PITTSBURGH, PA —
People in Pittsburgh can now get cellular service with no monthly bills, no monthly access fee, no credit checks, and no security deposit. Bell Atlantic Mobile has introduced MobileMinutessm , a pre-paid cellular calling card.
MobileMinutes cards are available for $25 or $50, and can be used for both local and long distance cellular calling. Cards can be purchased individually and used with a customer's existing equipment or may be bought in conjunction with a new or refurbished phone.
MobileMinutes customers will never receive monthly cellular bills and are not bound by long-term contracts. It is a pay-as-you-go system, designed for people seeking control over their cellular expenses.
"A MobileMinutes card is like a bank debit card that allows you to pay up-front and then reduce the balance as you use the service," said Jerry Fountain, regional vice president for Bell Atlantic Mobile in Pittsburgh.
"We expect MobileMinutes to be popular for gift giving, for those who haven't yet established credit, and for those who simply want the comfort and predictability of paying as they go," Fountain said. "This service is ideal for parents who want to give their college-bound children the security and convenience of a cellular phone, yet want to control the cost."
At the beginning of each call, the customer is informed of the balance remaining on their account for that particular call. They will receive a reminder tone when four minutes are left on the account, and each minute thereafter. To buy additional MobileMinutes, customers can go into any Bell Atlantic Mobile Communications Store. Customers can also call an 800 number and use their credit card to process payment on-line and update their MobileMinutes balance immediately.
There is a one-time activation fee of $15. Each card is good for 60 days. When customers leave the Bell Atlantic Mobile Pittsburgh region, depending on the area visited, they may be able to place calls using their MobileMinutes card or a major credit card.
Editor's Note:Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East, covering 111,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. The Pittsburgh Region has its headquarters in Marshall Township, and operates more than 25 retail outlets throughout southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia.