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Beam Me Up, Scotty: Wireless Testing

Motorola, Glenayre, and PCSD Corporation will begin testing a two-way network for advanced wireless messaging during the first quarter of next year. If successful, we may all end up carrying devices resembling the communicators used by Star Trek characters.

Targeted at both consumers and business users, the trio hopes to create a new class of messaging services using a pocket-sized communicator that will support voice communications.

PCSD owns a nationwide wireless (narrowband) license that it plans to use for commercial services starting in 1997. According to estimates from the Personal Communications Industry Association, wireless paging is expected to grow from 24.5 million users in 1994 to over 92 million users by 2005. However, industry research shows that support for voice instead of numeric or alphanumeric messages will be necessary to drive that level of demand.