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GERMAN GOVERNMENT CHOOSES BELLSOUTH CONSORTIUM TO BE SECOND PRIVATE CELLULAR OPERATOR IN GERMANY

 ATLANTA, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- BellSouth Corporation (NYSE: BLS) announced today that the German Federal Minister of Post and Telecommunications has awarded a second private cellular license to the E-Plus consortium in which BellSouth is a partner.
 "As one of the world's largest international cellular operators, BellSouth is excited about winning the rights to build a cellular system in the world's third-largest economy," John L. Clendenin, chairman and chief executive officer of BellSouth, said. "Germany has 79 million potential subscribers, of whom 62 million reside in the former West Germany, an area that boasts high per capita income levels, low inflation and a dense population, making for one of the most lucrative cellular phone markets in the world."
 BellSouth owns a 21 percent interest in E-Plus, which will build and operate the world's largest digital cellular network system based on the Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard operating at 1.8 Gigahertz (known as DCS 1800). E-Plus will spend $1.2 billion (DM2 billion) in capital to build and operate this nationwide cellular network.
 E-Plus will compete with the Posts of Telecommunications and Telegraph's (PTT) GSM digital cellular system (D1) and a private GSM digital cellular system (D2). Commercial service was launched by D2 in June 1992.
 Germany presently has fewer than 1 million subscribers, with only slightly more than 1 percent cellular penetration. By 2003, E-Plus estimates that because of increased competition, cellular subscribership in Germany will be close to 10 million subscribers. E-Plus expects it will achieve approximately one-third of the market.
 "Cellular penetration in Germany is lagging behind many other European countries. In the Scandinavian countries, for example, penetration averages over 6 percent. In the U.S., cellular penetration is 4 percent," John W. McCue, president, BellSouth Europe, said. "Part of the reason penetration is low in Germany is that the market has been constrained by an obsolete and prohibitively expensive 450 MHz analog system."
 E-Plus expects to start offering service in the region of Berlin by year-end 1993. By the end of 1994, E-Plus will be offering service to approximately 50 percent of the population, including service to major cities such as Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Dresden.
 "We expect to participate in the tremendous growth in the German cellular market," McCue continued. "Much progress has been made in the last two years -- GSM is by now a proven technology, equipment prices are falling faster than expected, and second generation manufacturing improvements are available to E-Plus. For example, cellular base stations, the heart of the cellular network, will be considerably less expensive and easier to install than equipment purchased over the last few years by Germany's existing GSM operators."
 With 79 million German residents, the 21 percent BellSouth interest equates to 16.6 million residents, also known as POPs, or units of population, bringing BellSouth's worldwide POPs to over 90 million. BellSouth is currently involved in building and operating GSM cellular systems in Denmark, which launched commercial service in June 1992, and in Australia and New Zealand, which will launch service in mid-1993.
 "BellSouth is currently operating in several of the world's most attractive cellular markets," Clendenin said. "In our previous endeavors, we have found our existing international cellular properties have financially performed far better than expected due to stronger customer demand than initially forecasted. These markets continue to surprise us with profitability achieved significantly earlier than projected -- years earlier, even, than the U.S. We believe Germany has the same potential -- if not more -- than our other properties."
 The other partners in the E-Plus consortium and their ownership interests are Thyssen AG, one of Germany's largest industrial, service and trading groups, 28 percent; Veba AG, a holding company with large operations in the electrical, chemical and oil industries, 28 percent; Vodafone, the U.K. cellular telecommunications firm, 16 percent; and Caisse des Depots, a French financial institution, 2 percent. The remaining 5 percent is held by companies from Germany's New Federal States.
 "The German government has taken major steps toward the liberalization of the telecommunications sector and we are delighted to be a part of that," McCue said. "We're especially pleased that the government has ensured E-Plus the same rights and privileges as the other two GSM cellular providers, including network interconnection. This means that all three GSM operators will compete on a playing field that is level."
 With over 1.6 million cellular customers and over 1.3 million paging customers worldwide, BellSouth is a leader in the deployment of a broad range of mobile services. Outside the U.S., BellSouth has interests in mobile systems in Denmark, France, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Chile and Uruguay.
 -0- 2/4/93
 /CONTACT: Maria Schnabel, 404-249-4877, or Pat Hammerstrom, 404-249-4865, both of BellSouth/
 (BLS)


CO: BellSouth Corporation ST: Georgia IN: TLS SU:

BR-BN -- AT005 -- 2861 02/04/93 10:11 EST
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