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PRIMECO RELEASES NATIONAL BRANDING

The quartet of three regional Bell operating companies and one former Bell announced two brand names it will use coast-to-coast in its personal communications service and cellular markets.

Bell Atlantic Corp., Nynex Corp., U S West Inc. and AirTouch Communications Inc. will offer TalkAlong and PowerBand in two wireless ways.

The four own PCS PrimeCo L.P., which won nationwide PCS licenses a year ago. The temporary PCS PrimeCo name now has been changed to PrimeCo Personal Communications L.P.

The partners are melding four cellular operations into two. Bell Atlantic and Nynex have merged their cellular properties and use the regional company name Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile; U S West and AirTouch are in the process of merging their cellular properties and will use the regional name AirTouch for the Western United States.

BANM and AirTouch both claim their name contains strong regional identity, so the service brands will be used in conjunction with their corporate names. PrimeCo also will use that strategy, such as “PowerBand by PrimeCo.”

AirTouch Vice Chairman Lee Cox said, “This strategy gives us the best of both worlds-the ability to capitalize on national retail distribution and scale efficiencies while leveraging our strong local brand equity position.”

The branding will help customers understand that PrimeCo’s PCS networks ultimately will work seamlessly with the cellular networks of BANM, U S West and AirTouch.

TalkAlong was designed for the entry-level, mass consumer market, and is already offered by U S West, AirTouch and BANM. PowerBand will be used for full-featured service that includes numerous add-on services such as voice activated dialing and caller identification.

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