Bell Atlantic Mobile Reaches Five Millionth Customer

Bell Atlantic Mobile has organized a special promotion to benefit the American Cancer Society's T.A.T.U. (Teens Against Tobacco Use) program. During the promotion, which will take place from September 11-26, $10 from the sale of every Bell Atlantic Mobile digital phone in the Philadelphia area will go towards the T.A.T.U. program, with a guaranteed minimum of $10,000.

Bell Atlantic Mobile's announcement that it has reached its five millionth customer comes less than two months after the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) announced that the wireless industry as a whole has now reached 50 million wireless phone subscribers. That significant milestone was achieved in just 14 years. By comparison, it took 77 years for landline phones and 24 years for televisions to reach 50 million users.

Today at Bell Atlantic Mobile's Wayne communications store, college basketball coaches Dick Delaney of West Chester University and Phil Martelli of St. Joseph's University helped to kick-off the program and recognize Bell Atlantic Mobile's five millionth customer, Bill Gleason from Kimberton, Pa. Both basketball coaches will be participating in the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokescream event this fall.

"This significant milestone in Bell Atlantic Mobile's growth calls for a celebration," said Robert F. Stott, regional president, Bell Atlantic Mobile. "The American Cancer Society's T.A.T.U. program is clearly an initiative that can make a difference, and I can think of no better way to celebrate than by contributing to its success."

Developed by the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and American Lung Association, the T.A.T.U. program lets young people ages 14-17 teach 9-12 year-old children to avoid tobacco. The goal is a smoke-free class of 2000.

A major event in the program is the first Great American Smokescream, which will take place on November 20 at two area stadiums as part of the annual Great American Smokeout. The Smokescream campaign will involve 4,000 area students, talks by college coaches and athletes, and a seven-second scream by the audience of children exercising their healthy lungs and voicing their commitment never to smoke. Bell Atlantic Mobile's donation will be targeted specifically to fund the logistics of making the Smokescream happen.

"The T.A.T.U. program is a fun, creative, interactive way to discourage children and teenagers from smoking," said Dr. Howard B. Kessler, president of the Southeastern Region, Commonwealth Division of the American Cancer Society. "Bell Atlantic Mobile's donation is a significant boost for this program, which is critical to the future health of our children."

Note to Editors: Bell Atlantic Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on the East Coast and the second largest in the United States. The company owns and operates the most extensive network in the East, covering 111,000 square miles, and the largest chain of wireless retail outlets offering a full range of wireless personal communications services, including voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has five million customers and 7,000 employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. The company is the chief wireless subsidiary of the new Bell Atlantic, formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX corporations.