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SMR WON GROUP FORMED TO FIGHT FCC REGULATIONS THAT MAY HURT SMALL FIRMS

WASHINGTON-A group called the Specialized Mobile Radio Wireless Operators Network, or SMR WON, recently formed to fight recent federal policies the group says will increase the cost of business dispatch mobile service.

The new association said it plans to educate public officials about the alleged anti-competitive aspects of large SMR mergers and supposed fraudulent licensing mills.

“The group formed as a direct result of the (Federal Communications Commission’s) waiver of regulations that permitted Nextel (Communications Inc.) to amass the majority of the 800 MHz SMR radio spectrum through various acquisitions and mergers,” said Dave Savolainen of SMR operator Range Communications in Marquette, Mich. Savolainen is also SMR WON’s president.

SMR WON leaders said they are seeking input from other SMR operators about the effect FCC regulations will have on their businesses. “It is the belief of SMR WON that if the FCC is permitted to continue on its present course, its policies will increase the cost of business dispatch, reduce the availability of service in rural America and drive most small SMR operators out of business,” Savolainen said.

SMR WON said it formed because the two groups representing the SMR industry-the American Mobile Telecommunications Association and the National Association of Business and Educational Radio-were not adequately representing the needs of small- and medium-sized SMRs.

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