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No. of Recommendations: 1
I thought we would start of with a bang and get everyone involved so here it goes!!!!

THE QUESTION? From John and Mary Wireless

If we have $10,000 to invest which will be available next Monday, We want to invest it in one of these four companies but will only buy 1.

Which one of the following should we buy at this time and why should we buy it???

Qualcomm
Nokia
Ericsson
Motorola

We am a long term investors and this $10,000 is one third of our money, We have put this money aside for our retirement and we are both 35 with one child and one on the way. We have a home,a car and a dog.
Who will be nice enough to help us with our investment?

Let the games begin!!!!!

Mycroft
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Why limit it to traditional Cell phone companies. Why not include wireless infostructure companies. Wireless lans for connection to the internet. Wireless PBX's that interface to Cell phone companies. Why wire every house with ISDN or xDSL when an attenna every 5th telephone pole will do. No more lines down when it snows (for us in the snow part of the country).

Ok enough of my why'ing. I think wireless is going to come of age very quickly. But I would look outside of Cellular phones and look towards wireless lans/connections to the "network" for the home.

Andy

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Dear Andy,

This board is open to anyone who wants to discuss any company that is related in some way to the Wireless Industry. I just started it out with a general question which I am always asked and that is always debated on the boards these days. Post anything you want that is related to the Wireless Industry.

MYCROFT
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Mycroft,

Long time no speak. We worked together a bit a few months back analyzing a few other blue-chips. I've got to admit, wireless is much more interesting :)

In actuality, I'm all ears because I do have some money to invest (holding it now in cash) and I'm looking at Nokia.

I notice that you're focusing on the cellular equipment providers. Do you think that other fine companies such as Lucent, Cisco, Texas Instruments, etc. will also quickly gain market share as wireless technologies pervade every aspect of our lives??

In other words, it may seem logical to focus on Nokia, MOT, et al. now when wireless is in its infancy, however long-term, what makes us think that this technology will center around these companies??

Off the top of my head, I always favor the company that's solely focused on the industry that I'm interested in. For instance, if it's networking equipment, I like CSCO (LU has too many irons in the fire with the POTS folks). If it's data storage, I like EMC (they do nothing else). Therefore, with that simple test, NOK seems to be the most focused on the topic at hand, unlike Ericsson and Motorola which are far more diversified. My only worry is: While Nokia is clearly an innovative company with good products, do they have a clear technological advantage that sets them apart from other competitors?

I'd also like to discuss on this board other companies that make stuff like low-power consumption chip sets (somebody like ARM), amplifiers, digital signal processors, broadband chipsets, etc., etc. All these types of companies will benefit hugely from the wireless revolution.

In short, this is a new area of research for me but I will try to assist where I can!
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Welcome Bryan,its good to hear from you again,

<I'd also like to discuss on this board other companies that make stuff like low-power consumption chip sets (somebody like ARM), amplifiers, digital signal processors, broadband chipsets, etc., etc. All these types of companies will benefit hugely from the wireless revolution.>

My friend, discuss anything you want that is related to the wireless industry for It is a new area of research for everyone. I am just a contributor and hopefully will learn a great deal about this industry from knowledgable people like yourself. I will post when I can but will try not to burn out like I did on the AMA board. I am not the leader here, there is no leader here, It is like the first democracy in Athens 2500 years ago, everyone has one vote. So if one is a citizen of the Motley Fool then one is welcome.

MYCROFT
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$3k in NOK
$3k in MOT
$2k in ERICY
$2k in QCOM

This way you cover all your bases. If wireless expands
in the next decade as predicted, one or more of these
companies will be a 10-bagger or a 100-bagger.

Of course, this doesn't answer the question about ONE
company, but the question doesn't make sense anyway.
If I had to pick only ONE, I would pick NOK.
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Mycroft,

Thanks for starting this board. I look forward to studying this industry with you and all the other participants. I currently am targeting this industry with 10-15% of my money and may raise that down the road.


My 10,000 dollar investment in wireless at this time would be:

Nokia $4,000
VoiceStream $1000

Cash $5000
and still studying the industry.

