Southwestern Bell Launches Digital Wireless Service In Little Rock And Northwest Arkansas

Company Offers Largest Digital Wireless Coverage Area In The State; Pine Bluff, Hot Springs Next To Go Digital

Little Rock, Arkansas, May 22, 1998

Southwestern Bell today launched its advanced digital wireless service in Little Rock and northwest Arkansas by adding digital voice capabilities to its wireless network in those areas of the state, as well as along the Interstate 40 corridor from Little Rock to Fort Smith.

And, in the next day or two, Southwestern Bell will add digital voice capabilities to its wireless network in Pine Bluff and Hot Springs - enlarging what is already the largest digital wireless coverage area in Arkansas.

The addition of digital voice capabilities to Southwestern Bell's wireless network represents the second phase of the company's digital implementation in Arkansas. In October 1997, Southwestern Bell launched the first phase by rolling out Digital PCS Messaging throughout the state. With Digital PCS Messaging, a customer's digital wireless handset becomes three communications devices in one - a phone, a pager and an answering machine.

With the addition of digital voice capabilities, Southwestern Bell's digital wireless customers in Little Rock and northwest Arkansas - and along the Interstate 40 corridor - will experience increased call clarity, less static, enhanced privacy and fewer dropped calls.

"We are excited about the addition of digital voice to our wireless network in Little Rock, northwest Arkansas and, soon, Pine Bluff and Hot Springs - creating the largest digital wireless coverage area in the state," said Adam Vital, vice president and general manager of Southwestern Bell Wireless in Arkansas. "And, in the next six to 12 months, we will add digital voice capabilities to our wireless network statewide, meaning consumers throughout Arkansas will have access to both digital voice quality and robust Digital PCS Messaging through Southwestern Bell."

Southwestern Bell's advanced digital wireless service - known as Digital Edge - offers the following features:

Because Digital Edge integrates with Southwestern Bell's existing wide-reaching analog network, customers can travel from digital to analog calling areas and vice versa without losing calls. Additionally, Southwestern Bell's digital wireless customers will be able to use many of their digital features when traveling in other "digital" cities served by SBC Communications Inc.'s wireless carriers - such as St. Louis, Dallas, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and communities in upstate New York and central Illinois.

"Southwestern Bell is known for providing its customers with wireless communications solutions," Vital said. "As a result, we will continue offer both our traditional analog service and our new Digital Edge service to meet the varied wants and needs of our customers."

Southwestern Bell offers traditional analog wireless service throughout Arkansas. Consumers considering subscribing to wireless service should first ask themselves how they will use a wireless phone before deciding whether to sign up for analog or digital service.

For example, a parent who uses a wireless phone as a safety tool for use in emergencies is best served by Southwestern Bell's traditional analog wireless service. However, a business executive who is constantly sending and receiving messages and conducting business over the phone will find that Southwestern Bell's Digital Edge meets his or her needs.

New and current Southwestern Bell customers can "go digital" for as little as $19 a month with a one- or two-year wireless service agreement. The digital wireless handsets offered by Southwestern Bell are made by Nokia and Motorola. These digital phones accommodate the many features of Digital PCS Messaging. In conjunction with the launch of digital wireless service, Southwestern Bell and participating agents are offering a $50 mail-in rebate off the price of the handset when the customer signs a one-year wireless service agreement and a $100 mail-in rebate when the customer signs a two-year wireless service agreement. Customers who sign up for digital wireless service from Southwestern Bell and participating agents by July 31 may take advantage of the mail-in rebate.

Southwestern Bell Wireless, together with SBC's other wireless affiliates, is a leading wireless provider, serving 5.6 million customers and seven of the top 10 markets nationwide. It is a company of SBC Communications Inc., a global leader in the telecommunications industry, with nearly 34 million access lines and 5.6 million wireless customers across the United States, as well as investments in telecommunications businesses in 10 countries. Under the Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, Nevada Bell and Cellular One brands, SBC, through its subsidiaries, offers a wide range of innovative services, including local and long-distance telephone service, wireless communications, paging, Internet access, and messaging, as well as telecommunications equipment, and directory advertising and publishing. SBC ( has more than 118,000 employees and reported 1997 revenues of $25 billion. SBC's equity market value of $80 billion (as of March 31, 1998) ranks it as one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world.