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!
Verizon brings two-way messaging to Los Angeles
BEDMINSTER, N.J.-Verizon Wireless reported it will roll out two-way mobile messaging services to its customers in the Los Angeles area this week, with plans for nationwide availability by early next year. Verizon said the mobile messaging service, similar to short message service, which has proven to be extremely popular in Europe, is designed to allow customers two choices in how they use their phones to communicate: talk and text. Each text message sent or received can contain up to 120 characters. Customers interested in the service have three options to choose from. First, a pay-as-you-go option for those who do not want to commit to any pre-set services. Verizon said those who choose this option do not have to subscribe to the service if they already own an SMS-capable Verizon phone. For customers interested in heavy usage, Verizon offers a package of 100 sent or received SMS messages for $3 and a package offering 600 sent or received messages for $8. … Read more
Sonera set to launch GPRS in Finland
HELSINKI, Finland-Sonera Corp. said it will be the first operator in the Nordic countries to launch a GPRS network when its commercial service begins Dec. 11. Initial service will be in the Helsinki area, as well as Turku, Tampere and Oulu. Early next year, GPRS service will be available nationwide, Sonera said. Portugal Telecom became Europe’s first carrier to launch GPRS service in November. The United Kingdom’s BT Cellnet and Germany’s T-Mobil offer limited GPRS service to small-scale commercial pilot subscribers. Sonera said its GPRS service achieves a transmission rate of up to 100 kilobits per second. The first terminals entering the market can use a speed of around 20 kbps, it added. Motorola Inc. is the only vendor currently selling GPRS handsets in Europe, with L.M. Ericsson expected to launch a GPRS phone in the United Kingdom by year’s end and Nokia to offer GPRS phones in the first half of 2001, according to a Reuters report. … Read more
Mobile commerce struggles to find its footing
With the holidays upon us, shopping has become the talk of the town these days. While many reports have emerged highlighting the increased use of e-commerce as a way of avoiding long lines at stores this holiday season, little to date has been mentioned regarding mobile commerce. Despite the massive hype under way by various m-commerce concerns, including wireless carriers like Sprint PCS and wireless Internet service providers like OmniSky Corp., m-commerce is not expected to play any kind of role this holiday season, or anytime soon. But m-commerce involves much more than buying goods from a wireless device. It is any transaction taking place through a wireless phone, which includes banking and financial trading, buying entertainment services and even using wireless services to direct a consumer to a brick-and-mortar store. And those are just the possible consumer uses of m-commerce. While content is king-and there actually are quite a few m-commerce options available worldwide today-what has stunted growth of m-commerce services is consumer frustration. “Contrary to popular wisdom, content is not a primary concern of users in most countries,” read a recent report by Boston Consulting Group. “It is true that many nonusers cite the lack of content as one of their main reasons for not subscribing. Still, many users never get to the point where they could judge the content. They are stuck grappling with the difficulties of interacting with the device and the service.” … Read more
Mobile commerce is ‘not a killer app to create 3G’
NEW YORK-The potential mobile-commerce revolution may well be in the intensive care unit, “but we’re not ready to declare it dead,” said David Bishop, director of wireless/mobile services for The Yankee Group, on Nov. 29. By year-end 2005, domestic carriers could realize a collective $3.7 billion revenue boost from m-commerce, provided they surmount a host of looming obstacles. That means, “it’s not a killer app to create 3G, but it’s not bad,” he said at the research organization’s “Mobile.net: The Wireless Internet Explosion” conference. Bishop, an economist who has worked for Sprint PCS and the Federal Reserve Board, said projections of a “cashless” society on the horizon have proven false for three decades so far. Americans use cash or checks for 94 percent of all purchases and 75 percent of the value of all such transactions. Credit card issuers charge more for purchases made over the Internet because of greater risks of fraud and customer repudiation of transactions after the fact, he said. People also tend to use credit cards rather than cash for larger purchases, and they are less likely to buy big-ticket items without examining them first. Replacing cold, hard cash with wireless cyber cash for small purchases imposes its own set of hurdles. Merchants may be unwilling to invest in the infrastructure required to process sales with low dollar amounts. … Read more
Lucent teeters, faces shareholder class action lawsuit
Lucent Technologies Inc. seems to face adversity on all fronts. On the technical front, its competitors have roared past with optical equipment innovations. On the business front, it keeps issuing heartbreaking profit warnings. On the accounting front, it overstated its fourth-quarter results. Last week, the siege intensified on two other fronts. Its shareholders unleashed legal ammunitions with a class-action lawsuit over its exaggerated fourth-quarter warnings and Standard & Poor’s rating of the company fell to “negative.” The class-action lawsuit was brought in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf Lucent’s common stock purchasers by the law offices of Dennis J. Johnson. The shareholders allege that Lucent violated sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the 10b-5 by misrepresenting its fourth-quarter expectations. Lucent had issued a fourth-quarter result projecting 18 cents per-share fourth-quarter earnings. But that announcement was retracted when the company noticed an error in its books, promptly acknowledged it in a press release and notified the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company also said it could not confirm its earlier guidance for the Dec. 31 first quarter. … Read more
SCOTUS hears cell phone privacy case
WASHINGTON-The Supreme Court this week will hear arguments in a case that could go a long way to determining how much privacy mobile-phone subscribers will have in the future. The case, set for oral argument on Tuesday, pits wireless privacy against free speech. For the wireless industry, the stakes couldn’t be higher. With wireless technology being embraced by more and more Americans, any loss of legal privacy protection could undercut consumer confidence in wireless devices at a time when the industry begins to integrate the Internet into its mix. The case being heard by the nine justices is not the one most Americans are familiar with, the one involving allegations of illegal cell phone eavesdropping brought by Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) against Rep. James McDermott (D-Wash.). The case attracted national attention because it involved disclosure in national newspapers of House GOP leaders strategizing how to deal in public with an expected settlement between then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and the House Ethics Committee regarding alleged misconduct by Gingrich. In that litigation, the federal appeals court here overturned a federal district court ruling that had thrown out Boehner’s 1998 lawsuit against McDermott. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.