BEDMINSTER, NJ — Bell Atlantic Mobile will introduce wireless pricing on November 3, giving families and small businesses a new way to use wireless by sharing monthly access and home airtime minutes among multiple phones -- all on one bill.
The Share-A-Minutesm plan will provide an alternative to landline phone service as entire families begin to rely on their wireless phones to talk with the people they communicate with most. In addition, Share-A-Minute's unique group calling feature provides 200 home airtime minutes a month for each member to use when calling or receiving calls from other group members, in addition to the home airtime minutes the group shares.
Starting at $49.99 monthly access, Share-A-Minute will be available in all of the company's East Coast markets by November 9.
Unlike other plans with large minute allowances, Share-A-Minute empowers families to manage the cost of wireless calling between light, moderate and heavy users in one family. Since they are shared, minutes that would otherwise go unused by a light user, can now be used by a heavy user in the same family instead of that user paying extra.
"These plans will be the catalyst of the next surge of wireless growth, as the number of households and small businesses with multiple wireless phones grows exponentially," said Denny Strigl, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic Mobile. "Share-A-Minute is the best group calling plan available today, and is a good example of how Bell Atlantic Mobile will continue to take an aggressive approach to pricing and providing innovative options for customers."
Share-A-Minute customers benefit from a host of features:
- The customer pays one flat-rate monthly access fee and shares a pool of home airtime minutes between two digital phones for calls made within the user's extensive calling area.
- Additional users can join the Share-A-Minute plan for an additional $15 each.
- Customers sharing their pool of home airtime minutes can place free local calls when dialing one another, a significant cost-savings for those who use their wireless phones primarily for family calling.
- Any digital wireless phone Bell Atlantic Mobile sells is available for use with this plan.
- Customers can also send e-mail text messages to each other's phones from the Internet or their computers for an additional monthly fee.
- Caller ID, Call Forwarding, 3-Way Calling, No Answer/Busy Transfer & Call Waiting are included.
"Entire families will use wireless phones to communicate with each other because parents won't think twice about getting phones for their teenage kids, grandparents or even the babysitter," said Debra Carroll, vice president of marketing for Bell Atlantic Mobile. "Customers can choose any digital handset we offer, inexpensively add family members to the plan and make over three hours of local calls to each other per month while enjoying a predictable cost for the whole family's wireless service."
HOW IT WORKS
A mother in Washington, DC, for example, can sign up for the $49.99 plan and share her pool of 200 home airtime minutes per month with her husband. If they wanted to add their teenaged daughter to the plan, the cost would be an additional $15 per month, for a total of $64.99 monthly access. By giving up to four family members the option to share minutes and the monthly access fee, the Share-A-Minute plan provides customers with superior value. With joint access to hundreds of minutes of monthly talk time included, the family could receive a lower per-customer cost than separate phone accounts. For families or business customers needing additional minutes, for $79.99 per month customers get 500 home airtime minutes, and for $99.99 monthly access, 800 home airtime minutes are included.
"This plan simplifies the ability of families to communicate with one another using wireless technology," said Mark Lowenstein, Senior Vice President at the Yankee Group. "It's the next phase of group communications."
According to the Yankee Group's 1999 Mobile User Survey, 21 percent of wireless users believe wireless will ultimately be the second line in their home.
Small businesses and start-ups looking to equip up to four employees with wireless service will also find Share-A-Minute a cost-effective option, as access fees are consolidated and controlled through shared use of minutes. The local group calling feature is also very attractive to business customers who frequently speak to co-workers.
For more information on Share-A-Minute, customers can visit Bell Atlantic Mobile's Online Store at www.bam.com, or call 800-255-BELL.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East and systems in the Southwest, covering 180,000 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 6.9 million customers and 8,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community service program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent, Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:BEL) is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worl dwide.####