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October 10, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

As speculation began to swirl around the company to the effect that a $2,000m fund-raising exercise by AT&T Co might be a prelude to the company buying a stake in Vodaphone Group Plc, Vodafone this week revealed how it intends to meet the challenge to its core cellular business posed by Personal Communications Network. It is planning a low-cost consumer-oriented urban Micro Cellular Network for phased introduction from spring 1993 to early 1995. It will use the Groupe Speciale Mobile digital cellular standard but on Vodafone’s existing 900MHz frequencies rather than the 18GHz of the rival systems and will enable subscribers to access the pan-European digital cellular system via a power-boosting car adaptor, the key feature of the new system being that it will rely on high density, low-power microcell radios. It will cost UKP30 to join, UKP20 a month and 10p per minute for local calls originating in the user’s home town, rising to 15p for local calls from another town and 20p for national calls. It plans 3,000 base stations not more than two miles apart, in urban and surburban areas across the UK. It says that These base stations are environmentally unobtrusive and do not require planning consent – turn straight to the back page tailpiece.

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