#TBT: AT&T sells Dobson stake; MMS interoperability issues; Verizon launches EV-DO … this week in 2003


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 those sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!

AT&T Wireless sells its stake in Dobson

Dobson Communications Corp. said AT&T Wireless Services Inc. sold all of its shares-more than 4.5 million-in Dobson, and as a result, AT&T Wireless has ceased to be a party to the stockholder and investors rights agreement with Dobson. Dobson also said it will delay its planned public offering due to current stock market conditions. In September Dobson said it was considering a primary offering that would result in proceeds of as much as $150 million. Dobson’s stock was up about 3 percent following the announcement to about $8.03 per share. AT&T Wireless’ stake in the rural operator dropped from nearly 12 percent in June to less than 4 percent as of late August, according to … Read more

Verizon launches EV-DO

By rolling out services in two U.S. markets, Verizon Wireless has triggered momentum for CDMA2000 1X EV-DO technology, barely two years since the first launch of CDMA2000 1X services in the world. The EV-DO launches, which took place in San Diego and Washington, D.C., are predicted by industry experts to signal a flurry of EV-DO services from carriers worldwide. Operators close to unveiling their services later this year include KDDI in Japan, wireless local loop carrier Vesper in Brazil, Thailand’s EPBW and Indonesia’s PT Wind. Already, South Korea, the perennial John the Baptist of technology, has generated breakneck traffic for EV-DO services from carriers SK Telecom and KTF, which also were the first to launch 1X services, the predecessor to EV-DO technology. Verizon’s announcement also casts an industry gaze at Sprint PCS, the other major U.S. CDMA player that has insisted it will skip EV-DO for the next step, EV-DV. Sprint said its 1X speed is sufficient for some services it plans to roll out nationwide. The DO momentum also mounts pressure on GSM/GPRS carriers like AT&T Wireless Services Inc. and Cingular Wireless L.L.C., which have geared up their data strategies by pursuing the launch of EDGE technology, although some rollout dates remain uncertain. … Read more

Get a mobile piece of that ‘popular blogging trend’

DUBLIN, Ireland-Irish mobile operator MmO2 began a new service called FoneBlog that allows customers to create and run personal Web sites from their mobile phones. The service, from NewBay Software, allows mobile users to tap into the increasingly popular blogging trend. The system integrates with operator messaging, portal and billing systems, NewBay said. “FoneBlog is an exciting service for camera-phone users, and a clear way for mobile network operators to increase multimedia messaging and data traffic and revenues,” said Paddy Holahan, chief executive officer of NewBay Software. … Read more

Local number portability becomes a reality

WASHINGTON-Nov. 24 is the day for wireless local number portability, and carriers need to be technically capable of porting numbers on that day, or they face enforcement action, said FCC Chairman Michael Powell. The Federal Communications Commission will give the industry the guidance it says it needs to successfully deploy WLNP, said Powell, noting the FCC has a duty to give that guidance. He did not mention a timeframe for the guidance, however. Powell hinted that the guidance will include the amount of time it should take to complete the porting of a number, and once that porting interval is established, carriers will be expected to meet that timeframe. The wireline industry takes three to four days to complete a port, while some in the wireless industry have suggested an interval of 2.5 hours. … Read more

Grappling with MMS interoperability

BELLEVUE, Wash.-Wireless trade group 3G Americas released a new reference document that offers recommendations for multimedia messaging service interoperability. The group said network operators and infrastructure vendors jointly composed the document for GSM carriers in the Americas. “The 3G Americas’ MMS recommendations offer clear requirements to vendors and operators in the area of core interfaces being prioritized and tested, information being available earlier in the vendor selection process, and in minimizing delays resulting from interoperability problems, leading to savings in terms of operator resource time and costs inherent in the launch of 3G services,” said Chris Pearson, executive vice president of 3G Americas. The move comes as several carriers in the United States and Canada work to introduce MMS. Most such services however only work within the carrier’s network … Read more

MMS set to grow, but interoperability is a problem

BOSTON-New research shows the market for multimedia messaging services in the United States will grow from just $8 million last year to $900 million by 2007, and the number of active MMS users will increase from several hundred thousand in 2002 to more than 31 million in 2007. Further, research and consultancy firm The Yankee Group said 20 percent of all wireless users will use MMS by 2007. However, the MMS opportunity will likely be partly stymied by the current lack of cross-carrier interoperability, a common user experience and a potential degradation of value-based pricing strategies. … Read more

Nextwave seeks permission to test wireless broadband

WASHINGTON-Bankrupt NextWave Telecom Inc. is asking its judge to allow it to conduct a $39 million trial of wireless broadband technology in Las Vegas using spectrum to be obtained from IPWireless Inc. “Given the nascent nature of the wireless broadband technologies and services, proceeding with a full-scale commercial wireless broadband trial is a critical element of NextWave’s operations that will facilitate implementation of its business plan and ultimate reorganization,” wrote NextWave in a brief filed with Bankruptcy Judge Adlai Hardin Oct. 1. “To advance NextWave’s strategy of becoming a leading, nationwide provider of wireless broadband services, NextWave seeks the court’s approval to make the expenditures necessary to enhance their existing network in a test market and then commercially operate the system in that market on a trial basis. For a variety of reasons, NextWave has targeted Las Vegas as the market in which to conduct such trial.” NextWave is forced to buy the Las Vegas spectrum from IPWireless because it just sold its Las Vegas license to Cingular Wireless L.L.C. … Read more

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