- - IBM sells ROLM Corporation to
Germany based telecommunications giant - Siemens Corporation.
AT&T develops the optical digital processor. Telmex (Mexico) is
privatized. Telecom New Zealand is privatized.
1991 - - Bell Labs develops photonic switching. The Court of Appeals orders Judge Green to lift the ban on RBOC entry into information services. AT&T fights the long fight and buys NCR. GTE purchases Contel.
1992 - - The first color motion videophone introduced in the United States. The U.S. reaches its 10 millionth cellular subscriber. The Cable TV Act is introduced to regulate CATV pricing.
1993 - - The first digital mobile network is established in the U.S. (Los Angeles) while the first all digital cellular network is brought up in Orlando, FL. The FCC allocates spectrum for PCS. Europe sets 1998 as the date for full liberalization of its telecom markets.
1994 - - The FCC begins PCS auctions. AT&T purchase McCaw Cellular. The number of subscriber telephones lines in the United States reaches 157.9 million; in the world: 609 million.
1995 - - There are now 25 million cellular subscribers in the U.S. Worldwide, 30 million users are now on the Internet.
1996 - - Commercial PCS operations begin in the U.S. The Cable Modem is introduced as the number of U.S. cellular subscribers reaches 40 million. AT&T announces its second major divestiture by spinning off NCR and its equipment business (including Bell Labs) under the Lucent Technologies name. Deutsche Telekom (Germany) is privatized. Worldcom and MFS merge to join local and long distance service providers. MCI and British Telecom merger to create Concert. France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom buy 10% of Sprint to form Global One alliance. Southwestern Bell announces merger plans with Pacific Telesis. Bell Atlantic announces plans to merge with NYNEX. The Telecommunications Act is the first real revision of the Communications Act of 1934 and is aimed at creating full competition in all markets.
1997 - - AT&T completes divestiture of Lucent Technologies and NCR. Implementation of the Telecommunication Act of 1996 is held up in some quarters in appeals courts as the RBOCs and the long distance companies battle over requirements. Bell Atlantic wins approval of its takeover of NYNEX. SBC wins approval of its purchase of Pacific Telesis. The number of RBOCs now sits at five. Ameritech and BellSouth file, under the Telecom Act of 1996, to provide long distance services within their service areas. Both companies are refused permission to do so based on the lack of competition in their local markets. The RBOCs contest (and win) the FCCs authority on overseeing the opening of local telephone markets under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. British Telecom loses its bid for MCI to Worldcom. Lucent Techologies aquires Octel Communications for $1.8 billion. SBC wins a temporary victory when a Texas court rules that the Telecom Act of 1996 is anti-competitive by requiring the RBOCs to complete a series of steps to open their local markets while placing no such requirements on competitors (IXCs) wishing to enter the local markets.
1998 - - The FCC comdemns the Texas Court's ruling and requests a decision from the Federal Courts. AT&T announces plans to acquire Teleport Communications. SBC announces its plan to acquire Southern New England Telephone (SNET) of Connecticut - in the heart of Bell Atlantic territory. AT&T announces plans to merge with TCI. Worldcom sells its internet unit to Cable & Wireless. The Worldcom purchase of MCI is approved. SBC announces its plan to "merge" with Ameritech. Bell Atlantic announces plans to merge with GTE. Ameritech attempts to enter the long distance market using Qwest. Bell Atlantic and Bell South's bids to enter the long distance market are denied. The FCC's attempt to lower access fees and implement"universal service charges" results in higher costs to the end user and a stampede of user complaints.
1999 - - Organizations all over the world spend billions of dollars as they try to make their telecommunications systems and networks ready for the turn of the century. MCI Worldcom becomes official. Mergia Mania strikes the telecommunications industry as thousands of small start-up companies are purchased by larger ones. SBC and Ameritech announce plans to merge. The Internet envelopes the business community as companies scramble to ensure that they are ready to do business via this "World Wide Web". Bell Atlantic becomes the first "Baby Bell" to be approved to offer inter-LATA long distance services to customers in New York. The antiquated manner of telephone number distribution and the soaring number of competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) places demands for new area codes throughout the country. The FCC allows the "universal service" percentage rate charged to IXC (and thus customers) to rise. Qwest and Global Crossing plans to merge fall through as Qwest moves to purchase "Baby Bell" US West. MCI Worldcom announces plans to merge with Sprint. The Federal Government continues its anti-trust suit against Microsoft Corporation.
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