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INTERCONNECTION COSTLY FOR WIRELESS

WASHINGTON-Interconnection with the local exchange carrier represents a significant expenditure for the wireless industry, nearly $936 million in 1995, according to a new study from MTA-EMCI Inc.

In “Interconnection: Wireless Industry Rates and Trends,” the company notes that the burgeoning growth of the cellular industry as well as the introduction of new wireless networks such as personal communications services, wireless Centrex, mobile satellite and wireless local loop will result in annual multibillion dollar expenditures unless new interconnection compensation schemes are adopted.

Total LEC interconnection revenues will reach $5.6 billion by the year 2005 without the adoption of mutual compensation, the company said. If mutual compensation is implemented by next year, MTA-EMCI projects LEC fees will reach only $1.1 billion by 2005.

Because incoming and outgoing calls on the wireless network via the public switched telephone network are not likely to be balanced in this period, the company said wireless carriers will continue to pay the LEC termination fees even with mutual compensation schemes.

AirTouch earnings increase 48 percent

SAN FRANCISCO-Net income of AirTouch Communications Inc. rose 48 percent during the first quarter to $52.2 million, or 10 cents per share, compared to $35.3 million, or 7 cents per share, in first quarter 1995.

Revenue also increased 20 percent over the same quarter last year, to $448.9 million. Operating cash flow rose 34.5 percent to $244.8 million, AirTouch reports.

The San Francisco-based company said it added more cellular customers through its international operations than its domestic market during the first quarter, said company Chairman Sam Ginn.

The number of international subscribers rose 115 percent compared with the same quarter 1995, reaching one million proportionate subscribers. Worldwide, AirTouch claims about 6 million customers.

The company uses proportionate accounting to reflect the relative weight of its ownership interests. AirTouch holds an interest in wireless operations in Belgium, Germany, India, Japan, Poland, Spain, South Korea, Thailand, Sweden, Portugal and Italy.

Ericsson announces international deals

STOCKHOLM, Sweden-Equipment manufacturer L.M. Ericsson announced two international equipment contracts last week for systems in Japan and France.

Central Japan Digital Phone has ordered switching and radio base station equipment valued at $85 million, to be delivered this year. Central Japan Digital is expanding its Personal Digital Communications system in the Nagoya region; the company claims 300,000 subscribers.

Ericsson also has signed an agreement with French operator Bouygues Telecom for the expansion of the DCS-1800 network in France. Equipment valued at $33 million is scheduled to be delivered this month. Bouygues’ digital network is expected to start commercial operation in May.

Ericsson will install switching equipment throughout the existing network in Paris as well as new regions in the Lyon area, southeast and northern France. The Bouygues contract includes Ericsson’s equipment supplier in France, MET. MET is owned 49.9 percent by Ericsson.

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