Southwestern Bell Provides #800 Free Wireless Calling

Southwestern Bell Wireless is First in Texas to Offer Service

Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, March 13, 1997

No such thing as a free lunch? Maybe so, but thanks to Southwestern Bell's new #800 service -- free wireless calls paid for by participating businesses -- the wireless phone call to order that lunch can be free in Dallas/Fort Worth. Southwestern Bell, partnering with Seattle-based Toll Free Cellular, Inc., is the first wireless provider to offer #800 Free Wireless Calling in Texas.

With the #800 service, Southwestern Bell customers can make free wireless calls to participating local and national companies to handle day-to-day activities including ordering take-out, reserving a rental car or sending flowers. Participating businesses pay for the toll and airtime charges associated with inbound calls made to their #800 numbers.

"Our goal is to give our customers the best value available," said Lowell Whitlock, vice president/general manager, Southwestern Bell Wireless, Dallas/Fort Worth region. "#800 Free Wireless Calling adds to the value of our service package by increasing convenience and productivity. Being the first to bring #800 numbers to the Metroplex demonstrates our commitment to our customers."

Traditionally, all wireless calls incurred airtime charges, whether the call was made to a local, long distance or 1-800 number. The #800 Free Wireless Calling will provide customers with the freedom to make calls to businesses anytime, anywhere at no cost, therefore increasing the value of their wireless service.

Businesses already offering #800 Free Wireless Calling in Southwestern Bell's Dallas and Fort Worth coverage areas include local businesses such as Pizza Inn, In Bloom and Encore Tickets, and national business such as Budget Car Rental, 800 Flowers, Hilton Reservations Worldwide and Nationwide Insurance.

"We want to be responsive to our customers' needs," said Brad Lucky, executive director of marketing for Pizza Inn. "Our #800-1111 number is the perfect vehicle to help us stay ahead of the competition and make our locations even more convenient. From their Southwestern Bell wireless phones, our customers can now call us for free, order ahead, and we'll have their dinner hot and waiting for them when they arrive."

Toll Free Cellular, Inc., a privately held company, works with the country's top wireless service providers to sell, market and technically provide #800 Free Wireless Calling. The company has initiated national expansion of this service.

Southwestern Bell Wireless, together with its Cellular One affiliate, is one of the nation's leading wireless communications providers, with 4.4 million customers in 63 markets nationwide and an industry-leading market penetration rate of 10.8 percent.

Southwestern Bell Wireless is a subsidiary of SBC Communications Inc., one of the world's leading diversified telecommunications companies, with tens of millions of customers in 13 U.S. states and eight countries. Through its subsidiaries, SBC provides innovative communications services under the Southwestern Bell and Cellular One brands, including local and long-distance telephone, wireless, paging, Internet access, cable TV and messaging services, as well as telecommunications equipment and directory advertising and publishing. SBC ( reported 1996 revenues of $13.9 billion.