PITTSBURGH, PA — The signs of change are everywhere-Harrisburg, Erie, Scranton, Altoona -- GTE Wireless and most ALLTEL wireless properties in Pennsylvania are now Verizon Wireless. GTE Wireless and ALLTEL wireless customers throughout most of Pennsylvania are now served by the largest wireless carrier in the country, whose coast-to-coast network spans 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets.
Verizon Wireless, initially launched on April 4, now combines the U.S. wireless assets of Bell Atlantic (NYSE:BEL), Vodafone AirTouch Plc (NYSE and LSE:VOD), PrimeCo Personal Communications and GTE. The exchange of ALLTEL's properties in Pennsylvania was part of a deal reached earlier this year through which interests in 42 markets throughout the country were transferred. While ALLTEL and GTE Wireless customers can continue using their current products and services, starting today they can also choose Verizon Wireless national offerings, which include Single Rate calling plans with no roaming and no long distance charges coast-to-coast.
"The Pennsylvania markets are important to the long-range plans of Verizon Wireless, and with these GTE and ALLTEL regions joining our ranks, we are positioned to better serve the residents of this state," said Roger C. Tang, regional president-Verizon Wireless.
"We are very excited about linking these Pennsylvania customers to a company that will redefine the wireless landscape," Tang continued. "With 25 million customers and a truly nationwide network on a single digital technology, we are now the pre-eminent wireless company in the country. And, we have the purchasing power to deliver competitive prices and market-leading product innovations."
Last year alone the four companies who are now Verizon Wireless purchased more than five million phones for sale at retail outlets or on-line. This year Verizon Wireless has arranged exclusive authorization to offer the Audiovox CDM-9000 tri-mode (analog, digital, PCS) phone. The company will also invest $3 billion in its network in 2000 to expand digital coverage and provision for new services.
"Verizon Wireless' nationwide network means features like voicemail, caller ID, short messaging, and Internet access services will soon follow customers across a vast footprint," said Tang. "There's never been a better time to upgrade to a new calling plan or to explore signing up for wireless service."
Verizon Wireless SingleRate is a new family of six flat-rate, simplified price plans offering national calling-without long distance or roaming charges-for a monthly fee ranging from $35 for 150 minutes to $200 for 2000 minutes. SingleRate plans require an Audiovox CDM-9000 or the Motorola StarTAC 7868 tri-mode phone, both of which have built-in web browser capability.
"Verizon Wireless" will replace the "ALLTEL" name on the company's 40 wireless stores and 134 wireless dealer locations throughout western, central and northern Pennsylvania and will replace "GTE Wireless" on the 2 company stores and at 17 agent locations in Erie over the next few months. An advertising campaign focusing on key benefits--like nationwide, simple, highest quality, affordable, innovation--will introduce Verizon Wireless to area residents and businesses. The wireless properties of ALLTEL and GTE Wireless in Pennsylvania surpass 4 million POPs.
"All of our associates are excited to become part of Verizon," said Gary Williams, Director of Stores for Central Pennsylvania, formally general manager of ALLTEL wireless properties in Pennsylvania. "Our goal is to make our transition to Verizon Wireless both seamless and exciting for customers."
To find out the location of the nearest Verizon Wireless store or about Verizon Wireless' pricing and equipment options, consumers can explore on-line at www.VerizonWireless.com or call 1-888-466-4646.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 25 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE:BEL), Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD), and GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The new company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets.
Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center on the Web at: http://www.verizonwireless.com/mediacenter.
The Pittsburgh Regional Headquarters, located in Thorn Hill Industrial Park in Warrendale, PA, houses a local customer service operations to serve residents and businesses in the area.####