New Cellular Pricing by Omnitel in Italy Offers International Calling at Domestic Rates

launching new cellular rates that will enable customers using its business pricing plans to pay the same rate for international calls from Italy to Europe, the U.S., and Canada as they do for calls to local destinations.

For example, a customer using Omnitel's "Valore 50" business package will pay a total of Lit.395 per minute (about US$0.22) whether she calls her mother in Montreal or her Uncle in Florence.

"Omnitel is raising its level of commitment to opening the communications market by significantly lowering customers' costs of service," said Tom Bartlett, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic International Wireless. "Italian telecommunications is evolving into a hyper-market, with multiple global players and a strong 'customer pull' for the convergence of wired and wireless services. With its new pricing, award-winning customer care, and market-leading network quality, Omnitel will stay ahead of coming competition and remain responsive to new opportunities."

The new Omnitel international rates are the lowest in Italy's cellular market and are competitive with landline rates.

Omnitel, Bell Atlantic's wireless investment in Italy, recently added more than 2.5 million customers in just over two years, making it one of the world's fastest growing wireless businesses.

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.