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Pacific Telesis: Wikis


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Pacific Telesis Group, Inc.
Type Private (subsidiary of AT&T Inc.)[1]
Founded 1983
Headquarters San Francisco, CA, USA
Key people Chuck Smith, former CEO
Ray Wilkins, former CEO
Industry Telecommunications
Products Telephone, Internet, Television
Parent SBC Communications/AT&T Inc. (1997-present)

Pacific Telesis Group was one of the seven Regional Bell Operating Companies, sometimes also referred to as "RBOCs" or "Baby Bells", created after the 1984 breakup of AT&T as a holding company for Pacific Bell and Nevada Bell, Pacific Telesis International and several other non-regulated companies including PacTel Mobile Services and PacTel InfoSystems. It was acquired by SBC Communications in 1997.

Pacific Telesis Group, Inc. was headquartered in San Francisco.



Pacific Telesis is more commonly known as "PacTel." Prior to the January 1, 1984, breakup of the Bell System, the corporate name of its principal subsidiary Pacific Bell was The Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company, which had also been referred to as "PacTel." After the corporate name change, Pacific Bell was commonly known as "PacBell."

The red and white star trademarked logo was referred to by company employees as the "splat" or more formally as the "access symbol" after the similar star key a telephone keypad.

Branded products

Pacific Telesis licensed rights to its name and the Bell name to Vodavi, who sold consumer telephones under the "PacTel" name. Vodavi manufactured PacTel telephones in South Korea to "Bell Specifications".

Pacific Telesis later licensed the Pacific Bell name to Thomson Consumer Electronics, who also produced telephone equipment for GE.


The cellular and paging unit of Pacific Telesis, PacTel Cellular, was spun off in 1994 into a new company called AirTouch Communications (AirTouch), leaving Pacific Telesis with only the landline telephone company. Senior Pacific Telesis management moved to the new company, thus leaving a new corporate culture to run the old Pacific Telesis. In 1999, Airtouch merged with Britain's Vodafone Group Plc to become Vodafone Airtouch PLC. In 2000, its U.S. wireless assets were merged with those of Bell Atlantic Corp. to form the joint venture Verizon Wireless.

Later, when GSM technology became available, Pacific Bell Mobile Services was re-created, debuting in 1996 at the Republican National Convention in San Diego, California and being introduced to the public in 1997. [1] After its public launch, the wireless division was renamed Pacific Bell Wireless and remained as such until the merger with SBC.


In 1997, Pacific Telesis Group was acquired by SBC Communications, and although the Pacific Telesis Group corporate name disappeared fairly quickly, SBC continued to operate the Pacific Bell and Nevada Bell local telephone companies separately under their original names.

In September 2001, SBC renamed the telephone companies "SBC Pacific Bell" and "SBC Nevada Bell". In late 2002, the companies were rebranded again as simply "SBC". Meanwhile, employees of SBC working in California and Nevada who support SBC's non-regulated services and/or services provided both within and outside California were transferred to other SBC subsidiaries, like "Pacific Telesis Shared Services" and "SBC Operations, Inc." However, for legal and regulatory purposes, employees supporting local regulated services were still employed by "Pacific Bell Telephone Company dba SBC California ("SBC California")", and "Nevada Bell dba SBC Nevada", which are the SBC subsidiaries that provide regulated local telephone services within the franchise territory in California and Nevada.

On November 18, 2005, SBC completed its acquisition of AT&T Corp. to form AT&T Inc. Nevada & Pacific Bells are now known as Pacific Bell Telephone Company d/b/a AT&T California and Nevada Bell Telephone Company d/b/a AT&T Nevada. Pacific Telesis' companies as a whole business are known as AT&T West.


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