The lives and times of MRT
In celebration of Mobile Radio Technology's 15 years as land mobile radio's premier technical publication, come take a stroll back through the history of the magazine and the industry it serves.
What is in this article?
- Mobile data is everywhere, and AVL is gathering steam as the year opens.
- Telocator opens membership to private mobile communications carriers, later, its members vote it down.
- Celwave RF acquires Bogner Broadcast Equipment.
- The battle over trunking standards continues.
- Fiber-optic technology arrives on the scene in earnest.
- Ronald Reagan presents the first Malcolm Baldridge award to Motorola.
- Digital cellular is accepted for the next generation of phones.
- 800MHz trunking is killed by the FCC. (Round two is next.)
- ACT struggles with a membership drive. Its goal is 500; over four months it gets 53.
- Regency Electronics changes its name to Relm Communications and purchases Land Mobile Communications Group from MA/COM.
- Politicians play their immature, silly games with the FCC. Congress and the FCC are at odds, only three commissioners are seated-and there are threats them leaving. Foot dragging by Congress cause nail-biting in the wireless community.
- Sony enters the mobile communications market with two-way, satellite-based, mobile communications units. Satellites play an ever-expanding role in terrestrial-based mobile communications.
- The FCC proposes allowing third party service providers to supply public safety communications services. Everyone thinks it's a bad idea.
- The American Private Radio Association (APRA) is formed.
- The battle over sharing UHF spectrum with land mobile users really heats up.
- The FCC finally moves to break the frequency coordination monopoly with Docket 88-548. It will allow applicants to submit Form 574 directly to the commission. (There is dancing in the streets!)
- Congress buckles under pressure and seats three new commissioners by the end of the year. They are: Sherri Patrice Marshall, Andrew Camp Barrett and Alfred C. Sikes. The Commission is whole again.
- The battle over direct access for license application continues-and debate heats up.
- Nationwide and international paging are the next hot paging technologies. The industry worries about a shortage of frequencies, according to Telocator.
- Cellular puts pressure on frequencies. SMR worries about losing spectrum.
- Mercy Contreras, MRT publisher under Weisner, becomes publisher for Intertec.
- Cellular subscribers are nearly 2 million strong!
- Unlicensed users become a major issue for the FCC.
- An unorthodox FCC frequency allocation grant to the Southern California presents the worst scenario for uncoordinated frequency assignments, further muddying the waters over direct access and assigned frequency coordination requirements. Everyone's filing comments.
- IBM and Motorola partner to create the Advanced Radio Data information Service (ARDIS). (The big boys throw their weight behind mobile data. Skeptics are silenced forever.)
- E.F. Johnson acquires a majority interest in Americom.
- McCaw Cellular acquires Lin Broadcasting's cellular holdings.
- Ericsson Mobile Data is established to support the Mobitex public mobile data network operated by RAM Mobile Data.
- UHF/Two-way sharing loses priority to new HDTV technology.
- Cellular phones drop to less than $500 and carrier "incentives" to resellers are used to lower prices even more.
- Conditional licensing gets the go-ahead.
- Thomas A. Stroup takes over the reigns of Telocator.
- Ervin S. Duggan is confirmed as the latest FCC commissioner.
- FleetCall gives a wake-up call to the industry when it asks the FCC to allow it to use digital modulation, TDMA, and frequency reuse on its SMR systems-all against current FCC rules. The future of SMR is here-now!
- The "Dingell Bill," which would relocate up to 200MHz of spectrum from the federal government to the private sector, has the private wireless industry drooling.
- AVL pops up everywhere.
- Millidyne acquires Sequel Data Communications.
- Sears enters the cellular telephone market with phones and accessories-charge it!
- Experimental PCN systems are popping up all over.
- The FCC's Inspector General undertakes a survey audit of frequency coordinators for PLMR. Controversy still haunts this issue.
- Motorola's NAMPS comes on the scene to address the issue of potentially crowded cellular frequencies.
- Computer technology starts showing up in all phases of wireless technology: billing; diagnostics; service shop operations; and paging, as well as component hardware.
- The UHF-land mobile frequency sharing debate goes on. AMST asks the FCC to review the licensing procedure after another case of rules violations in Indiana.
- Edgar F. Johnson, E.F. Johnson's founder, dies at age 96.
- "Wristwatch pagers" are touted as the next generation of pagers.
- Most of FleetCall's waiver is denied by the FCC. It claims that what FleetCall wants to do can be done under the present rules. The SMR industry celebrates; the cellular industry cries foul.
- LM Ericsson buys SCE.
- Comcast moves to establish an experimental PCS system that links cellular, cable TV and PCS.
- SprintNet links up with ARDIS.
- Alan Shark takes over the reins of ASNA as its president.
- PCS prognosticators expect it to be a $55 billion business by the year 2000, with phones costing less than $250 and service costing about $40 per month. (We'll see.)
- Ian Wright, chairman of ACT's volunteer leadership council, steps down. He has had the reins since its inception in 1986.
- The FCC denies ASNA's request to reallocate 2MHz of 900MHz spectrum to PLMR.
- The paging industry is now over 10 million subscribers strong.
- ASMR changes its name to AMTA.
- Guess what? Telocator now proposes to call itself the Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA).
- ACT membership drops by nearly 300, as it struggles to remain the representaive organization for communications technicians.
- APCO reveals Project 25, for the next generation of digital radio.