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!
Customers willing to cut their landlines
One-third of consumers would be willing to cancel their local wireline phone service if their wireless service providers improved basic services and lowered monthly costs, according to a national survey commissioned by online retailer LetsTalk and conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide last month. The survey, which questioned 1,000 Americans over the age of 18, found that 38 percent of consumers would drop their wireline service if their wireless carriers provided both better coverage and lower monthly costs. One-third of respondents said they would cut the cord for improved service alone. In addition, the survey noted 9 percent of those questioned said they would never consider getting rid of their wireline service, while 1 percent claimed to have already cancelled their local wireline service. “We were shocked at the sheer number of Americans who would consider dropping their local phone service,” said Delly Tamer, chief executive officer of LetsTalk. “The goal of our survey was to help prioritize where wireless carriers could improve to gain market share in the wireless-only market. We found it interesting that if the wireless industry offers basic improvements to service quality and cost per minute, it appears they could grow the wireless-only market much faster than almost anyone expected.” … Read more
US Cellular launches picture messaging
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.-Using Motorola Inc.’s solution, U.S. Cellular has launched its picture messaging solution nationwide. The program, known as Easyedge, uses Motorola Inc.’s multimedia services center, which interoperates among multiple multimedia services-enabled handsets and with e-mail, according to Motorola. “We chose Motorola’s MMSC solution because it makes it easy for our customers to send and receive pictures and audio messages, and in the future will enable us to provide them with even more advanced data capabilities,” said Mike Irizarry, executive vice president and chief technology officer at U.S. Cellular. Motorola said its solution is technology agnostic and supports MMSC, short message service center gateways and enhanced message services on one platform. … Read more
3G Americas opposes spectrum sharing
WASHINGTON-A GSM organization, fearing interference could undercut billions in mobile-phone industry investment, called for a prohibition on shared use of licensed and unlicensed frequencies and urged that any new Wi-Fi-type spectrum allocations be above 5 GHz. “The issue of licensed vs. unlicensed spectrum is a concern for everyone and encompasses the use of not only mobile devices, but unlicensed spectrum wireless devices as well, which can cause interference and reduce the quality of service for mobile customers and operators,” said Chris Pearson, president of 3G Americas. In a new technical paper, the GSM group also recommended that rights and responsibilities of licensees be clearly defined when spectrum is allocated, and that frequency allocations should be globally harmonized whenever possible. The report said overcoming interference requires the construction of additional cell sites, an added cost that must be passed on to consumers. 3G Americas said the document is intended to provide guidance to policy-makers and other stakeholders. … Read more
‘Truetones’ come to Orange
For the love of music, Universal Mobile and carrier Orange have penned a deal that will bring original chart hit clips to 40 million European mobile customers. Mobile-phone users can toss their heads in rhythm to the latest croons from international chart makers such as Keane, Mario Wynans, the Rasmus, Christina Millan, Gabrielle and the Black Eyed Peas. “Whether they’re waiting for the bus, queuing in the supermarket or killing time between meetings, they’ll be able to access some of their favorite artists,” said Billy Wright, director of content acquisition and management at Orange. Both Universal Mobile and Orange call the sounds “truetones.” The pan-European deal covers such countries as the United Kingdom, Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Slovakia and Romania. Each country’s portal will provide the content, and consumers will begin enjoying this service in July, according to Orange. No dollar amount was disclosed for the deal. “Both companies are confident that this agreement heralds the most extensive mobile music choice available to date for customers, and it ensures that Orange customers receive the very latest music offers from Universal Music’s globe-spanning roster of recording artists,” said both companies. … Read more
A spectrum shuffle for Nextel and public safety
WASHINGTON-FCC Chairman Michael Powell has sided with Nextel Communications Inc. and has proposed to his colleagues that replacement spectrum for solving the 800 MHz band public-safety interference problem come from the 1.9 GHz band, sources confirmed Thursday. While it remains unclear whether Powell has officially voted on an item-a move that would start an internal clock to finish deliberations-that may not be important because several people believe the Federal Communications Commission wants to issue a consensus document rather than a split decision. By making public that the decision is 1.9 GHz, 1.9 GHz most likely will be the final decision, although at least two commissioners (in addition to Powell) have not officially voted. Once the item is officially adopted, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will be asked to draft a final version, which must also be signed off on before being released to the public, so a final decision most likely will not be made until at least mid-summer. Meanwhile, a new group calling itself the First Responders Coalition, held a telephone press conference Thursday morning to say the 1.9 GHz band should be auctioned and the proceeds dedicated to public-safety communications. … Read more
Verizon’s William Barr warns FCC against such a plan
WASHINGTON-Verizon Communications Inc., the parent company of Verizon Wireless, warned the Federal Communications Commission late Monday that it could be violating criminal laws if it awards Nextel Communications Inc. spectrum in the 1.9 GHz band as part of a solution to public-safety interference in the 800 MHz band. “It is no accident that Congress chose to employ the criminal law to police the fiscal accountability of public officials. Congress well understood that stewards of public resources could be exposed to relentless pressures to convert those resources to private gain. It therefore took stern measures, and aimed them directly at the officials themselves, to ensure that they would not succumb to these pressures and instead remain true to the public interest,” said William Barr, Verizon executive vice president & general counsel and former attorney general under the first President Bush. “The plan you are considering is a patent violation of these laws.” Last week, RCR Wireless News reported that FCC Chairman Michael Powell proposed to his colleagues that replacement spectrum for solving the 800 MHz band public-safety interference problem come from 1.9 GHz spectrum. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.