Three very lucky companies were granted licenses recently for personal communications services
(PCS) without having to compete in the upcoming auctions.
This action by the FCC culminates years of private investment by the three companies
in new advanced mobile communications technology.
The companies are Cox Enterprises Inc., Omnipoint Communications Inc. and American
Personal Communications, partly owned by the Washington Post.
Omnipoint's license allows it to operate in northern New Jersey, APC in the Washington
area and Cox in San Diego. Omnipoint, winner of the 1993 Best SS Application Award,
uses a hybrid TDMA/CDMA direct sequence SS modulation technique.
The Omnipoint system minimizes the necessity to constantly adjust transmit power levels.
Omnipoint is now supplying several RBOCs (Regional Bell Operating Companies) with
early production handsets and cell site equipment for early implementation of PCS.
The three first got approval in 1992 to Beta test their products after competing
with 47 other applicants. They are getting preferential treatment for licenses now
because of the FCC's "pioneer's preference" policy designed to encourage
innovation. Everybody else in PCS will have to compete in the upcoming spectrum auctions.
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