ATLANTA — GTE announced today the commercial launch of its digital wireless service in Austin, Texas -- the first in a series of GTE digital wireless deployments in the company's markets nationwide.
GTE's new digital service utilizes Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), which enables multiple wireless users to access the same channel simultaneously. Thus, CDMA substantially enhances wireless calling volume over analog as well as other digital technologies.
"GTE is a leader in an industry-wide effort to bring to market this revolutionary technology. Our Austin market launch is an important milestone for GTE and the entire wireless industry," said Mark S. Feighner, president of GTE Wireless. "GTE now has the power and capacity to offer the voice clarity and call volume of digital service along with the wide-ranging travel capability and coverage of analog service. GTE believes that combination provides by far the best value to the customer."
GTE's Austin customers will use dual-mode phones that have both CDMA and analog capability. If a customer travels outside the CDMA coverage area, the call will switch over to the analog network.
GTE also plans to deploy this newest of wireless digital technologies in its San Jose, Calif., market in December, and in most of its other major markets over the next 15 months.
For the past several years, while CDMA was under development, GTE tested the technology and recently concluded its first customer trial of CDMA, involving 250 customers, in Austin.
GTE's customer trial showed the intrinsic benefits of CDMA's digital service to customers, including excellent voice quality and reliability as well as the availability of certain features such as Caller ID, call-waiting indicator, and numeric paging.
"Customer response to GTE's CDMA service quality has led us to conclude that our digital technology will provide the level of clear, reliable service demanded by even the most frequent users of cellular communications," Feighner said.
GTE's CDMA system in Austin utilizes Lucent Technologies' switching and cell-site equipment including Lucent's advanced speech coding technology.
GTE (NYSE: GTE) is one of the largest publicly held telecommunications companies in the world. Within the United States, GTE has wireline and wireless operations that form a market area covering about one third of the country's population.
In its wireless operations, GTE provides telecommunications products and services to more than 3 million customers in 73 metropolitan and 52 rural markets nationwide.