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 WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- MCI today announced that it has signed definitive agreements with four leading wireless technology companies and a leading research laboratory to participate in a cooperative effort to speed the development and deployment of Personal Communications Services (PCS) technology in the United States.
 MCI will also create a PCS laboratory in Richardson, Texas, to expedite the PCS specifications development process.
 MCI will work with Northern Telecom, Ericsson GE Mobile Communications, Nokia, Telular Corporation and MIT Lincoln Laboratory under a cooperative research and development agreement to create open specifications for PCS that are interoperable with the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) platform.
 The GSM platform is the latest and most advanced mobile wireless communications specification in the world and will be in use by 62 communications carriers in 44 countries.
 "PCS will not fulfill its enormous potential without seamless nationwide service," said Steven Zecola, MCI vice president of Personal Communications Services. "It is the collective objective of all the participants to develop digital specifications that are both optimal for rapid PCS deployment in the United States and interoperable with existing global specifications.
 "We believe GSM-based specifications are most suitable for U.S. deployment, but several modifications will be thoroughly evaluated and prioritized as part of the effort," Zecola added. "The findings from our research program are expected to be released publicly in early 1994. Based on these conclusions, MCI will release a request for proposal to all major wireless hardware vendors as part of our plan to begin deployment of a nationwide PCS network in 1995."
 Open PCS specifications that are interoperable worldwide will permit consumers to conduct voice and data communications from anywhere in the world via small sophisticated hand-held devices.
 This interoperability will be made possible via a credit card size "smart card" complete with a computer chip that carries an individual's universal phone number and subscriber information. When traveling outside the United States, the card establishes compatibility with the PCS system in each country, allowing seamless global communications.
 The GSM specifications were initially developed in Europe to overcome the interoperability obstacles created by different systems in each country, Zecola added. Similarly, a GSM-based specification will provide a good solution for introducing a seamless nationwide U.S. PCS service through a consortium of different companies.
 Northern Telecom is a leading global telecommunications researcher and manufacturer, and is participating in a PCS technical trial with MCI.
 Ericsson GE Mobile Communications is headquartered in North Carolina and is a joint venture between General Electric and LM Ericsson. Its 5,000 North American employees are involved in manufacturing, R&D and sales and marketing of wireless systems and products for the U.S. and global markets.
 Nokia, Inc. is a U.S. subsidiary of Nokia Corporation of Finland and a pioneer in digital telecommunications and mobile communications. The company is the second largest manufacturer of mobile telephones and supplies three out of four existing PCS networks.
 Telular is a U.S. developer of telecommunications technology that expands the traditional applications of wireless voice and data communications via fixed access units located in the home and office. Telular products enable standard telephone equipment to operate over wireless networks.
 Lincoln Laboratory, a federally-funded research and development center, operated and managed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a pioneer in communication systems and network technology. These technologies are now made available through the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986.
 MCI, headquartered in Washington offers a full range of domestic and global telecommunications services through one of the world's largest state-of-the-art networks. The company, with 1992 revenue of more than $10 billion, is the second largest long distance provider in the United States and has more than 65 overseas offices in 55 countries and places.
 -0- 11/17/93
 /CONTACT: Kevin Inda of MCI, 800-289-0073 or 202-887-3325/

CO: MCI; Northern Telecom; Ericsson GE Mobile Communications; Nokia;
 Telular Corporation; MIT Lincoln Laboratory ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:

DC-KD -- DC019 -- 5466 11/17/93 12:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 17, 1993

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