BEDMINSTER, NJ, DETROIT and SAN FRANCISCO — From the CTIA Wireless I.T. and Entertainment 2004 show at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless service provider, and GM's OnStar, the nation's leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services, announced today the nationwide availability of the America's ChoiceSM with OnStar plan. The plan allows customers (who have vehicles equipped with OnStar's generation six equipment) to use their Verizon Wireless phones outside the vehicle and send calls from their handheld phones to OnStar's in-vehicle calling system.
America's Choice with OnStar is the first calling plan to integrate handheld wireless service with a fully embedded, voice-activated in-vehicle system and gives those customers the convenience and simplicity of receiving one bill.
"The America's Choice with OnStar plan offers our customers an improved calling experience by allowing convenient use of either phone," said John Stratton, chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless. "This collaboration with GM's OnStar is another differentiator for Verizon Wireless, enabling us to add to our diverse range of products that meet the demands of our growing number of customers."
"Our customers see this as a great value and a natural extension of OnStar's service of providing safety, security and communications inside the vehicle," said Chet Huber, president of OnStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors. "And with OnStar available in 3 million GM cars in the 2006 model year, more drivers than ever will be able to take advantage of this unique industry-leading service offering."
The America's Choice with OnStar plan lets customers share Verizon Wireless plan minutes to make and receive calls on their handheld Verizon Wireless phones and OnStar in-vehicle systems. Those customers can simply transfer incoming calls from their Verizon Wireless handset to the embedded phone in their generation six OnStar-equipped General Motors vehicle and can select from two options:
- Immediate Call Forwarding - Customers can forward all calls from their Verizon Wireless handheld phones directly to their in-vehicle OnStar phones.
- Conditional Call Forwarding ("No Answer/Busy Transfer") - Customers can select to have the Verizon Wireless handheld phones ring four to five times before the call is forwarded to their in-vehicle OnStar phones, giving customers the flexibility of answering either their handhelds or in-vehicle phones.
The rollout of Verizon Wireless' America's Choice with OnStar plan began in July 2004 in Atlanta, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Detroit. The service is now available throughout Verizon Wireless' national digital network.
The use of digital makes the America's Choice with OnStar calling plan possible. OnStar's improved digital hardware allows for more secure calling, improved voice recognition and faster, continuous digit dialing. The embedded digital phone is compatible with CDMA wireless service.
OnStar subscribers with new OnStar digital hardware can sign up for the America's Choice with OnStar service plan by updating existing Verizon Wireless customer agreements or by obtaining a new Verizon Wireless agreement. OnStar subscribers can learn more about the calling plan by contacting OnStar at the toll-free number, 888-4-ONSTAR (888-466-7827). New OnStar subscribers will receive information about the plan from OnStar during the first few months of their subscription.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 40.4 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com/verizonwireless.
OnStar, available on more than 50 models from General Motors, is the nation's leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and wireless technology. OnStar services include automatic notification of air bag deployment, stolen vehicle location assistance, emergency services, roadside assistance with location, remote door unlock, GM Goodwrench remote vehicle diagnostics, route support and convenience services. OnStar Personal Calling allows drivers to make and receive hands-free, voice-activated phone calls through a nationwide cellular network and access a wide range of other information services. Additional information is available at www.onstar.com.