GTE agrees to sell approximately 625 customer lines in New Mexicoto Mescalero Apache Telecom, Inc.

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IRVING, Texas - GTE and Mescalero Apache Telecom, Inc., (MATI) today announced an agreement in which MATI will purchase approximately 625 customer access lines from GTE for an undisclosed price.

The agreement was signed by Sara Misquez, president of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, on behalf of MATI at the Mescalero Apache Tribal headquarters in Mescalero, N.M. Also attending were Godfrey Enjady, MATI general manager; Jaime Flores, MATI operations manager; and Thomas Sepic, GTE repositioning operations director.

The transaction includes parts of three local GTE telephone exchanges in New Mexico - Alto, Mescalero, and Ruidoso - which reside on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. There are no GTE employees involved in the agreement.

This transaction does not affect GTE's previously announced deal with Valor Telecommunications, which agreed last September to purchase approximately 92,000 customer access lines from GTE in New Mexico. If the GTE-Valor transaction is completed - as expected - before the closing of the GTE-Mescalero Apache Telecom deal, then Valor will complete the transfer of assets to Mescalero Apache Telecom.

The GTE-Mescalero Apache Telecom transaction does not affect GTE's offering of wireless, long distance and Internet services to consumers in New Mexico. Current directory publishing agreements will continue at least until December 31, 2001. In addition, current rates will remain in effect, but may be subject to review by state and federal agencies after the closing of the transaction.

Since May 1999, GTE has reached agreements to sell slightly more than 1.6 million access lines in 13 states to seven different purchasers. Combined with the divestiture of the company's Government Systems businesses, GTE has significantly exceeded its goal of obtaining agreements to raise more than $4 billion in after-tax proceeds.

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About GTE

With 1999 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. Additional information about GTE can be obtained at

About Mescalero Apache Telecom, Inc.

Mescalero Apache Telecom, Inc. was established in 1999 and is located on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. The service area includes only the Mescalero Apache Reservation, which encompasses the northeast portion of Otero County in southern New Mexico.

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