BUSINESS BRIEFS

The Intercarrier Service Bureau of GTE Telecommunications Services Inc. and Radio Shack have teamed up to offer consumers out-of-market cellular network activation, GTE announced. Retail stores previously have only activated cellular phones for customers living within the store’s market area. Radio Shack customers buying a new phone or others who want to reprogram their existing phones for another market can take advantage of the service in 4,600 company-owned Radio Shack stores nationwide, said GTE. The alliance is made possible through GTE’s DASH sales agent support system, which provides agents, retailers and carriers a single point of contact for activating cellular service for new subscribers, the company said.

American Personal Communications, which plans to be first to market with broadband personal communications services, announced signing a $10 million contract with Nokia Mobile Phones Inc. for Nokia’s wireless handsets. This is Nokia’s first PCS handset agreement in the United States, said the Finland-based phone manufacturer. “The Nokia handsets are the most feature-rich wireless instruments available in the world today,” stated Scott Schelle, APC’s chief executive officer. At less than one inch thick and weighing 8.3 ounces, the Nokia 2191 model digital handset can transmit data at 9.6 kilobits per second, as well as transmit voice, and features a five-line liquid crystal display panel for short messages. APC’s Washington, D.C.-Baltimore, Md., area network will use Global System for Mobile communications technology.

Preferred Networks Inc. said it completed a $20 million private placement from Fleet Equity Partners, Primus Capital and Advanced Technology Development Fund II, which will advance Preferred’s business strategy of being the “carrier’s carrier” in paging. Preferred Networks sells paging airtime to service providers on networks it constructs and operates. This offers carriers a competitive advantage, according to Preferred, by allowing them to avoid the costs of building and maintaining network infrastructure and focus instead on sales and marketing. The firm, with business concentrated in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country, reported it serves 105,000 subscribers.

Valmont Industries Inc. said it completed its acquisition of Microflect Company Inc. of Salem, Ore., a merger first announced last month. Under agreement terms, Valmont issued 1.95 million shares of its common stock in exchange for all the outstanding capital stock of Microflect. Both companies design and produce engineered structures for the wireless communications industry. Valmont noted that its fastest growing product line, monopole structures, will be enhanced by the merger. Valmont said it expects the merger will transform the company from just a supplier to a broad service provider. The transaction will be accounted for as a pooling of interests, said Valmont, and is not expected to dilute Valmont’s 1995 earnings per share. The company expects Microflect’s 1995 revenues will total about $40 million.

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