GTE reaches 100,000 customer milestone for its bundled telecommunications services

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IRVING, Texas - GTE Communications Corp. (GTECC) today announced that it has reached a milestone of 100,000 customers for its bundled telecommunications services packages.

GTECC offers competitively priced telecommunications bundles - packages of various services from local and long distance calling to Internet access and paging, that come with the simplicity and convenience of one bill and one provider.

"The marketplace has spoken: customers want value, simplicity, customer service and convenience. We are providing that," said C. F. "Butch" Bercher, president of GTECC. "Our customers particularly like the fact that GTECC bundles, unlike many other provider's bundles, include local calling as a cornerstone of our basic bundle."

The residential bundles are comprised of local calling, long-distance calling and two special call features, such as caller ID and call waiting. Additional services, such as paging, Internet access, and in some areas wireless, can be added to the bundle.

Prices begin at around $38 a month and vary according to the components selected by the customer and on the amount of long-distance calling included. Once a customer experiences the convenience of the GTE Unlimited bundle, they often add additional services over time.

A recent survey shows consumers want one-stop-shopping for telecommunications services. The second annual Communications Preferences Survey by the Information & Communications Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, done in late 1998, showed that 71 percent of respondents surveyed would prefer to receive one bill for all their communications service. A majority, 54 percent, of respondents said they would prefer to purchase their local, long distance, wireless, cable, and Internet services from a single company.

GTE Communications Corp. has taken the steps to provide consumers with what they are asking for. "Since 1997, we've invested millions of dollars in call centers and systems to successfully support ordering, billing and customer service for bundles," said Bercher. "We've been a pioneer in this type of offering, which is extremely complex and challenging to provision, and we're proud to hit this significant milestone of 100,000 customers. Many companies have talked about bundles. Others have tried and failed. We're doing it."

GTECC offers residential service bundles in parts of California, Florida, Washington and Texas.

About GTE

GTE Communications Corporation is the national retail sales and service arm for GTE Corporation. With 1998 revenues of more than $25 billion, GTE Corp. 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 service 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 service in selected markets.

Outside the United States, the company serves nearly 9 million telecommunications customers. In addition, GTE is also a leader in government and defense communications systems and equipment, directories and telecommunications-based information services, and aircraft-passenger telecommunications.

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