2018 Nominations

Nominations for 2018 are now open. Please see the 2018 Nominations page for the nomination form and more information.

Click here for Nomination Forms and Guidelines.

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Wireless History Timeline - 1990s

1999

With the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999, Congress designates 911 as the universal emergency number of wireline and wireless service and promotes the use of technologies that help public safety service providers locate wireless 911 callers.

1999

Wi-Fi® brand adopted for technology based upon IEEE 802.11 specifications for wireless local area networking.

1999

Wi-Fi Alliance® founded by six companies: 3Com, Aironet, Intersil, Lucent Technologies, Nokia and Symbol Technologies.

1998

The first “bucket” of minutes plan is offered.

1998

Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia, and Toshiba announce they will join to develop Bluetooth for wireless data exchange between handheld computers or cellular phones and stationary computers

1997

Balanced Budget Act of 1997 calls for auctioning additional commercial spectrum by Sept, 2002. Advanced Wireless services (AWS-1) auction concludes Sept. 18, 2006, raising nearly $14 billion for U.S. Treasury.

1997

The wireless industry unveils its “Safety – Your Most Important Call” to help educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.

1997

Original version of the standard IEEE 802.11 for wireless local area networking is released.

1996

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 becomes law, in part designed to open other communications markets to competition.

1995

Sprint Spectrum launches the first PCS system in the United States in Washington, D.C.

1995

There are more than 33.8 million wireless subscribers, representing approximately 13% of the total U.S. population.

1994

FCC begins licensing Personal Communication Services (PCS) spectrum (1.7 to 2.3 GHz). The license auction raises $7.7 billion for the U.S. Treasury.

1993

Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) established for reliable transmission over the Internet in conjunction with the Transport Control Protocol (TCP)

1993

The first smart phone (IBM’s Simon) is released to the public and offers consumers a calendar, address book, calculator, email, faxing services and games.

1993

Congress adopts Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which establishes national framework for wireless regulation and authorizes FCC to auction spectrum for the first time.

1992

One-millionth host connected to the Internet, with the size now approximately doubling every year.

1992

World’s first commercial text message is sent by employees of Logica CMG.

1992

The number of cellular users passes the 10 million milestone.

1991

CTIA begins the Certification Seal program for cellular equipment.

1991

The industry Fraud Task Force is launched.

1990

Fleet Call, announces plans to build digital market-wide systems, functionally equivalent to cellular but on adjacent frequencies formerly reserved for private radio systems, in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, LA, New York and San Francisco and asks the FCC for rule waivers.

1990

Cellular subscribership surpasses 5 million.