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CDMA Development Group Defines Instant Activation Process

First of Many Specs to be Developed

IRVINE, CA -- Sept. 28, 1994 -- Future CDMA cellular customers will use a new instant activation process to make buying cellular phones and service easier than ever before. The CDMA Development Group (CDG) today announced it has completed specifications for a simplified activation process, called "Over-the-Air Activation."

These specifications mark an important milestone in the development of CDMA, making it the first digital cellular technology to offer instant activation to customers. In 1995, equipment manufacturers and cellular operators will begin to implement this feature in their early commercial systems.

Over-the-Air Activation allows cellular operators to automatically activate and program their customers' phones using the CDMA radio network. This capability dramatically simplifies cellular phone and service distribution and the buying process.

"With Over-the-Air Activation, cellular customers will be able to use their cellular phones right out of the box, without having to wait for cellular phone dealers to program the phone," said Evan Richards, Vice President of Network, Ameritech cellular services. "The customer simply places a call to the cellular operator, and the information will be transferred automatically to the cellular phone over the cellular airwaves," he explained.

CDMA can facilitate this simpler activation process because of its exceptional security, which allows user information to be transferred over the airwaves and prevents interception. In the future, cellular operators may use this capability to forward other information to cellular customers, providing them with the latest applications software coming directly from the CDMA network. A possible application could be automatically updating roaming information to give customers easy access to CDMA systems nationwide.

Craig Farrill, Vice President of Technology Planning and Development at AirTouch Communications, said "With Over-the-Air Activation, we can reengineer the distribution process and serve customers in ways that the industry only dreamed of before. Best of all, it will simplify customers' lives. They won't need to travel to a service center because we will be able to update their cellular phones remotely -- automatically providing the latest features and capabilities."

The CDMA Development Group was formed to foster the development of open standards and spur market introduction of CDMA services. The voluntary group consists of many of the world's largest cellular operators and equipment manufacturers. Currently, there are early a dozen technical teams and more than 200 individuals working to define technical specifications for CDMA features and services.