GTE's Big Deal plan for residential local telephone customers provides savings and simplicity on a single bill.

IRVING, Texas -- GTE Network Services - the local telephone service unit of GTE Corp. - introduced today a new and simplified way for its local telephone customers to obtain discounted communication services offered on one bill.

Under its "Big Deal" plan, residential customers can choose between two packages which offer local telephone service and significant discounts on calling features including caller ID and call waiting. With one call to GTE, residential customers who order one of the two calling feature packages will have the option to purchase add-on services including long distance, voice mail and dial-up Internet access at additional discounts.

Local phone customers who purchase the larger calling features package with 14 services will save an average of 40 to 60 percent on their monthly phone bill (depending upon state) as compared to everyday rates. Local phone customers who order the 14-service package, plus the optional long distance, voice mail and Internet access, will save on average between 20 and 50 percent.

GTE Network Services' new plan for residential customers builds upon GTE's experience in providing customers with the simplicity and savings of packaging high-value services together. GTE began offering bundled products to communications-intensive customers in selected states through its competitive local exchange carrier, GTE Communications Corp., in 1997. In the past several months, Network Services has offered a series of promotional packages featuring a variety of calling services that were favorably received by customers.

In 1999, a survey by J.D. Power revealed that more than half of all consumers wanted to obtain their telecommunications services from one provider through a bundle.

"The 'Big Deal' is a great deal. We've created the 'Big Deal' to give customers the convenience and simplicity of getting the services they want most - local and long distance, call management services and Internet access with one phone call," said Jody Bilney, vice president-consumer markets for GTE Network Services.

"As popular as packaged offers have become, and as much a part of the future that they will be for customers, you can't have 'one size fits all' offers," added Bilney. "The 'Big Deal' provides a full suite of choices at considerable discounts, and hits the bull's-eye of our customers' greatest need at this moment."

    GTE's "Big Deal" plan includes:
  • Local phone service (monthly price varies by market)

  • Customer's choice of two calling service packages:

  • - Fourteen popular features for $16 month. (caller ID name and number, call waiting, cancel call waiting, call forwarding, speed call 8, distinctive ring, *66 busy redial, *69 auto call return, *60 call block, three-way calling, special call acceptance, special call forwarding, anonymous call block and VIP alert, or

    - Six popular features for $9 month. (call waiting, cancel call waiting, call forwarding, *69 auto call return, *60 call block and three-way calling)

    Customers who purchase either of the calling service packages can also purchase the following:

  • 60 minutes of GTE long distance service ($5 month. 10 cents per minute after the first 60 minutes)

  • Up to 150 hours of GTE dial-up Internet access ($15 month, plus one-time $15 set-up fee)

  • GTE standard voice mail ($5 month)

  • GTE local phone customers in Tampa, Fla., who purchase the 14-feature calling service package would pay on average $31 per month including local phone service -- a savings of more than 50 percent as compared to buying the local service and calling features separately. Customers who buy the entire "Big Deal" suite of options (local, calling services, 60 minutes of long distance, 150 hours of Internet access and voice mail) will pay about $56 per month in Tampa.

    In the Dallas/Forth Worth metroplex, customers would pay nearly $31 for local phone service and the 14-feature calling service option, or a savings of more than 40 percent as compared to buying the local service and calling features separately. The entire "Big Deal" suite of services costs about $57 per month in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

    The long distance and Internet access options of the "Big Deal" are not offered in Ohio, Pennsylvania or Virginia.

    GTE local phone customers can continue to purchase local service, calling features and other services on an individual basis as currently offered in each state. In California, local phone service is not part of the "Big Deal." Interested customers can get more information by calling 800-483-4000 or order online beginning in mid-April at http://www.gte.com/BigDeal.

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    With 1999 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE is a leading telecommunications provider with one of the industry's broadest arrays of products and services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 18 states, as well as nationwide long-distance, directory, and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies. Outside the United States, the company serves customers on five continents. Additional information about GTE can be obtained at http://www.gte.com/BigDeal.

    GTE's community and philanthropic programs target excellence in education, particularly math, science, technology and literacy. GTE also supports job training, delivery of health and human services, and the arts. The company's newest program is GTE Reads, a public charity designed to create public awareness, increase fundraising and support organizations dedicated to improving America's literacy levels. GTE customers can contribute to GTE Reads by checking off a box on their bill. Others can contribute through GTE Superpages.com (http://www.superpages.com).