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!

The bar for 5G was quite low in 2002
DUBLIN, Ireland-Forget about third-generation (3G) technology and don’t even think about General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). A group of researchers in Finland reckon fifth generation (5G) is the next big thing and that by the end of this decade, it will offer mobile users the type of download speeds currently enjoyed by fixed broadband subscribers. … VTT claims that when 5G is up and running, it will quickly supercede 3G mobile. The researchers do not expect users to be able to view a movie or play a video game in real time even on 5G networks, but rather that they could download large files relatively quickly and view them on their handsets at their convenience. … Read more

Virgin Mobile UK hit the 2-million customer mark
LONDON-Virgin Mobile U.K. said it signed up 232,000 customers during the third quarter, giving the company more than 2 million customers at the end of September, which is less than three years after Virgin launched its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service in the United Kingdom. “The astonishing fact about Virgin Mobile reaching 2 million customers is not that we achieved this figure, but that we did so in record time,” said Sir Richard Branson, chief executive of Virgin. … Read more

Nextel launches its first GPS-enabled phone
RESTON, Va.-Nextel Communications Inc. launched the new Motorola Inc. i88s mobile phone, which includes support for location-based services with global positioning satellite technology, a move to meet the Federal Communications Commission Enhanced 911 mandate. “This phone is the first Nextel handset that will provide technically capable emergency response centers with information that will assist in the location of someone who has called 911 from his or her GPS-enabled Nextel phone,” said Greg Santoro, vice president of Nextel Internet and Wireless Services. “The i88s also will support future location-based services for our wireless customers.” The Motorola phone includes technology from location-services company SiRF Technology Inc. Motorola also announced it will integrate SiRF’s GPS chipsets, as well as its SiRFLoc Multimode location technology, into select Motorola third-generation mobile phones. … Read more

A ‘high-end’ Pocket PC with 3.5 hours of talk time
SAN DIEGO-Siemens Information and Communication Mobile said it will begin selling its new high-end SX56 Windows-powered Pocket PC Phone through AT&T Wireless Services Inc. starting this month. The GSM/GPRS device features a color screen, text messaging capabilities, an MP3 stereo player and an infrared data interface. It provides up to 150 hours of standby time, 3.5 hours of talk time and 15 hours of personal digital assistant time. The device will sell for $550. … Read more

Ericsson sells software R&D centers in India
NEW DELHI, India-Ericsson has decided to sell its three research and development (R&D) centers located in Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi to Wipro Limited, a leading Indian information technology (IT) solutions and services company based in Bangalore. Wipro announced in Bangalore it has signed a letter of intent with Ericsson to acquire all the software development resources, including the software professionals in relation to the three centers. Concurrently, Ericsson signed another letter of intent to outsource consultancy services for Wipro. … “Ericsson has identified India as an important outsourcing location. Wipro’s technical depth and quality leadership make it an ideal long-time partner for software development for us,” commented Jam Campbell, managing director, Ericsson India. … Read more

Nortel in trouble
TORONTO-Merrill Lynch has significantly lowered its estimate of how much cash Nortel Networks will have at the end of next year, citing concerns about Nortel’s wireless equipment division. Merrill said it now estimates that Nortel will end next year with just US$500 million in cash-a far cry from the US$4.9 billion that the manufacturer had at the end of June. Merrill Lynch analyst Tom Astle wrote in a recent report, “We believe there is growing evidence of deferred (or even cancelled) spending, and that this market may be mostly delayed until 2004, leaving wireless in another dead zone.” The wireless division accounts for nearly half of Nortel’s total revenue. Nortel shares dropped 8 percent in Toronto yesterday to close down 7 Canadian cents to 76 Canadian cents, just above their long-time low of 70 Canadian cents. Last week, Piper Jaffray analyst Edward Jackson wrote Nortel faces the “very real risk of a bankruptcy filing” because of the continued decline in its business. … Read more

Nextel tries to reassure investors
RESTON, Va.-Responding to a J.P. Morgan report questioning its financial reporting practices, Nextel Communications Inc. released a statement intended to assure investors that the carrier’s financial results were legitimate. J.P. Morgan analyst Thomas Lee said the company would like to see a number of improvements in Nextel’s financial reporting including the recognition of bad debt expense, customer churn and timing benefits linked with one-time adjustments. “Our analysis suggests that Nextel is probably understating its current (customer turnover) rate by about 30-40 basis points and bad debt by as much as $22 million in second quarter 2002 alone,” Lee said in his report. Nextel said the analyst report was based on an “over-simplified model and erroneous assumptions related to the company’s churn policy and bad debt expense.” … Read more

No rush to W-CDMA, AT&T says
PARIS-AT&T Wireless Services told a conference in Paris that it is currently seeing no demand for W-CDMA-based service in the United States, and the carrier could take four or five years to look at the technology. “We don’t see anything in the market driving demand for wideband-CDMA,” said Leo Nikkari, director of 3G industry relations for AT&T Wireless. “I don’t see anything pushing us to an early W-CDMA launch.” Nikkari added that the carrier is moving ahead with plans to upgrade its network to EDGE technology next year … Read more

NTTDoCoMo puts 4G through its paces
TOKYO-NTT DoCoMo Inc. reported success with an experimental fourth-generation mobile transmission that provided data speeds of 100 megabits per second on the downlink and 20 Mbps on the uplink in an indoor lab environment. DoCoMo’s current 3G FOMA network provides maximum data rates of 384 kilobits per second on the downlink and 64 kbps on the uplink. To deliver such high speeds and wide coverage, DoCoMo said 4G technology requires a bandwidth of approximately 100 megahertz that can lead to a greater number of impairments to transmission quality. To counteract these problems, the carrier’s experimental system employs variable spreading factor and orthogonal frequency code division multiplexing technologies. … Read more

Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.

The post #TBT: A low bar for 5G; Nextels’ first handset with GPS; NTTDoCoMo tests 4G … this week in 2002 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.