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BELL ATLANTIC MOBILE SYSTEMS TAKES MAJOR STEP TOWARD DELIVERING PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES

 BELL ATLANTIC MOBILE SYSTEMS TAKES MAJOR STEP TOWARD
 DELIVERING PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES
 BEDMINSTER, N.J., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems today took another major step in its strategic plan for delivering personal communications services with the selection of a company to manufacture specially designed mircocells for large-scale deployment.
 Astronet Corporation of Lake Mary, Fla., was chosen from a number of equipment manufacturers which submitted proposals to Bell Atlantic Mobile to produce microcells designed to meet specific requirements. Bell Atlantic Mobile defined those requirements in a Request for Proposal issued last year. Astronet's proposal will facilitate Bell Atlantic Mobile's plans to deploy as many 60 microcells by the end of the year. This is the largest microcell implementation announced in the cellular industry to date.
 This deployment, coupled with other plans, expands Bell Atlantic Mobile's ability to deliver personal communications services in the coming months. These plans include significant deployment of microcells in all of the company's major systems, including Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
 "We feel strongly that Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems can lead the wireless industry in personal communications services," said company President Dennis F. Strigl. "Our continuing expansion of a microcell infrastructure puts us out in front with the technology, capabilities, and expertise to deliver the most advanced wireless communications services. This is another step in our plans to put into place the software and hardware necessary to provide true personal communications."
 Microcell technology utilizes the cellular concept, but with each microcell covering a much smaller area than a typical macrocell. These extremely low-powered cell sites are placed in heavily trafficked areas or where coverage is currently unavailable. Current cellular coverage can have difficulty penetrating buildings or similar enclosures. With portable users being the fastest growing market segment, service within structures is in greater demand. Microcells are needed to serve the increasing numbers of portable cellular phone users and ultimately to provide personal communications service capabilities.
 "Microcells are intended to bring system and customer growth together by accommodating increased portable use without loading the macrocellular network, which has been designed primarily for mobile phones," Strigl explained. "Microcell service areas include public transportation centers such as airports and train stations, large atriums of office buildings, hotels, convention centers, shopping malls, and covered pedestrian walkways."
 Last year, Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems become the first cellular carrier to deploy in-building microcells in the middle of a macrocellular system installing equipment in Amtrak's Union Station in Washington, providing both call delivery and hand-offs to and from the macrocellular system. This initial effort proved so successful that Bell Atlantic Mobile committed to aggressive deployment of microcells in a variety of indoor locations.
 Strigl said Astronet was selected because of its quality work and the flexibility it demonstrated.
 "We have worked with Astronet since the very early days of microcells, when we used them to provide coverage in tunnels. I'm confident their expertise can meet our needs. They've shown the flexibility to work with us in developing exactly what we have specified for our network," Strigl explained. "Astronet has also shown the necessary commitment to our timeline for this project, an essential factor since we intend to quickly deploy this equipment.
 "Astronet is 90 percent-owned by Mitsubishi, which has also shown a strong commitment to our undertaking. We felt this was essential since we plan to have a large number of microcells operating this year," Strigl continued. "We also wanted to work with someone who understands the requirements of low-power, portable subscriber equipment. With the Mitsubishi support and participation, we have that."
 Given the different needs of mobile and portable customers, Strigl said Bell Atlantic Mobile realized the need for a specific network deployment strategy for portable service.
 "We envision microcells as the cornerstone of this strategy. We've proven to ourselves that they will enable us to provide superior portable service, while still leveraging the strengths of our embedded macrocell system," he said. "Microcells will also allow us to concentrate coverage and capacity in areas where we need it most. They will provide design relief for the macrocell system, allow us to selectively match coverage with demand, increase capacity, and continue to evolve cellular into personal communications."
 Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems provides cellular service and equipment in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington. It is a subsidiary of Philadelphia-based Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL), which in September 1991 announced an agreement to acquire the cellular telephone and certain other operations of Metro Mobile CTS, Inc. operating in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, North and South Carolina, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
 -0- 2/11/92
 /CONTACT: Brian R. Wood, 908-306-7508, or Karen Ann Kurlander, 908-306-7552, both of Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems/
 (BEL) CO: Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems ST: New Jersey IN: TLS SU:


CK-TS -- NY041 -- 8814 02/11/92 12:50 EST
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Date:Feb 11, 1992
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