Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile Provides Most Advanced Weapon in the War on Fraud

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

September 4, 1996

Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile Provides Most Advanced Weapon
in the War on Fraud

Company First to Provide Authentication in New England

WOBURN, Mass. -- Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile today
announced it is the
first wireless carrier in New England to provide a sophisticated fraud
prevention service, called Authentication, to its customers.
Authentication uses an advanced encryption technology that makes it
almost impossible for a customer's cellular phone number to be cloned
-- replicated and used illegally. The crime costs the industry more
than $1.5 million a day.

Authentication service, which is virtually
instantaneous and provided
at no additional charge, makes wireless calling easier for customers,
while giving even more protection against thieves who steal cellular
phone numbers for criminal use. Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile customers
in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where Authentication has
now been deployed, simply need an Authentication-ready phone to take
advantage of the service. Customers who wish to verify if their phone
is authenticatable can check their owner's manual, contact Bell
Atlantic NYNEX Mobile customer service or their nearest Communications

Customers who use personal identification numbers (PINs) to deter fraud
no longer need to use a PIN to make calls within the New England region
or any other region with Authentication, if they have an activated,
authenticatable phone. Prior to Authentication, when a PIN user made a
call, the network would prompt the caller to input the PIN before the
call was connected. Now, New England area customers with
authenticatable phones will be required to use their PINs only when
roaming in areas where Authentication has yet to be launched.

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 by performing a mathematical equation only that
specific phone can solve. 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. All this takes place in a
fraction of a second.

"With Authentication, fraud prevention becomes transparent to our
customers, and we have the potential to reduce our financial losses --
it's a win-win situation," states Jack Plating, president of Bell
Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's Northeast region. "Fraud doesn't just cost
the industry millions, it inconveniences our customers. While
customers have never been required to pay for fraudulent calls,
they're frustrated with the problem nonetheless. We're aggressive
about providing our customers with the technology to protect them from
fraud, and we are encouraged that others in the industry are following
our lead."

"Authentication ultimately will do away with cloning fraud as we
it today," stated Tom McClure, Cellular Telecommunications Industry
Association director for fraud management. "According to studies
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

Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile was the first cellular
carrier in the
industry to bring Authentication to its customers
. The service was
initially launched in May 1996, in New York and Northern New Jersey and
recently launched in Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia.
The company will roll out the service by year-end throughout its
footprint, which covers a population of 55 million people and includes
the communications-intensive Northeast corridor.

Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's regional headquarters is
located in Woburn, Mass., with a region-wide workforce of 1,025
people. The company recently announced a new voice-activated dialing
service, TalkDial(SM), which offers
added convenience and time-saving
benefits to customers.

Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile is the
largest wireless service provider on
the East Coast and the second largest in the United States. The
company offers a full range of wireless personal communications
services, including voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster,
N.J., the company has 3.8 million customers and 5,500 employees in 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.


Media contact:

    Andrea Linskey (908) 306-7845

Sidebar: What Authentication Means for Our

Sidebar: Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's War on
Cellular Fraud

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.