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MCI AND NORTHERN TELECOM LAUNCH NATIONAL PCS TEST

 WASHINGTON, July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- MCI and Northern Telecom announced today a trial in which participants will test, through a range of Personal Communications Services (PCS), the ability to communicate regardless of location at a much lower price than available in the cellular marketplace. The trial, which begins in August and continues for approximately three months, represents the second in MCI's series of national PCS tests.
 Through the use of radio frequency technology, MCI and Northern Telecom will test a system which provides sophisticated PCS services allowing participants to create uniquely designed "personal" phone services. Features like voice mail, call blocking, short message service, and call screening allow callers to elect to answer the call, route the call to another party or to voice mail, conference in a colleague or simply screen incoming calls.
 "This test showcases technology incorporating calling features which are key to providing the PCS subscriber with control -- anytime or anywhere in the world," said Jerry Taylor, president of MCI Consumer Markets. "The features truly put the subscriber in a position to determine, on a real time basis, how to handle each call."
 MCI will test Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) radio frequency technology provided by Northern Telecom, and subsequently compare its performance to the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology used in the first trial. TDMA is one of the digital access technologies currently under industry review which provides important user benefits including clearer reception, fewer dropped calls, and improved privacy over current cellular analog techniques.
 The testing area covers the Richardson/Plano, Texas, area and Washington, D.C., and trial participants will be employees of both MCI and Northern Telecom. Handsets used in this trial will resemble portable units available in the cellular market today.
 MCI previously announced on June 28 the launch of a technology trial which represented the first demonstration of nationwide seamless roaming, enabling PCS users to communicate from any location without having to identify their whereabouts to the system. A second element of the June 28 announcement included interoperability, the ability to use a phone in any local operating area to call another party in a different area. These two capabilities will continue to be tested during this second trial.
 MCI holds an experimental license from the FCC to conduct nationwide testing in the 1850-1990 MHz band and will submit progress reports to the FCC every 90 days.
 "We are delighted to participate in this trial with MCI and see it as an opportunity to showcase our advanced PCS technology", said David Twyver, group vice president, Wireless Systems.
 Northern Telecom, a leading telecommunications researcher and manufacturer, through their European joint venture with Nortel Matra, has supplied a number of PCS networks overseas, particularly in Australia and Europe. Nortel Matra, the equipment manufacturer for the trial, was formed through an alliance between Northern Telecom and Matra Communications in France.
 MCI, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the nation's second- largest long distance provider. The fastest-growing carrier of international traffic among the top 20 largest international carriers, MCI offers clear, high quality direct dial service to more than 250 countries and places. MCI offers consumers savings and superior customer service through a number of products and services including: Friends & Family, MCI PrimeTime, MCI HomeConnect, 1-800-COLLECT, The MCI VideoPhone, MCI Friends Around The World, MCI Call USA, the MCI Card and the Friends & Family Card.
 -0- 7/15/93
 /CONTACT: Kate Fralin of MCI, 800-436-9749, or Ted Hudak of Northern Telecom, 214-684-2758/
 (MCIC NT)


CO: MCI; Northern Telecom ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:

TW -- DC011 -- 1825 07/15/93 09:49 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 15, 1993
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