Mexican Secretary of Communications Inaugurates New Grupo Iusacell Headquarters

NEW YORK — Mexican Secretary of Communications Carlos Ruiz Sacristan, representing President Ernesto Zedillo, today inaugurated Grupo Iusacell's new headquarters at a ground breaking ceremony in Mexico City.

Iusacell is a wireless communications company in which Bell Atlantic has a 42 per cent interest and management control of operations.

"Bell Atlantic is proud to have actively contributed to the tremendous success story at Iusacell," said Tom Bartlett, president and chief executive officer of Bell Atlantic International Wireless and CEO of Grupo Iusacell.

"This new building, inaugurated by Mexico's highest telecommunications official, is a symbol of Iusacell's emergence as the leading telecommunications provider and our commitment to serving Mexico and its people."

Carlos Peralta, president of Grupo Iusa and founder of Iusacell, stated that the new technologies being implemented by Iusacell will result in a more competitive business.

"The growth plans to be carried out this year and in coming years are confirmation that the trust deposited in us has yielded abundant fruit," he said.

Fulvio del Valle, president and director general of Iusacell, said that Iusacell's focus on customer care has led to a significant increase in market penetration and the introduction of new value-added services.

Since Bell Atlantic assumed management control of Iusacell early last year, the company's market value has increased from $820 million to $2.3 billion.

Iusacell's network investment plans for 1998 total $200 million, eight times the company's investment for 1996 and more than double last year's expenditure.

The new $9 million headquarters complex is located in the Santa Fe section of Mexico City, a fast-growing area that is also home to firms such as Hewlett Packard, IBM, Chase and Televisa. It houses Iusacell's new network operations center, a state-of-the-art facility designed to maintain a "zero fault network" and support all of the company's telecommunications services.

Grupo Iusacell is the leading independent telecommunications company in Mexico. It is the wireless service provider in four of Mexico's nine central regions covering a total of 66 million people, representing 70 per cent of the country's total population.

Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX - is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With 40.5 million telephone access lines and six million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 21 countries.