GTE consortium wins nationwide license for digital cellular service in Taiwan

STAMFORD, Conn. -- The government of Taiwan announced that it has awarded a nationwide license for digital cellular communications services to Pacific Communication Services Co. Ltd, a consortium in which GTE Corp. is the only foreign stakeholder.

Under terms of the license, the consortium

will provide DCS 1800 service (Digital Cellular Service) throughout

Taiwan. GTE, which has a 12 percent stake in the consortium,

will assist with the design, build-out and operation of the system,

with service expected to be launched in 1998. GTE estimates that

it will invest approximately US$90 million in the venture.

"We are pleased and honored to join

with Taiwan's leading companies in this consortium," said

Lee K. Toole, president of GTE China and vice president International

- Asia/Pacific. "We believe GTE's extensive experience in

designing and operating wireless systems -- both in the United

States and abroad -- will assist Pacific Communication Services

in meeting the strong demand for wireless service in Taiwan and

help ensure the best possible service offering for Pacific's customers,"

Toole said.

Pacific Electric Wire and Cable of Taiwan

(PEWC) will be the largest stakeholder in the consortium. Best

known for its cable and telecom-related manufacturing, PEWC also

operates a wireless public telephone network in Taiwan and holds

investments in a Hong Kong wireless venture and Iridium, the 66-satellite

system that intends to provide worldwide personal communications


Other local partners in the consortium

are Acer Inc., the computer manufacturer; Evergreen, Taiwan's

largest transportation company; Fubon Bank; Continental, a construction

engineering company; and Yageo, an electronic component manufacturer.

Taiwan, with a population of 22 million,

is an attractive market that has experienced strong economic growth

of 6.5 percent and modest inflation over the past five years.

With a low cellular penetration rate of approximately 5 percent

today and an average annual household income of $35,000, Taiwan

represents a relatively untapped and lucrative market.

With revenues of $20 billion in 1995, GTE

is one of the largest publicly held telecommunications companies

in the world. GTE is also the largest U.S.-based local telephone

company and a leading cellular-service provider -- with wireline

and wireless operations that form a market area covering about

one third of the country's population. Outside the United States,

where GTE has operated for more than 70 years, the company serves

over 6 million customers. GTE is also a worldwide leader in aircraft-passenger

telecommunications, directories and telecommunications-based information

services and systems.