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By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2003-03-18 Print this article Print

: Wireless Services: What Lies Ahead"> Len Lauer, president of wireless carrier Sprint PCS, remains neutral on the subject, but said his company is looking at billing structures for Wi-Fi just in case. "It is an if," he said. "But if it comes, well be ready."
Qualcomm Inc. president and CEO Irwin Jacobs made his case that high-speed WANs will render WLAN hot spots unnecessary. Qualcomm holds the majority of patents for CDMA (code division multiple access) technology, which is the basis for the Sprint PCS and Verizon Wireless Inc. WANs.
Verizon this week announced plans to offer high-speed CDMA 1x EVDO service in San Diego and Washington, with plans to branch out to other metropolitan areas later in the year. "If youre going to have that coverage wherever you might be, why would you need a hot spot?" Jacobs said. That said, Verizon Wireless this week announced its own plans for Wi-Fi hot spot services. The CTIA keynoters on Tuesday also discussed the future of messaging services for wide area wireless networks, including both SMS ( text-only short message service) and MMS (multimedia message service, which includes pictures.) Text messaging is driving the wireless business in Europe, according to Dave McGlade, president of British wireless carrier MM02, who said the adoption of SMS in the UK was "viral." Multimedia messaging is showing similar promise, he said. In fact, the Brits have started a trend called "Celebing," which entails sending a picture of a celebrity to a friend in lieu of a text message. Certain celebrities represent certain sentiments. For example, a picture of Britney Spears means "fancy a few beers?" and a picture of guitarist Hank Marvin means "Im starvin," explained McGlade. McGlade attributed the adoption of SMS in Europe and the lack thereof in North America to the fact that European carriers established interoperability agreements for SMS more than a year before North American carriers did. Nextels Donohue disagreed, saying that Americans simply preferred speaking over texting. "Voice is expensive in Europe," he said. "Voice is cheap in the U.S." Latest Wireless News:
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