TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Who Answers 911? Cell Phones and VoIP Put Responders to

Re: Who Answers 911? Cell Phones and VoIP Put Responders to

Fred Goldstein (
Tue, 03 May 2005 23:48:32 -0400

John Levine <> wrote,

>> Not exactly. AMPS licenses were granted to *two* carriers in every
>> market: one "wireline" (incumbent LEC) telephone company, and one
>> independent carrier. So it is only right to say that *half of* the
>> original cell phone carriers were the telcos.

> Pat is right -- most of the A carriers were LECs from somewhere
> else, or perhaps for the first 15 minutes someone who bought a kit
> to bid in the cellular auction and then turned around and sold his
> ticket to SBC or Bell Atlantic.

It didn't happen that way at first. The original A licenses were
handed out to existing Radio Common Carriers -- mainly paging
companies. Metromedia nabbed several important licenses on the East
Coast, including Washington and Boston, and they created the Cellular
One brand name, which was licensed to many other A-side carriers.
After the big city licenses were handed out free, and some license
lotteries were scandalous, the FCC went to an auction system, which is
how all of the 1900 MHz PCS licenses were assigned (except for a
couple of "pioneer preference" gifts).

Metromedia sold out to Southwestern Bell, which kept the Cellular One
name until it joined forces with BellSouth and came up with the new
Cingular brand. McCaw sold out to AT&T. Connecticut's A-side
carrier, Metro Mobile, sold out to Bell Atlantic, and is now VZW. So
yes, by the mid-1990s, a good share of the A-side ("non-wireline")
licenses were owned by ILECs.

Fred Goldstein k1io fgoldstein "at"
ionary Consulting

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