Verizon Communications and Vodafone Announce That Verizon Wireless Will Defer Its IPO

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New York/London (October 17, 2000) -
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc (NYSE and LSE: VOD), owners of Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless provider, today announced that Verizon Wireless Inc. will defer its planned initial public offering (IPO) of common stock.

Verizon Communications, Vodafone and Verizon Wireless have agreed that, despite Verizon Wireless' strong third quarter subscriber growth reported earlier this month, recent volatility of capital markets has created an environment in which it is prudent to defer the offering.

Upon completion of the IPO, Verizon Wireless Inc. will be a holding company whose sole asset will be partnership interests in the Verizon Wireless partnership and whose sole business will be to act as the managing general partner of the partnership.

Verizon Wireless was created on April 3, 2000 with the formal combination of Bell Atlantic's and Vodafone's U.S. cellular, paging and PCS businesses. Verizon Wireless was further strengthened with the addition of GTE Wireless, following the completion of the Bell Atlantic and GTE merger on June 30. Verizon Communications owns 55 percent of Verizon Wireless and Vodafone owns 45 percent.


NOTE: This press release contains statements about expected future events and financial results that are forward-looking and subject to risks and uncertainties. For those statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following important factors could affect future results and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements: materially adverse changes in economic conditions in the markets served by us or by companies in which we have substantial investments; material changes in available technology; the final outcome of federal, state, and local regulatory initiatives and proceedings, including arbitration proceedings, and judicial review of those initiatives and proceedings, pertaining to, among other matters, the terms of interconnection, access charges, universal service, and unbundled network element and resale rates; the extent, timing, success, and overall effects of competition from others in the local telephone and toll service markets; the timing and profitability of our entry into the in-region long distance market; our ability to combine former Bell Atlantic and GTE operations, satisfy regulatory conditions and obtain revenue enhancements and cost savings following the merger; the profitability of our entry into the nationwide broadband access market, including the impact of our transaction with NorthPoint Communications; the ability of Verizon Wireless to combine operations and obtain revenue enhancements and cost savings; and our ability to convert our ownership interest in Genuity Inc. into a controlling interest consistent with regulatory conditions, and Genuity's ensuing profitability.

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