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!
Nokia dreams luxury phone dreams
HELSINKI, Finland—Nokia said it plans to create a new subsidiary called Vertu, which will launch a new raft of luxury mobile phones for the high-end market. The new company, which is expected to focus on the wealthy in the Middle East and Asia, will have a separate management based in London. It also marks a new niche market for Nokia.
Apple’s Wozniak founds wireless Wheels of Zeus
LOS GATOS, Calif.—Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer and a longtime leader in the computer industry, announced he is jumping into wireless with a new company called Wheels of Zeus. While details of the company’s plans remain vague, it will be supported by $6 million in first-round funding from Mobius Venture Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Palo Alto Investors. “wOz is designing new consumer electronics wireless products that will have universal appeal among consumers and corporations alike,” said Steve Wozniak in a statement. “Recent advances in global positioning software systems and antenna technology coupled with the declining cost of processing power and two-way networking make the possibilities for new devices and services really exciting.” Greg Galanos, Mobius’ managing director, will join Wozniak on the board of directors for Wheels of Zeus. … Read more
Editor’s note/spoiler: wOz was an early IoT company using GPS tags and tracking; it operated until 2006.
RIM + Motorola + Nextel = PDA
RESTON, Va.—In a move to combine almost all of their popular business services and applications into one offering, Research In Motion Ltd., Nextel Communications and Motorola Inc. announced they will team to create a new Personal Data Assistant, one that the companies hope will become the new standard for enterprise-focused devices. Under the new teaming, RIM will develop a BlackBerry-type device working over Nextel’s iDEN network that can support voice calls, as well as Nextel’s popular Direct Connect push-to-talk radio service, text and numeric paging, and the carrier’s packet-based wireless Web service. The device, which will be released by the fourth quarter of this year and will feature a new design, will also support Java technology—which has received broad support from both RIM and Nextel. “RIM and Nextel have both developed unique wireless solutions for corporate customers,” said Mike Lazaridis, RIM’s president and co-chief executive officer. “This new integrated offering, together with our mutual commitment to Java-based wireless applications, will provide an innovative and attractive proposition for our business customers and development community.” … Read more
DDI Pocket speeds up data transmission. 128 kilobits!
TOKYO—DDI Pocket, Japan’s largest PHS operator, is going to launch a 128 kilobits per second (kbps) data transmission service on 26 March, the carrier announced on 17 January. DDI Pocket, the PHS business unit of KDDI, is currently providing a 32 kbps data service with a monthly flat rate of 4,930 yen (US$37) per month. Starting on 26 March, DDI Pocket users can send and receive data at 128 kbps once they pay an additional 3,500 yen (US$26.50) per month, for a total monthly payment of 8,430 yen (US$64) per month. According to DDI Pocket, the carrier will offer the speedier service by using four conventional network lines for 32 kbps services. … Read more
Cingular tests its GAIT
ATLANTA, United States—Cingular Wireless reported it has begun field testing GAIT technology, which would allow customers to roam seamlessly between its TDMA and GSM networks as part of its network transition from TDMA to GSM. Cingular said the testing includes the world’s first GAIT-compliant phone allowing users to access GSM, TDMA and analog networks and is occurring throughout its markets with most of the focus in the Southeast. Testing is scheduled to continue through next month, with the first market launch planned for March and rollouts continuing throughout the year. … Read more
You’ve got … notifications!
DULLES, Virginia, United States—America Online (AOL) unveiled a new notification service that will allow its customers to receive news, stock, weather and sports information through a variety of services and devices, including AOL’s instant messenger service, the company’s e-mail service and on a variety of wireless devices. AOL said the service is an extension of its AOL Anywhere strategy, which includes wireless access to the company’s Internet services and an AOL-branded wireless e-mail device. … Read more
Rogers adds ICQ
TORONTO—Rogers AT&T Wireless has become the first wireless carrier in Canada to offer ICQ two-way short message service (SMS) messaging on its network. The deal with America Online, which owns ICQ, lets users of Rogers’ services communicate with ICQ’s 120 million worldwide subscribers. Financial terms were not announced. Rogers also announced that it has become the first wireless provider in Canada to pass the 3 million voice customer mark. For fourth-quarter 2001, the carrier added 74,000 postpaid subscribers, compared with 61,500 postpaid subscribers for the comparable period in 2000, a 21-percent improvement. Rogers added 182,000 total subscribers in the quarter, up 21,000 or 13 percent from the fourth quarter of last year. … Read more
China’s CDMA handset shortage
BEIJING—Only five of the 19 authorized vendors of CDMA handsets in China have released their models on the Chinese market. The latest was Datang, which launched its DT618 handset priced at 2,580 yuan (US$312). Motorola, Hisense, Haier and Eastcom are already selling CDMA handsets. Morgan Stanley analyst Lina Choi told Reuters that only 300,000 CDMA handsets were available on the Chinese market at the end of 2001, much less than the expected 2 million. CDMA operator China Unicom expects 400,000 more units to become available before the end of February. … Read more
DoCoMo aims for 1.5 million 3G subs
TOKYO—NTT DoCoMo Inc. said it may not sign up the 150,000 subscribers to its third-generation (3G) network by the end of March it predicted when it launched the service last October. However, the carrier remains confident it will have 1.5 million subscribers to its FOMA service by the end of the next fiscal year. “You’re right that 150,000 may be a bit tricky considering we have only about 30,000 or 40,000 now,” said Yoshinori Uda, senior executive vice president of DoCoMo, at a Salomon Smith Barney conference last week. “But, to have 1.5 million in the next fiscal year is something we’re quite confident in.” DoCoMo recently reported it had more than 30 million subscribers to its second-generation (2G) i-mode network. … Read more
Broadband report: Make more spectrum available
WASHINGTON—A new report calls on the U.S. government to make an additional 200 megahertz of spectrum available to the marketplace by 2010 to foster the development of high-speed, wireless broadband services. The report, prepared by the Computer Systems Policy Project, was released in conjunction with broadband lobbying by top tech executives Chris Galvin of Motorola Inc., Michael Dell of Dell Computer, Craig Barrett of Intel Corp., Lou Gerstner of IBM Corp., Lars Nyberg of NCR and Larry Weinbach of Unisys. The CEOs are members of CCPP. The group recommended that 120 megahertz be freed up by 2004 and another 80 megahertz by 2010. The recommendation mirrors the spectrum allocation proposal in a separate report released last week by Technology Network. Separately, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) today urged President Bush to promote broadband access in rural and underserved areas in his upcoming budget proposal to Congress. … Read more
Early M2M in Japan
TOKYO—NTT DoCoMo, the leading carrier in Japan, will on 25 January launch a new terminal developed exclusively for data communications. As part of its effort to make a breakthrough in the would-be saturated Japanese mobile market, NTT DoCoMo is emphasizing remote communications and telemetry services. DoCoMo said that the new terminal, DoPa Mobile Ark, is small and light, measuring 110 x 80 x 23 millimeters and weighing 110 grams, and is easily put in a vending machine and/or an electric meter. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.