General Motors Selects Bell Atlantic and GTE to Provide National Wireless Network to Support OnStar
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TROY, Mich. -- General Motors has selected Bell Atlantic Mobile and GTE Wireless to establish a nationwide wireless network to support the expansion of OnStar's portfolio of market-leading, in-vehicle services to include personal calling and access to Internet-based information.
"Motor vehicles are more than a method of transport, they are becoming mobile communications platforms that can keep motorists safe, informed and productive in previously unimaginable ways," said Jack Smith, CEO of General Motors. "Bell Atlantic Mobile and GTE Wireless can provide the national network needed to create the foundation to build on OnStar's unique safety and security services and open up significant new growth markets for mobile communications."
Later this year, OnStar subscribers will be able to place personal calls and access customized Internet-based services such as e-mail, news and weather, sports and stock quotes through OnStar's voice-activated, hands-free system integrated into the vehicle. OnStar will continue to offer its core safety, security and information services over this wireless network. OnStar estimates that over four million vehicles nationwide will contain its vehicle communications services within the next three years.
"We are ready to deliver the leading edge, wireless network infrastructure needed to rapidly bring to market OnStar's new breed of safety-minded, 'always-on,' easy-to-use communications services," said Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Bell Atlantic. "Bell Atlantic's rapidly expanding wireless footprint and unparalleled network engineering capabilities will help OnStar subscribers enjoy the convenience and security of highly dependable, quality mobile communications services in their own vehicles - the same benefits that millions of Bell Atlantic Mobile customers enjoy right now."
"We are delighted that this wireless platform will help provide nationwide voice-activated calls for OnStar," said Chuck Lee, CEO of GTE. "The extensive agreements we have forged with more than 60 cellular carriers will provide seamless coverage throughout the United States and Canada, making travel for OnStar subscribes even easier, safer and more productive."
OnStar uses Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite technology and wireless communication to link the driver and vehicle to the 24-hour OnStar Center, where Advisors provide real-time, personalized help. Current OnStar services include automatic air bag notification, stolen vehicle tracking, emergency services, remote door unlock, roadside assistance with location, remote diagnostics, route support, convenience services and concierge services. For more information on OnStar, visit www.onstar.com.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East and systems in the Southwest, covering 216,000 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 7.3 million customers and 8,800 employees from Maine to Georgia and in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas. 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.
With 1998 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE is a leading telecommunications provider with one of the industry's broadest arrays of products and services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 18 states, as well as nationwide long-distance, directory, and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies. Outside the United States, the company serves customers on five continents.