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#TBT: Presto change-o Moto; Sprint preps for 3G; what would people do with mobile data? … this week in 2001

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, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

‘Unmatched’ speeds of nearly 5 Mbps!
LAS VEGAS-Motorola Inc. announced its Global Telecom Solutions Sector has successfully transmitted live video over its own third-generation CDMA 1xEV-DV solution in its lab in Arlington Heights, Ill. According to the company, the new solution enables real-time voice, data and multimedia services on existing cdma2000 networks. It will allow users to wirelessly access the Internet and e-mail. “We have demonstrated in the lab that Motorola’s integrated 1xEV-DV solution can provide unmatched high-speed packet data rates up to nearly 5 Mbps. From a network operator’s standpoint, our solution, which involves a simple card replacement and software upgrade to their existing network, helps to protect their investments and allows simultaneous high-speed transmission of data and voice,” said Fred Wright, GTSS senior vice president and general manager of the North America region. … Read more

Sprint’s spectrum brags
LAS VEGAS-Sprint PCS used the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association’s Wireless 2001 show to finalize its widely rumored plans to roll out next-generation services using cdma2000 later this year. While the carrier’s 3G plans surprised few, its claim to have enough spectrum to cover its networks for the next 10 years caught everyone’s attention. “The clarity, coverage and reliability of a single-frequency, all-CDMA nationwide network provides us with ample spectrum to deploy next-generation high-speed data services with relative ease and at a fraction of the cost when compared to our competitors,” said Charles Levine, president of Sprint PCS. “Recent published reports indicate that our competitors are having trouble with the cost, timing and technology associated with reconstructing their older networks to W-CDMA technology. Despite the speculation and fuss about the delay of other carriers’ 3G services, Sprint is on track for 3G migration starting at the end of this year and is working closely with its infrastructure vendors in testing, preparation and planning for 3G deployment.” Sprint PCS said the first phase of deployment, using cdma2000 1x, would result in a tenfold increase in data speeds to as much as 144 kilobits per second, double the carrier’s voice capacity and increase handset battery life by 50 percent. The first phase is expected to be implemented nationwide by the middle of next year. … Read more

China Mobile Hong Kong focuses on 2G
NEW YORK-China Mobile Hong Kong does not need 3G to take advantage of opportunities in a populous country with rising per capita income and low penetration by personal computers and second-generation wireless, said Wang Xiaochu, chairman and chief executive officer of the company. At the end of February, the mobile operator had 50 million subscribers, compared with 15.6 million at the end of 1999, he told securities analysts at a meeting here earlier in March. “Many people ask, with the economic problems in the United States, how is it that China is growing so fast? For the last several years, we have had annual growth of 7 (percent) to 8 percent in per capital income. This year, our GDP (gross domestic product) is forecast to be 8 percent,” he said. “In Europe, communications economies are slowing down because 3G maturity will be slower than expected and 2G is saturated. In China, only 7 percent of the people have 2G, so there will be another three-to-five years for 2G development.” … Read more

No network sharing for you
OXFORD, United Kingdom-Attempts by mobile operators that acquired third-generation (3G) licenses to share networks have received a firm “no” from at least one European country regulator. While Germany’s RegTP has stated that license documents clearly indicate each winner must build its own network, regulators in Sweden seem to be turning a blind eye to discussions between Europolitan and HI3G to work out the details of their joint 3G infrastructure. Meanwhile, the European Community (EC) is threatening member states with legal action if they fail to ensure that 3G services are ready for launch by the beginning of 2002. The statement implies that some EC countries are not doing enough to give potential 3G operators the opportunity to make the necessary investments to launch commercial services. The EC is thought to have warned Belgium, Ireland, France, Luxembourg, Denmark and Greece, which have not yet issued licenses. … Read more

Motorola gadget magic
Dennis Roberson is sitting at a large, round conference table talking about the mandate he was given three years ago to “fix” Motorola Inc.’s storied research lab. As the conversation progresses, he reaches inside his breast pocket and pulls out a cell phone made with environmentally friendly materials and lays it on the table. A few minutes later, with the sleight of hand to match Houdini, he produces an oversized watch from the recesses of his shirtsleeve, and demonstrates how the timepiece doubles as a phone and a pager. Next, a text-messaging device emerges from his coat pocket, then a wireless camera and then a cell phone that can access the Internet in Chinese. By the end of an hour-long conversation, a dozen gadgets have materialized from Roberson’s suit and are strewn across the white tablecloth like so many magician’s props. As Motorola’s chief technical officer and highest-ranking engineer, Roberson could use a little magic these days. While the electronics giant hands out thousands of pink slips in an attempt to cut costs, the 52-year-old scientist has the daunting task of keeping an army of engineers motivated to conjure up incremental inventions that will help make Motorola’s products smaller, easier to use and, most important, cheaper. … Read more

Verizon offers new prepaid service in SoCal
IRVINE, Calif.-Verizon Wireless introduced its Local Digital Prepay Phone In A Box in Southern California, allowing customers to purchase airtime on a pay-as-you-go basis. “We recognize that many people would like to have digital wireless service, but are unclear about how to begin,” said Mike Finley, regional president. “Our Local Digital Prepay Phone In A Box offers an easy solution, created for those who like the convenience and simplicity of buying an all-inclusive wireless package that includes the added benefit of digital service.” The package includes a Qualcomm 860 digital phone, battery, charger and 60 minutes of prepaid airtime with a 60-day expiration for $100. Replenishment cards will be made available at convenience stores, gas stations and Verizon Wireless outlets throughout Southern California. … Read more

China produces 80 million handsets
BEIJING-At a mobile industry conference in Hangzhou, attended by 27 handset manufacturers, it was decided to fix the output target for this year at 80 million handsets. According to incomplete statistics, 53.96 million handsets were produced in China in 2000, considerably more than the 40 million planned and 1.32 times more than in 1999. More than 23 million handsets were exported. Of the total, 93.6 percent were produced by joint ventures or wholly foreign-owned subsidiaries of mobile-phone manufacturers. Local Chinese manufacturers produced only 6.37 percent of the total. According to a report in People’s Telecom, Motorola’s three factories in China produced 33.3 percent of all handsets, followed by Nokia with 30.2 percent and Ericsson with 9.7 percent. … Read more

Survey: Customers want mobile data for large email attachments and access to pics, tunes
LAS VEGAS-Qualcomm Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc. and Microsoft Corp. said a study they commissioned showed consumers want mobile multimedia services now. International Data Corp., which conducted the research study, surveyed several end-user segments to determine what the most popular mobile Internet applications would be if significant wireless bandwidth, enabled by third-generation wireless networks, was available. According to IDC, respondents showed the most interest in accessing e-mail with large attachments, while the second highest-rated application was accessing pictures and music. “The compelling finding of the IDC study was that consumers want to take advantage of mobile multimedia data services now to improve work productivity and enhance their lifestyles,” said Jeff Jacobs, senior vice president of business development for Qualcomm. “The research underscores our belief that wireless service providers can meet these demands for the mobile Internet immediately with cost-effective 3G technologies like cdma2000 1x and cdma2000 1xEV, using existing spectrum and infrastructure.” In addition to wireless e-mail and the ability to access pictures and music, other popular applications included Internet access during drive time and wireless access to information via the Internet and company intranets. The study also found that 31 percent of those surveyed indicated they had more than 30 minutes of time per day to take advantage of these services. … Read more

Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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