News Release

Writing for the Small Screen

May 8, 2000

How do you communicate your point in two inches or less? That's the fun of the latest technologies that display text messages or e-mail on the small screen of cellular phones, according to one wireless expert.

"Text messages are a quick and convenient way to stay in touch, one that is both quiet and private," says Steve Hammons, Regional Director for Verizon Wireless. "It's fun and easy to send colleagues, friends or loved ones text messages, and it's a way to get a point across without having to actually say it."

Hammons says the sending of text messages is now catching on in the U.S., after taking Europe and Asia by storm. In this country, the trend has been by the recent arrival of Internet-capable cell phones such as the Qualcomm 860, Samsung 850 and Neopoint's 1600.

"Not only do these digital phones speed the use of text messaging, but they also enable such high speed possibilities as web access since they're equipped with mini browers," Hammons points out.

"In some countries sending text messages has become part of their way of life," adds Hammons. "And although we've been slower to use the technology compared to, say, Finland or Japan, we're beginning to close the gap."

The language of text messaging is quickly becoming a language all its own, one that is both clever and creative. It uses abbreviations to help speed the process of text messaging. Hammons offers a few examples for message senders:

Are R Too, to, two 2
Are you OK? RU OK Today 2Day
Be B You U
Before B4 See C
Be seeing you BCNU Talk to you later TTYL
For, four 4 Your YR

In addition, savvy text messagers are able to use abbreviations for entire sentences, such as:

Where have you been? WERV U BIN
Where are you? WER R U
Will I speak to you later? WILL SPK 2U L8R
What you see is what you get. WTU C IS WTU GT

"It's not the kind of communication they teach you in college," Hammons adds. "But it's good to get information read, no matter how or when you send it."

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with over 16 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 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. (NYSE:BEL) and Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes the assets from Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. Verizon Wireless will be further strengthened by the addition of the U.S. wireless assets of GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE) when it completes its merger with Bell Atlantic. When the merger is complete, the new company will have a footprint covering nearly 90% 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.