News Release

Verizon Wireless Brings Digital Wireless Service to Oconee County, South Carolina and Nine Counties In Northeast Georgia

June 5, 2000

Meagan L. Bretches
(864)672-5560
meagan@erwinpenland.com

Angie Skelton
(864)672-5560
skeltan@bam.com

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Verizon Wireless, formerly Bell Atlantic Mobile, announced today its advanced digital wireless service is now available in Oconee County, S.C. and nine counties in northeast Georgia, including Dawson, Hall, Lumpkin, White, Banks, Habersham, Franklin, Stephens and Rabun counties.

Customers in these counties can now join others already taking advantage of Verizon Wireless' SingleRateSM national calling plans that provide simple, affordable service with no long distance and no roaming charges on calls coast-to-coast.

In addition to the SingleRate national calling plans, Verizon Wireless also offers regional calling plans that include SingleRate East, SingleRate Carolinas and DigitalChoice®. These digital calling plans include a variety of convenient features such as Caller ID, Voice Mail, Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, 3-Way Calling, and No Answer Transfer. They also provide superior call quality, greater battery life, enhanced privacy, and Web-enabled digital wireless phones with access to the Internet.

"By expanding our digital coverage area to include these 10 counties, more customers will have the opportunity to access our superior digital network and choose one of our popular SingleRate calling plans," said Jerry Fountain, Verizon Wireless' regional president - Carolinas.

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Editor's note: Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 18 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) and Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. Verizon Wireless will be further strengthened by the addition of the wireless assets of GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE) when it completes its merger with Bell Atlantic. When the merger is complete, the new company will have 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.

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