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Alaska Communications Systems Expands CDMA Coverage in Southeast Alaska.

Wireless Growth Supports the High-End of 2006 Annual EBITDA Guidance Range of $112 to $116 Million

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc. ("ACS") (Nasdaq:ALSK), Alaska's leading integrated communications provider, announces the further expansion of its CDMA mobile wireless voice and data network into Southeast Alaska.

ACS Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, David Wilson, stated, "We are excited with our CDMA build out. ACS and our wireless product in particular have performed well during 2006. As such, we are comfortable with the high end of our range 2006 annual EBITDA guidance of $112 million to $116 million."

"Southeast Alaska is extremely important to the state's economy," said Sheldon Fisher, ACS senior vice president of sales and service. "Government, tourism, retail trade, and seafood processing along with fishing are among the area's key economic drivers, and we are fulfilling our commitment to enhance coverage and introduce the most advanced mobile wireless telecommunications services to the region."

ACS' multi-million dollar investment in Southeast Alaska extends from Skagway and Haines in the north to Ketchikan in the south. ACS further expanded its coverage area last week with new CDMA sites in and around Petersburg, Ratz Mountain, Cape Spencer, and Ketchikan - all in Southeast Alaska. More than a half dozen additional CDMA sites in and around Skagway, Haines, Juneau, Hoonah, Wrangell, and Craig will be introduced in the very near future. The additions will augment CDMA service already established in Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan, as well as throughout the rest of the state.

The new CDMA sites focus on heavily-trafficked areas, including major marine corridors utilized by the cruise ship industry during the summer months and fishermen throughout the year. This summer, the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau reports that approximately 1.8 million cruise ship passengers traveled through Alaska's waters, up 300,000 from previous reports. The increase in tourism impacts many sectors of the Alaska economy - from the hospitality industry to the telecom industry, where it is seeing strong wireless roaming revenues.

The company intends to discuss revenue and EBITDA guidance on its third quarter conference call in late October. Additionally, a transcript of the September 20th presentation at the Banc of America Securities' 36th Annual Investment Conference will be posted early this week.

ACS' CDMA network provides the only 3G mobile wireless voice and data in Alaska. ACS' network supports Mobile Broadband Internet access in the most populated areas of Alaska, including Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau with peak download speeds of 2.4 Mbps. Throughout the ACS CDMA footprint, including Southeast Alaska, the network supports 1xRTT data speeds peaking at 163 Kbps.

About CDMA

CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access. CDMA inherently provides the best voice quality, fastest wireless data speeds, greatest security through its coding, and GPS location capabilities. It is the most rapidly expanding wireless network technology in the world, with CDMA coverage throughout 70 countries, including on the continents of North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

About Alaska Communications Systems

ACS is the leading integrated communications provider in Alaska, offering local telephone service, wireless, long distance, data, and Internet services to business and residential customers throughout Alaska. More information can be found on the company's website at or at its investor site at

Forward-Looking EBITDA Guidance

This press release includes information related to management's estimate of EBITDA for the year ending December 31, 2006. The company defines EBITDA as net gain before interest expense, provisions for taxes, depreciation expense, amortization of intangibles and stock based compensation expense. EBITDA, as defined by the company, may not be similar to EBITDA measures used by other companies and is not a measurement under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Management believes that EBITDA provide useful information to investors about the company's performance because it eliminates the effects of period-to-period changes in costs associated with capital investments, interest and stock-based compensation expense that are not directly attributable to the underlying performance of the company's business operations. Management believes the most directly comparable GAAP measure would be "Net cash provided by operating activities." Due to the difficulty in forecasting and quantifying the amounts that would be required to be included in this comparable GAAP measure, the company is not providing an estimate of year-end net cash provided by operating activities at this time.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes certain "forward-looking statements," as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events made using information currently available to management. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside ACS' control. Such factors are, without limitation, fluctuations in wireless revenue, including roaming revenue; changes in company's relationships with its roaming partners; increased competition, including wireline facilities-based competition; changes in revenue from Universal Service Funds; regulatory limitations on the company's ability to change its pricing or bundle its communications services; changes in accounting policies or practices; changes in the demand for the company's products and services, retail and wholesale; rapid technological developments in the telecommunications industry; changes in general industry and market conditions; changes in interest rates or other general national, regional or local economic conditions, including changes in tourism in Alaska; governmental and public policy changes; the company's ability to generate sufficient earnings and cash flows to continue to make dividend payments to its stockholders; and the continued availability of financing necessary to support future business. For further information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with ACS' business, please refer to the company's SEC filings, including, but not limited to, the sections entitled "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005 and on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2006. Copies of the company's SEC filings may be obtained by contacting its investor relations department at (907) 564-7556 or by visiting its investor relations website at

All information in this release is as of September 25, 2006. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company's expectations.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 25, 2006
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