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July 26, 1987

AT&E AND PLESSEY SEE BIG GAINS FROM WRISTWATCH PAGER

By CBR Staff Writer

American Telegraph and Electric, AT&E of San Francisco will be marketing the wristwatch pager it designed, for which it signed a four-year contract with Plessey to develop and manufacture a key integrated circuit an eighth of an inch square, in the UK in 1989 (CI No 518). AT&E is looking to raise money in the UK for the launch and sees big business from the device, as does Plessey, because it is smaller and more convenient to use than conventional pagers. AT&E is also looking for a European manufacturer for the product and is currently in talks with two companies, one of them, needless to say, Swiss. The Receptor will sell at around UKP100 with a monthly subscriber fee. AT&E has already raised some UKP26m in Japan and the US to market the Receptor product in the US in early 1988. The company aims to sell the watch in three US cities by the end of 1988 and in 52 US cities by 1989 when it starts selling the product in the UK. But before it launches here, it will have to win agreements with local FM radio stations – the system operated by modulating the unused sidebands that are an integral part of the FM radio signal. Plessey makes the chips for the Receptor while Seiko of Japan manufactures the watches into which it goes.

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