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July 26, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Emulating the move made by Nynex Corp and Bell Atlantic Corp, AirTouch Communications Inc, the independent company formed out of the former cellular telephone interests of Pacific Telesis Group Inc has decided to pool its US cellular assets with those of US West Inc to create a national wireless company with high-growth markets, an experienced management team and extensive geographic reach. AirTouch will initially hold 70% of the joint venture, US West 30%.The two are also joining forces to bid for Personal Communications Services licences in the auctions that begin this week. This activity will be equally owned. In markets where the partners own competing cellular operations, such as San Diego, conflicts will be eliminated, and the partners hope to extend their reach by swapping such properties rather than simply selling them.Together, AirTouch and US West own cellular licences in nine of the top 20 US markets and 16 of the top 30 markets, covering more than 53m potential customers, and currently have 1.7m cellular subscribers. The Nynex-Bell Atlantic combination proposed earlier this month would be in seven of the top 20 markets with 1.8m users out of 55m people. Earlier this year, Nynex reportedly considered doing a similar deal with AirTouch.

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