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BELLSOUTH BEGINS FIRST WIRELESS CENTREX TRIAL

 BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- BellSouth Telecommunications announced today that it is testing a service concept that will provide some business workers more mobility at the office.
 The service concept -- called Wireless Centrex -- permits wireless access to the ESSX(R) centrex telephone service used by many BellSouth business customers. Employees use lightweight, pocket-sized, low-power telephone handsets to make and receive calls while moving around within their place of work. The ESSX service is accessed by digital cordless telephones through small radio base stations strategically located within the building. The low-power radio base stations, interconnected by a centralized controller, form a network of very small cells which provide coverage throughout a customer's premises.
 "While traditional wired telephone sets adequately handle the majority of business communications within an office, many of our customers tell us there is a need for a wireless option," said Fred Braune, product manager for BellSouth Telecommunications. "This option can provide mobility within an office building, hospital or warehouse at a cost that may be very attractive to our business customers."
 The BellSouth trial will involve some 50 BellSouth Telecommunications managers at the company's Colonnade administrative building south of Birmingham and is expected to last until the end of May.
 Braune said that the purpose of the trial will be to develop customer applications, gather market and cost data, and test low-power radio technologies in an office environment. He cautioned that any future market rollout of wireless service options would depend on the results of the trial, further market research, and the FCC's final decision on spectrum allocation issues surrounding Personal Communication Systems (PCS).
 Doug Alston, research engineer for BellSouth Telecommunications, said that this trial was being conducted using radio frequencies authorized under BellSouth's existing PCS experimental licenses. Alston said that BellSouth is using wireless equipment from Northern Telecom for the trial. Although the equipment is premises-based, BellSouth said future service offerings would probably be based on equipment designed to be controlled from the company's switching offices.
 -0- 3/31/93
 /CONTACT: Bob Morrow of BellSouth Telecommunications, 404-529-8169/


CO: BellSouth Telecommunications ST: Alabama IN: TLS SU:

BN-BR -- AT012 -- 1527 03/31/93 12:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 31, 1993
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