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Customers Choose Digital Service as Bell Atlantic Mobile Expands Network
Digital Approaching 20 Percent Usage
July 6, 1998
BEDMINSTER, NJ -- Bell Atlantic Mobile today announced that nearly
one quarter of all new customers signing up for wireless service opt for its
high-quality digital service -- DigitalChoiceSM. As a result, digital now
accounts for close to 20 percent of the usage on the company's network.
This is due to the company's aggressive digital network build-out and
pricing strategy, which has proven successful in making DigitalChoice
appealing to a wide range of customers.
Bell Atlantic Mobile has invested over $300 million in digital network
expansion since the start of 1998 to meet the record demand for affordable
digital service -- making DigitalChoice even more attractive for customers
to purchase and use, with digital coverage extending to more than 80
percent of Bell Atlantic Mobile's POPs (population served).
Bell Atlantic Mobile, with 80 percent POPs coverage, ranks well above the
cellular industry average of 50 percent POPs coverage, according to a
recent study by the Yankee Group, an information technology market
The company launched digital service in all its major markets in 1997 and
has quickly expanded the high-quality network during the first half of this
year. In fact, the rollout of digital service during the past six months in
such places as upstate New York, the eastern shores of Delaware,
Maryland, and Virginia, and the New Jersey shore, enables customers to
enjoy for the first time the use of DigitalChoice in these heavily-traveled
Bell Atlantic Mobile is an industry trend-setter in introducing pricing for
digital service that makes the technology accessible to all types of
customers. In March, the company made significant price reductions, and
eliminated landline charges and peak/off-peak distinctions. The company
also introduced new consumer-friendly options for digital service, including
a digital phone rental option, an all-you-can-use mobile-to-mobile pricing
plan, and a traveler calling option that allows customers to use their digital
phone at a reduced uniform rate of 50-cents anywhere in the U.S., by
paying a flat fee of $5 a month.
"We built an expansive, high-quality digital network and we want our
customers to have the full advantage of this new technology," said Jack
Plating, Bell Atlantic Mobile's executive vice president and chief operating
officer. "With added value and benefits like extensive roaming capabilities
and pricing options for everyone, now is the perfect time for customers to
Bell Atlantic Mobile's DigitalChoice delivers increased call reliability,
greater voice clarity, enhanced privacy and an array of advanced features.
And customers can use their phones virtually anywhere in the U.S. because
Bell Atlantic Mobile's wireless service can switch seamlessly to the analog
network in geographic areas of the country where a digital network is not
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the
East, covering 112,000 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 5.5 million customers and 7,000
employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community relations program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities
improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's
parent 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.