AT&T to offer cellular, paging services via LD channels
NEW YORK – July 31, 1995 -- AT&T today announced it will begin using all its long-distance sales channels to offer cellular and paging services to its 90 million consumers and business customers, bringing them the benefits of wireless communications less than a year after the acquisition of McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc.
The jointly developed cellular and paging services announced today are just the first AT&T and its wholly owned subsidiary plan to offer. They include an AT&T portable cellular phone with three months of free evening and weekend airtime for consumers. Customers who use AT&T long-distance service also will be eligible for discounts on their cellular long-distance calling. The company also is offering consumers who use its long-distance service a pager with unlimited local messaging and the first month of service free. A similar paging service is being offered to businesses.
"AT&T – the same company that wired the world – will bring all the benefits of wireless communications to our current customers and those we want to be our customers," said Alex J. Mandl, AT&T executive vice president and chief executive officer of the company's Communications Services Group. "We are using anywhere, anytime technology to make reliable, affordable wireless communications for our customers easier than ever to get – and to use."
Today, more than 25 million people in the United States use cellular services, and the industry adds nearly 28,000 new customers each day. Industry analysts estimate wireless will be a $125 billion global market in ten years.
With today's announcement, AT&T is offering customers the first of many benefits it envisioned when it acquired McCaw for $11.5 billion in September 1994. Through the recent acquisition of Personal Communications Service (PCS) licenses, AT&T is poised to serve about 80 percent of the U.S. population – some 199 million potential customers – in 21 of the top 25 market areas within five years.
"We will use all of our resources to lead the wireless industry in providing extraordinary communications for customers," Mandl said. "Further, AT&T people talk with more than one-and-a-half-million of our customers every day, and we plan to begin to use every opportunity to explain the convenience and affordability of our wireless services."
The jointly marketed cellular and long-distance services initially will be offered, starting Sept. 18, in the following areas where the balloting process to choose a long-distance company has been or will be completed and where AT&T Wireless Services operates – Boise; Denver; Jacksonville; Las Vegas; Miami; Minneapolis/St. Paul; New York; Orlando; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento; Salt Lake City; Seattle; and Tampa. The jointly marketed cellular and long-distance services are expected to be available by the end of the year in the following markets – Dallas/Ft. Worth, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa on Oct. 9; Austin, San Antonio, and Shreveport on Nov. 6; and Alaska on Nov. 20.
Nationwide advertising of cellular services under the AT&T brand is not allowed until 60 percent of McCaw's cellular customers have a choice among AT&T and other companies for a long-distance carrier. Because of a very aggressive balloting process by McCaw, the 60 percent threshold is expected to be reached Aug. 28, 1995.
The anywhere, anytime services announced today are:
McCaw, the world's largest provider of wireless services, serves more than five million customers and more than 50 percent of the United States today, including most major markets. Other services and plans are available in the markets served by McCaw.
Consumers seeking information on the cellular or paging services can call 1-800-336-TRUE; business customers can either call their account executive or 1-800-222-0400.
McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc. company profile
McCaw Cellular Communications, Inc., is the leading provider of wireless communications services in the United States. AT&T purchased McCaw for $11.5 billion in 1994 and named its new business unit AT&T Wireless Services. McCaw will be able to use the AT&T name when it has offered a choice of long-distance companies to 60 percent of its customers, which will happen August 28, 1995.
McCaw employs more than 10,000 people throughout the U.S. and has its headquarters in Kirkland, Washington. Its four business groups are cellular, messaging (paging), wireless data, and aviation communications.
The Cellular group provides cellular service to nearly five million customers in 105 license areas throughout the U.S. The company's network is connected to more than 4,600 cities throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong and Puerto Rico through the North American Cellular Network (NACN). The NACN lets customers make and receive calls as easy and reliably when they travel as when they are in their home markets. It also lets customers automatically use other features such as voice mail, call waiting, three-way conference calling and call forwarding. In March 1995, AT&T spent $1.7 billion for 21 new personal communications services (PCS) broadband licenses for wireless services in an auction conducted by the Federal Communications Commission. With the addition of these licenses, McCaw will serve 21 of the top 25 U.S. markets with more than 199 million potential customers.
The Messaging (Paging) group is the nation's fifth largest provider of messaging services covering 16 states. In August 1994, AT&T spent $160 million to acquire two nationwide PCS narrowband licenses for two-way acknowledged paging.
The Wireless Data group is implementing the cellular digital packet data (CDPD) protocol within the company's network. A CDPD-enabled network allows customers to wirelessly transmit packets of data across the cellular network at an affordable rate. McCaw offers commercial CDPD service in Dallas: Las Vegas; Miami; Minneapolis; Oklahoma City; Portland, Ore.; Salt Lake City; Seattle; and Tulsa. McCaw activated the nation's first CDPD network in November 1993, and more than 50 potential customers are using CDPD on a trial basis.
McCaw's Aviation Communications Group is the world leader in aviation communications providing air-to-ground voice and data communications for commercial and corporate aircraft. The group has fleet-wide contracts with Air France, Alaska, American, Austrian, Delta, KLM, Kuwait, Lauda, Lufthansa, Northwest, SAS , Southwest, and Swiss Airlines.