YOU ARE AT:Archived ArticlesTELECOM COMPANIES UNVEIL CELLU LAR PLANS AFTER BILL IS SIGNED

TELECOM COMPANIES UNVEIL CELLU LAR PLANS AFTER BILL IS SIGNED

WASHINGTON-Legislation designed to revolutionize the U.S. telecom industry was signed into law by President Clinton on Thursday, updating the Communications Act of 1934. The event was followed by a spew of announcements by U.S. telecom giants outlining their plans to take advantage of the new opportunities.

The new law allows regional Bell operating companies to jump into the $70 billion long-distance business. Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile will offer cellular long distance service in all of its markets beginning in March. It previously offered cellular long distance only in New York and Connecticut through a court waiver.

“For starters, we’re poised to offer regional and national calling plans to cellular customers throughout our footprint,” said Dennis Strigl, president and chief executive officer of Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile.

BellSouth Corp. intends to market its cellular and local services today, as well as establish BellSouth Long Distance. U.S. West Inc. did not mention specific plans for its wireless operations, but noted it intends to aggressively pursue voice, video and data opportunities.

Salomon Brothers Inc. issued a statement warning investors not to listen to “over-simplified” talk that the bill is structurally biased in favor of the RBOCs.

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