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U S WEST CELLULAR CUSTOMERS TO GET NEW TRAFFIC INFORMATION SERVICE

U S WEST CELLULAR CUSTOMERS TO GET NEW TRAFFIC INFORMATION SERVICE
 SEATTLE, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting today, U S WEST Cellular customers here can get up-to-the-minute traffic reports through a new service offered by U S WEST, the company said today.
 The service, called Traffic Watch, provides information about traffic problems in specific geographic sections of the metropolitian area -- north, south and east. The information is gathered and maintained by U S WEST Cellular and is accessible only through U S WEST Cellular phones, according to John DeFeo, president and chief executive officer of U S WEST NewVector Group, which includes U S WEST Cellular.
 Customers can access the service by pressing the pound sign key and JAM (pound sign key, 526) on their U S WEST Cellular phones. A recording then instructs them on how to access the geography-specific information they want, by dialing a single digit.
 The requested Traffic Watch information is provided in brief recorded messages, each no longer than 15 seconds.
 Customers also can report traffic problems from their cars, simply by pressing the asterisk key, TIP (asterisk key, 847). Once this reported information is verified, it's immediately incorporated into the recorded Traffic Watch updates.
 Traffic Watch service is available daily -- from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
 It also is available to U S WEST Cellular customers in Denver and Minneapolis, beginning today. Hours of operation and geographic categories vary from city to city.
 This new service represents one of the company's first ventures into information services -- services that U S WEST and other regional telephone companies were previously prohibited from providing, under terms of the 1984 agreement that broke up the Bell System.
 This prohibition was lifted last July by U.S. District Court Judge Harold Greene, pending appeals court review. The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld Greene's decision last October.
 "Traffic Watch is the first step in offering our customers not just access to information but information itself, tailored to meet their needs," said DeFeo. "This and other future information services would not have been possible before the restriction was lifted."
 U S WEST Cellular is headquartered in Bellevue, and has operations in 15 midwestern, western and southwestern states. U S WEST owns and operates U S WEST Communications and other companies involved in communications, data solutions, marketing services and financial services.
 -0- 1/20/92
 /CONTACT: Bernadette Anderson of U S WEST Cellular, 206-562-5754/ CO: U S WEST Cellular; U S WEST NewVector Group ST: Washington IN: TLS SU: PDT


JH-LM -- SE005 -- 1450 01/20/92 13:49 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 20, 1992
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