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!

Sprint wraps up a million wireless web customers
KANSAS CITY, Mo.-More than 1 million wireless Internet customers have signed up for Sprint PCS’ Wireless Web offering since it was launched in September 1999, according to the company. Since its inception, Sprint said that its wireless Web service has expanded to provide Internet content from more than 100 different sites including topics such as news, sports, travel, shopping, financial services, games and messaging services. … Read more

With content like this, you can see why
KANSAS CITY, Mo.-Sprint PCS reached agreements with Walt Disney Internet Group, ConsumerReview.com and BarPoint.com to provide content via Sprint’s wireless Web offering. The Walt Disney Internet Group deal will provide news headlines and summary digests from ABCNews.com; sports headlines and scores from ESPN.com; entertainment news and movie information from Mr. Showbiz; and stock information, weather and horoscope information from G0.com Web Guide. ConsumerReview.com, a source for consumer product information on the Internet, will supply consumer-generated product reviews and ratings. Sprint PCS customers can access the ConsumerReview.com site under the “Shopping” category on their wireless Web phones. … Read more

Looking for that perfect phone + internet device

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla.-Motorola Inc. introduced its V.series V100 personal communicator, which the company said combines text messaging, phone functionality, Internet access and GSM technology with a QWERTY keyboard. Motorola debuted the new communicator, which already was introduced in Europe in October, in the United States last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “The V.series V11 is the all-in-one communications solution for the consumer who is always on the go and needs a functional and fun mobile communications product,” said Jennifer Hansard, the company’s V.series brand manager. … Read more

AOL’s CES ’01 keynote: Apps will drive new technology
LAS VEGAS-Whether we like it or not, most of us are plugged in, turned on or otherwise connected to everyone else on this planet. But in spite of these universal ties, there is growing interest in maintaining individuality, or so it seemed at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. Hundreds of vendors converged to showcase products created to address a similar, yet different, consumer market. Show-goers once again were met with the battle cry that applications will drive new technology. In his Executive Perspective keynote address, America Online’s president of interactive services, Barry Schuler, said companies must not lose sight of what consumers want. Schuler said products and services must be seamless and easy to use, and they must provide consumers with value. “Normal people don’t buy the technology,” he said. “They buy the benefits of technology.” Schuler said the continuing expansion of Internet services will lead to new consumers, convenience and convergence … Read more

Telecom mergers make the big-time
NEW YORK-Telecommunications mergers made up four of the top 10 largest mergers of all time, according to a list released by the Associated Press following the approval of America Online Inc. merger with Time Warner. Vodafone AirTouch plc’s merger with Mannesmann AG last year topped the list with a total valuation of $161 billion, well ahead of the second most valuable merger between pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and Warner-Lambert Co., valued at $116 billion. SBC Communications Inc.’s merger with Ameritech in 1999 ranked sixth with a total valuation of $72 billion, followed by VodafoneGroup plc’s merger with AirTouch Communications Inc. in 1999 valued at $69 billion … Read more

Radiation safety battles play out in court
WASHINGTON-The U.S. Supreme Court last week declined to consider appeals of mobile phone and tower radiation safety guidelines adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in 1996. Four parties had challenged a decision last year by a federal appeals court in New York, which upheld the FCC’s radio-frequency radiation standard. The four parties argued to the Supreme Court that government radiation guidelines for cell phones and towers do not adequately protect consumers against health risks. “Obviously, the Supreme Court agreed with us and found the FCC did a good job in determining scientifically based RF guidelines,” said Michael Altschul, vice president and general counsel of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association. Last Monday’s high court ruling, rendered without comment, comes on the heels of two new epidemiology studies that found no near-term risk of brain cancer from limited cell-phone use for two or three years. The two studies did not look at heavy mobile-phone radiation exposure over a longer period. Such circumstances exist in an $800 million lawsuit in Baltimore and in a workplace compensation complaint filed in Illinois by a former Motorola technician … Read more

P25 for public safety gets FCC nod
WASHINGTON-Public-safety officials eagerly applauded action last week to designate Project 25 Phase I as the interoperability standard for use in the 700 MHz band. “The result of the FCC’s action is that all public-safety users of the new 700 MHz band will be able to communicate with each other when responding to emergencies, even if they are from different agencies and use otherwise incompatible radio equipment,” said Lyle Gallagher, president of the Association of Public-safety Communications Officials International Inc. The FCC’s action designated that 10 percent of the 24 megahertz being returned to the government with the transition to digital TV will be used for interoperability. Nearly 20 years ago with the crash of an airplane into a local bridge and continuing to 1995 with the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, public-safety officials have complained about their inability to talk with each other. It is hoped that by reserving these channels for interoperability, stories like these will be history by the end of the decade. … Read more

Small players fight for spectrum

DENVER, United States-When the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set aside a portion of the permits up for bid in its 1996 auction of personal communications services (PCS) licenses, the intent was to foster competition in the wireless industry by allowing minority-owned companies, known as designated entities (DEs), to purchase licenses without having to bid against well-established and well-funded competitors. The plan was partially successful. While many licenses were indeed won by minority-owned companies, one DE, NextWave Telecom, walked away with 90 licenses valued at US$4.7 billion. But NextWave filed bankruptcy soon after winning the licenses and has been fighting with the FCC ever since for control of those licenses. The FCC opened up most of the licenses in its latest auction to the large, established players, and again set aside a portion for DEs. But, unlike the previous auction, the FCC is allowing DEs with financial backing from larger operators to bid on the DE-only licenses as long as a larger operator does not have a voting stake in a smaller entity. … Read more

Gearing up for ITU WRC intrigue
GENEVA-With just a few months to go until the next ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-2000) on 8 May-2 June in Istanbul, Turkey, tensions are already running high as rival national delegations jostle to secure a bigger slice of the radio frequency spectrum to support rapid growth in a wide range of services, from cellular telephony to radio astronomy. The remarkable growth enjoyed by the world’s wireless and satellite operators during the last decade has left its mark on the once-staid WRC, which has recently earned a reputation for bitter conference-room clashes, shameless politicking by commercial operators, and some serious back-room wheeling and dealing. If the atmosphere at the two-week-long Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) held in November in Geneva is any indication, WRC-2000 promises to be no exception. While Bob Jones, director of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU’s) Radiocommunication Bureau (BR), said his team is working hard to encourage as much consensus-building as possible before the event, he admitted this year’s conference is unlikely to be anything short of grueling. “It’s a constant challenge because the exponential growth in wireless services means the agenda is huge,” Jones said. “Trying to deal with all the urgent issues in a timely manner requires a marathon effort.” For the uninitiated, the arduous debates that have come to characterize the WRC are couched in terms so arcane as to be virtually unintelligible. … Read more

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

The post #TBT: Sprint wraps up a million wireless web customers; P25 approved for public safety … this week in 2001 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.