AT&T Wireless Services Announces Digital PCS Service
Company Leads Industry in Marketing Enhanced Wireless Phone Service; Dallas Is First Market
DALLAS (June 27, 1996) - AT&T Wireless Services today announced that it is offering a new advanced wireless digital technology - marketed under the name "AT&T Digital PCS" - in North Texas. The company is the first cellular communications provider in the U.S. to offer this advanced wireless technology and is making the 12-county North Texas service area the first area in the U.S. for this service.
The company's new digital service provides multiple new consumer and business capabilities, allowing a single wireless phone to serve as a telephone, answering machine and pager. The new Digital PCS phones offer up to a two- to three-fold increase in standby battery life, alphanumeric messaging service, Caller ID and Message Waiting Indicator for VoiceMail customers when customers are using the Digital PCS wireless network.
As an added benefit, no long-term commitments are required when customers subscribe to the new Digital PCS rate plans. Existing AT&T Wireless Services customers may take advantage of the new Digital PCS rate plans with the purchase of a Digital PCS phone.
"We are proving that the breakthrough concept of PCS service is here today, and is available from a cellular carrier," said Gary Fleming, president and general manager of AT&T Wireless Services in North Texas and Louisiana. "The digital technology of our new service will give people in North Texas easy and instant access to multiple new features and benefits."
In North Texas, AT&T Digital PCS service is available via a $150 million TDMA digital switching system designed and manufactured by Richardson-based Ericsson Inc. Digital PCS will be offered in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Grayson, Hood, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise counties. AT&T Wireless Services anticipates offering Digital PCS to most of its existing cellular markets by the end of the year, reaching nearly 100 million potential customers or about 40 percent of the U.S. In addition, the company will use Digital PCS technology in its PCS markets, reaching an additional 107 million potential customers, expected to be on-line in some markets in 1997. In all, AT&T Wireless Services will offer the largest wireless coverage with service available to 80 percent of the country, including 41 of the 49 largest cities.
Trials of the Digital PCS service began last year at Dallas-based Perot Systems. "Digital PCS has expanded and improved our ability to communicate with our clients, and that translates into improved customer service," said Phil Evans, Telecommunication Executive with Perot Systems. "Whether Perot Systems' associates are at their desks, moving about within the building, or driving their cars, calls are extended to them. 'Telephone tag' has been essentially eliminated."
"We became spoiled quickly using AT&T's Digital PCS," said Mike Munch, a Perot Systems telecommunications/hardware specialist. "Having the flexibility to be mobile and still receive critical messages without answering a cellular phone or returning a page has been very convenient."
Digital PCS service offers many new features:
Initially, AT&T Digital PCS phone equipment is available from Nokia, which operates a manufacturing plant in Fort Worth. Ericsson, Lucent, Motorola and Sony are soon expected to offer Digital PCS handsets.
AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. is the nation's largest provider of cellular service, offering both wireless voice and data communications. The company has more than 5 million cellular customers, and licenses to cover 80 percent of the United States. Additionally, AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. is the nation's fifth-largest messaging service provider and a world leader in air-to-ground communications services.