March 24, 1997
Prague, Czech Republic - EuroTel Praha, Bell Atlantic's wireless investment in the Czech Republic, announced it now has 200,000 analog and GSM (Global System for Mobile) customers. The company said the speed with which the customer base is growing exceeds all original estimations. Since July 1996, when EuroTel Praha's GSM Global service was launched, the company's total customer base has quadrupled.
EuroTel Praha is the only wireless provider in the Czech Republic to offer both analog NMT 450 and digital GSM service. Today, EuroTel GSM Global covers 68 percent of the licensed territory where79 percent of the population lives. The company's EuroTel Classic (analog) service covers 96 percent of the territory inhabited by 98 percent of the population.
According to EuroTel Praha Managing Director Mac Allman, "EuroTel won its first 100,000 clients in five years, and the next 100,000 clients in less than five months. The Czech Republic is now host to one of the fastest growing cellular businesses in the world.
"Including the clients of our rival company, the total market size in the Czech Republic is now approximately 250,000, which means that already two out of every 100 citizens in the Czech Republic is now using a cellular phone."
In 1997, the company plans to expand its GSM network, improve signal quality in certain areas, and bring new services to market. EuroTel Praha has already begun offering its "Region Programme," a zone pricing plan designed for customers who use their phones mainly in a single town or city. The Region Programme gives customers a reduced per-minute airtime rate for all calls made or received while in their selected zone. The company recently made its first zone, in Moravia, available to its analog customers.
The company also plans to offer other innovative services to Czech customers, including data, text messaging, and Internet access through cellular phones.