PHILADELPHIA, PA — Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile announced today that it has launched the first digital cellular phone service in Atlantic, Cape May and a portion of Cumberland Counties. The new offering, called DigitalChoicesm, is the most sophisticated digital service anywhere, and delivers greater voice clarity, increased call reliability, enhanced security and an array of service features.
Customers also benefit from having wireless coverage virtually anywhere in the United States since Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's digital phones will work on both analog and compatible digital networks.
Customers who subscribe to DigitalChoicesm service will receive:
- free Caller ID;
- free voice mail with message-waiting indicator;
- free first minute of airtime on incoming calls within home area;
- free Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Three-Way Calling;
- dramatically increased battery life;
- free fraud protection; and
- optional text messaging service for an additional $12.99 a month, or operator-assisted text messaging for $24.99 a month.
The battery life for CDMA digital handheld phones is dramatically improved when operating in digital mode, allowing as much as five hours of talk time and 48 hours of standby time, compared with the average analog phone which provides up to two hours of talk time and 18 hours of standby time.
The company first launched CDMA service in Trenton, NJ, in March,1996. Digital coverage was made available in the Philadelphia metropolitan area in March, 1997 which included Philadelphia county and large portions of the 10 surrounding counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. DigitalChoicesm is also available in Boston, Hartford, New York, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Charlotte and Greenville. Digital phones will automatically switch to analog mode when the user travels outside an area that has digital.
There is no activation fee for DigitalChoicesm, and customers can sign up for monthly or one-year subscriptions. Price plans begin at $29.99 a month for access. This particular plan includes 50 minutes of home air time. Additional minutes are billed at a rate of $.40 per minute for calls during peak hours and $.15 per minute for off-peak calls. Home air time rates include cellular long distance calling.
The company is selling handheld Qualcomm digital phones in its Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile Communications Stores, starting at $199.99. For added protection and convenience, the phone is equipped with Authentication technology, which guards against cellular cloning while eliminating the need for a PIN (personal identification number)in the customer's home area.
"Not only is this absolutely the highest quality digital cellular service, but it's a wireless phone that works from coast to coast," said Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile Regional President Robert F. Stott.
"With Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile, you get the best of both worlds," said Stott. "You can use our digital service in your backyard, then hop on a plane or drive up the coast and use it practically anywhere in the U.S., because it will work on both analog and digital mode. CDMA is clearly the technology of the future that we're delivering today," said Stott.
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on the East Coast and the second largest in the United States. The company owns and operates the most extensive network in the east, covering 111,000 square miles, and the largest chain of wireless retail outlets offering a full range of wireless personal communications services, including voice, data and paging. Based in Bed minster, NJ, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile has 4.6 million customers and 6,500 employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. The company was formed in July, 1995, by combining the cellular operations of Bell Atlantic Mobile and NYNEX Mobile. For more information about the company, visit Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's Home Page at www.banm.com.