Pacific Bell Wireless' Newest Technology Ready to Spread Like "Wildfire" Through the Southland
Pacific Bell Wireless PCS Subscribers to Become First in Country to Have Voice-Activated Personal Electronic Assistant: Introducing Wildfire
Los Angeles, California, December 7, 1998
Imagine a tireless personal assistant, there for you 24-hours-a-day. One who answers every phone call. Relays detailed messages from friends, family and loved ones. Takes calls while you're on the line. Announces new callers while you're checking messages. And remembers every phone number. A personal electronic assistant who is always at your beck and call, helping you manage your communications - not to mention add to your safety while driving. Sound too good to be true? Not for Pacific Bell Wireless' PCS subscribers.
Pacific Bell Wireless, a subsidiary of SBC Communications, Inc. (NYSE: SBC), today debuts its latest in innovative, state-of-the-art wireless service offerings: a voice-activated, personal electronic assistant named "Wildfire." Wildfire offers Southland consumers a quantum leap in features and functions, accessible through their PCS phones. Pacific Bell Wireless is the first wireless carrier in the nation to offer an assistant service integrated with subscribers' wireless phones. This means that Wildfire not only uses speech recognition and simple "voice" commands to answer and place calls, but she also alerts subscribers when new messages have arrived.
"In an increasingly fast-paced society where we are literally inundated with voice mail, email, phone and fax, we recognize that often our consumers' most valuable asset is time. We bring consumers not only a superb, cost-effective wireless technology, but also the latest technology to help our subscribers better manage and control their communications," said Steve Sitton, Pacific Bell Wireless President and General Manager, Los Angeles Region. "Wildfire is a technological innovation and communications tool - one that we are proud to be the first in the United States to offer."
Pacific Bell Wireless, in partnership with Wildfire Communications, researched and developed the "voice activated" product, incorporating feedback from trial users. Results of testing showed customers used Wildfire more frequently and more efficiently than standard voice mail. Those who used the service cited the "enjoyable personality" of Wildfire as a feature that added to their satisfaction with the service. Pacific Bell Wireless will deploy Wildfire first in the Southern California market, and then introduce it to other regions within its California and Nevada network.
"Wildfire provides busy people with a single point of communication 'she' reduces phone tag and missed connections, and makes it easier for them to stay in touch with those important to them. The pricing is attractive, enabling a wireless phone to play an even more crucial role in the user's life. Wildfire can turn a wireless phone user into a power user," said David Coursey, editor/publisher of coursey.com.
Wildfire offers Pacific Bell Wireless PCS subscribers an array of features that simplify and manage communication, including:
Pacific Bell Wireless customers can subscribe to Wildfire for an additional $20 a month by subscribing to the company's mid- to- high-usage rate plans. A one-year contract is required.
Wildfire Value 300 - $69.95 300 Anytime Minutes; 1000 Weekend Minutes; $0.30 Addt'l Minutes
Wildfire Value 600 - $94.95 600 Anytime Minutes; 1000 Weekend Minutes; $0.25 Addt'l Minutes
Wildfire Value 900 - $119.95 900 Anytime Minutes; 1000 Weekend Minutes; $0.25 Addt'l Minutes
Wildfire Value 1200 - $149.95 1200 Anytime Minutes; 1000 Weekend Minutes; $0.20 Addt'l Minutes
"Wildfire also allows us to provide consumers with a safer dialing option, especially when they use it with a hands-free kit or earpiece. Anytime, any place, all consumers have to do is just call out her name and Wildfire springs into action," said Sitton.
Wildfire Communications, Inc., headquartered in Lexington, Mass., is a pioneer in the field of electronic-assistant technology. The company develops and markets Wildfire.
About Pacific Bell Wireless
Pacific Bell Wireless is a subsidiary of SBC Communications Inc. (www.sbc.com), a global leader in the telecommunications industry, with more than 36.9 million access lines and 6.5 million wireless customers across the United States, as well as investments in telecommunications businesses in 11 countries. Under the Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, SNET, Nevada Bell and Cellular One brands, SBC, through its subsidiaries, offers a wide range of innovative services. SBC offers local and long-distance telephone service, wireless communications, data communications, paging, Internet access, and messaging, as well as telecommunications equipment, and directory advertising and publishing. SBC has approximately 129,000 employees and its annual revenues rank it in the top 50 among Fortune 500 companies.