National Wireless Alliance Unveils Brand Strategy
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April 8, 1996
NYNEX CONTACT: Media Relations,
National Wireless Alliance Unveils Brand Strategy
AirTouch Communications, Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, U S
WEST and PCS PrimeCo Partnership to Leverage Strong Regional Brands with
Common National Service Platform
New Name Also Announced for PCS PrimeCo
SAN FRANCISCO, NYC, DALLAS and ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Furthering
its commitment to bring high-value, nationally branded wireless services
to customers across the United States, the alliance of AirTouch Communications
(NYSE: ATI), Bell Atlantic (NYSE: BEL), NYNEX (NYSE: NYN), U S WEST Media
Group (NYSE: UMG), and its jointly owned PCS partnership, PCS PrimeCo,
L.P. today announced plans to market two families of wireless services
under two common brands from coast to coast.
The alliance also announced that PCS PrimeCo has adopted a new company
name -- PrimeCo Personal Communications, L.P. -- and will market the alliance
wireless services under that company name later this year in 11 U.S. markets,
to complement its affiliates' existing cellular networks.
"To maintain strong growth in the increasingly competitive wireless
industry, we will offer consumer-friendly products and services under recognizable
national brands," said Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr., Bell Atlantic vice
chairman, and chairman of the alliance's committee that created the brand
"The partners have agreed to a branding strategy that will help
assure our wireless alliance succeeds on the national playing field, and
well ahead of our scheduled launch of PCS services later this year,"
"By pursuing a common service brand strategy in conjunction with
our very strong regional brands, we now have a platform to launch wireless
services nationwide," said Denny Strigl, president and CEO of Bell
Atlantic NYNEX Mobile. "At the same time, our customers will benefit
from wireless packages that are tailored to their local needs, yet offered
The alliance will market a family of wireless services, under two umbrella
service categories -- TalkAlong(SM) and PowerBand(SM).
The TalkAlong services are designed to be mass market, entry-level services,
and will be increasingly distributed by convenient mass-market retailers
such as drug, grocery and discount stores, where consumers routinely shop.
Since the alliance cellular companies introduced the TalkAlong line last
year, over 500,000 customers have signed up for the service, which is available
in more than 1,000 retail sites.
The PowerBand service line will provide enhanced wireless services to
meet the needs of consumers and business customers who seek more fully
featured offerings, and will include a choice of value-added services such
as Caller ID, Short Messaging and Voice Activated Dialing.
Both service brands would be used in conjunction with the partners'
individual wireless company corporate names.
"The growth potential of the TalkAlong and PowerBand services is
enormous -- our alliance has the scope and scale to make these brands the
most powerful in the industry," said Lee Cox, vice chairman of AirTouch
Communications and chairman of the Wireless Management Company that provides
support services to AirTouch Cellular and U S WEST Cellular.
"This strategy gives us the best of both worlds -- the ability
to capitalize on national retail distribution and scale efficiencies, while
leveraging our strong local brand equity position."
The alliance's brand strategy will provide the flexibility to create
nationally recognized services, that can be simultaneously tailored to
meet local customer needs or respond to local competitive dynamics.
"The PrimeCo Personal Communications company name is a one-two
punch in the brand arena, because it fortifies the already well-known PrimeCo
name by describing the service we will provide," said Ben Scott, president
and CEO of PrimeCo Personal Communications. "Our service names clearly
signal the high level of control and versatility our products will provide
in terms of the basic and advanced features our digital network can offer.
The national service brands also will give us a powerful jump start when
we enter the market this fall, and will help customers understand that
PrimeCo's networks ultimately will work seamlessly with our owners' cellular
The four-way wireless alliance was formed by AirTouch Communications,
Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and U S WEST in October, 1994 to create the broadest
market coverage in the industry. The partners formed PCS PrimeCo, which
successfully bid $1.1 billion for new PCS licenses in 11 major cities,
and will launch service later this year. Combined, the wireless alliance
players serve nearly seven million domestic customers, operate in 19 of
the top 20 U.S. markets, and cover a population base of nearly 170 million
in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
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