Industry executive Chuck Parrish last month announced his resignation as general manager of GTE Corp.’s mobile data services, a part of GTE Mobilnet, in order to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities in the wireless telecommunications industry.
Parrish also resigned from his post as chairman of the Cellular Digital Packet Data Forum. To date, no replacement for Parrish has been named in either of the organizations. However, Jay Sheth, who previously reported to Parrish as director, marketing and product development for GTE mobile data services, will assume the general manager’s position at the company in the interim. Jeff Keller, director of communications for GTE Mobilnet-the company’s wireless division, including mobile data services-indicated Parrish would stay aboard to complete various projects and probably leave late this summer. Parrish said he wants to “effect an orderly transition and help CDPD and GTE be successful.”
Formed in April 1994 by AirTouch Cellular, Ameritech cellular services, Bell Atlantic Mobile, GTE Personal Communications Services, McCaw Cellular Communications Inc., Nynex Mobile Communications and Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems, the CDPD Forum is designed to support development of a nationwide cellular network capable of sending and receiving packet data.
CDPD allows messages to be broken down into a series of packets, or bursts, that are sent along idle or dedicated channels of existing cellular voice networks at up to 19,200 bits per second. Because CDPD builds on existing infrastructure and is based on widely accepted network technologies and protocols, service can be provided quickly and economically, according to its proponents. The first version of the CDPD system specification was introduced three years ago.
The CDPD Forum reported 98 member companies as of January, almost doubling its size since last June. CDPD technology has been deployed in 19 of the top 50 metropolitan statistical areas to date, while carriers plan to implement the technology in 22 additional cities this year. International availability of CDPD is growing as well, reports the group, citing continued growth in Mexico and Canada.
Parrish indirectly began his GTE career by joining Contel Cellular Inc. in 1990 as vice president of operations. GTE purchased 90 percent of Contel Cellular’s parent company, Contel Corp., in 1991.