Southwestern Bell Wireless Announces Texas-Size Calling Area, Texas-Size Savings For Dallas-Fort Worth Customers

Texas Passport" Service Expands to Nation’s Largest Local Calling Area in the Country

Dallas, Texas, February 13, 1997

Everything’s bigger in Texas.

Beginning Saturday, Feb. 15, North Texas wireless phone users can enjoy the biggest local calling area anywhere in the country -- a territory that blankets the entire State of Texas. Southwestern Bell Wireless announced today the launch of its "Texas Passport" wireless service which features the first-ever statewide wireless home-rate calling area.

The new home calling rate, which covers more than 200,000 square-miles, marks a five-fold increase from the company’s previous 42,000 square mile local calling territory in North Texas and portions of Oklahoma. This territory dwarfs other statewide local calling areas such as those in Florida (65,000 square miles) and the Carolinas (164,000 square mile combined).

The new service is $5 per month and can be combined with any other Southwestern Bell Wireless rate plan.

"Everything’s bigger in Texas -- including Southwestern Bell’s local calling area," said Lowell Whitlock, vice president/general manager for Southwestern Bell Wireless. "For our customers, this will mean savings as big as Texas itself. Nowhere else on this continent can customers travel so far without having to incur roaming fees that, when added up, can become quite costly. ‘Texas Passport’ is perfect for persons who frequently use their wireless phone while traveling in the state in that it saves you money and does not affect rates for roaming outside of Texas."

"This is a unique service that is not offered anywhere else on this scale. It will take newer PCS cellular providers years to offer service in such a wide geographic scale."

Currently, when a wireless phone is used outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, networks of other wireless companies are used. These companies establish their roaming rates and pass the charges on to customers via their wireless provider’s bill. These "roaming" charges include wireless airtime for use of the local company’s system and roamer administration fees.

Customers using "Texas Passport" will see savings when making calls outside the traditional Dallas-Fort Worth local calling area. For example, a typical salesperson who, in one month, makes ten, 3-minute calls in three different Texas cities would incur a $45 "roaming" charge for the month (most carriers charge 50 cents per minute on local calls outside their local calling area). With "Texas Passport," however, these "roaming" fees would be completely waived and local airtime only would be charged using the customer’s Southwestern Bell rate plan.

Through its Southwestern Bell and Cellular One brands, SBC Communications Inc. currently provides wireless communications services to more than 4 million customers in more than 65 markets nationwide and is one of the nation’s largest wireless communications providers.

SBC Communications Inc., one of the world’s leading diversified telecommunications companies, provides innovative telecommunications products and services under the Southwestern Bell and Cellular One brands; wireless services and equipment in the United States interests in wireless businesses in Europe, Latin America, South Africa and Asia; cable television in both domestic and international markets; and directory advertising and publishing.