DALLAS - CODETEL, the Dominican Republic's largest telephone company, today announced plans to invest approximately $40 million over the next five years in new digital Personal Communication Services (PCS), strengthening its existing Latin American market presence and revolutionizing the Dominican Republic's wireless communications industry. CODETEL is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S.-based GTE Corp.
As part of its far-reaching plan, CODETEL (Compania Dominicana de Telefonos) selected Lucent Technologies to build its PCS network based on CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology.
"This investment confirms GTE's commitment to the Latin American telecommunications marketplace and secures our place as the Dominican Republic's leading PCS provider," said Carlos Espinal, president of CODETEL. "We are well-established in Latin America, and this investment strengthens our position."
CODETEL has the broadest geographical coverage as well as the most extensive portfolio in the Dominican Republic's telecommunications market, providing local, long distance, cellular, paging, data services, off-shore data entry and Internet access.
Lucent will design and provide CODETEL's PCS network based on CDMA technology, which enables a wireless PCS phone to become a virtual moving office by allowing Internet access, as well as fax and data applications.
"Lucent is happy to continue working with CODETEL as it offers advanced wireless services to the citizens of the Dominican Republic," said Tom Mader, Lucent vice president. "Our integrated solution - being able to use existing Lucent 5ESS switches - allows CODETEL to enter the PCS market with the lowest costs, greatest capability and fastest deployment."
The use of digital technology enhances the reliability of the wireless network and provides the capability to add new features, satisfying the most diverse customer needs. Among the value-added features are caller ID, call-blocking, Internet access, data transmission, sending and receiving faxes, voice mail service, answering service and other well-known features such as call-waiting, call-transfer, call-forward and call-conference.
"Digital PCS will usher in a new era of wireless communications," Espinal said. "The CDMA technology allows us to build upon the high-quality, clear
wireless communications our customers have come to expect from CODETEL."
The first phase of CODETEL's network build-out will include the capital city of Santo Domingo, Santiago and the corridor linking these two metropolitan areas. Service is expected to begin this summer. The second phase is scheduled to be completed by year's end when service will extend along the south coast highway to the resort city of La Romana/Casa de Campo. Over the next five years, CODETEL will expand the Lucent-supplied PCS network to provide coverage in all the country's major commercial and tourism markets, as well as the main highways.
CODETEL is a wholly owned subsidiary of GTE Corp. With 1997 revenues of more than $23 billion, GTE is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and a leading provider of integrated telecommunications services. In the United States, GTE provides local service in 28 states and wireless service in 17 states; nationwide long distance and internetworking services ranging from dial-up Internet access for residential and small-business consumers, to Web-based applications for Fortune 500 companies; as well as video in selected markets.
Outside the United States, the company serves more than 7 million telecommunications customers. GTE is also a leader in government and defense communications systems and equipment, directories and telecommunications-based information services, and aircraft passenger telecommunications. Additional information about GTE can be found on the Internet at http://www.gte.com.
Lucent Technologies, headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., designs, builds and delivers a wide range of public and private networks, communications
systems and software, data networking systems, business telephone systems
and microelectronics components. Bell Laboratories is the research and development arm for the company. For more information on Lucent Technologies, visit the company's web site at http://www.lucent.com.