Innovative Bell Atlantic Easy Number Service Wins National Recognition

Innovative Bell Atlantic Easy Number Service Wins National Recognition

Service Introduced This Spring Delivers Business Calls To Office or Branch Nearest Caller

August 18, 1999


Jim Smith,

NEW YORK - It's just two months old, but Bell Atlantic's Easy Number Call Routing Servicesm is already a star.

The Chicago-based International Engineering Consortium (IEC) will award one of its 1999 InfoVision awards to Bell Atlantic for the development and introduction of the service that automatically routes calls to the nearest location of a business, government agency or store.

Easy Number service enables businesses or agencies with multiple locations to advertise just one phone number and have calls routed to the nearest local office. Driven by the power of Bell Atlantic's Advanced Intelligent Network, calls are delivered to the appropriate site based on instructions stored in an intelligent network database.

The InfoVision awards recognize companies for products and services introduced in the last year that have added a new dimension to the information industry and to society as a whole. Award-winning technologies and services were chosen by the IEC, a non-profit organization dedicated to catalyzing positive change in the information industry and its university communities, from among hundreds of nominees. They were judged on innovation, uniqueness, market impact, customer benefits and value to society.

"Winning this award is the highest honor," said Brenda Smith, director of AIN Technology Planning for Bell Atlantic. "Members of the IEC are a very discriminating group of professionals who make it their business to study and share information about hundreds of innovations that are applied in our industry every year.

"We knew Easy Number service was a breakthrough that would solve problems for both businesses and their customers. It's exciting that the hard work that went into developing and deploying this innovative service has been recognized by the IEC," she said.

The award in the category of "applications and services" will be presented in October at the IEC's National Communications Forum 99 InfoVision Award Ceremony in Chicago.

"Innovation underpins society's progress and prosperity," said James Haley, senior member of Technical Staff at Bell Atlantic. "Easy Number will enable better communication between businesses and their customers as well as governments and their constituents by simplifying a customer's search for the person or office that can best serve them."

"Businesses today need simpler and stronger links to their customers to maintain their relationships," said Mike Hassett, vice president of Product Line Management for Bell Atlantic. "They continually seek ways to cut costs, increase their customer base and improve customer service. Bell Atlantic's Easy Number service directly addresses those needs."

Bell Atlantic's Easy Number service is provided through a portfolio of Advanced Intelligent Network features that route incoming calls based on the first six digits of a phone number. By the end of the year, Bell Atlantic's network also will be able to route calls based on the nine-digit zip code (Zip+4) of the calling party, allowing even more precision in the delivery of calls to specific outlets.

Easy Number service works on local and regional toll calls. The caller and the business's nearest location must be in the same regional calling area. It debuted in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey in June and will be deployed across Bell Atlantic's service area in the future.

Pricing varies by state and is set by state regulators in tariffs that cover items such as contract length and the duration, distance and volume of calls. Businesses interested in the service should call 1-800-846-1200, ext.7100.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 43 million telephone access lines and nearly 10 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.

The International Engineering Consortium

The International Engineering Consortium (IEC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to catalyzing positive change in the information industry and its university communities. Since 1944, the Consortium has provided high-quality educational opportunities for industry professionals, academics, and students. To support a worldwide need, the IEC has developed free on-line Web-based tutorials. The IEC conducts industry-university programs that have substantial impact on curricula. It also conducts research and develops publications, conferences, and technological exhibits addressing major opportunities and challenges of the information age. More than 70 leading, high-technology universities are currently affiliated with the Consortium. Industry is represented through substantial corporate support and the involvement of many thousands of executives, managers, and professionals.