. Quolke, (412) 563-0367 or

    Maggie Aloia Rohr, (908) 306-7757

    Columbia Gas:

    James Vitak, (614) 460-4601 or

    Rosemary Martinelli, (412) 344-9800