Philadelphia, Pa. - In early 1998, the third generation of digital wireless technology will cross the border into Mexico for the first time. Grupo Iusacell, Bell Atlantic's communications venture in Mexico, today announced it will provide consumers with their first taste of the world's most advanced digital service.
Iusacell will use Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology to provide benefits such as Caller ID, advanced voice mail, short text messaging, and paging. The company will launch the service first to customers in the Mexico City area during the first quarter of 1998, expanding to the rest of Iusacell's markets by the first quarter of 1999.
CDMA is being introduced by telecommunications carriers in the U.S. and in more than 30 other countries. It uses digital coding to provide more efficient use of the radio spectrum and offers increased capacity, static-free calls, and enhanced call security and privacy.
Iusacell has found a new focus since Bell Atlantic took management control in February 1997, consolidating six lines of business that formerly competed for resources and attention into one organization, energized around a new single brand name and a common set of products and services.
The company's new focus also includes a commitment to lead the market with new technologies and services. The introduction of CDMA means Iusacell will surpass its Latin American counterparts by bringing third-generation technology for voice, data, and messaging to business, residential, and pre-paid customers.
"The introduction of digital service to Mexico is another clear sign that Iusacell is the wireless leader in bringing innovative products and services to market," said Tom Bartlett, CEO of Bell Atlantic International Wireless and Grupo Iusacell. "Together with Bell Atlantic's CDMA coverage in the United States, Iusacell can help lay the groundwork for a tremendous footprint of common technologies and services in the fast-developing trade lane between the U.S. and Mexico."
Bell Atlantic Mobile and PrimeCo Personal Communications, Bell Atlantic's U.S. wireless investments, both have extensive CDMA networks deployed in markets that cover more than 110 million Americans along the East Coast and in the Southern and Midwestern United States.
Iusacell has chosen Lucent Technologies as its vendor for digital wireless infrastructure in regions 5, 6, 7, and 9.
Iusacell is the leading independent communications company in Mexico. It provides cellular service in four of Mexico's nine regions in the central portion of Mexico, including Mexico City, covering 62 million potential customers, or 70 percent of the country's population.
Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new communications, entertainment and information industry. In the mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing high-growth national and international business opportunities in all phases of the industry.