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!

Carrier consolidation in Canada
Canada’s telecom market saw major changes last week, as its four smallest telecom companies agreed
to merge into one company and Bell Canada formed a strategic partnership with U.S.-based Ameritech Corp. The merging of the four Atlantic region-based firms will create the country’s third-largest telecom company and second-largest information technology provider. The new company, tentatively called AtlanticCo, is made up of Bruncor Inc., Island Telecom Inc., Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Co. Ltd. and NewTel Enterprises Ltd. On a pro forma basis, AtlanticCo will have a 1998 net income of $114.2 million, with some 230 million mobility subscribers and 78-percent market share in the region. … Read more

Taking mobile messaging mainstream
ARLINGTON, Va.-The Electronic Messaging Association announced the formation of the
Wireless Messaging Group, designed to help bring wireless messaging mainstream. According to EMA, the WMG’s specific charter is “to promote wireless technologies and solutions and educate corporate end users, (Information Technology) managers, (Chief Information Officers), and other messaging specialists about wireless communications solutions and how organizations can increase productivity and lower costs by integrating wireless technologies with their existing messaging systems today.” Founding members include Conxus Communications Inc., Infowave Software Inc., Research In Motion Ltd., SmartServ Online Inc., Sybase Inc.’s Mobile Embedded Computing Division and Wireless Knowledge L.L.C. … Read more

Qualcomm, Ericsson come to a draw in 3G IP fight
Although Qualcomm Inc. and L.M. Ericsson announced resolutions to Code Division Multiple
Access disputes and the standoff over third-generation intellectual property rights, the companies didn’t resolve key technical differences 3G parties have tried to resolve for more than a year. Qualcomm and Ericsson announced last week they resolved all patent disputes over cdmaOne technology and will cross license IPRs for all CDMA technologies, including cdmaOne, W-CDMA and cdma2000. Both companies had remained deadlocked over 3G patents, refusing to cross license patents they claimed to own to W-CDMA and cdma2000 technologies unless certain conditions were met. Qualcomm wanted one CDMA standard backward compatible to second-generation systems, while Ericsson advocated multiple standards. … Read more

So happy together
It was an unprecedented event. Qualcomm Inc., the biggest defender of CDMA technology, and L.M.
Ericsson, the largest naysayer of the technology, embraced last week, ending more than 10 years of open hostilities between the two. “It’s wonderful to be together,” said Dr. Irwin Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm, laughing and joking with Ericsson CEO Sven-Christer Nilsson at last week’s news conference in New York. The statement was ironic considering how the two companies months ago were headed to court over cdmaOne patents and were ready to weather out an intellectual-property-rights standoff that appeared to threaten the International Telecommunication third-generation Union’s standards-setting process. It has been more than a decade since Jacobs introduced Interim Standard-95 technology to the world as a viable mobile phone technology. Jacobs and cdmaOne have come a long way since the technology received a chilly reception from the U.S. mobile phone industry in the late 1980s. It was a time when carriers already had invested large amounts of money into Time Division Multiple Access technology, and cdmaOne technology was an entirely different digital technology that operated in ways engineers had trouble understanding. Ericsson, too, was skeptical that CDMA technology, initially developed for the military, would work in mobile phone terrestrial systems. And it said so. The company aggressively pushed ahead with GSM, TDMA and W-CDMA technology for the next generation of systems. … Read more

Wireless revenues ready for a fall?
POWAY, Calif.-According to an economic model developed by Technology Trends, Technology
Focus Inc., 1999 wireless revenue in the United States is likely to fall by approximately $1.50 per user. “The economics of the wireless business cannot support acquisition costs of $450 to $500 per subscriber, churn ranging from 30 percent up to 45 percent in some markets, and revenue per user in the $50 range,” said Hunt Eggleston, president of Technology Trends. “There simply cannot be four or five profitable wireless carriers in every market.” Eggleston said the new research indicates carriers need to focus more on keeping customers and less on attracting new ones if they hope to achieve financial stability.

Mulling wireless branding in an internet age
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a hamburger and French fries? Probably
McDonalds. Think of a pair of tennis shoes, and you probably picture the Nike swoosh. Or a pair of jeans, and you probably think of Levi’s. Craving a cup of coffee? See you at Starbucks. Some brand names have become so well-known that the brand has become a substitute for the product itself. Think Xerox, Kleenex and Band-Aid. But what comes to mind when consumers think of wireless? According to Peter Dresch, director of telecommunications market analysis at J.D. Power and Associates, long-distance carriers and regional telephone companies continue to garner the highest marks for customer satisfaction in a majority of their wireless markets, due in large part to their brand names. AT&T Corp.’s name is so well-known, in fact, that the company often is credited with providing products and services it does not actually provide, such as local telephone service and wireless handsets. … Read more

Strained US/China relations
WASHINGTON-Despite China’s making new promises to open its telecom market to competition
and foreign investment, the Clinton administration is avoiding making any commitments to endorse Chinese entry into the World Trade Organization in advance of a U.S. government-industry trade mission to China later this week and Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji’s visit here next week. U.S.-Sino relations, already strained by alleged satellite technology transfer, espionage charges against China and the U.S. $57 billion trade deficit with China, grew shakier last week as China (and Russia) voiced strong opposition to U.S.-North Atlantic Treaty Organization military intervention in Yugoslavia. The confluence of these events appears to have slowed progress on U.S.-Sino telecom trade, following seemingly positive talks in Beijing just a few short weeks ago between Chinese leaders and a U.S. delegation that included trade representative Charlene Barshefsky, Commerce Secretary William Daley and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. … Read more

14.4 kbps on GSM
CEDAR KNOLLS, N.J.-Omnipoint Communications Inc. said it successfully demonstrated
circuit-switched wireless data delivery at a connection speed of 14.4 kilobits per second on its Global System for Mobile communications network in Syracuse, N.Y., using equipment provided by Nortel Networks.Omnipoint is planning to offer the service in the metropolitan New York area as well. The 14.4 kbps connections will be the same price as the basic 9.6 kbps data rate, said the company.

Flashback to HP’s telecom-test pedigree
PALO ALTO, Calif.-Hewlett-Packard Co. introduced the HP TS-5530 mobile phone test
platform, a tester that meets the demands of Code Division Multiple Access and Global System for Mobile
communications cellular phone testing.The tester is a pre-integrated platform and as such, according to HP, provides a higher-level starting point for building systems than do instruments and software tools used to develop systems from scratch. The TS-5530 incorporates a Windows NT personal computer with digital input/output, phone power supplies, radio-frequency instrumentation and bus-sharing technology. … Read more

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

The post #TBT: Qualcomm to the left, Ericsson to the right, 3G IP fight, fight, fight… this week in 1999 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.