BEDMINSTER, NJ — To capture the explosive market opportunity presented by the widespread and growing use of the Internet, Bell Atlantic Mobile today introduced new flat-rate pricing for wireless Internet access. Consumers and mobile professionals increasingly need to stay connected from wherever they are -- whether they're on a train, at the airport or even sitting by a pool. And today's definition of staying connected no longer means just being able to make and receive phone calls, but to send and receive e-mail as well. According to analyst firm International Data Corp., by 2000, 130 million workers will send 2.8 billion e-mail messages a day.
For just $24.95 a month, consumers can always stay in touch with wireless e-mail access; and for $39.95 a month customers can receive all the benefits of full Internet access. This new pricing structure will help drive a dramatic increase in wireless access to the Internet, first among mobile work forces and then among general consumers. In fact, according to the Yankee Group in their Mobile User Survey Series, "by 2005 the majority of wireless mobile data users are likely to be performing wireless Internet access, whether consciously or unconsciously."
Using Bell Atlantic Mobile's AirBridge? Internet Access service, customers have an incentive to unplug their laptop, handheld computer and personal digital assistant (PDA) to get secure, wireless access to the World Wide Web virtually wherever they are -- enabling them to send and receive e-mail, conduct Web-based research, shop online, get stock quotes, or check their companies' intranet sites without being tied to a desk and PC.
"We see the convergence of wireless and the Internet as the next significant growth opportunity for both industries, and email in particular will be the application that drives traffic on our wireless data network," said Jack Plating, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Bell Atlantic Mobile. "Being connected is becoming a way of life for consumers and a necessity in business, and now users have the option to take this activity on-the-road easily and affordably, regardless of whether the closest power supply is miles away. This new pricing structure is consistent with our tradition of simple and predictable wireless service pricing that provides consumers with more options for staying connected."
In September 1998, Bell Atlantic Mobile launched its popular DigitalChoice SingleRateSM USA, a national flat-rate pricing plan, with no long distance and no roaming charges coast to coast, so that consumers could benefit from the high quality of digital cellular service with pricing that is convenient and predictable. With the introduction of flat-rate pricing for AirBridge data, Bell Atlantic Mobile further leverages predictable pricing structures to change the way consumers use wireless -- enabling them to call or log on without reservation and enhancing their lifestyle through communications when and where they want or need it.
Consumers interested in getting more information, including terms and conditions, can call 1-800-308-DATA or visit Bell Atlantic Mobile's Online Store at www.bam.com.
The following telecom industry analyst has been briefed on this announcement and is available for comment:
Roberta Wiggins, The Yankee Group - 617-956-5000 Phillip Redman, The Yankee Group - 617-880-0246
In the New York, Boston, Washington/Baltimore and Pittsburgh markets, Bell Atlantic Mobile was named leader in overall customer satisfaction among wireless users, according to the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates 1998 U.S. Wireless Customer Satisfaction Studysm.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East, covering 120,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 6.2 million customers and 8,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community service program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.
How to Stay Connected Without Wires
Now that Bell Atlantic Mobile has made wireless Internet access and e- mailing affordable with predictable flat-rate pricing, you probably want to get in on the action, but may not know how to get started. For you technology trend-setters, here are a few helpful hints.
Determine Your Needs:
Bell Atlantic Mobile acknowledges that customers have varying needs when it comes to the Internet, so it offers pricing options for its AirBridge® Internet Access service based on different usage patterns.
- If you want to use all the benefits of the Internet, such as Web site browsing, online shopping and e-mailing, Bell Atlantic Mobile offers unlimited, flat-rate Internet and e-mail service for just $39.95 a month.
- Alternatively, for customers who need only to stay abreast of their e- mails, Bell Atlantic Mobile offers an AirBridge e-mail service for just $24.95 a month.
New PC devices that feature Internet capabilities are coming onto the market at an incredible pace. For consumers who want wireless Internet access, picking the right Internet appliance will be a big decision. Options include:
- Laptop PC
- Windows CE Handheld PCs
- Personal digital assistants, such as the Palm III by 3Com
Sign Up for Service
Customers can sign up for AirBridge Internet Access service through the following channels:
- Bell Atlantic Mobile's Online Store (www.bam.com)
- By calling Bell Atlantic Mobile's data service center at 1-800-308- DATA