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GTE PROPERTIES IN ALL OR PART OF FOUR STATES TRANSFERRED TO CITIZENS UTILITIES ON DEC. 31, 1993

 IRVING, Texas, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- GTE Telephone Operations and Citizens Utilities Company (NYSE: CZNA, CZNB) announced today that the transfer of GTE's 189,000 access lines in southern Idaho, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia to Citizens became effective Dec. 31, 1993.
 The transfer follows a definitive agreement announced in May for Citizens to purchase approximately 500,000 telephone access lines in nine states from GTE. GTE will receive $1.1 billion in cash from Citizens for the properties on an incremental basis as the transactions close. The remaining properties are expected to be transferred to Citizens in 1994. Citizens will operate the properties through its Citizens Telecom operations.
 When complete, the transaction will involve all of GTE's local- exchange properties in eastern Arizona, Montana, New York, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia, and a small portion of GTE's properties in California, Idaho and Oregon. The partial sales involve less than 1 percent of GTE's access lines in California, less than 2 percent of its access lines in Oregon and approximately 14 percent of its access lines in Idaho.
 The state regulatory commissions in Idaho, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice (under the Hart Scott Rodino Act) have approved this transaction. Approximately 525 GTE employees became Citizens Telecom employees as a result of the transaction.
 The transaction is part of GTE's previously announced strategic effort to trade or sell a small percentage of local-exchange properties in markets that may be of greater long-term strategic value to other telephone-service providers.
 Bill Edwards, controller for GTE Telephone Operations, said, "We have been working diligently with our counterparts at Citizens to ensure a smooth transition. The change will be virtually transparent to customers."
 Both GTE and Citizens Telecom are keeping customers informed about the change through bill inserts, advertisements and media releases. In addition, representatives from Citizens have met with customers and GTE employees to familiarize them with their new company.
 Dr. Leonard Tow, Citizens' chairman and chief executive officer, said, "At Citizens, we're looking forward to joining with GTE's employees at these properties, and to the capabilities and talents they will bring to our operations. They can count on providing their customers with the same state-of-the-art products and quality service that other Citizens telecommunications users enjoy."
 All telephone services will continue without interruption. Current rates, policies and procedures will remain in effect. Customers with a GTE Calling Card may continue to use the card until Citizens Telecom replaces it with a new one. However, customers who pay their bill by check should now make their check payable to Citizens Telecom instead of GTE.
 Effective today, customers should call Citizens Telecom at 1-800-921-8104 to report telephone service problems. For questions about their telephone bill customers should call 1-800-921-8103. To establish new telephone service, residential customers should call Citizens Telecom at 1-800-921-8101. Business customers should call 1-800-921-8102.
 GTE Telephone Operations is the largest U.S.-based local telephone company, providing phone services through more than 21 million access lines in portions of 33 states, British Columbia, Quebec, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. It also markets telecommunication products and services and supplies computer software and data processing. GTE Telephone Operations, based in Irving, Texas, is the largest of GTE Corp.'s business groups, with total revenues of $15.9 billion in 1992.
 Citizens Utilities is a diversified company providing telecommunications, natural gas, electric and water or wastewater services to customers in 16 states as of Dec. 31, 1993. Citizens also holds a significant ownership share in Centennial Cellular Corp. (NASDAQ: CYCL), a cellular-telephone company serving markets with a population of approximately 4.2 million and operates Electric Lightwave Inc., a competitive access provider in Oregon and Washington. Citizens' operations will expand to 18 states upon completion of the nine-state GTE transaction.
 -0- 1/3/94
 /CONTACT: Brenda Raney of GTE, 214-718-6316 or, after 6 p.m., 214-306-3091/
 (CZN)


CO: GTE Telephone Operations; Citizens Utilities Company ST: Idaho, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia IN: TLS SU:

TW -- NY032 -- 8487 01/03/94 12:00 EST
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Date:Jan 3, 1994
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