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BELLSOUTH CUSTOMERS BENEFIT FROM "SMART TECHNOLOGY" MILESTONE.

BellSouth Public Communications (BSPC), Homewood, Ala., the nation's largest stand-alone payphone services provider, has completed a six-month project to convert more than 21,000 customer fee-based BellSouth payphones to "smart set" technology. BSPC becomes the first payphone division of a regional Bell operating company (RBOC) to achieve 100 percent "smart technology" in all of its public and customer fee-based payphone locations.

Smart set payphones report their own service-affecting conditions and coin collection needs through the use of microcomputer-controlled, electronic technology. Such payphones use their own "intelligence" to perform certain functions traditionally provided by software in telephone company central offices. The technology, blended with BellSouth's proprietary service system, means that customers will benefit from even higher levels of reliability at BellSouth payphones.

"This is another example of how BellSouth harnesses powerful technology for our customers, making our products and services convenient and easy to use," said BSPC president Jim Hawkins. "Our operations group worked superbly with BellSouth Telecommunications network experts to upgrade these payphones to better serve our customers."

Protel, Inc., headquartered in Lakeland, Fla., manufactures the smart set payphone component used by BSPC.

BellSouth Public Communications had previously converted more than 124,000 of its traditional public payphone locations to smart sets in 1994-1996. The latest phase involved the conversion of 21,400 payphones at locations that would not otherwise qualify for traditional public payphone service. Offered under the brand name of BellSouth Business Payphone Service, the business or property owner pays a one-time installation charge and then a flat monthly fee for this service. BellSouth provides, maintains, and repairs these payphones at no additional cost beyond the flat monthly fee.

BellSouth Public Communications, Inc. is a subsidiary of BellSouth Telecommunications, the operating telephone company of BellSouth Corporation (NYSE). BSPC customers complete between 2-3 million calls per day using 160,000 BellSouth public payphones and inmate telephones at locations throughout the Southeast. BSPC is headquartered in Homewood, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham, and employs 700 full-time team members throughout BellSouth's nine-state region.

For more information on BellSouth Public Communications, Inc., access the company's World Wide Web site at: www.bellsouth.com/public

For more information, call (205)943-2532.
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Publication:RBOC Update
Date:Nov 1, 1999
Words:358
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