NATION BRIEFS

Western Wireless Corp. added 51,500 wireless subscribers during the fourth quarter, for a total of 359,700 subscribers. Of the more than 51,000 new subscribers, 33,700 signed up for cellular service, while 17,800 went with the company’s personal communications services offering. The company now has 324,000 cellular subscribers, 55 percent more than it had in 1995, and 35,500 PCS subscribers. For the year, Western Wireless added more than 145,300 total subscribers, a 72 percent increase compared with 1995 totals. Western Wireless has launched PCS service in six metropolitan markets in the United States, and it provides cellular service under the Cellular One brand name in 15 western states.

Cerulean Technology Inc. finished the first phase of a system that will be used by the Cambridge, Mass., police and fire departments. The system provides digital dispatch, fire rescue vehicle tracking and electronic crime bulletins to laptop personal computers. Cerulean Technology’s PacketCluster Patrol is the basis for the system. It is a standards-based, open architecture software application, which will allow police officers to access local, state and national law enforcement and motor vehicle databases from a laptop computer.

Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile began providing caller ID and message waiting indicator to its customers in Connecticut and western Massachusetts. The caller ID service is available for $3 a month. With message waiting indicator, subscribers are notified that they have a new message when they turn their phone on by a message, an icon or a beep depending on the type of phone. There is no monthly service charge for the message waiting feature, however subscribers must have wireless voice mail service for it to work.

Comsat RSI Plexsys Wireless Systems announced it is moving its Corinth, Miss., manufacturing facility to Sterling, Va. The move is part of an expansion program to accommodate growing demands, the company said. Employees at the Corinth plant have been offered the option to relocate to Virginia. The company recently completed construction of a large addition to its main manufacturing facility in Virginia.

Alltel Mobile Communications Inc. has been included in the General Services Administration’s Federal Wireless Telecommunications Services contract. GTE Corp. and Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile were awarded the contract, which calls for GTE to combine its Government Systems and GTE Wireless Business units with Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile as the major subcontractor. Under the contract, the team of 55 cellular service operators will provide wireless voice and data telecommunications services to a potential customer base of more than 3 million federal government employees. Alltel Mobile values its portion of the eight-year contract at $5 million.

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