GTE offers Californians easier, nationwide '4-1-1' directory assistance service dialing.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.) - Starting today, calling directory assistance for information gets easier for GTE customers in Southern California - they will be able to reach more than 130 million local and long-distance listings throughout the United States, just by dialing 4-1-1.

"We're making it easier for customers to obtain local and national listings," said Don Oas, assistant vice president - GTE operator services. "Customers will no longer have to remember the area code of the community they're attempting to call and dial 1-plus the area code-plus 555-1212," he said. "Just dial 4-1-1, ask for the state, city and the customer's name and we'll provide you with the needed phone number. We'll even give you up to two numbers per call."

The price for the new service will be 95 cents for each long-distance directory assistance call. This will not affect GTE's current rates for local directory assistance. GTE's residential customers can continue to make five free calls to local directory assistance each month, while business customers can make two free local directory assistance calls each month. In addition, a 35-cent charge for each additional local directory assistance call - beyond those monthly allowances - will remain in place.

A small number of GTE local service customers in the Parkfield and San Miguel exchanges receive their local directory assistance from a non-GTE provider. "These customers will need to continue to access long distance directory assistance as they do today," Oas said.

Last year alone, GTE operators in the company's three Southern California operator services facilities provided directory assistance to about 201 million callers. GTE has more than 900 operators answering customers' calls in company facilities in Long Beach, Thousand Oaks and Goleta. Oas said GTE's expanded 4-1-1 service will provide its California customers with directory assistance that is second to none.

Customers with questions about this enhanced service can either dial 4-1-1 or call their local GTE business office (listed on their monthly bill) for more information. Customers with their own internal telecommunications equipment may have to reprogram their systems in order to use the enhanced 4-1-1 service, just as they must update their equipment in preparation for area code splits and overlays. GTE plans to extend this offering throughout its wireline serving areas in all other states in early 1999.

With 1997 revenues of more than $23 billion, GTE is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and a leading provider of integrated telecommunications services.

In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 17 states; nationwide long-distance and Internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies; as well as video services in selected markets. Outside the U.S., the company serves more than 7 million telecommunications customers.

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