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New Cell Phone Provider

Oct. 9, 2003

by Charlotte Lenox

Beginning in October, Baylor's official cell phone provider will be ALLTEL. Baylor employed a formal RFP (Request For Proposal) process to make this selection. Six cell phone providers responded to our RFP with proposals for Baylor's cell phone business.

The four person committee of Tom Hoffmeyer, Charlotte Lenox, Janet Knox, and Jeff Collier thoroughly evaluated each proposal. Evaluation criteria included overall proposal quality, rate plans offered, coverage areas, quality of equipment, ability to provide service requested, accessibility and professionalism of the vendor's customer service representative, total overall cost to Baylor, and commitment to Baylor through marketing relationships. All of the proposals were very good, but ALLTEL's proposal clearly stood out as the best, and it earned ALLTEL the highest evaluation score. ALLTEL loaned Baylor several of their phones for testing purposes in various geographical areas, and the test users were very pleased with the coverage and reception.

The transitioning of Baylor's cell phones to ALLTEL has already begun. All new Baylor cell phones will be ALLTEL phones. Existing cell phones will be moved to ALLTEL in the next few weeks. Janet Knox, Coordinator of Telephone Services, will work with each department to determine the appropriate rate plan for each user. Each department will have choices of phone equipment at varying prices, including three models that are free. As a transition incentive, ALLTELL has offered the first month of service to each user at no charge. There is no transition fee.

Several folks have asked about number portability--the ability to change providers without having to change cell phone numbers. Number portability will be available in late November for the larger metropolitan areas. It is predicted that Waco will not have this feature until some time in the late winter. Also, it is expected that there will be a fee charged for number portability, and there is a possibility that it may be a monthly fee, not a one-time charge. These facts are still uncertainties.

Baylor administration is requesting that all Baylor cell phone users comply with the transition to ALLTEL cell phones. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to phone any of the RFP committee members. Janet Knox will be contacting your department soon about setting up the new phone plans for your cell phone users.