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May 15, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:34pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Following the US Justice Department’s go-ahead for the Bell Atlantic Corp-Nynex Corp merger (CI No 3,149), Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile Inc – which is now the largest wireless service provider on the US East Coast and the second largest in the country – has announced it will expand its digital wireless phone service to include text messaging. The new service, designed to provide consumers and businesses with short messages, is a cross between a phone and alphanumeric pager which will run on the firm’s DigitalChoice phone. It will run text of up to 55 characters in length across phone screens and be able to split a single message into multiple ones as required. Callers can either send their text messages by dialing a toll-free number to an operator who keys in the message, or they can use a software package included with the service to send a message directly from a personal computer to the phone, which will indicate any incoming messages with tones and lights. For the time being the service is only scheduled for the East Coast area, but when users travel out of the catchment area or turn off their phones, the service will store up to 23 messages at any time and attempt to deliver them for a period of up to two weeks. The Text Messaging service is available for a flat monthly rate of $13 for desktop- based messaging and $25 for a combined desktop and operator- assisted service. There will be no per-message fees or charges for air time made by the company.

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