Bell Atlantic Welcomes Mannesman-Olivetti Relationship

BEDMINSTER, NJ — The following statement may be attributed to Thomas Bartlett, president, Bell Atlantic International Wireless:

Mannesman AG is an experienced and well-capitalized telecommunications provider with whom we have worked successfully in Omnitel. We look forward to continuing to work with Mannesman in one of the fastest-growing wireless startups in the world.

As a result of the Bell Atlantic-NYNEX merger, the new Bell Atlantic has a portfolio of wireline and wireless partnerships and joint ventures in 20 countries outside the United States. We view the international arena as a key opportunity to grow our business and build shareowner value; we have long-term commitments to partners around the world and very productive relationships with them; and, as always, we regularly evaluate opportunities to build long-term value outside the U.S.