Iusacell Launches First Commercial Third Generation Digital Service in Mexico


Iusacell today became the only carrier in Mexico to offer customers the benefits of the world's most advanced digital wireless service, well ahead of new market entrants planning to launch service sometime next year.

Offering longer battery life, static-free calling, and new services that can enhance voice mail functions, provide caller ID, and turn a cell phone into a messaging device, Bell Atlantic's Latin American investment launched CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) digital service across one of the world's largest markets, Mexico City. The company, which plans to expand digital service to the rest of Iusacell's more than 76 million potential customers through 1999, has already invested $60 million of a $200 million planned network upgrade.

"Cutting the path that others must follow by offering the newest technologies and services solidifies Iusacell's position as market leader, "said Tom Bartlett, President and CEO of Bell Atlantic International Wireless and CEO of Iusacell. "Using our CDMA platform, Iusacell and Bell Atlantic can eventually leverage their networks into an extensive North American footprint and explore purchasing synergies and other efficiencies."

Bell Atlantic's U.S. operations, Bell Atlantic Mobile and PrimeCo, use CDMA technology along the East Coast, the Midwest, and the Southwest. Iusacell, Mexico's second largest telecommunications provider, recently won newly auctioned licenses in key North-Mexican markets that border the U.S. and some of Bell Atlantic's Southwest properties. To meet the anticipated customer demand for the new digital service, the company recently increased its distribution network by 32 percent.

Simultaneously, it inaugurated two new customer service centers, in Lèon and Naucalpan, which for the first time consolidate all support for its cellular, paging, rural telephony, and long distance service offerings.

CDMA, used by more than 10 million wireless customers in the world, uses digital coding to provide more efficient use for the radio spectrum and offers increased capacity and enhanced call security, fraud protection, and privacy.

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 Asia and the Pacific Rim. For information on our global operations, visit http://www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.