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#TBT: Verizon boosts spectrum portfolio; Nextel ponders 3G in 1.9 GHz … 10 years ago this week

Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades and enjoy the memories!
Verizon spectrum build-up will aid EV-DO development
With a customer base of more than 40 million subscribers and nearly 500,000 new customers added each month, Verizon Wireless has firmly established itself as the leading wireless carrier in the country. If it can maintain that growth through the rest of the year, Verizon should be neck-and-neck with a combined Cingular Wireless L.L.C./AT&T Wireless Services Inc. as the nation’s largest carrier. But in order to sustain that growth, Verizon Wireless has had to get additional spectrum. This month alone, Verizon Wireless has pledged nearly $1.5 billion on spectrum and network infrastructure through a pair of deals: the carrier acquired Qwest Communications International Inc.’s wireless assets in 14 states for $418 million and paid nearly $1 billion for 10 megahertz of spectrum in New York during NextWave Telecom Inc.’s recent auction. … Read More
Samsung, Siemens up sales plans as Nokia stumbles
Second-quarter earnings released last week by major handset manufacturers showed Nokia Corp. losing market share, while Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications L.P. increased their sales expectations for the year. Nokia set a dismal tone for the second-quarter earnings announcements, saying it has cut mobile-phone prices in a strategy designed to keep its position in the industry. Nokia further reported modest results with a 14-percent jump in net profits in a period that witnessed a slight dip in its handset market share. … Read More
Nokia enters night-club biz to attract wireless music lovers
Forget glow-in-the-dark faceplates, see-through battery packs and flashing antennas. When it comes to marketing to younger wireless users, it’s all about the music. Instead of monophonic, eight-note ringtones, today’s phones can double as a mini-jukebox, with the ability to download and store hundreds, sometimes thousands, of entire tunes onto a memory card. … Read More
Nextel 3G opportunities open wide at 1.9 GHz
If Nextel Communications Inc. takes spectrum at 1.9 GHz as part of the plan to solve interference at 800 MHz, the carrier finally might be able to extricate itself from the fringe of industry that its disparate spectrum holdings and iDEN network technology has placed it in today. It may be months before the Federal Communications Commission releases details of the controversial plan in which Nextel would pay nearly $5 billion and give up spectrum at 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz in exchange for 10 megahertz of clean spectrum in bands similar to where some of its competitors operate. … Read More
Cell phones, laptops give new twist to air-to-ground communications systems
With cell phones, pagers and even wireless computers nearly ubiquitous, dozens of agencies are working to open the door for airline passengers to be able to use wireless communications at 40,000 feet. First, though, they must define the problem with such communications. “One of the things we’re trying to do with the Federal Aviation Administration is to understand technically what’s going on up there,” said Scott Pace, chief technologist for NASA Space Communications. “These aircraft were never designed to accommodate the emissions and types of consumer systems commonly found on aircraft today.” … Read More
DS-UWB squeaks out win in standards fight
The standards deadlock over ultra-wideband technology between the Multiband OFDM Alliance and the Direct Sequence UWB Forum continued at the IEEE conference last week. This time, however, it had an unexpected twist. In a vote tally often won by MBOA, the DS-UWB Forum won what is described as a down select vote, albeit by one vote. In a 74-73 vote, the Motorola Inc.-led DS-UWB Forum edged out MBOA amid complaints that most members of the losing alliance did not attend, and allegations that Motorola paid consultants to attend the meeting to pad its voting numbers. Motorola vehemently denied those charges. … Read More
Samsung, Sony Ericsson show megapixel camera phones
Continuing the recent flood of camera-phone announcements, Samsung released plans for a 3.2-megapixel digital camera phone, the SPH-S2300, that it said includes features that align its capabilities with those of a digital camera. The phone includes a 3X optical linear zoom, along with a 4X digital zoom, allowing users to magnify pictures up to 12 times. Users can choose image sizes from 640 x 480 pixels to 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, and the ISO setting can be switched between automatic, 100, 200 and 400 speeds. … Read More
Talking technology with Nokia CTO Pertti Korhonen
As a company that tends to generate most excitement regarding its bottom line, Nokia Corp. for the most part has been unruffled in the recent turbulent seas of the wireless industry. Even when the industry stumbled as in the past few years, the firm never wavered. Some layoffs and plant closings here, some policy tweaking there, but the Finnish giant always returned promptly to the dramatic quiet of its profits. Nokia may not be everyone’s friend, but most love to partner with the giant. A champion attracting little malice, Nokia belongs to groups and standard bodies and seems to work best within those traditional boundaries. … Read More
UMTS comes to U.S.
The end of the year came early for AT&T Wireless Services Inc. as the carrier made good on its often-repeated plans to offer high-speed wireless data services before the calendar turned over as it launched what it termed commercial UMTS services in four markets with plans to add two more markets by the end of the year. The carrier said the service would provide customers in Detroit, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle, and later this year in Dallas and San Diego, with network download speeds of between 220 and 320 kilobits per second and uplink speeds up to 64 kbps. … Read More
Sprint confirms it may sell towers
Sprint Corp.’s often-rumored plans to sell its significant tower holdings could be getting closer to a reality as the company reported during its second-quarter conference call that it was exploring strategic initiatives for its approximately 6,300 cellular towers. Analysts estimate the towers could be worth around $1 billion on the open market. A number of industry analysts noted last week that Sprint has recently begun offering its tower “book” to potential suitors, possibly including AAT Communications Corp., Global Signal Inc., American Tower Corp. and Crown Castle International Corp., though the potential $1 billion price tag could be tough for most to swallow. … Read More
Check out RCR Wireless News’ Archives for more stories from the past.
Photo courtesy of the Marconi Society.


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