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Time Trippin’: Contactless payment options reach consumers; Leap emerges from bankruptcy … 8 years ago this week

Editor’s Note: The RCR Wireless News Time Machine is a way to take advantage of our extensive history in covering the wireless space to fire up the DeLorean and take a trip back in time to re-visit some of the more interesting headlines from this week in history. Enjoy the ride!

Contactless payment options reach consumers through sports venues, McDonald’s
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is being used to enable contactless payment solutions for consumers in various venues, all in the name of making the buying experience faster and more convenient. On Track Innovations Ltd. (OTI) and Smart System Technologies Inc. (SST) announced a partnership to deploy 5,000 OTI Saturn readers at sports venues and retailers through the United States as part of STI’s PowerPay contactless microprocessor-based smart-card payment solution. … Time Travel

Nortel releases financials, slashes 3,500 positions
Nortel Networks Ltd. unveiled some of the mysteries regarding its financial performance since the year began, coupling the figures with a restructuring plan that will slash 3,500 jobs, or 10 percent of its staff. The firm also fired seven executives, four of whom had previously been placed on paid leaves. The company previously fired its former president and chief executive officer, chief financial officer and controller April 28. The job cuts, which will be completed by the end of the year, will cost the company between about $300 million and $400 million and save between $450 million and $500 million annually. … Time Travel

New teen-targeted computer integrates Sprint service, Wi-Fi
A new desktop computer created especially for teens will feature built-in Wi-Fi, close integration with a mobile phone, and an MP3 player and digital storage keychain device. Produced by Digital Lifestyles Group, Inc., the hip-e features “reachme,” which includes a docking port that allows Sprint PCS handsets to charge and sync to the computer, as well a wireless keyboard and speaker system. Reachme will provide text messaging, ring tones and games, and is available with several pre- and postpaid Sprint calling plans designed for teens. … Time Travel

Iowa landline carrier plans to stop delivering wireless calls
East Buchanan Telephone Cooperative located in Northeast Iowa said that as of last Monday it was no longer going to allow wireless calls to connect to its network because it has not received payment for the calls. “When people use our facilities, we should get paid for it,” said Butch Rorabaugh, general manager of East Buchanan Telephone Cooperative. … Time Travel

Muleta discounts Cingular/AWS merger impact on local telephone competition
The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau does not see the proposed merger of Cingular Wireless L.L.C. and AT&T Wireless Services Inc. as having the potentially negative impact on local telephone service that some consumer advocates have claimed. “There are some intermodal issues that have been raised. I am not sure that it has a great deal of impact on this analysis,” said John Muleta, chief of the wireless bureau, in a Tuesday press breakfast. … Time Travel

Leap Wireless emerges from bankruptcy
Leap Wireless International Inc. said it has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, shedding more than $2 billion in debt since its financial reorganization began more than a year ago. As part of its emergence from bankruptcy protection, Leap said it has begun distributing new equity and debt securities that are expected to begin trading on the OTC Bulletin Board under the “LEAP” ticker symbol. Leap said it plans to apply for listing on the NASDAQ National Market System upon satisfaction of the listing criteria. The carrier’s previous common stock and securities, which closed at two-tenths of a cent on Monday, were cancelled as part of the financial reorganization. … Time Travel

SpectraSite closes SBC purchase contract
SpectraSite Inc. said it has purchased 191 wireless communications towers from affiliates of SBC Communications for $50 million in the final closing in its commitment to acquire SBC’s leasehold and sub-leasehold interests. In all, SpectraSite purchased 319 SBC towers for $84 million. … Time Travel

Wireless abundant at Games
Concerns about security and infrastructure reliability led officials to kill plans that would have used wireless networks to help manage the Summer Olympics, but there will be no shortage of mobile technology in Athens. About 5 million fans are expected during the course of the Games, creating what may be the largest centralized demand for mobile communications in history. Handset manufacturers, carriers and infrastructure companies have spent millions in an effort to handle the traffic. … Time Travel

UTStarcom lays out U.S. plans
UTStarcom Inc.’s $165.1 million purchase of U.S.-based Audiovox Communications Corp.’s wireless handset business establishes the company as a player in the global CDMA market, fulfilling its founders’ original vision. The company, which always wanted to develop solutions that could be offered to any company worldwide, has long viewed the United States as “one of the biggest and best” markets, said Chesha Kamieniecki, investor relations manager for UTStarcom. … Time Travel

Public-safety’s place in technology curve
Is the public-safety community at the forefront of the technology revolution or picking up the rear? It depends on your perspective, who you ask or what day it is. Public safety was one of the first industries to embrace wireless data. CDPD communication was essential to highway patrolmen and other law-enforcement officials for finding out in real time if the guy they just pulled over on a minor traffic violation had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. … Time Travel


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