January 27, 2000-Bedminster, NJ-
Taking a stand on behalf of consumers who want
the accessibility of wireless communications, but also advanced "hands-free"
safety features, Bell Atlantic Mobile today announced a broad program
that encourages the use of new technologies to make using wireless communications
in a car easier and ultimately safer. Bell Atlantic Mobile today made
a commitment to only sell wireless phones that are adaptable for hands-free
company also told manufacturers that future phones it sells must have
a "universal jack," giving customers more and cheaper options for hands-free
accessories. In an industry-leading move, the company also will require
its handset suppliers to produce wireless phones with voice-activated
dialing and two-way speakerphone capabilities within two years so that
users can dial calls without pressing any buttons. In another move to
offer products and services that make hands-free cellular use available
and affordable to all consumers, Bell Atlantic Mobile announced:
- Affordable hands-free: Beginning Feb. 1, the company will reduce
the price on many of its hands-free accessories.
can choose from a variety of hands-free devices, from headsets to installation
kits, to purchase, starting at $14.99. The company also offers TalkDial
(sm), a voice-activated dialing option that requires pressing only two
buttons to dial.
- Safety Emphasis: By March, the company's Communications Stores
will feature a separate accessory wall titled "Accessories with Safety
in Mind," further emphasizing the availability and benefits of hands-free
- Free Shipping: Customers across the U.S. can shop on Bell Atlantic
Mobile's Online Store (www.bam.com) for a wide range of wireless accessories,
including hands-free car kits, headsets and ear pieces - all free of
shipping charges. Customers also can visit one of Bell Atlantic Mobile's
250 Communications Store to explore and demonstrate hands-free options.
Safety Reminders: Moving forward, the company will more prominently
feature safety reminders in customer communications, like bill inserts
and advertising, and the company's web site.
As a participant in the annual Cellular Telecommunications Industry
Association (CTIA) National Cellular Safety Week, Bell Atlantic Mobile
has a longstanding commitment to educating customers about the safe
use of wireless phones while driving, reminding them of the following:
Tips for Driving Safely with Your Wireless Phone:
your phone on, put on/turn on your hands-free device.
home, the babysitter, and 9-1-1, so you can dial them by pressing only
a few buttons.
Never take notes or write down phone numbers while driving.
Rather, pull off the road to a safe spot or leave yourself a message
on your voice mail system.
Know your wireless phone number so emergency personnel can
call you back. You may want to write it down and keep it in your car
for quick reference.
If traffic conditions warrant your undivided attention, turn
your phone off, and let calls go to Voice Mail or activate Call Forwarding.
"Bell Atlantic Mobile has long been a proponent of technologies that
improve the utility and mobility of wireless communications, as well
as the safety of our customers," said Jack Plating, the company's executive
vice president and chief operating officer. "Now, as we continue to
see our customers rely on wireless as their primary means of staying
in touch - especially when they're on the road - we are committed to
enhance our offerings that make using wireless while behind the wheel
easier and ultimately safer."
Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the
East and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to
wireless voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic
Mobile has 7.7 million customers and 8,800 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, Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:BEL)
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.