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MCI PROPOSES CONSORTIUM FOR NATIONAL PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK; FILES WITH FCC FOR COMMERCIAL SERVICE BY '94

MCI PROPOSES CONSORTIUM FOR NATIONAL PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK;
 FILES WITH FCC FOR COMMERCIAL SERVICE BY '94
 WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- MCI Communications Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: MCIC), in a statement prepared for filing today, announced it will form a broad-based consortium of companies to seek a license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to build and operate a national personal communications network (PCN).
 Under MCI's proposal, consumers could make or receive calls anywhere in the country. The wireless technology associated with personal communications services (PCS) allows calls to be made using inexpensive (e.g., as low as $70 according to industry estimates) hand-held telephones. Most importantly, callers may call people -- as opposed to places -- and receive calls (paid for either by the caller or the called party) wherever they may be without the limitations of today's cellular telephone service.
 Given FCC approval in 1993, commercial service could be available starting in 1994. MCI announced the formation of its PCS unit earlier this year and the company introduced this summer services tailored to the wireless customer including its automated "Follow Me" 800 cellular service.
 "MCI is looking to partner with others who are technically and financially capable of developing emerging PCS technology and services," according to Daniel F. Akerson, president and chief operating officer of MCI. "Such a network would offer a new form of high-quality, digital wireless voice and data communications utilizing low power, lightweight 'pocket' telephones and hand-held computers.
 "The availability of inexpensive digital communications will foster the development of many new types of services, creating more opportunities for investment and economic expansion. PCS providers in their first few years of operation could create at least as many new jobs as the 35,000 currently employed in the cellular industry," Akerson added.
 "In addition to the telecommunications jobs that PCS will create directly, it will also generate thousands of other service, technical and manufacturing jobs in the U.S. economy.
 "Pending quick FCC approval, PCS can be deployed rapidly, so that wireless PCS services are available to most Americans within this decade -- otherwise it will take a longer period for PCS to become a reality," he said.
 In comments filed Monday, in response to the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Personal Communications, MCI proposed four licensing provisions for personal communications:
 -- Three national licenses should be awarded by streamlined
 comparative hearings rather than by lottery, and to
 consortiums, rather than individual companies.
 -- Consortiums should be composed of a national manager and many
 other companies that would operate the local systems. The
 national manager would provide network services, technical
 standards, national marketing, and national roaming and
 inter-operability among the systems. Many companies would
 build and operate the local PCS systems. A large number of
 service, software and equipment vendors also would be involved
 in supporting such a network.
 -- The FCC should classify PCS carriers as common carriers with
 the status of co-carriers with local telephone companies.
 This would entitle PCS carriers to the same kinds of
 interconnection and traffic exchange agreements that exist
 among local telephone companies. Such interconnection is
 critically important for PCS carriers to offer rates
 competitive with other local distribution technologies and
 broaden the market for wireless service applications.
 -- Equal access to all long distance inter-exchange carriers
 should be mandated for PCS so that customers can receive the
 price and feature benefits of competition. Interconnection
 should be required among all PCS, cellular and local exchange
 carriers to enable all calls to and from the customers to be
 handled easily.
 Under the structure of MCI's filing with the FCC, the majority interest in the consortium organized by MCI would be held by companies providing local PCS. MCI would hold a minority interest but would be the national manager of the PCS network, according to Akerson.
 Headquartered in Washington, MCI offers a full range of domestic and global telecommunications services through a state-of-the-art global telecommunications network. The company, with 1991 revenue of nearly $10 billion, is the nation's second largest long distance provider and the sixth largest international provider of long distance services.
 ADDENDUM
 PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES (PCS)
 PCS are a broad range of individualized telecommunications services that enable people or devices to communicate independent of location. Some of the services include:
 -- Personal numbers assigned to individuals rather than
 telephones.
 -- Call completion regardless of location ("find me").
 -- Calls to the PCS customer can be paid for by the caller, or by
 the PCS customer.
 -- Call management services giving the called party much greater
 control over incoming calls.
 PCS can both find and complete a call to a person regardless of location, but give that person the choice of accepting or rejecting the call or sending it somewhere else.
 PCS will allow a new category of high-quality, wireless, voice and data communications -- utilizing low power, lightweight "pocket" telephones and hand-held computers.
 While cellular use today is about half business usage, PCS is expected to be primarily a consumer service because of its low cost and feature-rich consumer applications.
 Personal Communications Networks (PCNs)
 PCNs are the next generation of digital wireless communications technology. PCNs use less power and are less expensive than the current cellular technology and permit the use of inexpensive "pocket" telephones with much longer battery life than cellular portables. PCN phones will have many more features than today's cellular or conventional telephones, and unlike cellular phones, will be usable in most areas of the world. PCNs will operate in the same frequency band in most countries (1850-1990 MHz), while cellular is operating in several different frequency bands in various countries, and thus is not portable from country to country.
 PCN vs. Cellular
 Today's cellular technology was developed in the 1970s. It is an analog technology that was never designed for the mass market. It was designed to be a better form of mobile telephone service. The dramatic growth of cellular is causing system congestion problems in a number of major cities. The cellular industry is beginning to convert to digital technology but that change-over will take years.
 Cellular is also a premium service with average user monthly costs exceeding $70.
 PCN, because of its lower cost structure, lower power use and much greater traffic-carrying capability, can be priced below cellular and closer to landline service. It will offer much higher quality voice and better data handling. A PCN phone can be a universal phone, usable at home, on the street or in the office. It will offer better quality, greater versatility and more services at lower prices than today's cellular technology.
 -0- 11/9/92
 /CONTACT: Debra Shriver, 703-415-6904, or Kate Fralin, 703-415-6941, both of MCI/
 (MCIC) CO: MCI Communications Corporation ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU: PDT


TW -- DC008 -- 8672 11/09/92 11:35 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 9, 1992
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