FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 1996size = +1>
BELL ATLANTIC NYNEX MOBILE IS FIRST IN CELLULAR INDUSTRY
TO PROVIDE AUTHENTICATION, THE MOST ADVANCED WEAPON
IN THE WAR ON FRAUD
Customers in New York and Northern New Jersey Regions Already
Benefiting from Authentication Service
BEDMINSTER, N.J. -- Extending its commitment to provide
sophisticated fraud prevention solutions to its customers, Bell
Atlantic NYNEX Mobile today announced that it is the first wireless
service carrier to provide Authentication service to its customers.
As of today, 5,000 Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile customers are protected
by the service. Launched on May 2, Authentication uses an advanced
encryption technique that makes it almost impossible for a customer's
cellular phone number to be cloned -- replicated and used illegally.
This crime costs the industry more than $1.5 million a day.
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's Authentication service is available today
in the company's Metro New York and Northern New Jersey region, an area
that has been among the hardest hit by this crime. The company will
implement the service by year end throughout its footprint, which
covers a population of 55 million people and includes the
communications-intensive Northeast corridor.
"Fraud doesn't just cost the industry millions, it inconveniences
customers. While customers have never been required to pay for
fraudulent calls, they are frustrated with the problem nonetheless,"
states Nick Arcuri, vice president of fraud prevention at Bell
Atlantic NYNEX Mobile. "With Authentication, fraud prevention
transparent to our customers, and we have the potential to reduce our
financial losses -- it's a win/win situation. We are aggressive about
providing our customers with all the technology at our disposal to
protect them from fraud, and we are encouraged that others in the
industry are following our lead."
"Authentication will do away with cloning fraud as we know it
stated Tom McClure, Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association
director for fraud management. "According to studies by the
industry's Fraud Task Force, Authentication technology will confound
bandits for about twenty years. I applaud the work of Bell Atlantic
NYNEX Mobile and other wireless carriers that have deployed this new
technology and that continue to wage war against high tech fraud."
Authentication Benefits and Operation
Authentication service, which is instantaneous and provided at no
additional charge, makes wireless calling easier for customers, while
giving them even more protection against thieves who steal cellular
phone numbers for criminal use. Customers in regions where
Authentication has been deployed simply need an Authentication-ready
phone to take advantage of the service. In addition, users no longer
need to use a personal identification number (PIN) when making calls.
Authentication technology identifies cloned phone numbers immediately,
before costly communications can take place. The cellular network and
the Authentication-ready phones operating on it carry matching
information. When a user initiates a call, the network challenges the
phone to verify itself. An authenticatable phone will match the
challenge, confirming that it and the corresponding phone number are
being used by the legitimate customer. If it doesn't match, the
network determines that the phone number is being used illegally, and
service to that phone is terminated.
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's War on Cellular Fraud
With a history of pioneering innovative anti-fraud technologies, BANM
was the first wireless service provider to introduce the PIN system,
making the cloning process more difficult. Last year, BANM reduced
cloning fraud by more than 80 percent in its footprint by promoting use
of the PIN. BANM's multi-tiered approach to fraud prevention also
includes educational programs, new software systems, an in-house fraud
task force, and other deterrents.
BANM also actively works with law enforcement officials to pursue
criminal and civil action against cellular bandits. Last year, the
company assisted law enforcement in making more than 300 arrests along
the East Coast and has helped write and enact legislation that makes
cloning a federal felony.
"At Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile, we are serious about using all the
tools at our disposal to take a big bite out of high tech crime,"
continues Arcuri. "We're ready and able to leave permanent teeth
marks on cellular bandits' wallets."
With more than 3.4 million customers,
NYNEX Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on the east
coast and second largest in the United States. Headquartered in
Bedminster, NJ, the company offers a full range of wireless voice,
data, and paging services to the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast,
and through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. The company was
formed in July 1995 through the combination of Bell Atlantic Mobile's
and NYNEX Mobile's cellular operations.
- Steve Fleischer, (908) 306-7539