GTE introduces digital CDMA wireless service in Austin, Texas; Austin is first in series of CDMA deployments in GTE's major markets nationwide

ATLANTA -- GTE announced today the commercial launch of its digital wireless

service in Austin, Texas -- the first in a series of GTE digital wireless

deployments in the company's markets nationwide.

GTE's new digital service utilizes Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA),

which enables multiple wireless users to access the same channel

simultaneously. Thus, CDMA substantially enhances wireless calling volume over analog as

well as other digital technologies.

"GTE is a leader in an industry-wide effort to bring to market this

revolutionary technology. Our Austin market launch is an important milestone

for GTE and the entire wireless industry," said Mark S. Feighner, president of

GTE Wireless. "GTE now has the power and capacity to offer the voice clarity

and call volume of digital service along with the wide-ranging travel

capability and coverage of analog service. GTE believes that combination provides by far

the best value to the customer."

GTE's Austin customers will use dual-mode phones that have both CDMA and

analog capability. If a customer travels outside the CDMA coverage area, the

call will switch over to the analog network.

GTE also plans to deploy this newest of wireless digital technologies

in its

San Jose, Calif., market in December, and in most of its other major markets

over the next 15 months.

For the past several years, while CDMA was under development, GTE

tested the technology and recently concluded its first customer trial of CDMA, involving

250 customers, in Austin.

GTE's customer trial showed the intrinsic benefits of CDMA's digital

service to customers, including excellent voice quality and reliability as well as the

availability of certain features such as Caller ID, call-waiting indicator,

and numeric paging.

"Customer response to GTE's CDMA service quality has led us to conclude

that our digital technology will provide the level of clear, reliable service

demanded by even the most frequent users of cellular communications," Feighner


GTE's CDMA system in Austin utilizes Lucent Technologies' switching and

cell-site equipment including Lucent's advanced speech coding technology.

GTE (NYSE: GTE) is one of the largest publicly held telecommunications

companies in the world. Within the United States, GTE has wireline and


operations that form a market area covering about one third of the country's


In its wireless operations, GTE provides telecommunications products and

services to more than 3 million customers in 73 metropolitan and 52 rural

markets nationwide.