Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!
Do-Not-Call lists gather momentum
WASHINGTON-As the Federal Trade Commission struggles to establish a do-not-call list and the Federal Communications Commission decides whether it needs a separate one or to collaborate with the FTC, the state of New Jersey enacted a bill to create a do-not-call list. But state officials worry it could take at least a year to design regulations to implement it, which will restrict telemarketing calls to mobile phones. The New Jersey bill also restricts when telemarketing calls can be made. Calls are not allowed after 9 p.m. or before 8 a.m. Telemarketers cannot block their telephone number from Caller I.D. under the New Jersey bill. On the federal side, the FTC is gearing up to begin signing up people on its federal do-not-call list in July. The list will be available for purchase by area code in September and enforcement-an $11,000 fine per violation-will begin in October. Currently the FTC’s do-not-call list is limited to interstate calls but with a majority of states with state do-not-call lists, the penalties could be substantial. … Read more
Alcatel seeks to help battle SARS with mobile tech
SHANGHAI, China-Alcatel said it plans to open a center to enable application developers in the Asia-Pacific region to jointly create mobile multimedia medical applications to battle the SARS epidemic. The center, known as the 3G Reality Center, will attract Alcatel funding support and offer incubation for developers. … Read more
Wireline vs. wireless
SAN DIEGO-If the wireless industry can ensure high-quality, in-home coverage, as well as high-quality Internet access, close to half of all U.S. households would drop their landline phone in favor of a wireless device, according to a new study from PriMetrica and Ernst & Young. Nearly half of all U.S. households would trade in their primary wireline service for a “family share” wireless service plan that provided unlimited local calling from home and 600 anytime minutes, including long-distance for $50 per month, according to the study. The hypothetical wireless plan assumes the consumer would have high-quality coverage throughout the home and access to the Internet comparable with their current form of access-the two major roadblocks for wireless displacement, according to the study. The survey of 700 U.S. households inquired about attitudes toward wireline service providers, experience with wireless service and willingness to trade wireline service for a “family share” wireless plan. “Wireline telephone companies face a real competitive threat to their primary fixed-line business and need to develop strategies to counter the threat,” said Kevin Duffy-Deno, director of analytical services at PriMetrica and author of the study. … Read more
Bluetooth automobile integration accelerates
OYSTER BAY, N.Y.-Nearly 20 percent of new vehicles worldwide will be embedded with Bluetooth hardware by 2007, according to research firm Allied Business Intelligence Inc. ABI cites low cost and an increasing number of mobile handsets embedded with Bluetooth as key drivers of the technology in the automotive sector. The research group expects telephony applications to lead the way for Bluetooth in the car, with other applications to follow, including vehicle diagnostics, lower-cost telematics services, advanced automotive safety systems, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and remote audio and video downloads into the vehicle. … Read more
Will Bluetooth hit the big time?
CEDAR KNOLLS, N.J.-Analyst firm Probe Group believes Bluetooth technology might drive wireless Internet revenues, but remains cautious on its outlook. Analyst David Chamberlain expects one of three uptake scenarios to play out: the “critical mass” scenario, in which a number of well-priced and compatible Bluetooth accessories will lend to the growth of Bluetooth handsets; the “critical miss” scenario, in which Bluetooth terminal and accessory growth remains flat and the technology remains a niche product for the technologically savvy; and a “revolution in mobile devices” scenario, in which Bluetooth spurs the growth of new portable devices including games, personal digital assistants and messaging terminals. Standardization and compatibility among devices will be necessary for widespread adoption of Bluetooth, according to Chamberlain. … Read more
Japan gets a megapixel camera phone
TOKYO-Japanese operator J-Phone has released what it called the world’s first megapixel mobile handset, the J-SH53 from Sharp. The operator said it will initially be offered in a limited quantity of 300 through four J-Phone-owned shops in Tokyo. Sales will then be expanded nationwide. The phone’s camera is capable of taking pictures of up to a maximum resolution of 1,144 by 858 pixels and of sending and receiving MPEG-4 format video clips. … Read more
Look, Ma, no hands
SANTA CRUZ, Calif.-A majority of Americans believe motorists should use a hands-free device while driving and talking on cellular phones, but many do not practice what they preach, according to a national survey by Plantronics Inc. According to the poll, 76 percent of Americans think motorists should use a hand-free device while driving. Four out of 10 Americans have tried using hands-free devices while driving and one in five said they usually or always use hands-free devices while driving. However, 48 percent of those who said they rarely or never use hands-free devices while driving strongly believe motorists should. … Read more
Paging is dead. Long live paging!
The U.S. paging and messaging industry is still declining. Nationwide carriers are still losing thousands of customers every month-both one- and two-way subscribers-and there is no indication the tide will turn anytime soon. However, industry players continue to offer hopeful outlooks on the future. Some predict the decline will soon slow to a trickle, eventually stabilizing, while others see opportunity in other areas of the wireless industry. And though it’s unclear how the paging and messaging market will play out, the tenacity of those in the industry cannot be ignored. “It’s the 20th year of the death of paging,” said Lowell Todd, president of SBC Paging, explaining that industry watchers have predicted the demise of paging since the rise of cellular more than 20 years ago. Others offer an even stronger outlook for their business. “Metrocall right now, today, is the most efficient operator in the business,” said Vincent Kelly, Metrocall’s president and chief executive officer. “We think if the industry consolidates, Metrocall should be running it.” Despite almost continuous predictions of massive consolidation in the paging and messaging industry, little has actually happened during the past two years. Most of the industry’s major players have pushed through the bankruptcy process and emerged on the other side, lighter and healthier, with greatly reduced debt obligations. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.