'Choose-Your-Price' Wireless From Bell Atlantic Mobile Hits Radio Shack Shelves
Wide-Scale Retailing of Wireless Calling Cards
Now In 700 East Coast Locations
July 6, 1999
BEDMINSTER, N.J. -- Bell Atlantic Mobile launched its prepaid
wireless calling cards at 700 Radio Shack stores throughout the eastern
United States on July 1, one of the industry's largest retail offerings of
For consumers, this means they can choose their price for wireless service,
pay for it in advance and buy more whenever they need it, instead of
paying a fixed monthly rate.
Prepaid calling cards for wireless promise to be equally as popular as their
counterparts for wired calling, as wireless in general quickly becomes a
predominant means of communication. The demand for prepaid wireless
service is expected to grow to 25 percent of all wireless users by 2003,
according to The Yankee Group, the Boston-based information technology
market research firm.
At the Radio Shack stores, consumers can sign up for Bell Atlantic
prepaid package, called MobileMinutesSM, including a wireless phone and
$20 worth of calling. But the real convenience is the ability for consumers
to replenish calling cards at so many Radio Shack Stores -- whether they're
out on their own town or out of town, since Radio Shack's retail reach is so
extensive. This includes Bell Atlantic Mobile's already significant number
of prepaid customers, who will be able to replenish their cards at these
"In terms of convenience, buying wireless phone cards is like buying
You may go out our your way for the initial purchase of the car itself, but
you want the repeat purchases -- the gasoline, or phone cards in our case --
to be accessible everywhere," said Debra Carroll, vice president of
marketing for Bell Atlantic Mobile.
"By partnering with Radio Shack, we're marrying a popular product
concept with a popular place of purchase."
With one in every four Americans using wireless phones today -- a
statistic that is growing -- consumers have varying needs. MobileMinutes
prepaid cards allow customers to pay in advance, giving them
predictability and total control over what they spend. They're available in
$25, $50 and $100 increments, and work on the same advanced wireless
network as Bell Atlantic Mobile's other wireless services.
As with calling cards for wired calls, these wireless calling cards are
"cardless." Customers won't need an actual card to make a
call; rather, they will be given a PIN, or identification number, that
corresponds to their account. When using their calling card, customers
are alerted to their balance by a whisper tone, that only they hear, each
time they make a call. A reminder tone alerts them when their balance hits
four minutes, with one long reminder tone every minute thereafter.
A longtime industry leader in distribution, Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and
operates 200 company-branded Communications Stores and had more
than 2,000 retail points of presence leading up to today's announcement.
In addition, the company was the first to establish a full service Online
Store @ www.bam.com.
Radio Shack has long been an authorized retailer for Bell Atlantic
Mobile's other wireless services, including DigitalChoiceSM advanced
digital wireless voice services and its popular SingleRateSM regional and
national calling plans.
RadioShack, the retail operating format of Tandy Corporation (NYSE:
TAN), is the largest and most trusted consumer electronics retailer in the
United States. With more than 7,000 stores and dealers, RadioShack sells
more wireless telephones, telecommunications products and electronic
parts and accessories than any other retailer. It is estimated that 94 percent
of Americans live or work within five minutes of a RadioShack store or
dealer. For more information, visit Tandy Corporation/RadioShack web
sites at www.tandy.com and www.radioshack.com.
In the New York, Boston, Washington/Baltimore and Pittsburgh markets,
Bell Atlantic Mobile was named leader in overall customer satisfaction
among wireless users, according to the prestigious J.D. Power and
Associates 1998 U.S. Wireless Customer Satisfaction Study.sm Bell
Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the
East, covering 120,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets
devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in
Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 6.4 million customers and 8,000
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: