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CENTEL CELLULAR SIGNALS EXPANSION STRATEGY; WILL TAKE NAME OF MERGER PARTNER, SPRINT

 CHICAGO, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Centel Cellular Company today announced it will change its name to Sprint Cellular Company, effective April 21, 1993. The new name follows today's announced completion of the merger between Centel Corp. and Sprint Corp.
 John P. Frazee Jr., president and chief operating officer of Sprint Corp., said the linking of Sprint and Centel has created the only major telecommunications company with a significant presence in all three markets -- local exchange, long distance and cellular. The year-end combined assets of the merged company was $13.6 billion.
 "We see tremendous opportunity in building on the Sprint name and its reputation for worldwide service," said Frazee. "The cellular industry has undergone phenomenal growth since its inception just ten years ago and we believe its future holds even more promise. We are eager and ready to meet the needs of our cellular customers and to continue providing them with the quality service that they deserve."
 "Only seven years ago, Centel Cellular had only a few employees and operations in just three markets," said Dennis E. Foster, president and chief operating officer of Sprint Cellular. "Today, Sprint Cellular is the ninth largest cellular provider."
 In fact, Sprint Cellular employs nearly 1,400 employees, operates in nearly 100 metropolitan and rural markets in 14 states, holds a minority interest in nearly three dozen others and is achieving excellent revenues, Foster said.
 "The merger means that while contributing to and benefiting from our parent corporation's range of integrated services, Sprint Cellular will have the financial, employee and operational resources to bring pindrop quality, value and a next generation of service to an even greater number of customers," he said. "We are positioned more strongly than ever before to increase our market share and to generate strong returns."
 Describing the telecommunications industry as "one of the fastest growing in history," Foster said consumers are acquiring cellular phones at a more rapid pace than microwave ovens and VCRs, when they were new on the market.
 This pace will quicken, he said, as the Sprint/Centel merger and other consolidations in the telecommunications industry herald the development of "transparent technology" that expands the functions of cellular service and other high-tech personal communication systems, while making them easier to use.
 Foster said the merger will permit the company to more actively pursue emerging services that signal what he sees as a"consumer friendly" trend:
 -- Personal telephone service: A system is being tested for future application that frees telephone numbers from the fetters of a single location and assigns them to customers so calls can follow them wherever they go. "It means our customers will be able to use a cordless phone in the office, paying local exchange rates, and take that same phone with them when they leave," Foster said. "Cellular rates click in only when they hit the road."
 -- Continuous quality improvements: The company has focused on boosting network quality to support portable phone usage. It is the first U.S. carrier to deploy advanced Motorola technology that triples the capacity of networks to handle calls, which means faster, higher quality connections and the capacity to handle a rapidly expanding customer base.
 -- Expanded choice: A wider array of practical products and services are coming, Foster said. These include Spring Cellular's Digital Message Service, a Motorola technology, which reduces the need for an electronic pager by allowing callers to leave visual messages on the viewing screen of a cellular phone. The development, already in test in Las Vegas, will go into expanded trial this year.
 -- Flexible rates: Foster predicts that along with expanded services will come the privilege of paying only for those one needs. "By the end of the decade, economies of scale and other efficiencies should allow penetration rates to rise from the current level of about 9 percent of U.S. households to more than one-third of the total," he said.
 -- Single billing: Foster said the industry's vision is for people in the future to eliminate multiple monthly bills in favor of a single bill covering multiple services. He said Sprint will take a step toward that goal soon by creating "packages" that include both cellular and long distance service.
 -- Seamless service: The company has already developed regional networks that permit calls between cellular markets without the hassle of special access codes. The possibility of extending this convenience to virtually all of North America will come within reach this fall via the MobiLink(SM) coalition that includes Sprint Cellular and 14 other U.S. and Canadian mobile communications companies.
 Foster said that while all of these developments are under active test, their wide application awaits the resolution of regulatory and other issues.
 "We believe that what the customer wants, the customer is going to get. The future belongs to innovative companies that can forge alliances quickly to develop and bring ideas to market first and best," he said.
 "Sprint Cellular, with its decentralized management philosophy and access to the integrated expertise in all three telecommunications markets, is well positioned to take the lead in bringing seamless, wireless communications services to the world," Foster said. "We believe that Sprint Cellular Company's eventual expansion into new domestic and international markets will occur not in isolation, but as an outgrowth of the superior service we provide to those who are with us now."
 Although Sprint is based in Kansas City, Foster said Sprint Cellular Company will remain headquartered in Chicago.
 "One of the strengths we bring to the corporation is our unique entrepreneurial spirit and approach to doing business," he said. "We are going to protect that valuable asset, while bringing to our customers the value-added resources of the parent."
 Sprint Corp. is a diversified international telecommunications company with $10.4 billion in 1992 revenues and the United States' only all-digital, fiber-optic network. In addition to its cellular operations, Sprint's divisions provide global long-distance voice, data and video products and services, and local telephone to nearly 5.9 million subscriber lines in 19 states.
 -0- 3/9/93
 /CONTACT: Kevin Petschow of Sprint Cellular, 312-399-2828 (office) or 312-802-1540 (portable); or Steve Dykes of Sprint Corp., 913-624-2280 (in Kansas City March 9-12) or 202-828-7435 (in Washington, D.C., March 13 and after)/


CO: Centel Cellular Company; Sprint Cellular Company ST: Illinois, Missouri IN: TLS SU: PDT

GK -- NY032 -- 4456 03/09/93 10:32 EST
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Date:Mar 9, 1993
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