PCS Front Line was a column in Monitoring Times magazine that followed developments in the early days of Personal Communications Services (PCS) -- everything from service providers and products to frequencies and security.

The column started as a monthly in October of 1996. It switched to a bi-monthly format in February, 1998. The final column ran in December of 1999.

After the completion of the column's run I continued to write for Monitoring Times on other subjects, dealing primarily with trunked radio systems and scanners. You can read more about that at www.signalharbor.com.

All of the PCS Front Line columns are available on-line:

1996 October Emerging Personal Communications Services (introduction to PCS)
November Crossing the Cellular Divide (how cellular systems work)
December Cellular Signaling (more about how cellular systems work)
1997 January Criminal Use of Cellular (cellular telephone fraud)
February PCS Modes (capacity in cellular systems)
March Digital Modes (data over cellular systems)
April Fingers in the Spectrum Pie (FCC auctions, PCS providers)
May Local Service Scramble (wired and wireless home telephone service)
June The Politics of Encryption (wireless security)
July The Race is On (FCC auctions, WCS vs PCS, etc)
August Packet switched networks: ARDIS, RAM Mobile Data, Metricom, Ricochet
September Stationary Wireless Devices (new cordless phones, unlicensed PCS)
October The Name's the Thing (CDMA, GSM, NADC; cellular and GPS)
November PCS Showcase (products from PCS show in Dallas); auction woes; Reallocation of UHF TV channels; Iridium update
December Cellular companies fight fraud; pager eavesdropping; encryption issues
1998 January PCS Takes Shape in 1998
February The flap over digital decoding (Title III, Walz case), types of digital encoding
April Marketing Strategies (SIM cards); 911 on cellular
June Wireless Networks Taking Shape (AMSC, ARDIS, Iridium) LMDS auction
August Pinpointing a Cellular Caller
October Cellular Cryptography
Cryptographic Challenge
December Consumer Choices in the Cellular Market
1999 February Protection against cellular fraud (authentication, RF fingerprinting; wireless telephone protection act, subscription fraud, insider fraud, network intrusions); 220 MHz auction
April Touching Bases: Iridium, Globalstar, AT&T, Sprint PCS, AirCell; Sony phone warning
June Surfing the Web on a Mobile Phone - wireless apps, smart phones, GPRS, Bluetooth, Ricochet
August Who Pays for that Cellular Call?; new area codes; new spectrum allocations; Global System for Mobiles
October Iridium Woes; FBI Stalls Satphone Licenses; Dial 911 Anywhere
December The Evolution of PCS, Globalstar, Orbcomm

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Last updated May 1, 2003.