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!
CTIA sues over historic preservation rules
WASHINGTON-The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association last Friday filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming regulations aimed at historic preservation “favor intensive government oversight and unwieldy bureaucratic procedures.” The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, focuses on regulations recently promulgated by the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The ACHP rules aim to protect historic and culturally significant areas from being harmed when the federal government-or its designates, in this case wireless licensees-engage in activities that could harm those areas. CTIA believes the rules go beyond what was intended by Congress. The ACHP is supposed to advise the Federal Communications Commission on ways to protect historic properties, not come up with rules and then mandate that the FCC follow them. “We believe Congress meant for the ACHP to advise the FCC and then for the FCC to offer rules but what the ACHP has done is to draft rules which we believe is putting the cart before the horse,” said Michael Altschul, CTIA vice president and general counsel. … Read more
700 MHz guard-band spectrum re-auction raises $21 million
WASHINGTON-The re-auction of guard-band manager licenses in the 700 MHz band ended Wednesday after 38 rounds with nearly $21 million in total bids. Access Spectrum L.L.C. bid the most at nearly $9.3 million for two licenses covering Little Rock, Ark., and Omaha, Neb. Pegasus Guard Band L.L.C. won the most populated license available-Pittsburgh-in round 37 for more than $3.8 million. Congress in 1999 directed the Federal Communications Commission to auction 36 megahertz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band, known as the 60-69 spectrum because of its place on the TV dial, after reserving 24 megahertz for public safety. … Read more
Motorola debuts new handsets at 3GSM World Congress in Cannes
Motorola tried to square up to recent hard times with a series of announcements from product launches and contract wins to brokered alliances and games. The announcements made last week at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France, include the launch of a five-strong portfolio of handsets, a partnership with CodeOnline to introduce two popular games (Trivial Pursuit and Who Wants to be A Millionaire), and an alliance with Trintech to develop the Motorola m-Wallet. Motorola also announced an office solution to allow users access to the Internet from a WAP-enabled phone and a $7 million contract to expand GPRS and WAP in the Republic of Georgia. “Motorola’s innovative content contributions and dedication to application development means it will play a key role in bringing the mobile Internet to life even beyond its solid foundation in handsets and infrastructure,” said the company in a press release. The new handsets include: Tri-band Timeport-allows users to switch between data mode and voice, includes TrueSync software which synchronizes data between phone, PC, PDA and other devices; Accompli 008-all-in-one phone with large touch screen, handwriting recognition in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Chinese; Motorola V66-a small tri-band phone; Motorola V120-with advance text messaging features; and the Talkabout 192-with animated screen savers, icons and iTAP predictive texting. … Read more
Microsoft eyes Windows-enabled phones
Microsoft Corp. threw its rather large hat in the wireless arena at last week’s 3GSM World Congress, announcing plans to launch software aimed at multimedia-enabled phones that leverage its Windows-based software. Microsoft said the smart phone platform, code named “Stinger,” is built on a version of its Windows CE 3.0 operating system, specifically optimized for mobile phones to extend battery life and reduce memory requirements. The company said it expects Stinger-based phones to require 8 megabytes of memory and operate on networks with data speeds of between 100 and 150 kilobytes per second, basically the ability of third-generation networks. “Investments in high-bandwidth networks such as GPRS and UMTS will allow operators to offer value-added services across their networks that will enable a new era of collaboration, information and multimedia services,” said Ben Waldman, vice president of the mobile data division at Microsoft. “It is critical to ensure that handsets which come to market can deliver the type of advanced functionality and benefits promised to the end user.” The software is designed to run applications written in open-standards based software, including WAP and XML, but Microsoft noted software specifically written to Stinger specifications would provide the fullest multimedia experience. Along with the software announcement in Europe, where wireless carriers are expected to spend billions on 3G licenses and networks that can most benefit from Stinger’s capabilities, Microsoft reported agreements with handset manufacturers and operators to implement the platform. … Read more
Enabling a wireless workforce for businesses
A huge number of wireless companies hope to make money by helping businesses replace their cumbersome cords and wires with the freedom of wavelength-the hot phrase lately seems to be “enabling the wireless work force.” The market for creating these wireless systems is “fairly big, and it’s lucrative,” said Tole Hart, senior analyst for Dataquest/Gartner. Mobile workers, generally 20 percent of a work force, “are the productive element in the work force. They like it (wireless systems) because it’s more efficient.” Most companies offer their wireless systems directly to businesses. The setup usually involves installing a synchronizing server and tying in several independent, wireless terminals. The process generally takes several weeks or months before it’s up and running. These wireless systems work, but business executives seem to be dubious about whether it is worth the time and expense involved in installing and learning to use one. What businesses want is the fastest, easiest wireless system available. “How do they wirelessly enable their applications and their Internet?” asked Bill Nguyen, president and founder of Seven. That’s the question businesses are asking, Nguyen said, and he thinks Seven has the answer. … Read more
Reconsidering export controls and national security
WASHINGTON-The United States’ current export-control policy is so stringent that instead of achieving the goal of national security, the policy could in reality be harming national security, defense experts told the Senate Banking Committee last week. “America needs effective export controls to protect its national security. Our current system of export controls fails the test-fails badly. It provides inadequate security where it is most needed, and it imposes counterproductive procedures that I believe are now causing security problems. … It is the task of this committee to develop a new framework for export controls that protects America from the loss of critical technology, but promotes the economic vitality and growth of our economy,” said John J. Hamre, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. This was music to the ears of Sen. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), who has introduced legislation that would relax the export controls on dual-use items. Dual-use items were developed primarily for commercial uses but also have military applications. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.