FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICAGO, IL - April 27, 1998 - The North American GSM Alliance LLC, a consortium of U.S. and Canadian digital wireless PCS carriers which use Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications digital wireless technology, today announced that Cook Inlet PCS has become its eighth member company.
Cook Inlet Western Wireless PV/SS PCS, L.P., is a partnership of Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI), Western Wireless Corp. and other communications investors. Operating under the brand name, VoiceStream(r) Wireless, Cook Inlet currently provides service in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
"We are pleased to welcome Cook Inlet into the Alliance," said Don Warkentin, GSM Alliance Chairman and President and CEO of Aerial Communications. "The addition of Cook Inlet marks the first expansion of the GSM Alliance membership since its formation last August to advance the commercial efforts of its members as well as help spread GSM's seamless, wireless communications to customers across the U.S. and Canada."
"Joining the GSM Alliance enhances our ability to provide superior service and competitive pricing to our customers and enables them to experience the same superior voice clarity, unparalleled security and wireless voice, data and fax capabilities in more than 1,000 cities in North America and 110 countries around the world. GSM truly is a global communications system and we are pleased to be a part of the Alliance representing North American GSM carriers," said Cook Inlet President Jim Healy.
Cook Inlet was the first Personal Communications Services (PCS) licensee under the Federal Communication Commission's "designated entity" program to launch in a major market. The "designated entity" program was established by the FCC to ensure participation in the telecommunications industry by minority and women-owned businesses. CIRI, an Alaska Native corporation, is owned by approximately 6,900 Alaska Native shareholders.
VoiceStream Wireless is the brand name for PCS used by Cook Inlet Western Wireless and Western Wireless Corp. Based in Anchorage, CIRI is one of 12 Alaska-based Native regional corporations established by Congress under the terms of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971. Based in Issaquah, Wash., Western Wireless Corp. (NASDAQ: WWCA) is a leading provider of wireless communication services in the western United States. It currently offers VoiceStream service in 12 states. The company also provides cellular service marketed under the Cellular One national brand in 17 western states. Western Wireless' combined cellular and PCS licenses, along with its investment with Cook Inlet, cover about 59 percent of the land in the continental United States plus Hawaii.
North American GSM Alliance, L.L.C. is a consortium of U.S. and Canadian digital wireless PCS carriers, which helps provide seamless wireless communications for their customers, whether at home, in more than 1,000 U.S. and Canadian cities and towns, or abroad. Using Global Systems for Mobile (GSM) communications, GSM companies provide superior voice clarity, unparalleled security and leading-edge wireless voice, data and fax features for customers. Current members of the GSM Alliance now include: Aerial Communications, Inc., BellSouth Mobility DCS, Cook-Inlet Western Wireless; Microcell Telecommunications Inc., Omnipoint Communications, LLC, Pacific Bell Mobile Services, Powertel, Inc., and Western Wireless Corp., which continue to operate their own businesses and market under their own names.
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