It's Cingular. New Nationwide Wireless Service is BornJoint venture of SBC and BellSouth becomes single source for nationwide wireless voice, Internet and data services
Service in 42 of nation's top 50 markets
ATLANTA, Oct. 5, 2000 - Building on the strengths of its two partners and promoting the individual customer to a new level, Cingular Wireless - the joint venture between the wireless units of SBC and BellSouth - was officially launched today.
Cingular Wireless President and CEO Stephen Carter unveiled the new name for the nation's second largest wireless carrier today in Atlanta. On Sept. 29, the Federal Communications Commission gave its approval to the wireless joint venture of SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) and BellSouth Corporation (NYSE: BLS).
"Cingular is a name that shows the importance of the individual customer, as well as the unity of this joint venture," said Carter. "It is about simplifying the wireless industry, offering personal service and standing out among the rest of the industry."
Speaking to thousands of Cingular Wireless employees across the nation by satellite, Carter said Cingular will excel in the wireless world. "We are a unique, entirely new company that will be about the individual, whether a customer or an employee."
The new company serves more than 19 million customers and approximately 190 million potential customers in 38 states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories. Cingular Wireless serves 42 of the nation's top 50 markets. The company will have approximately $12 billion in annual revenue and is one of the 150 largest companies in the country.
SBC and BellSouth properties will continue marketing under their existing names, immediately adding the Cingular name until the end of the year. Early next year, the 11 different brands offered by BellSouth and SBC will all become Cingular Wireless.
"We want our customers to feel comfortable with the name change," said Carter. "We will take great care to explain the additional benefits they will gain by being part of a national wireless company."
Cingular will launch a national advertising campaign to introduce the new name to the business community. Advertisements will appear in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today and Investor's Business Daily.
A consumer-marketing campaign will begin in January. To help customers during the transition to Cingular Wireless, both SBC and BellSouth will offer identical national and regional rate plans. The national rate plans are being sold under the name of "Digital Edge USA," and wireless Internet service is being offered under the "My Wireless Window" name.
"Our customers can look for a variety of new rate plans and services to fit their needs," said Carter. "We intend to simplify the wireless industry and expand our reach."
BellSouth and SBC announced plans in April to merge their domestic wireless operations to create the nation's second-largest wireless company, a single entity jointly controlled by both companies, poised to compete nationwide in the exploding wireless voice and data businesses.
The joint venture is a separate company with control shared by both SBC and BellSouth. Ownership in the new company is 60 percent for SBC and 40 percent for BellSouth, based on the value of the assets both are contributing to the venture. Earnings for the new company will flow back proportionately to SBC and BellSouth.
The European Union cleared the joint venture on May 26, 2000. On August 30, 2000, the U.S. Department of Justice gave its clearance to the joint venture. The Department's consent decree called for the resolution of overlapping wireless properties, a process the companies have recently completed. No other conditions were imposed on the joint venture. The FCC gave its approval to the venture on September 29, 2000.
NOTE TO BROADCAST MEDIA
B-roll footage will be available today from 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. EDT (13:30 to 14:00). Additional B-roll footage of a press conference and announcement will be available today from 3:30 to 4:00 p.m. EDT (15:30 to 16:00). Each feed is available at the following satellite coordinates:
Audio: 6.2 and 6.8
ABOUT CINGULAR WIRELESS
Cingular Wireless, a joint venture between the wireless divisions of SBC (NYSE:SBC) and BellSouth (NYSE: BLS), provides wireless voice and data service to more than 19 million customers in 38 states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories. SBC and BellSouth share control of Cingular Wireless. Ownership in the new company is 60 percent for SBC and 40 percent for BellSouth, based on the value of the assets both are contributing to the venture. For more about Cingular Wireless visit our website at http://www.cingular.com/
In addition to historical information, this press release contains forward-looking statements regarding events and financial trends. Factors that could affect future results and financial position and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements include:
The 11 Brands That Will Change to Cingular Wireless
Top 50 Markets
It's About YouWith thousands of new brands launched every day, it's not easy to find just the right name for a new company-one that is different, yet means something to customers, employees, and the world today, and that will grow with the business over time.
That's the job we tackled four months ago when we set out to name our new company, the offspring of the recent union between SBC and BellSouth. We knew we wanted a name that was special, one that would tell the world who we are and where we're headed-and one that said to our customers, we know you.
We could have been awed right into inertia by the awesome responsibility of it all. But we weren't. Instead, we ventured into a naming process-a mix of detailed research, soul searching, and unbridled creativity-during which we:
Was all that hard work worth it? We think so. Because we found a name that we feel is just right.
Cingular Wireless, the single source for wireless communications.
Personal and individual in our relationships with our customers, Cingular is the fresh alternative to wireless service. As the single solution for people and businesses looking to make their individual mark on the world, Cingular celebrates every individual's innate ability to communicate.
And what about the 'C'? It's what we're all about-our customers. Just as the 'C' begins our name, our Customers are at the forefront of all we do. And that's not the only reason we spelled Cingular the way we did. We think the offbeat spelling of our name tells you a lot about us-that we are an exception to the rule in an industry of "sameness," a refreshing change to "business as usual." Cingular Wireless. It's simple. It's fun. And it's as much about our customers, our employees, and our world as it is about us.