Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems Lowers Roaming Rates, Adds Cells for Dallas/Fort Worth-Area Customers
Fifty Cent Roaming Guarantee is the Lowest in the State; 300 Local Cell Sites Provide Clearer Communications
Dallas, Texas, January 11, 1996
Cellular roaming in Texas is more predictable and more affordable than ever before. Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems (SBMS) customers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area now can travel anywhere in Texas and pay only $.50 per minute under a new reduced rate roaming program. SBMS is the only carrier in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to offer the statewide reduced roaming rate. In addition, SBMS announced a 22 percent increase during 1995 in cell sites in North Texas, bringing the total number of Dallas/Fort Worth cells to 300.
"Texas $.50 Roaming Guarantee" brings customers' cellular roaming rates within the state more in line with their everyday home rates. Customers do not have to do anything special to receive the reduced roaming rates, which automatically apply when they travel outside their home coverage area. SBMS' home coverage area, which spans 42,000 square miles in parts of two states, is the largest offered by any Dallas-Fort Worth cellular carrier.
"Our customers need access to reasonably priced wireless communications whether they're on the other side of town or the other side of the state," said Lowell Whitlock, vice president/general manager, SBMS, Dallas/Fort Worth region. "The 'Texas $.50 Roaming Guarantee' makes their cellular rates as predictable and reasonable away from home as they are at home."
In the past, roaming rates could be confusing for cellular customers. Cellular rates outside customers' home calling scope are determined largely by the cellular carrier serving each service area. As a result, roaming rates could differ from location to location, costing up to $.99 per minute and include a $3 daily charge in Texas. A five-minute call, for example, could cost nearly $8.
SBMS introduced the $.50 roaming guarantee anywhere in Texas to lower customers' roaming rates and make them more predictable. Under the plan, the same five-minute roaming call that previously cost nearly $8 would now cost $2.50, a savings of nearly 70 percent. Applicable long-distance charges will -- and other surcharges may -- apply, as well as a $5 monthly roaming administration fee many cellular companies charge to cover costs associated with developing and managing their respective roaming networks.
Nationally, SBMS continues leading an industry initiative to lower roaming rates. The company has reached rate-reduction agreements with more than 150 other cellular companies serving nearly 1,500 service areas, including more than 90 of the top 100 markets and 20 of the country's 25 largest metropolitan areas.
SBMS' 300 cell sites represent a 22 percent increase over last year's total of 245, improving signal quality for local cellular users.
"Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems is committed to investing the necessary resources to provide a world-class cellular infrastructure in North Texas," said Whitlock. "Our capital improvements ensure that our customers receive the highest quality cellular signal in the Metroplex."
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Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems is a subsidiary within SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), one of the world's leading diversified telecommunications companies. Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems provides wireless communications to 3.4 million customers in 63 service areas throughout the United States. The company's 8.3 percent cellular penetration rate leads the industry. Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems operates as Cellular One in Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C./Baltimore, Central Illinois and Upstate New York.
Cellular One is a registered service mark of the Cellular One Group.