BUSINESS BRIEFS

L.M. Ericsson announced its order intake during the first quarter has continued to increase for the eighteenth consecutive quarter, and by 11 percent compared with the same period last year. Net sales increased by 14 percent. The company said its mobile communications business continues to expand, with sales up around 50 percent during the first quarter.

The American Stock Exchange announced it has listed options on the stock of Lucent Technologies Inc. LU opened April 19 with strike prices of 25, 30 and 35, with position limits of 20,000 contracts. Initial expiration months will be May, June, July and October. The specialist unit for the new options is Cohen, Duffy & McGowan Inc.

Synacom Technology Inc. announced it has signed a contract to supply RoamFree Gateway systems to Nokia Telecommunications Corp. for commercial service in the fourth quarter. The system is designed to enable seamless roaming between PCS-1900 networks for personal communications services and IS-41 networks. PCS operators in North America can use this product to broaden their roaming coverage with a dual-mode PCS phone, Synacom said.

Teletrac Inc. announced it has acquired the assets of AirTouch Teletrac, a subsidiary of AirTouch Communications Inc. Teletrac specializes in wireless remote fleet management, two-way data communications and security technology for commercial fleet management and consumer vehicles. Under the new management, Teletrac plans to increase the number of customers in existing markets while expanding its location and tracking technology infrastructure within additional U.S. markets. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Three-sixty Communications Co. announced it has joined forces with IBM Corp. to provide mobile data solutions to customers. Three-Sixty said it will provide mobile data services including both circuit-switched cellular and Cellular Digital Packet Data. IBM will provide solution development and implementations including ongoing support for the customer solution.

Southern Illinois Cellular Corp., doing business as First Cellular of Southern Illinois, announced the purchase of GTE Mobilnet’s interest in First Cellular. The purchase makes First Cellular 100 percent locally owned and operated, SICC said.

Greater Northwest Research and Development Group Inc.’s positive showing on the Nasdaq Bulletin Board April 10 has prompted the company to begin steps to acquire Star Telephone & Telegraph Inc. GNRD, a Boynton Beach, Fla., marketing corporation, began trading at $11 and by the end of that day closed at $13. GNRD has an exclusive contract with Star Telephone & Telegraph to market Star’s cellular and long-distance services. Star will be offering cellular service at a flat rate of 19 cents per minute for 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday, GNRD said.

Voice Control Systems announced its speech recognition technology VoiceSelect platform has been deployed by Ameritech Cellular Services and BellSouth Cellular Corp., allowing their customers to dial calls using voice commands. The providers are using the technology to provide hands-free dialing services in their wireless networks, VCS said. Ameritech has introduced VoiceSelect in St. Louis and several cities in Ohio. The company already offers the service in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee and Madison, Wis. BellSouth markets the voice dialing service under the name PowerDial in Richmond, Va., Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and as VoiceTouch in Houston.

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