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 Personal Number Service Lets Users Receive Calls Anywhere
 PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Three leading

telecommunications companies -- Sprint (NYSE: FON), BellSouth (NYSE: BLS) and Comcast Cellular Communications, Inc. -- announced plans today to test market a comprehensive new personal number service (PNS) that will let users' cellular and wireline calls, faxes, pages and other messages follow them anywhere using only one phone number.
 Company representatives said the partnership marks the first time a major long distance company, a regional telephone company and two cellular carriers have joined forces to test market such an advanced wireless communications service. The expansive test -- to be conducted by Comcast Cellular and Sprint Cellular -- also brings the vision of personal communications services (PCS) a step closer to reality, where customers will define and customize their own "telephone network" using only one telephone and one number to make and receive calls.
 Comcast Cellular will trial its service in the Philadelphia area while Sprint Cellular will launch its service in Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Va. Some 160 customers will participate in the two trials scheduled to begin in September and October, respectively. The results of both tests will be shared by the cellular carriers and used to refine the new service before commercial roll-outs begin.
 The services enable users to program where they wish to receive calls in priority order and by the time and day. They also offer a variety of other productivity features, including alerting users when VIP callers are on the line, offering customers the option of accepting or storing incoming faxes, and integrating other communications services such as voice mail. The services' intelligence also provides enhancements such as letting calls bypass a first-choice destination -- a cellular phone number, for example -- if it detects the customer is elsewhere using his second-choice office phone.
 The sophisticated features are available through software specially designed by BellSouth Enterprises. BellSouth will maintain the computer intelligence for the services at its headquarters in Atlanta, with Comcast Cellular and Sprint Cellular relying on Sprint Long Distance for a real-time long distance link. Under a contract with Comcast Cellular, Sprint also will begin providing long distance service to the company's cellular customers.
 "We're on the threshold of the communications future, where customers, just by pressing a few buttons, will be able to manage their communications on their own terms, directing calls, faxes and other messages to follow them, whether they're at the office, on their car phone or even at the beach," said Donald A. Harris, president of Comcast Cellular Communications, Inc., adding that the trial will go "far beyond demonstrating how calls can find users because customers will select and control their own communications features." Harris said the service ultimately would be one of a family of personal communication services offerings that Comcast Cellular plans to offer.
 "The future belongs to innovative companies that can forge alliances quickly to develop and bring ideas to market first and best," said Dennis E. Foster, president and chief operating officer of Sprint Cellular. "Our customers have told us they want to be accessible anytime, anywhere but want the flexibility to manage their communications. This trial is an example of Sprint's commitment to our customers in allowing them to utilize the most advanced wireless communications services to meet those needs."
 "This trial will use the most comprehensive personal number service software available anywhere," added Eric Ensor, assistant vice president of BellSouth's Worldwide Wireless Strategy group. "It includes a number of unique, customer-convenient features not included in comparable software. And it is a proven product, having been tested within the Atlanta area for the past year."
 Harris said the BellSouth network software was chosen for the trial because it offered "the most robust, sophisticated and versatile intelligent network services features available on the market today." He said the software will provide a wide range of convenient features, such as alerting users with the name and phone number of callers, giving them the option of taking the call or directing the call to voice mail.
 Another feature identifies incoming callers while voice mail users listen to their messages. The user can choose to take the incoming call without leaving voice mail, and when finished, return automatically to his or her place in the voice mail sequence. Similarly, users can return a call while still in voice mail by hitting a single button, and when finished return to where they left off in the voice mail review.
 The service also notifies users if someone is sending a facsimile document, giving customers the option of having the fax delivered immediately or storing it for later delivery.
 Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), of which Comcast Cellular is a wholly owned subsidiary, is principally engaged in the development of cable television and cellular communications systems. The company's consolidated and affiliated cable operations served 2.9 million subscribers as of June 30, 1993. Comcast provides cellular telephone services in the Northeast United States to markets encompassing a population in excess of 7.4 million. Comcast also has investments in cable programming, telecommunications systems, and international cable and telephony franchises.
 Sprint, based in Kansas City, Mo., is a diversified international telecommunications company with more than $10 billion in annual revenues and the United States' only nationwide all-digital, fiber-optic network. Its divisions provide global long-distance, voice, data and video products and services; local telephone services to nearly 6 million subscriber lines in 19 states, and cellular operations that serve 42 metropolitan markets and more than 50 rural service areas.
 BellSouth Corporation is an Atlanta-based international telecommunications holding company. Its subsidiaries offer local telephone service in nine Southeastern states and mobile communications services worldwide, provide advertising and publishing services, market and maintain communications systems, and furnish information-based services.
 -0- 9/8/93
 /CONTACT: Melissa Nichols of Comcast Cellular, 215-975-5123; Dava Guerin of Guerin & Kapnek Communications, 215-784-9060, for Comcast Cellular; Kevin Petschow of Sprint Cellular, 312-399-2828; Norman Black of Sprint, 404-859-6096, or Tim Kline of BellSouth, 404-249-4135/

CO: Sprint; BellSouth Corporation; Comcast Cellular Communications,
 Inc.; Comcast Corporation ST: Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, Missouri IN: TLS SU: PDT

CC-MK -- PH022 -- 9876 09/08/93 13:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 8, 1993

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