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Bell Atlantic Mobile Turns In Record Performances in '97
Company Surpasses $3B in Revenue; Deploys Digital in All Markets
January 22, 1998
BEDMINSTER, NJ -- Bell Atlantic Mobile follows on the heels of
its parent company today in announcing record performance in key areas
in 1997, even in the face of fierce competition in all of its markets
The company added almost one million customers, nearing or topping
that mark for the third year in a row, and increasing market
penetration to 9.4 percent from 7.8 percent. Bell Atlantic Mobile now
serves nine of every 100 people in its markets. At the same time, the
- Annual churn decreased to a record-low of 1.7%.
- Total revenue topped $3 billion; service revenue was $2.7 \
billion, an 18% increase.
- Operating income increased 29%, producing record cash-flow margin
- Low-cost leadership position held fast, with record-low fraud
expense and cash expense-per-subscriber.
"The strength of our network, which is the most advanced and
integrated on the East Coast, has been a strong, competitive selling
point to customers," said Denny Strigl, president and chief executive
officer of Bell Atlantic Mobile. "We've made CDMA digital service
available in all our markets, and we offer analog cellular service as
well, meeting the needs of all types of customers -- from business
people using their phones as an extension of their office, to seniors
reserving the phone for emergencies."
In 1998, Bell Atlantic Mobile plans to further strengthen its network
with a $650 million investment in digital network expansion and cell
site and microcell construction that will further enhance its
For customers, this translates into even greater call quality and
geographic coverage area.
Based on the strength of its network and its aggressive focus on
service and marketing, Bell Atlantic Mobile achieved the following in
- Added its five millionth customer, as the industry announced its
50 millionth wireless phone subscriber.
- Led the industry in CDMA deployment, now covering 75% of its POPs
and all of its markets with the most advanced digital wireless
phone service, DigitalChoiceSM.
- Added nearly 1,000 employees to maintain high service levels in
the face of 21% customer growth.
- Added 16 Communications Stores for a total of 175, the largest
chain of retail outlets specializing in wireless products and
- Became the first carrier to introduce flat, predictable monthly
pricing for full wireless Internet access from a laptop computer
using AirBridge Internet Access service.
- Launched CellscapeSM service for business customers, to wirelessly
access select information on the Internet and corporate intranets
using a "smart" cellular phone.
- Continued deploying cellular digital packet data (CDPD) technology
solutions, most notably with state and local police departments
that need their officers to have immediate access to critical
databases while working the streets; major utilities that need
their fleets to have real-time access to customer information; and
retailers that need the ability to make wireless credit and debit
card authorizations. Achieved a 74% reduction in cellular fraud by
leading the industry in deploying Authentication and RF
Fingerprinting fraud-prevention technologies, and sophisticated
- Launched MobileMinutesSM pre-paid service that allows customers to
pay in advance for calls.
The company's HopeLine initiative, which provides people staying
in shelters -- often victims of domestic violence -- with free voice
mail service, helped more than 4,400 people last year to secure
employment, retain permanent living quarters, resolve health care
issues and communicate with their families. The program culminated
with the selection of Mr. Strigl to speak at the annual White House
event recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Note to Editors:
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 more than 5 million customers and 7,000
employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and -- through a
separate subsidiary -- the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..."
community relations program, which includes HopeLine voice mail service,
Bell Atlantic Mobile uses its wireless technology to help individuals
and communities improve security and emergency communications.