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!

Cellular use revolves around safety
FRAMINGHAM, Mass.-Safety tops the list of why customers use cellular phones, according to the Personal Wireless Communications Survey conducted by IDC/LINK, a division of International Data Corp. More than half of the respondents in a national survey of cellular users said security and safety are the primary reasons they use a cellular phone. In addition, the survey found that most cellular subscribers spend less than $50 each month on cellular, and about 85 percent of calls are placed from automobiles. “This survey clearly shows that the cellular and paging markets in the United States are consumer-oriented,” said Iain Gillott, director of IDC/LINK’s wireless and broadband networking research. “However, an important part of the market remains dependent on business users, who still generate a majority of a carrier’s business.” … Read more

News updates from CNN — every 30 minutes on your pager
More than a half million Paging Network Inc. customers started receiving news briefs from CNN Interactive for free last week. Subscribers to PageNet’s alphanumeric service, via Motorola Inc.’s Advisor and Advisor Gold pagers, receive news updates every half hour. CNN broadcasts between six and eight entries in each of eight news categories, including the world, United States, stock market, sports, weather, features and entertainment. The relationship between Dallas-based PageNet and CNN of Atlanta is mutually exclusive, and long term. The companies would not specify the length of their agreement nor the financial details involved, but clearly both stand to benefit from the new relationship. … Read more

Big growth predicted for cellular
OYSTER BAY, N.Y.-The combined total of cellular and personal communications services devices will be in the hundreds of millions by 2000, said Allied Business Intelligence Inc. in its report, “The Wireless World Strategic Outlook.” The report evaluated six categories of wireless technology and studied each area’s market history and its projected direction. Cellular telephony, direct broadcast systems, global positioning systems and PCS systems are all heavily oriented toward the consumer market or have potential consumer applications, reported the study. Cellular and PCS subscriber counts are expected to grow at a compound average annual rate of 25 percent well into the next century, said Allied Business. … Read more

Wireless internet service launches in D.C.
NEW YORK-Metricom Inc. will mark its second commercial launch within a month when it begins offering its data-only wireless Internet access services in late September in the Washington, D.C., area. The company, headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif., has provided wireless data applications to the utilities industry for more than a decade. But recent and pending commercial launches are targeted to an entirely different user–individuals. Furthermore, Metricom views its competitors as Internet access providers, not personal communications services carriers, said Alan Saldich, director of strategic business development. In late August, the company went online over the airwaves in the Seattle area. Since it began marketing its services in March in the San Francisco Bay area, the company has gained 2,000 customers, the largest being Hewlett-Packard Co., Sal-dich said. The first phase of the Washington launch will cover the District of Columbia north to Maryland suburbs like Gaithersburg and Rockville. … Read more

Cellular One launches in D.C.
GREENBELT, Md.-Cellular One has started “FreedomPlus” service in the Washington D.C./Baltimore, Md., area. FreedomPlus is designed to operate between cellular and landline networks to deliver calls to a customer’s cordless phone at home or a cellular phone away from home using only one number. “FreedomPlus is an innovative product that enables customers to manage their fast-paced work environment and busy lifestyles,” said Steve Sitton, president of Cellular One of Washington/Baltimore. “Customers, especially small business owners, enjoy the convenience of giving out only one phone number, their cellular number, to reach them.” Customers purchase a Motorola Inc. personal base station and telephone handset that resembles a cellular flip phone. Calls are automatically routed over the wireless network when the base is in wireless mode. When the base is plugged into an ordinary phone jack, it uses local landline telephone service to automatically deliver incoming cellular calls to the handset. No airtime charges are incurred when the base is in cordless mode. … Read more

Did you get the Memos?
Motorola Inc. unveiled a new open messaging software platform called Memos that is adaptable to all networks but optimized for the unique environment of wireless. “Motorola believes the establishment of standard software platforms will further expand the market,” said Doug Kraul, vice president and general manager of the company’s Atlanta-based Platform Software Division. “Memos is one such key enabler and represents a new opportunity for participation in messaging by other large and small companies including the independent software vendor community,” he said. The Memos initiative includes a client/server operating system, development tools and applications. All product components are designed and targeted for personalized mobile messaging applications, the company said. … Read more

Paging Partners looks for new partners
Paging Partners Corp. is investigating strategic options for “enhancing shareholder value,” which smells of more consolidation in the paging industry. Laidlaw & Co. of New York has been hired as an adviser to the company. Options being considered include selling the company, bringing in a large investor or merging with a paging carrier that operates in complementary regions. Leonard Fink, chairman and co-founder of the Freehold, N.J., company said, “We believe the company is worth more than the market value of the stock.” Fink said the company perceives intrinsic value in the spectrum it holds and its customer base, in addition to assets of hardware and proprietary software, that exceed the market’s current value. Fink’s comment was made Thursday, concurrent with market closing. The company’s stock, which is listed on the national Nasdaq exchange, jumped 48 percent to $2.88 from a $1.94 close Wednesday. Paging Partners first announced its potential sale Wednesday. … Read more

PCS providers get into GSM data
Some Personal Communications Services contenders are looking to differentiate themselves in the new age of wireless competition with data services based on the established Global System for Mobile communications standard. “We see this as a strong differentiator for us and plan to offer it very early,” said Glenn Gottlieb, product director at Pacific Bell Mobile Services. “In talking to corporate customers–many of whom have been burned before by mobile data–we find they’re looking forward to what they see as a ripe opportunity for data solutions using GSM,” he said. “They like that GSM is ISDN-based, so no modem pool is needed to connect to the corporate network.” But one thing that corporate buyers are demanding is an extensive coverage footprint so their applications can roam. Since GSM is not a digital standard for existing cellular networks, buildout of new PCS networks is required to provide that coverage. By the end of next year, the GSM North American footprint is projected to cover about 220 million people based on commitments made to the technology by PCS carriers. … Read more

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

The post #TBT: Cellular = safety; PCS providers look at GSM; major growth expected for cellular … this week in 1996 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.