WU cellular phone business [Telecom]

WU also sought to be a conventional cell phone provider, another

> effort that did not work out.

In the mid 1980's I installed a Western Union brand AMPS-compliant analog cellular phone in a Cadillac and it was really a piece of work. The control head looked like a handsome black business telephone with a normal-looking telephone handset that had a coiled cord and squared-off earpiece and mic. The base with the hookswitch had the WU logo, a normal-looking dialpad with square keys, and a green or blue alpha-numeric display.

Cellular phones were a new concept then, so I think WU wanted this to feel as much like a traditional business telephone as possible so business executives would feel familiar with it.

The big 3-Watt transceiver in the trunk had a diversity receiver with two separate TNC connectors for two 800 MHz band antennas. It had superb audio quality and RF performance. I only once ever saw one of these phones, but it was built extremely well. I think it cost well over $2000, at a time when there were no carrier subsidies.


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