Bell Atlantic Mobile to Expand Digital Coverage in Saratoga and Albany Counties


Bell Atlantic Mobile announced today it will expand its digital wireless phone coverage area by more than 40 percent in the Capital Region. The network expansion, which includes North Saratoga County and the southern tier of Albany County, will be available to consumers, June 1.

The expanded digital coverage area will include: Routes 50, 9 and I87 north from Malta to the junction of I87 and NY I 96, to South Glens Falls; Routes 4 and 40 around the area of Stillwater and Willard Mountain; Route 9 just north of Saratoga; Route 29 west of Saratoga; and Route 32 near Selkirk south to NY 143.

"As a result of our customers' interest in digital, we've implemented some bold initiatives and continue to invest in our greatest asset, our premier East Coast network," said Bob Stott, Northeast Region president of Bell Atlantic Mobile. "In addition to increasing our digital coverage area in the Capital Region, we've also significantly reduced our pricing for all types of customers."

The service, called DigitalChoicesm, allows customers to make and receive calls, answer pages, receive voice mail and know who is calling -- all while providing increased call reliability, greater voice clarity, enhanced privacy, and extended portable phone battery life. Customers can use their digital phones virtually anywhere in the United States because Bell Atlantic Mobile wireless service works on both analog (traditional cellular) and compatible digital networks.

In March, the company lowered per-minute rates an average of 15%, and eliminated landline charges and peak/off-peak distinctions for these new price plans. Through its aggressive digital strategy for both new and existing customers, Bell Atlantic Mobile reported their digital subscriber base has grown to more than a quarter-million since launching the technology. Bell Atlantic Mobile's DigitalChoice service offering includes:

Five DigitalChoice price plans which range from $19.99 monthly access with 20 minutes' home airtime included to $149.99 for 1300 included home airtime minutes (over 21 hours). All plans include first incoming minute free, voice mail, Caller ID, message waiting indicator, call waiting, call forwarding and three-way calling at no charge.

Digital phones may be rented for $5.00 per month with a one-year service agreement and rental agreement. In addition, digital phones may also be purchased.

A new Traveler Option for an additional $5.00 per month provides access for a nationwide roaming airtime rate of $0.50 per minute.

Mobile-to-mobile service, which offers unlimited airtime for customers who communicate frequently with other digital phone users on the Bell Atlantic Mobile network; now an additional $10.00 a month.

On price plans starting at $49.99 monthly access, customers will receive an expanded home rate that includes CT, MA, RI, NH, VT, and Upstate NY plus NY Metro.

Bell Atlantic Mobile bases DigitalChoice on Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology and is the industry leader in deploying CDMA service. This "next generation" wireless technology greatly reduces static and crosstalk and uses a unique noise suppression technique that improves voice quality. It also allows for greater call capacity on Bell Atlantic Mobile's network. For more information, call 1-800-255-BELL.

Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest network in the East, covering 112,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 5.5 million customers and 7,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work" community relations program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments spanning Latin America, Europe and the Pacific Rim.