DENVER-While presidents from eight countries discussed pertinent topics such as arms control, peace in Bosnia and the global economy, Denver-area wireless carriers worked behind the scenes to provide handsets and equipment to some 5,000 reporters and scores of others associated with the Denver Summit of the Eight.
Western Wireless Corp., Denver’s most recent personal communications services entrant, donated more than 200 Global System for Mobile communications services handsets and airtime to the host committee and delegates. The company was the summit’s official phone provider, chosen primarily because six of the eight countries have established GSM as their mobile phone standard, said Tom Shilling, Western Wireless spokesman. It values its contribution at about $400,000. The company also increased coverage around Denver’s convention center, where media representatives were stationed.
Enhanced specialized mobile radio operator Nextel Communications Inc. and manufacturer Motorola Inc. donated more than 500 PowerFones and airtime to volunteers, foreign delegates, host committee members and security. The handsets-which integrate a digital cellular phone, instant group and private two-way conferencing and paging in one unit-eliminated the need for event personnel to carry a cellular phone, pager and two-way radio, said Tom Brewer, an event specialist in charge of the summit’s telecommunications. The phones interfaced with police and allowed for wide-area broadcasting of text messages in case of an emergency.
Nextel said it increased network capacity downtown and constructed a permanent cell site near Denver International Airport to provide better coverage inside.
AirTouch Cellular said it also improved coverage and capacity in and around the airport with a temporary cell site. Spokeswoman Debra Havins said the site allowed for 17,000 more analog calls per day and 12,000 digital calls. AirTouch is hoping the airport site will become a permanent one. Denver-area cellular and PCS carriers have been negotiating with DIA officials for more sites around the airport.
AirTouch said it donated about 30 phones and airtime, valued at $25,000, to the State Department and members of the host committee, and increased capacity permanently downtown.
AT&T Wireless Services Inc. said it focused on media needs by donating 200 digital cellular phones and billing users at its lowest airtime rate. In addition, it donated 1,200 pagers and text messaging software so summit officials could communicate with reporters. It also added a cell site near the convention center.
Ericsson Private Radio Systems said it provided an additional 180 portable dispatch radios to operate in concert with the existing Denver critical communication system.
Sprint Spectrum L.P., which launched PCS based on Code Division Multiple Access technology in March, said it was not involved with the summit.