GTE is the first of its peers to have a 100% digital network; GTE comes full circle as inventor of first automated telephone system.

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IRVING, Texas GTE this week completed the transformation of the switching in its local telephone networks across the country from analog to digital. GTE leads the industry by becoming the first of the large local-exchange carriers to reach the 100% digital switching milestone in all of the local telephone markets it serves.

"GTE comes full circle with this tremendous accomplishment," said John Appel, president GTE Network Services. "The first switch was invented in 1891 by Almon Strowger, whose company later merged into GTE. A GTE telephone exchange in LaPorte, Ind., was the first to use Strowgers step-by-step switching mechanism that moved by pawls and electromagnets. Now GTE is on the cutting-edge again by being the first large local telephone company to be totally digital.

"Our achievement demonstrates GTEs commitment to meeting and exceeding our customers needs with advanced technology," Appel said.

Each one of GTEs telephone lines in 28 states from Honolulu to Hanover, VA -- is now connected and served by digital switching technology which provides clearer and more reliable communications. Digital technology is also critical to meeting community telecommunications needs for business expansion and economic growth and will enable the offering of additional services in many of the markets GTE services.

With 1997 revenues of more than $23 billion, GTE is one of the worlds largest telecommunications companies and leading provider of integrated telecommunications services.

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