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BELLSOUTH ACQUIRES INTEREST IN FRANCE TELECOM MOBILES DATA; BEGINS CONSTRUCTION OF NETHERLANDS SYSTEM

 ATLANTA, March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) and France Telecom announced today they have reached an agreement for BellSouth Mobile Data, Inc. (BMDI) to acquire a 12.5 percent equity interest in France Telecom Mobiles Data (FTMD), a newly formed unit of the France Telecom group that will build and operate a mobile data network throughout France.
 The agreement marks the first time that a foreign company has held an equity position in a major France Telecom project within the country. Details of the agreement were not disclosed. France Telecom was awarded the license for the mobile data network by the French Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications on Feb. 1.
 Besides cooperating on the various technical aspects related to network operations and service evolution, FTMD and BMDI will also jointly develop alliances with equipment manufacturers, software firms, system integrators as well as collaborate on the marketing of the services to potential customers.
 The network, one of two nationwide mobile data systems in France, will use Ericsson's Mobitex technology, which is currently deployed in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Sweden, Finland and Norway.
 "France Telecom is a pioneer in the telecommunications industry, always at the forefront of the adoption and implementation of new technologies," said Earle Mauldin, group president, mobile systems for BellSouth Enterprises. "We're delighted to be participating with them on this project and are particularly pleased that they've selected the Mobitex technology. It is further evidence of the global acceptance of the capabilities and portability of the Mobitex standard."
 "BellSouth is one of the more dynamic BOCs with a large involvement in mobile data communications," said Michel Bertinetto, head of France Telecom Mobiles. "We are happy to extend our cooperation from RAM Mobile Data in the UK to the French market. Together we will be in a better position to serve our customers by developing the mobile data market in cooperation with computer and modem manufacturers and the software industry."
 Construction of the network has already begun with the initial introduction of service scheduled for Paris in '93, and service in other major French metropolitan areas expected in 1994. The system will be completed in all other cities with populations exceeding 100,000 by 1997. The companies expect to invest in excess of $80 million on the network which, when completed, will provide coverage to more than 60 percent of the French population.
 BellSouth also announced it will develop a nationwide mobile data network in the Netherlands. Initial construction of the system has begun with service expected to be available in several markets by the end of the year. When the network in finished in 1994, it will provide in-building coverage in the major commercial centers such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, and comprehensive mobile coverage in smaller cities and major traffic corridors.
 "The Netherlands is an ideal market for mobile data," said Mauldin. "It is the transportation capital of Europe with a number of key industrial and commercial ports and overland transportation operations.
 "Furthermore, given that Mobitex networks are already deployed in Scandinavia and the UK, the addition of systems in the Netherlands and France is a significant step towards making a standard mobile data service available throughout Europe."
 BellSouth estimates it will require more than $55 million over a five-year period to develop the system.
 Mobitex is an intelligent network technology developed by LM Ericsson and Swedish Telecom, that uses land-based, packet-switched radio systems. Some of the mobile applications of the systems include computer-aided dispatch, two-way alphanumeric messaging, electronic mail, transaction processing, remote data entry and retrieval, and automatic vehicle location. The technology can also be used for fixed applications such as credit card validation and telemetry.
 BellSouth Mobile Data is a subsidiary of BellSouth Enterprises, which manages a group of companies that provide wireless telecommunications, advertising/publishing, and information-based services worldwide. In October 1991, BellSouth Enterprises formed a joint venture with RAM Broadcasting Corp., to operate and develop mobile data networks using the Mobitex technology around the world.
 France Telecom Mobiles Data is presently a subsidiary of Transpac, the well-known France Telecom packet switching operator and of France Telecom Mobiles Radiomessagerie. Both are subsidiaries of France Telecom.
 -0- 3/23/93
 /CONTACT: Tim Klein of BellSouth, 404-249-4135/
 (BLS)


CO: BellSouth Corporation; France Telecom Mobiles Data ST: Georgia IN: TLS SU: TNM

BR-RA -- AT004 -- 8528 03/23/93 09:07 EST
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