BEDMINSTER, NJ —
Bell Atlantic Mobile today announced it has agreed to acquire the remaining minority interests that it doesn't already own in the cellular license for the Reading, Pa. metropolitan area. The license covers a population of 350,000 in Reading and Berks County. The total purchase price is approximately $20 million. Additional terms were not disclosed.
Bell Atlantic Mobile already owned 51 percent of the Reading area license. The company has managed and operated the cellular network there since its inception, so service to customers will not be affected.
In today's transaction, Bell Atlantic Mobile acquired the 39 percent partnership interest of Berks and Reading Area Cellular Enterprises (BRACE) in the Reading license, and executed an agreement to acquire the remaining 10 percent interest from Virginia Metronet, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of 360 Communications Company. BRACE is a partnership of Conestoga Enterprises, Inc., D&E Communications, Inc. and 360 Communications Company.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East, covering 112,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 5.5 million customers and 7,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community relations program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 U.S. states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.