The premier regional PCS/wireless provider is giving its customers more room to roam. PrimeCo Personal Communications, L.P. today announced a significant addition to its PrimeTravelSM coverage area, providing customers using its dual-band/dual-mode phones wireless service in 45 of the country's top 50 markets.
In addition to existing roaming coverage provided through AirTouch Communications Inc. (NYSE: ATI) and Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL), PrimeCo customers can now access GTE's cellular network. This combined wireless footprint allows subscribers to roam throughout an expanded service area that includes nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population. PrimeTravel's coast-to-coast coverage provides a strong complement to the digital personal communications services (PCS) PrimeCo currently offers subscribers in its home markets.
"'PrimeTravel now offers wide-ranging coverage on par with that of most national wireless players,"' said Tom Sayor, PrimeCo's executive director of product management. "'The popular service provides users the benefits of using PCS digital technology where they live and work, plus the convenience of using the same phone when they travel."'
The roaming agreement with GTE adds San Francisco, Indianapolis, Nashville, Memphis, El Paso and Louisville to the impressive list of cities already covered under the PrimeTravel service. Future roaming agreements will extend the roaming coverage areas throughout the nation as well as deepen PrimeCo's regional coverage areas in Texas, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.
PrimeTravel roaming is made possible through the use of dual-mode/dual- band phones that automatically switch between digital and analog modes. As a customer leaves a PrimeCo digital service area, the phone immediately searches for and connects with the appropriate roaming system. Upon returning to a PrimeCo home service area, the phone switches back to digital mode. Calls initiated while using analog networks will be competitively priced at $.69 per minute for the duration of the call, plus applicable long distance rates. Calls initiated from any PrimeCo service area are billed at the customer's usual low home-market rates.
PrimeCo currently offers both Sony and Qualcomm dual-mode phones through its network of retail stores, retail affiliates and toll-free sales line. Both handsets are about the same weight and size as PrimeCo's single- mode phones, and they are currently promotionally priced at $149.
PrimeCo Personal Communications, which is owned by AirTouch Communications and Bell Atlantic, provides digital wireless service in 28 major cities in Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. The company has PCS licenses covering 61 million potential customers in 11 major trading areas and has nearly 2,800 employees. At the end of the first quarter 1998, PrimeCo had more than 508,000 subscribers. PrimeCo phones and services are sold through the company's 73 stores and kiosks, its business-to-business direct sales force, more than 2,500 indirect retailers and toll-free telephone sales line (800) PRIMECOSM. The address for PrimeCo's interactive web site is www.primeco.com.
EDITORS' NOTE: Print-quality artwork can be downloaded from PrimeCo's Multimedia Archive, located in the company's Digital News Room site. The Multimedia Archive includes photos of PrimeCo executives, products, retail environments, innovative antenna locations, as well as artwork for the corporate logo and Primetheus, the little pink alien featured in PrimeCo television ads. The URL for the Digital News Room is http://www.primeco.com/news/.