SAN DIEGO --AirTouch Cellular (AirTouch Communications NYSE:AT) todayannounced that it will provide Powerband digital cellular service toattendees and media at the Republican National Convention in San Diegousing Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA ) technology.
These users will benefit from Powerband's enhanced features,improved call quality, privacy and batteries that permit up to five hoursof talk-time or about twice what other digital phones offer today. Inaddition, they will be the first AirTouch users to experience the highfidelity of 13 kbps vocoder technology.
"Our confidence in CDMA and the positive experience customers arehaving in Los Angeles, made us accelerate the implementation of digitalservice in San Diego," said Lee Cox, AirTouch Communications vice chairmanand president and CEO of AirTouch Cellular. "The digital cellular systemwe're showcasing at the Republican National Convention offers all of thefeatures of PCS like privacy and fraud protection, plus national roaming,wider local coverage, five hours of talk time and the highest voicequality."
In May, AirTouch introduced Powerband service for the first time inLos Angeles in an area so large it would rank 18th on the list of largestU.S. cities. Powerband service in Los Angeles debuted with an 8 kpbsvocoder which provided customers some clear advantages over analogtechnology in terms of extended battery life, quieter calls and betterprivacy. "Today we're introducing 13 kbps vocoder technology for the firsttime in San Diego," explained Cox. "We also plan to introduce 13 kbpsservice in Los Angeles because tests show that compared with othertechnologies - digital and analog, the customer opinion scores for CDMA 13kbps take first place in every category."
AirTouch Cellular will offer the Powerband digital service in theconvention and downtown area and analog cellular service throughout thecounty to selected media representatives and delegates at no charge. Theservice package will include a 411 Connect directory and direct dialservice that makes it easy for callers to request such things as restaurantinformation and be immediately connected to the directory listing of theirchoice.
Once the convention is over, AirTouch will complete construction ofits Powerband network in the greater San Diego area and will begin toexpand service by the first quarter of 1997.
The Powerband service in San Diego is based on networkinfrastructure equipment supplied by Motorola. According to JackFinlayson, corporate vice president and general manager of Motorola's PanAmerican Wireless Infrastructure Division, "Motorola is proud to be workingwith AirTouch in bringing premier digital cellular CDMA service to the 1996Republican National Convention." Convention attendees and other users ofthis CDMA system will be the first to experience the superior quality ofour new 13 kbps voice encoders."
Powerband users at the Convention will use QCP-800 handsetsmanufactured in San Diego by Qualcomm Personal Electronics, a joint ventureof Qualcomm and Sony Electronics. The dual-mode (CDMA/analog) phone willoffer a full feature set, and a five-line liquid crystal display with iconsto indicate signal strength, transmission mode, battery and roaming statusand other functions. Users are easily guided through the phones'operations through a user-friendly interface and soft-key menu.
"Through our 13 kilobit CDMA phones, San Diego users willexperience digital wireless technology at its best with wireline-qualityvoice, lower power output, longer talk times and the highest degree ofprivacy and security available," said Dr. Paul Jacobs, senior vicepresident and general manager for Subscriber Products, QualcommIncorporated. "We congratulate AirTouch on their continuing success inbringing CDMA service to their markets, and we look forward to continuingour close collaboration."
Airtouch Communications is a global wireless communicationscompany, with interests in cellular, paging, personal communicationsservices and the Globalstar satellite system in the United States and 10other nations: Belgium, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal,South Korea, Spain and Sweden. The company, based in San Francisco, servesmore than 6.3 million customers worldwide.