WIRELESS CUSTOMERS IN RECORD NUMBERS
CHOOSE BELL ATLANTIC IN FOURTH QUARTER
Bell Atlantic Chairman Seidenberg Announces Wireless Growth at
January 10, 2000
LaQuinta, CA - Bell Atlantic added 874,000 wireless customers to its
base in the fourth quarter of 1999, Bell Atlantic [NYSE: BEL] Chairman
and CEO Seidenberg announced today at the Salomon Smith Barney
10th Annual Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference.
The increase includes 452,000 subscribers from the acquisition of Frontier
Cellular properties and Bell Atlantic Mobile's record customer growth of
363,000 net subscribers, its best quarter ever. Bell Atlantic Mobile added
20 percent more subscribers in the fourth quarter of 1999 than in the
fourth quarter of 1998, and broke the one million mark for the full year.
The company ended 1999 with 7.7 million customers, up 24 percent from
"Bell Atlantic Mobile's reliable, high-capacity network and its innovative
high-quality services and customer care are the foundation on which these
stellar results were built," Seidenberg said. "Bell Atlantic Mobile is more
than ready for a landmark 2000, when it will combine with the US
wireless assets of GTE (NYSE: GTE) and Vodafone AirTouch Plc
(LSE:VOD; NYSE: VOD) into the premier wireless business in the United
The chief factor driving new customers to Bell Atlantic Mobile in 1999
was the popularity of the company's digital wireless services for value and
- More than seven in 10 new retail customers -- and nearly 40 percent of all
the company's customers -- now subscribe to digital services.
- These customers account for 72 percent of busy-hour usage on the
company's network - which is one of the most advanced in the world and
outperforms competing national services running on other digital
- In 1999, Bell Atlantic Mobile's wireless network also received the seal of
approval from prestigious third-party sources including: The Yankee
Group's Mobile User Survey of wireless customers scored Bell Atlantic
Mobile highest in overall customer satisfaction; in the J.D. Power and
Associates 1999 U.S. Wireless Customer Satisfaction Studysm, the
company's New York and Boston operations again this year were
designated leaders in overall customer satisfaction. And last week,
Wireless Week named Bell Atlantic Mobile winner of its 1999 Excellence
- The company's broad suite of digital services offered value to meet a
variety of customer needs. They include:
* SingleRate national and regional all-inclusive price plans.
* DigitalChoice, starting at $19.99 monthly access, with choices from 20 to
2,000 included minutes.
* Share-A-Minutesm plans allow families and small businesses to share
monthly access and local airtime minutes among multiple phones -- all on
* Web Access service, featuring new Web-enabled digital wireless phones
that allow customers to surf the Web, send and receive e-mail, receive
stock market analysis and quotes, and set up personal Web pages -- for
$9.95 a month.
A major step toward the launch of the Bell Atlantic - Vodafone AirTouch
U.S. wireless combination came in the fourth quarter when the U.S.
Department of Justice gave clearance, subject to a consent decree that calls
for the resolution of overlapping wireless properties.
Including the assets of GTE, the new business will be the largest U.S.
wireless company, serving more than 22 million proportionate wireless
and 3.5 million paging customers in markets covering more than 90
percent of the population.
Bell Atlantic plans to announce financial results for the fourth quarter and
the year on Monday, January 24.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East and
systems in the Southwest, covering 216,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail
outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ,
Bell Atlantic Mobile has 7.7 million customers and 8,800 employees from Maine to
Georgia and in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas. Through its "Wireless at
Work" community service program, the company uses its technology to help
individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell
Atlantic Mobile's parent, Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:BEL) is one of the world's
largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and
international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information
on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global operations visit: