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 those sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

Nextlink starts mobile data trial

BELLEVUE, Wash.-Nextlink Communications Inc. announced it has begun a field test of its broadband wireless technology in the Los Angeles area. “This is another important step to providing a complete package of end-to-end, broadband communications services to enterprise customers throughout the United States,” said Nextlink Chief Executive Officer Steve Hooper. During the field test, Nextlink will use equipment by Ericsson Inc., SpectraPoint Wireless, Wavtrace Inc. and Digital Microwave Corp., Nextlink said. … Read more

Sprint PCS launches “Wireless Web”

KANSAS CITY, Mo.-Sprint PCS introduced the Sprint PCS Wireless Web, which allows Sprint PCS customers to browse the Internet from their wireless phones. Sprint PCS Wireless Web also offers the ability to customize and receive important news, e-mail and … Read more

Location services are possible, Lucent manager says

Wireless carriers could deploy commercial location services in advance of the phase II enhanced 911 services deadlines mandated by the Federal Communications Commission. Gary Ritter, wireless offer manager, location services, for Lucent Technologies Inc., said many commercial services could be deployed today because they don’t require the extremely accurate location fixes required by the second phase of the mandate. Ritter also said phase II E911 solutions could begin ramping up by the end of next year, well in advance of the FCC’s original October 2001 deadline for deploying such services. “Many location applications can be put into place just using the switch and cell-sector information that is available today,” said Ritter, who noted carriers might deploy commercial services early and then migrate the services to a more granular level when more accurate location fixes become available. “I believe those services can be deployed with cell-sector information, particularly in urban areas where there are lots of cell sites.” Commercial services, like location-based billing and information services, are candidates for early deployment in high-density areas, while E911 and emergency roadside assistance will have to wait for the highly accurate location fixes provided for in phase II. … Read more

Consumers willing to pay $2 per month for location services

LOS ANGELES-Driscoll-Wolfe Marketing & Research Consulting conducted a multiclient marketing research study on consumer interest in location-based mobile communication services, and identified the location-based services of greatest interest to consumers and quantified their level of interest and willingness to pay for these services. The study covered consumer interest in a wide range of services, delivered to an in-vehicle unit, a wireless phone or other portable device. The services covered in the study include emergency notification; information services; automatic crash notification; location-based billing; roadside assistance; personal security service; stolen vehicle tracking; monitoring the location of elderly, handicapped, children and pets; routing assistance; traffic alerts; mobile Yellow Pages; and monitoring the location of valuable possessions. Two focus groups were conducted in each of five major cities. Some key findings included: Consumers are most interested in security-related services, such as emergency notification and automatic crash notification. More than half the participants would be willing to pay a surcharge of $1-$2 on their monthly cellular bill to have their location automatically transmitted to the response agency when they dial 911. … Read more

Motorola, Audible demonstrate content downloads to a mobile phone

NEW ORLEANS-Motorola Inc. and Audible, a provider of Internet-delivered spoken audio content, demonstrated at Personal Communications Showcase ’99 in New Orleans the direct downloading of spoken audio content to digital wireless phones. The demonstration showcased the ability of Motorola’s i1000plus digital handset to download and play a selection of spoken media … Read more

Nokia merges with its Finnish subsidiary Nokiterra

HELSINKI-Nokia Corp. and Nokiterra Oy merged, giving Nokia approximately 64.3 million of its shares, corresponding to approximately 5.3 percent of the total share capital and voting rights of Nokia, said the company. The merger does not affect Nokia Corp.’s key figures or voting rights, as these shares have already been eliminated in the group’s profit and loss accounts and other statements, Nokia said. … Read more

Decide.com lets consumer compare cellular plans and coverage

SAN JOSE-Decide.com introduced the Decide.com Web site, where consumers can identify, compare and purchase telecommunications products and services based on how they will use them. The company also announced Wireless Test Drive, a feature that lets consumers actually see where cellular service call quality reception is best and worst in their area, and hear the call quality of any provider’s wireless service exactly where they’ll be using their phone. “At Decide.com, we are dedicated to providing consumers with the unbiased information and objective help they need to cut through the noise and make the best decision possible,” said Roy Prasad, president and chief executive officer of Decide.com. … Read more

TIA’s 3GPP2 group works on 3G harmonization issues

ARLINGTON, Va.-The Telecommunications Industry Association announced the Third-Generation Partnership Program 2 (3GPP2) has completed its international harmonization workshop on global 3G and has moved closer to resolving technical issues related to operating cdma2000 technology multicarrier systems on Global System for Mobile communications MAP-based networks. Earlier this year, the Operators Harmonization Group-an ad hoc group of carriers from around the world-reached a consensus on 3G standards, opting to push forward with a family of Code Division Multiple Access-based standards that includes cdma2000 and wideband-CDMA technology based on the GSM MAP network. Standards groups have since been working to identify the hooks and extensions needed to tie W-CDMA and ANSI-41 based cdma2000 together. More than 100 wireless industry representatives from 15 countries recently met in El Segundo, Calif., to work on this issue. … Read more

DoJ sides with Nextel, supports relaxing antitrust decree

WASHINGTON-The Justice Department, already embroiled in controversy over a secret wireless licensing pact with Nextel Communications Inc. and the Federal Communications Commission, last week urged a federal court here to reject challenges to the proposed relaxation of the 1995 Nextel antitrust consent decree. Justice also continued efforts to block the main opponents of the DOJ-Nextel antitrust settlement from fully participating in the case. The department’s Sept. 14 court filing would have the effect of significantly muting major critics of proposed decree modifications. In last week’s filing, Justice brushed off protests against proposed decree modifications lodged by top creditors of bankrupt Geo-tek Communications Inc. (Wilmington Trust Co. and Hughes Network Systems Inc.) and by the Alliance for Radio Competition. ARC is a coalition of small- and medium-sized dispatch operators. DOJ wants Judge Thomas Hogan to approve changes to the 1995 decree that would give Nextel immediate access to previously prohibited 900 MHz frequencies and that would end the decree on Oct. 30, 2000-five years ahead of time. … Under the 1995 decree, Nextel was barred from holding 900 MHz dispatch licenses in major markets because of its dominance in the 800 MHz dispatch business. Nextel needs more spectrum to accommodate current demand and to be able to provide next-generation, Internet-friendly wireless services. … Read more

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

The post #TBT: Nextlink trials mobile data; Sprint PCS launches web service; Audible, Motorola demo downloadable content … this week in 1999 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.