SAN DIEGO, Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Rep. Thomas J. Bliley (R-Va.) andSen. Larry Pressler (R-S.D.), the chief architects of major telecom reformlegislation, were among the first callers on NextWave Telecom Inc.'s PersonalCommunications Service (PCS) system on Tuesday in San Diego. Other inauguralcalls were placed by Rep. Brian P. Bilbray (R-Calif.) and Valerie Stallings,Deputy Mayor of San Diego. These inaugural calls represent the first made onthe so-called "C-Block" spectrum set aside for entrepreneurs.
NextWave unveiled its PCS system, which is based on the advanced CodeDivision Multiple Access (CDMA) digital standard, just three months after thecompany's successful participation in an FCC-sponsored auction reserved forsmall businesses and entrepreneurs. The demonstration system is beingoperated under a temporary license from the FCC. NextWave won 63 PCS licensesthrough the auction process. Those licenses cover 29 of the top 50 markets inthe U.S. and represent more than 40% of the population. NextWave's licenseapplications are pending before the FCC.
Rep. Bliley, who serves as Chairman of the House Commerce Committee,complemented NextWave for its rapid development and deployment of an advancedwireless system that will offer customers more choice in the marketplace."You are involved in the cutting edge of technology and in creating morecompetition in the industry," Rep. Bliley said. "This is exactly what weenvisioned when we introduced, labored over, and signed into law the firstmajor change in telecom law, since Marconi was alive," he said. He added thatthe Telecommunications Act of 1996 was aimed at letting "the entrepreneurialgenius of America compete."
"What we are doing here is celebrating the beginning of the digital age,"said Sen. Pressler, who also serves as Chairman of the Senate Commerce,Science and Transportation Committee. He said the coming "Wireless Age" willhelp bridge the gap between rural and urban communities, and wireless networkswill make it possible for schools and hospitals in small towns and big citiesto share information.
NextWave's San Diego PCS network provided coverage for most of downtown,the marina area, and Coronada Island, incorporating an area of more than 110square kilometers. The CDMA-based PCS phones and network equipment wereprovided by Qualcomm, Inc., a San Diego-based wireless equipment manufacturer.The handsets offer clearer voice quality and better reception with lessbackground noise than typical analog units.
In making some of the first calls on NextWave's PCS system, Rep. Blileycalled FCC Commissioner Rachelle B. Chong in Washington, D.C. Sen. Presslercalled his mother in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Deputy Mayor Stallings called hermother in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Dr. Irwin Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Qualcomm, made amobile-to-mobile call, using one of NextWave's CDMA-based PCS phones toconnect with an executive using a CDMA-based cellular phone at BC TEL inVancouver, Canada.
NextWave Telecom Inc., which was founded in May 1995, is the parentcompany of NextWave Personal Communications Inc. (PCI), NextWave Wireless Inc.and TELE*code Inc. NextWave PCI is the holding company for the PCS licensesNextWave won at auction. NextWave Wireless was formed to act as an operatingcompany and plans to construct facilities and provide wholesale PCS inconjunction with its strategic partners. TELE*code was formed to provideCDMA-based products and engineering services. NextWave is a privately heldcorporation with headquarters in San Diego and offices in Los Angeles, NewYork, Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Seoul, Korea.