Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

McCaw to Begin Test of Communications System This Year

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

McCaw to Begin Test of Communications System This Year

Article excerpt

Journal Record Staff Reporter

Customer trials to fine-tune cellular digital communications are expected to begin in Oklahoma City this year, McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. announced Wednesday.

Testing of a $10.75 million upgrade and expansion of the cellular network in Oklahoma started with installation of the city's first cellular digital transmission, the company's announcement said.

"What that means is that we have the technology in place at the cell sites," said Bill Malloy, general manager for Cellular One's Midwest District, which covers Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri. McCaw does business in Oklahoma as Cellular One. The company is based in Kirkland, Wash.

Call testing and customer trials are two different processes, both of which are designed to fine-tune the system rather than be a proof of concept, Malloy said.

Although the company has had digital capability in this area with switching equipment, the digital transmission equipment will allow the company to immediately triple its capacity and ultimately increase capacity by 1,000 percent.

"Before, all our cellular customers had to use analog telephones; now they have the digital transmission capability which will offer better quality and more privacy because the digital band is a very narrow broadcast band," Malloy said.

"Now, customers can use a dual-mode telephone, where they can use either the analog or digital.

"What's happening now is that as we are able to digitize the caller's voice and send it through the lines like a computer signal, then change it back at the receiving end, the customer has more power.

"When people talk about power for the communications, they mean the chips which are in the telephone, giving customers a very powerful device in the palm of their hand. No longer do customers have to depend upon the telephone company providing large, powerful computerized switching equipment. The portable cellular telephones have the computer chips in them which gives the customer power."

McCaw-Cellular One also will market the dual-mode telephone to ensure that customers are not left behind because of the new technology, Malloy said. …

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