BEDMINSTER, NJ — Starting tomorrow, Verizon Wireless customers in Greater Los Angeles can join in an emerging communications craze - staying in touch easily and discreetly by swapping messages via their digital wireless phones.
Mobile Messaging, the company's new two-way short messaging service (SMS), increases the utility of wireless handsets by giving consumers two choices in how they use their phones to communicate: talk and text.
Customers with a two-way SMS-capable handset can chat quickly and inexpensively with Mobile Messaging by just tapping the keypad. Mobile Messaging is a "silent" way to keep in touch with others whether on a train or bus, in the movies, at the mall or in a restaurant.
The company today began rolling out SMS in greater Los Angeles and will quickly add markets, achieving nationwide availability in early 2001.
There's no need to subscribe to the service, since any Verizon Wireless customer with a two-way SMS-capable phone can just "pay as they go" with Mobile Messaging.
For those text-crazed customers, the company also offers two Mobile Messaging packages, one priced at $2.99 for 100 received or originated messages; and the second priced at $7.99 for 600 received or originated messages. Additional messages sent cost just 10 cents and received messages cost 2 cents.
With Mobile Messaging, Verizon Wireless customers can also send to and receive messages from any Internet email user. Each message can contain up to 120 characters.
To introduce Mobile Messaging to users, Verizon Wireless will waive the Mobile Messaging package fee and per message fees until March 1, 2001 and offer the Kyocera 2035A handset at the introductory price of $69.99.
For tips on "text talking" see sidebar release.
"Swapping messages via wireless phones is quickly catching on as users get accustomed to the convenience, flexibility and enjoyment two-way text messaging offers," said Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless' executive vice president and COO. "In fact, the language of text messaging is quickly becoming a language all its own."
Verizon Wireless offers these helpful abbreviations to speed the process of text talking.
In addition, savvy text talkers can use abbreviations for entire sentences, such as:
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 3.5 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. and GTE Corp - now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). 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 on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.