Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!
E-Support for e-commerce from your friendly wireless e-tailer
We have e-mail, e-commerce and e-tailers, among other “electronic” conveniences. The “e” phenomenon has spread quickly across all aspects of business and industry, and now wireless customers with questions or problems can access “e-customer service” to find help. Of course, customers still have the option of speaking to a real person, but as it becomes easier to purchase products and services from start to finish using the Internet, carriers and vendors are moving to make the Web a comprehensive source for help and information. By 2001, 45 percent of customer service responses will be online, according to the Boston-based research firm The Yankee Group. “Now that companies have established their Web commerce presence, they realize they must build out the customer-service infrastructure behind their Web sites to keep existing customers loyal,” said The Yankee Group’s report, “E-Mail Response Systems: Crucial Components of Next-Generation E-Support.” There are several ways a company can serve customers over the Web, including self-service, deferred service and real-time interactions using Internet Protocol telephony … Read more
Modify your flight from your phone, whoa
DENVER-Business traveler content provider Trip.com Inc. launched a wireless extension to its Internet site last week, featuring a first-of-its-kind ability to rebook flights from AT&T Wireless PocketNet phones. The service allows users to modify existing flight reservations, but not initiate new ones. Users also may check hotel and rental car reservations, flight status and view the speed and altitude of a current flight via a direct feed from the Federal Aviation Administration. “This reinforces Trip.com’s leadership in the travel industry,” said Alison Kane, vice president of product strategy and development at Trip.com. “It shows we’re not just a Web site, but a technology innovator.” This is the first wireless travel application that allows users to actively modify their flight reservations from their phones. While Internet-enabled phones on other carriers’ networks may access the Trip.com general information, only PocketNet users may interact with the rebooking feature. Kane said the act of provisioning the phone to handle the modification service is just too painstaking to expect the average user to do so from any phone at this time. It requires entering Internet Protocol addresses, routing information and other actions Trip.com felt were not very user friendly. … Read more
Oracle pager portal = search for two-way messaging
OracleMobile added support for two-way wireless messaging devices to its OracleMobile.com wireless Internet portal service, which Metrocall Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd. both agreed to make available to their messaging customers. The two-way pager service, called Ask@OracleMobile, allows users to access information based on their OracleMobile.com profile from their two-way devices. Services today include stock quotes, traffic updates, flight information, driving directions, horoscopes, lottery results, dictionary and translation services, UPS tracking and weather. Users send an e-mail to the address email@example.com with a keyword such as “stocks” or “flights” in the subject or body of the message, and wait for the response. The OracleMobile server determines who sent the message and accesses that profile, then sends back the latest updates of that user’s stock, based on the stock portfolio set up beforehand. For driving directions, users can type “directions” in the subject field and then the origination and destination addresses into the body of the message. … Read more
41 million subscribe to TDMA/EDGE
Nearly 41 million people worldwide subscribed to Time Division Multiple Access-Enhanced Data for Global Evolution technology by the end of the first quarter, an increase of 87 percent from the previous year, according to the Universal Wireless Communications Consortium. UWCC said North American TDMA-EDGE subscribers increased by 98 percent, with Latin American subscribers growing 121 percent over the first quarter of 1999. … Read more
Moto backs bar codes
SCHAMBURG, Ill.-Motorola Inc., Symbol Technologies Inc., Connect Things Inc. and AirClic Inc. announced a plan to form a new e-commerce company based on scanning bar codes. They have collectively invested $500 million in the effort. The company intends to create a registry of Web codes, or bar codes containing instructions for executing specific tasks. Using Symbol’s bar code scanning technology, wireless phones, cable TV set-top boxes and other Internet devices would be able to access the Internet by scanning bar codes that will be embedded on products, publications like brochures and on television screens with an ad running in the background. Users interested in the product can use their wireless phone, for instance, to scan the bar code on the screen of the television or brochure and be connected directly to specific Web sites … Read more
Microsoft partners with Samsung for Windows phone
Microsoft Corp. and Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. announced an agreement to jointly create a new line of mobile phones based on Microsoft’s Windows CE operating system. Specifically, Samsung will create Global System for Mobile communications and Code Division Multiple Access phones with Microsoft’s Mobile Internet Explorer wireless browser technology for feature phones and the Windows CE-based platform for smart phones. Samsung said to expect the Mobile Explorer-powered feature phones by the second half of 2000, with smart phone solutions hitting the market in 2001. This is the first time a wireless phone manufacturer has agreed to create a product based on the Windows CE operating system and marks a significant milestone for Microsoft’s entrance into the wireless phone market. “This is really exciting for us,” said Perry Lee, product manager for Microsoft’s Mobile Devices Division. “It builds the credibility for our smart phone platform.” … Read more
Sprint CEO Sukawaty leaves post
WASHINGTON-Andrew Sukawaty, president and chief operating officer of Sprint PCS and recently installed chairman of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, said Friday he is leaving the nationwide mobile-phone carrier to pursue a new, unnamed opportunity. “This is the fourth start-up venture in which I’ve been involved and it definitely has been one of my most rewarding experiences … I especially want to thank the outstanding team at Sprint PCS that has helped make it the most successful wireless company start-up in history,” Sukawaty said in a statement released by the company. Sukawaty has led Sprint PCS through six consecutive record-breaking quarters and six quarters of leading the wireless industry in subscriber growth. The company boasted 6.5 million customers as of March 31, making it the fourth-largest carrier in the United States. The announcement shocked CTIA, whose board voted Sukawaty its chairman the previous day. CTIA President Thomas E. Wheeler said CTIA is “trying to assess” what this means for the leadership of the wireless trade association. There are no rules for this type of event and it has never happened before, Wheeler said. He added that since Sukawaty had only been chairman for several hours before the announcement, the association has more flexibility in deciding the right course of action. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.