Following partnership agreements established last December, Northern Telecom Ltd. has issued its first purchase order, valued at $2 million, to Qualcomm Inc. for Code Division Multiple Access-based cellular and personal communications services infrastructure and subscriber equipment, Qualcomm said. Northern Telecom is supplying BC TEL Mobility of Vancouver, Canada, network equipment in a contract valued at $60 million. BC TEL plans to overlay its analog cellular network with CDMA technology. Deployment may begin second quarter 1996.
Ford Motor Co. will introduce a cellular emergency messaging system as an option on the 1996 Lincoln Continental. The Lincoln Remote Emergency Satellite Cellular Unit, RESCU, combines global satellite service with voice and data communications through a cellular handset manufactured by Motorola Inc. When the emergency button is pushed, a data message is sent to an emergency response center via cellular, relaying the vehicle’s location and other information. These details then are sent to the local 911 system or Lincoln roadside assistance program. The phone also functions as a regular cellular handset.
BellSouth Mobility Inc. reduced roaming rates for its customers traveling into the B-side markets of Alltel Mobile Communications Inc., Ameritech Corp., GTE Mobilnet, Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems and U S West Inc. A daily rate of $3 for roaming customers in these markets was eliminated and airtime dropped from 99 cents to 65 cents per minute.
GTE Airfone Inc. said all 450 United Airlines domestic planes now are equipped with the GTE advanced digital Airfone service. Passengers can send and receive calls, faxes or data if they have laptop computers. In-flight Internet access also is available. Other features include conference calling, information services and shopping. To receive calls while flying, passengers register with GTE Airfone for a 10-digit aircall number (chosen by the passenger) and a four-digit personal identification number.
Customers of McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. throughout most of Florida now can place voice-dialed calls, the company announced, using Brite Voice Systems Inc.’s VoiceSelect product. VoiceSelect responds to the voice command, “call,” followed by a specific party’s name. For frequently called numbers, VoiceSelect features a speed call menu whereby users can say “home” or “office” to recall those extensions.
Information Technologies Group said it will merge with the Telecommunications and Network Systems Division of Mitsubishi Electronics America Inc. ITG is one of two firms awarded an exclusive supplier contract to produce mobile terminals that link with the American Mobile Satellite Corp.’s satellite in geosynchronous orbit over North America.
Glenayre Technologies Inc. and Western Multiplex Corp. have completed a previously-announced merger of the two companies. The transaction was done through a tax-free exchange, with the allotment of 750,000 new shares of Glenayre common stock to the shareholders and option holders of Western Multiplex. Western will continue to market its products under its brand name and trademarks.