BEDMINSTER, NJ — Bell Atlantic Mobile today announced that its strong fourth quarter growth was largely fueled by the popularity of its digital service and SingleRate(SM) price plans. The wireless leader recorded 302,000 net customer additions in the fourth quarter of 1998, 10,000 more than same quarter 1997.
In September, Bell Atlantic Mobile launched its popular SingleRate USA, a national price plan with no roaming and long distance charges coast to coast, and SingleRate East, a no-roaming/no long distancecharge plan for consumers.
"The continued adoption of our SingleRate plans indicates that there is great interest among consumers to take advantage of the high quality of digital service, provided the billing is straightforward and holds no surprises," said Jack Plating, Bell Atlantic Mobile's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "SingleRate is changing the way consumers use wireless service. With these plans, digital wireless service is a fantastic value, which provides consumers the opportunity to use their wireless phone as their primary phone -- with the added advantage of mobility."
According to Plating, more digital subscribers means greater revenue growth as well. Bell Atlantic Mobile's digital customers are averaging over 325 minutes of use every month, or three times analog traffic, and generating twice as much revenue per unit. In addition, 40 percent of the company's traffic today is on digital. As a result, Bell Atlantic Mobile's revenues for the fourth quarter grew $107 million, or 13 percent, for a quarterly total of $920 million, 12.5 percent above fourth quarter 1997 revenues of $820 million.
More Bundled Minutes with SingleRate East
Beginning this month, Bell Atlantic Mobile customers will receive 25 to 200 percent more bundled minutes with their selected DigitalChoicesm SingleRate East service plan, whether they are a new or existing SingleRate East subscriber. Bell Atlantic Mobile's SingleRate East plans offer customers the advantages of no roaming or long distance charges for calls made from within Bell Atlantic Mobile's extensive East Coast footprint to anywhere in the country. Previously, the bundles of allowed minutes ranged from 60 to 800, depending on the plan selected by the consumer. Now, the allowance ranges from 90 to 1,000, giving consumers more minutes at the same flat monthly fee -- from $39.99 to $99.99.
"Our SingleRate East plans have opened the door so every consumer regardless of usage level can afford digital. And now, with these additional minutes per plan, consumers are getting even more value for their money," said Plating. "With this new SingleRate East pricing, we'll see consumers using their wireless phones for their broad communications needs."
In the New York, Boston, Washington/Baltimore and Pittsburgh markets, Bell Atlantic Mobile was named leader in overall customer satisfaction among wireless users, according to the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates 1998 U.S. Wireless Customer Satisfaction StudySM.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East, covering 116,000 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 6.2 million customers and more than 8,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community service 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 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; for global operations visit: bellatlantic.com/worldwide.