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February 8, 1999

GSM Continues Record Growth in North America; Customers Top 3 Million in United States & Canada

Four New GSM Customers Sign Up Every Minute! Nearly 800,000 Customers Added in Fourth Quarter Alone!

NEW ORLEANS, LA, February 8, 1999 -- More than three million customers across the United States and Canada use GSM phones daily -- with new customers signing up for service at a rate of four-per-minute.

"In slightly more than a year, two million new GSM customers signed up in North America," said Don Warkentin, Chairman of the North American GSM Alliance L.L.C., and President and Chief Executive Officer of Aerial Communications. "Nearly 800,000 new customers were added in the fourth quarter of 1998 alone."

According to Warkentin, there are now 17 GSM service providers in North America offering commercial service in more than 2,500 cities in 44 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four Canadian provinces. Nine of these 17 companies each have more than 200,000 customers or more.

"This fantastic growth shows that consumers recognize the value of GSM's proven, feature-rich, digital service," Warkentin explained. " Thanks to the North American GSM Alliance, we provide our wireless customers with localized "home-town" service down the block, out-of-town, or abroad. Our digital PCS coverage exceeds any of the other so-called U.S. "national" providers."

Warkentin said that In the past year, the number of active GSM cities in North America has also more than tripled, from 700 to more than 2,500 -- the equivalent of five new cities added daily. In 1999, an additional 13 U.S. companies are expected to launch GSM service.

"In the United States, there is commercial GSM service in 8 of the top 10 wireless markets and in 20 of the top 25 markets," explained Warkentin. "In addition, seven of the top ten PCS carriers in the United States provide GSM service.

GSM coverage now reaches 162 million of the potential total population in North America -- covering more than 52 percent of the Canadian population and nearly 55 percent in the United States.

"GSM's dramatic North American growth parallels the unprecedented surge in customers worldwide. In 1998 alone, 65 million customers signed up for GSM services -- that's about three times the total of CDMA customers worldwide," Warkentin said. " GSM not only continues to lead CDMA, it's widening the gap. At year's end, GSM customers totalled 135 million -- equal to 45 percent of the world wireless market, or 62 percent of the global digital market."

Quickly building out their planned national coverage in the U.S. and Canada, GSM companies have built more than 11,000 cell sites. In comparison, it took the entire U.S. cellular industry 10 years to reach that mark.

In addition to investing billions of dollars to establish their networks and launch their services, U.S. and Canadian GSM operators have created nearly 12,000 new direct jobs with an estimated 30,000 new workers involved in service, manufacturing and associated jobs.

The North American GSM Alliance L.L.C. is a group of North America's leading digital wireless Personal Communication Services companies. Using Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications, Alliance companies provide superior voice clarity, unparalleled security and leading-edge wireless voice, data and fax features for customers, whether at home, away or abroad.

GSM Alliance members include: Aerial Communications, Inc., Airadigm Communications, Inc.; BellSouth Mobility DCS; Conestoga Wireless Company; Cook Inlet PCS; DIGIPH PCS; Iowa Wireless Services, LP; Microcell Telecommunications Inc.; NPI Wireless; Omnipoint Communications LLC; Pacific Bell Wireless; Powertel, Inc.; TWS, Inc.; Western Total Communications; Western Wireless Corp.; and Wireless 2000 PCS. The GSM Alliance works in cooperation with North American GSM equipment manufacturers: Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, Nortel and Siemens.

For Additional Information, Contact:

Mike Houghton,
Email:[email protected]

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