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
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.