GTE first company to offer wireline and wireless services on a single bill

TAMPA, Fla. -- GTE today became the first company to offer "everything-on-one-bill," combining wireline and wireless services. In Tampa, local, long-distance, paging, Internet access and cellular services, as well as inflight airline calls made using GTE's service, now can be combined on a single bill. Customers also can continue to receive separate bills, if they choose.

The "everything-on-one-bill" offer launch in the Tampa Bay area targets GTE's 1.5 million residential customers there. GTE plans to extend the offer nationwide to any customer living in an area where the company provides the relevant services.

"We're putting our customers in control by giving them choices," said Pete Daks, President, GTE Florida. "No other telecommunications company makes it as simple and convenient. GTE conducted a consolidated billing trial here in Tampa and discovered an overwhelming preference - for a single bill and a single source of contact.

"In our quest to become the easiest company to do business with in the industry, we're offering customers the convenience of a single source and a single bill or the choice to keep things the way they are. We know that for business or accounting reasons, some customers may want their charges kept separate," Daks said.

Currently, local telephone customers receive a single monthly bill for local, long distance, paging and Internet access services. GTE Florida cellular customers who participate in GTE's Airfone" Roaming program can already get one bill for both cellular and domestic airline calls on selected airlines.

Consumer Benefits of the Telecommunications Act

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 freed GTE to tailor services to meet individual customers' needs, according to Daks. GTE acted quickly to bring consumers the benefits of more choices and innovative products by introducing GTE Long Distance, Internet access service and a single bill.

In March, less than one month after the Act's passage, GTE became the first major telecommunications company to offer long-distance service, and plans to offer it by year-end in all 50 states.

GTE's Internet access service is available nationwide to residential and business customers for a flat-rate or an hourly fee. GTE's Internet service includes Netscape Navigator' software.

"Our customers have shown great loyalty to GTE and in return, we want them to know they can count on us for help. We'll help guide them through the maze of new choices and let them pick the best plan, based on their needs," Daks said.

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.