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!

When you need to go beyond the car-phone
GREENBELT, Md.–Cellular One of Washington D.C./Baltimore announced a new service that enables customers to make and receive calls using a single telephone number from up to three cellular phones. …The FlexPhone service “is an ideal solution for cellular users who have an installed phone for communication in a vehicle but could benefit from the increased mobility of a portable phone,” said Steve Sitton, president and general manager of Cellular One. … Read more

Prescient data predictions
WASHINGTON – Bell Atlantic Mobile President Dennis Strigl predicts that wireless data will account for a greater proportion of system operators’ business in coming years, but cautioned industry against over reaching itself. “Frankly, I don’t think most people have any idea of what we have here and how quick this market will move,” said Strigl, the keynote speaker at the Wireless Datacomm conference held earlier this month in Washington, D.C. BAM, a subsidiary of Philadelphia-based Bell Atlantic Corp., is a leading proponent of cellular digital packet data, or CDPD, technology. The police department in Groton, Conn., recently installed a BAM wireless data network. Others like it have been operating for months in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh. As such, Strigl said local and regional applications are relatively easy to implement, enabling carriers to serve customer needs today. The applications also can evolve toward creating a national data network. “Once our customers understand what we have and what to do with what we have, when back-room entrepreneurs start using our products, when they understand what the systems are capable of transmitting, customers will tell us what to do with the products and services that we provide,” said Strigl. … Read more

My, how the market’s tastes change
NORWELL, Mass.-Home-based coverage is the dominant requirement for future wireless communications products and services, according to a recent study. A third of the 800 U.S. adults surveyed this summer by BIS Strategic Decisions indicated they were interested only in home personal communications services, according to the market research firm. A total of 20 percent of the respondents were interested in both home and mobile PCS coverage, while 8.5 percent of the people surveyed said they were seeking mobile-only PCS service. Of the people surveyed who said they were interested in PCS, 60 percent said they expect to upgrade or replace their existing phone service when PCS comes online. Those respondents also said their home phone would be the primary target for replacement, the report said. … Read more

Testing GSM in Colorado
BOULDER, Colo.-Engineers have completed a month-long test of the Global System for Mobile communications standard at 1.8 GHz as part of an assessment for the U.S. wireless industry entering the personal communications services market. Field tests took place at U S West Inc.’s Boulder Industry Test Bed facility in cooperation with the Joint Technical Committee. This is the first formal test for the JTC, a spin-off group of the Telecommunications Industry Association and Committee T1. “Each technology has been invited to use this facility to verify system characteristics. But we have not elected to do competitive evaluations at this time,” said JTC Co-chairman Charles Cook. Test results will be released in late January. The GSM system, based on Time Division Multiple Access digital technology, is an offspring of the European DCS-1800 standard. It is a “high tier” system using a high-powered base system and a minimal number of cell sites. “Low tier” systems being developed use more low-power cell sites and can handle a larger volume of calls. Two manufacturers, Motorola Inc. and Northern Telecom Inc., participated in the jointly designed program. The plan called for the companies to provide full coverage for Boulder, a city of 80,000 resting at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. … Read more

Tektronix eyes the PCS market
An Oregon test and measurement equipment company with international alliances is poised for what it hopes is a wave of demand from companies building personal communications services networks. “Test equipment is an integral part of installing a PCS system. And we think testing will be the key part of their decisions, based on cost,” said Thomas Brinkoetter, marketing manager of Beaverton, Ore.-based Tektronix Inc. Tektronix wants to be the dominant supplier of PCS test equipment for all PCS technologies evolving in the U.S. market. “We think there will be a winner and it likely will be the American (Global System for Mobile communications) standards. But no matter how the standard goes, we will have something,” Brinkeoetter said. The company has taken two important steps in the last two years to position itself for flexibility. … Read more

Then-FCC Chairman Reed Hunt was RCR’s Person of the Year
Editor’s note: After only a little more than a year as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Reed Hundt has spearheaded some of the most dramatic changes ever for the wireless communications industry. He has, in effect, redesigned an industry by creating a commercial mobil radio service and crafting a platform from which small businesses, women and minorities might have an equal opportunity to participate in the spectrum auctions. It is, in fact, the auctions for which Hundt will be most noted: He will be known as the one who took the “air” out of the industry and put it on the “block.” Whether liked or disliked -and there are those on either side of the fence – he has impacted the wireless industry in 1994 more than any other person. He is RCR’s 1994 Person of the Year. He came. He saw. He reinvented. Perhaps no individual has ever played a bigger role in reshaping wireless telecommunications regulation than Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt did in 1994. In just his first 12 months of a five year stint, Hundt stole the show. A free-market advocate with a social conscience, the controversial Hundt would make as many enemies as friends with his policies and practices. Take away the fireworks of cable television reregulation – mandated by Congress and implemented by Hundt – and he might look like a popular FCC chairman today. So much for what-ifs. What he did do is turn the FCC upside down and inside out before pulling out a new Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. … Read more

Kerfuffle over satellite licenses
WASHINGTON-Sparks are flying weeks before public comments are due at the Federal Communications Commission on applications from six firms seeking licenses to operate global pocket-phone satellite systems. “I think that some of the competitive systems are basing their financial qualifications on highly speculative investments,” said John Windolph, spokesman for Iridium Inc. Iridium, financed by Motorola Inc. and various foreign firms, is one the companies in the hunt for low-earth-orbit satellite, or big LEO, licenses. The rest of field includes Loral-Qualcomm Satellite Services Inc., Mobile Communications Holdings Inc., TRW Inc., Constellation Communications Inc. and American Mobile Satellite Corp. “I believe we will make it,” said Gerald Helman, vice president of MCHI. The FCC said it intends to license as many as five big LEO applicants by Jan. 31. … Read more

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

The post #TBT: Prescient data predictions, testing GSM and prepping for PCS … this week in 1994 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.