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 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- MCI and ALLTEL Mobile Communications of the Carolinas today announced the start of a Personal Communications Services (PCS) consumer trial here, allowing 900 Charlotte-area residents to test several new and unique wireless telephone services.
 PCS is a family of rapidly evolving wireless services which will provide consumers with a range of individualized telecommunications options, enabling voice and data communications via small sophisticated hand-held devices regardless of users' physical or geographic locations.
 Another future benefit of PCS, once it is deployed nationwide, is that consumers can have a single phone number that people can use to reach them wherever they are located -- in their homes, cars, outdoors or anywhere in the United States. Consumers also will have the option someday of replacing their local telephone service with a PCS system.
 "MCI's vision for PCS is to deliver anytime, anywhere nationwide wireless communications services," said Steven Zecola, MCI vice president of personal communications services. "This trial will tell us what wireless features are important to consumers, thus enabling MCI to rapidly provide an advanced and economical wireless personal communications service to households and businesses nationwide."
 "Our objective in this market trial is to obtain consumer information that will guide us as we make plans to introduce an array of wireless services which will supplement current cellular services," said Carroll D. McHenry, president of ALLTEL Mobile. "Providing personal communications services today on our existing cellular frequencies will be exceptionally useful to us as we consider seeking new spectrum when it becomes available next year."
 The trial will take place in the Charlotte area where cellular mobile service is provided by ALLTEL Mobile. Trial participants will test two PCS service options. Each PCS service will provide standard telephone services, but with higher degrees of mobility.
 Trial to Simulate Two Types of PCS Services Participants testing the first trial service will experience a fully wireless telephone system. Their current local wireline telephone service will be suspended during the trial and replaced with a wireless system that integrates existing home phones with small wireless hand-held phones.
 Participants will have one phone number that can be used regardless of their location. Incoming calls not answered are automatically transferred to a participant's designated portable phone. If the portable phone is busy or not answered, calls are transferred to a personal voice mail box.
 A second option allows participants to add a portable telephone service to their existing local telephone service. Local telephone service will remain intact, allowing participants to receive and make calls via the wired facilities of the local exchange carrier. Participants are provided a secondary telephone number for their hand- held phones that can be used in their home, car, or on the street.
 Both options allow participants to make unlimited local calls from home for a flat monthly fee that is comparable to existing local telephone service.
 The FCC has announced it will auction the new PCS spectrum in May 1994, allowing companies to bid for licenses in various geographic regions. While the FCC will not award national licenses, it has proposed to allow consortiums of companies to place a national combinatorial bid for all regional licenses. Customer acceptance of PCS services is crucial to establishing the value for PCS spectrum.
 ALLTEL Mobile of the Carolinas is part of the cellular telephone network operated by ALLTEL Mobile Communications, Inc., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ALLTEL Corporation (NYSE: AT). ALLTEL Mobile operates or has investments in a number of cellular telephone and paging systems in the south, midwest and northeast regions of the United States, and is headquartered in Little Rock, Ark. ALLTEL Corporation is a leading telecommunications and information services company. In addition to providing local telephone service, ALLTEL subsidiaries provide cellular telephone service, information services and communications products.
 MCI, headquartered in Washington, offers a full range of domestic and global telecommunications services through one of the world's largest state-of-the-arts networks. With 1992 revenue of over $10 billion, the company is the second largest long distance provider in the U.S. and has more than 65 offices in 55 countries and territories.
 -0- 11/9/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: PCS graphics and technical service descriptions are available./
 /CONTACT: Kevin Inda of MCI Communications Corporation, 202-887-3325/

CO: MCI Communications Corporation; ALLTEL Mobile Communications ST: North Carolina IN: TLS SU: PDT

IH-DC -- DC013 -- 2157 11/09/93 10:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 9, 1993

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