$12 Million High-Tech Facility Is Open; Bell Atlantic Mobile Launches Digital Technology And Advanced Services

Full Transparency

Our editorial transparency tool uses blockchain technology to permanently log all changes made to official releases after publication.

More of our content is being permanently logged via blockchain technology starting [10.23.2020].

Learn more

$12 Million High-Tech Facility Is Open; Bell Atlantic Mobile Launches Digital Technology And Advanced Services

September 15, 1997

Media contacts:

Bell Atlantic Mobile
Ken Dixon


Lynn Luczkowski


ALBANY, NY. -- Bell Atlantic Mobile announced today

the completion of its $12 million, regional mobile switching center

and digital switching facility and the launch of its digital wireless

service to consumers in the Capital region.

The new service, called DigitalChoicesm, delivers improved call

clarity and gives customers the ability to answer pages, receive voice

mail and identify the number of the incoming call, all while providing

extended battery life and better security. In the Capital region,

Bell Atlantic Mobile is the only wireless carrier to provide dual-mode

capabilities. Customers can use the new phones virtually anywhere in

the United States because Bell Atlantic Mobile wireless service is

integrated, working on both analog cellular and compatible digital


Bell Atlantic Mobile, previously Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile in Albany,

leads the industry in deploying Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)

service. This 'next generation' wireless technology provides enhanced

service features, and operates on the most extensive, integrated

network on the East Coast.

"The sound quality of our digital network is so good that people won't

believe they're on a cellular phone," said Jack Plating, president of

the Northeast Region of Bell Atlantic Mobile, at today's press

conference at RPI Technology Park. "We can provide customers with the

best technology and most extensive network on the East Coast.

Customers have the best of both worlds and can use our digital

service in our markets, including New York City, and then hop on a

plane or drive outside our East Coast service area and use the phones'

analog capability anywhere in the country.

The company broke ground just nine months ago on the $12 million

digital switching facility, which houses the network switch that

supports digital service. The 26,000-square foot building, located in

RPI Technology Park in North Greenbush, will house approximately 30

Bell Atlantic Mobile employees from engineering, construction,

operations, maintenance and administration.

Price plans for DigitalChoice begin at an access rate of $29.99 per

month which includes 60 minutes of home air time. There is no

activation fee. Bell Atlantic Mobile is selling handheld digital

phones at its Communications Stores throughout the Upstate region

starting at $199, or $149 with a cellular/PCS phone trade-in. For

more information, call 1-800-255-BELL.

While on the digital network, DigitalChoice service provides

customers with:

  • free first minute of airtime on incoming calls within the home

    airtime rate area which includes: New York, Connecticut,

    Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, depending on

    rate plan selected

  • free caller ID -- lets you know who's calling | free voice mail with

    message-waiting indicator | dramatically increased battery life

  • built-in electronic fraud protection
  • free call forwarding, call waiting and three-way calling
  • optional text messaging for an added monthly charge of $12.99 or

    operator-assisted text messaging for $24.99

Consumers are invited to preview the service this week (September

15-20) at Bell Atlantic Mobile Communications Store locations in

Clifton Park, Crossgates Mall, and Albany's Central Avenue where they

can make a free DigitalChoice call to anyone in the continental United

States. With Bell Atlantic digital service available in Boston,

Hartford, metro New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh,

Washington/Baltimore, Charlotte and Spartanburg, NC, and Columbia and

Greenville, SC., the company has the largest digital coverage area on

the East Coast.

Bell Atlantic Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on

the East Coast and the second largest in the United States. The

company owns and operates the most extensive network in the east,

covering 111,000 square miles, and the largest chain of wireless

retail outlets offering a full range of wireless personal

communications services, including voice, data and paging. Based in

Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 4.9 million customers and

7,000 employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and,

through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. The company is the

chief wireless subsidiary of the new Bell Atlantic, formed through the

merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX corporations.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mark Lowenstein of the Yankee Group is currently using

Bell Atlantic Mobile's CDMA DigitalChoice service. For comments,

please contact Mr. Lowenstein at (617) 956-5000. For a demonstration

of the service and/or for an interview with a Bell Atlantic Mobile

spokesperson, please contact Lynn Luczkowski at (203) 393-1101.


IMPROVED VOICE QUALITY: Research concludes the 13-kilobit voice

coder (vocoder) of CDMA technology provides the wireless service that

is closest to landline voice quality, virtually eliminating cross-talk

and static. The 13-kilobit vocoder uses a unique noise suppression

technique that emphasizes and improves voice quality, while greatly

reducing background noise.


phones virtually anywhere in the United States because Bell Atlantic

Mobile digital phones work on both compatible digital and existing

analog networks. The handset will automatically select the digital

service if available.

INCREASED BATTERY LIFE: The battery life for CDMA digital handheld

phones is dramatically improved when operating in the digital mode,

allowing as many as five hours of talk time and two full days of

standby time -- 2-5 times more than most analog phones.

GREATER PRIVACY: Voice privacy is greatly enhanced. Each digital

call is coded by converting voice to a stream of 1's and 0's and then

scrambled by a unique code, so it is better protected from


FIRST INCOMING MINUTE FREE: DigitalChoice service plans allow

customers to receive the first minute free on local incoming calls in

the home area.


alerted when a message is waiting by visual or audible tones.

Customers can store up to 40 five-minute messages up to 30 days.

BUILT-IN FRAUD PROTECTION: For added protection and convenience,

the phone is equipped with Authentication technology, which protects

against cloning while eliminating the need for a PIN (personal

identification number) in the customer's home area.


all DigitalChoicesm rate plans.

Related Articles


Virtual Reality (VR) has begun to transform medicine in profound ways. VR solutions are being used to train doctors and to plan and practice operations.


Verizon’s military discounts site shows everything you need to know about Wireless offers, FiOS savings and military career opportunities, all in one place, making it simple for service members and veterans to discover what Verizon has to offer.