The "Cellular Blues" article in the June 10 Viewpoints contains information that is likely to leave an erroneous impression with your readers. Here are some facts that give a more accurate picture of the cellular industry in general and L.A. Cellular in particular:
* The statement that cellular companies operate a "fixed-cost business" and do little more than pocket their profits once a system is built is completely untrue. When L.A. Cellular began operations in 1987, we had invested about $34 million in equipment and facilities before any income was received. Since then, L.A. Cellular has invested an additional $120 million to improve and expand service to its customers.
* While it is true that cellular demand in Los Angeles is very high, it is also true that L.A. Cellular's investment in its system has substantially exceeded its after-tax income. Since 1985, L.A. Cellular has had a $33-million net negative cash return, largely due to the increasing demand for cellular service, which requires that we continually reinvest earnings in new and more technologically advanced equipment.
* Between now and 1992, L.A. Cellular is committed to spending more than $200 million toward the conversion to digital technology to ensure quality service to our customers. For most cellular customers, the critical issues are geographic coverage and service quality. L.A. Cellular's first priority is to give our customers as much coverage as possible while reducing "dropped calls" and electronic interference.