I just wrote a reply to Mycroft on another Speaker's board about my investment in VoiceStream. Rather than repeat it, I will just link it.


http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000134007&sort=postdate

The board (l'union fait la force) looks at the best free cash flow producers in the world. Typically these include the most capital effecient companies in the world. I personally think that Nokia is easily one of the top six companies in the world. My top six at this time.


AOL
DELL
NITE
NOK
PVN
YHOO

best wishes,

Doug
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<The board (l'union fait la force) looks at the best free cash flow producers in the world. Typically these include the most capital effecient companies in the world. >

I would definately bookmark "l'union fait la force" my friends for Doug has done a wonderful job on this new board. His attention to Free Cash Flow is very important in that it is probably the most important factor to look at when one is doing Quantitative Analysis. You can really learn alot from Doug.

Thanks Doug,

MYCROFT
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Very cool start to a new thread.....

Last week Qualcomm fell about 25% on an analyst's report. Here is a link to a conference call over the internet that he had. I havent had a chance to listen to the call yet....but supposedly he is predicting 50% yoy earnings growth for the next 5 years.

http://www.vcall.com/auto/companies/analystmrobertsonqualcomm/default.htm

By my calculations that will work out to somewhere around $26 in earnings. (.86*4)*1.50^5

Not too shabby......


Slacker
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I'd buy QCOM if I could only have one

ideally I would diversify and pick up both QCOM and NOK.A

but alas
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If we have $10,000 to invest which will be available next Monday, We want to invest it in one of these four companies but will only buy 1.


I'll start by questioning the question (don't you hate that ?!)

Why only one and why only handset manufacturers? I think there are much better chances for LT appreciation in infrastructure companies and suppliers.

I would split that into something like 50, 40, 10%
Put the big peice into your favorite (maybe NOK) and the others into incrementally more agressive peices. If this is an IRA, I wouldn't be afraid to trade the 10% chunk from time to time to take advantage of momentum swings.

Whatever you do, if you decide to buy only one stock, buy it in stages, don't plunk it down all at once. Oct is historically a low month for the market so that might offer some good buying opps.

good luck.

P.S. Thanks for starting the board!
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Starting this board was a great idea, Mycroft. I'm having just as much trouble as you are in getting a handle on the quantitative aspect of these companies. I'm hard pressed to put a price on any of these stocks, but I believe that any price is a good price for the ones which will survive the next few years. So the only way I can answer your question is from the Fisher qualititative perspective. My ranking:

1) Nokia and Qualcomm, a tie. Both have equally outstanding managements. Nokia has a more established business model and is the safer investment. OTOH, I believe that at current levels Qualcomm has bigger upside potential.

3) Motorola. Fisher's favorite company has seen some bad years. They may be turning things around, although I question how they ever got involved in the Iridium mess. I'm just starting to get interested in Motorola again, but I'll need to have a better handle on current management before I invest.

4) Ericsson. I would avoid this one. The management problems have recently become obvious, but they are long standing. As someone who has followed Qualcomm for a couple of years I may be a little biased, but I believe Ericsson's management has been dishonest during the whole CDMA battle. First they tried to claim it wouldn't work, then they tried to claim they invented it. IMO they lied to their customers and their shareholders about this, which is bad enough. But the worst thing, and what was most fatal to them, is they probably lied to themselves as well. My question is, why buy Ericsson at any price when you can own Nokia?
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There was an article in the Columbia, SC paper regarding a pager company in Spartanburg or Greenville, SC going bankrupt. MOT was a big investor in this company (twice), and it is my understanding MOT will lose millions again. It appears to me that MOT is investing before thinking.
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<3) Motorola. Fisher's favorite company has seen some bad years. They may be turning things around, although I question how they ever got involved in the Iridium mess. I'm just starting to get interested in Motorola again, but I'll need to have a better handle on current management before I invest.>

The one reason that I didn't invest in Motorola before was that they sold no accessories for their phones , like Nokia does. I thought that was extremely stupid on their part and was disapointed. Now that has all changed since the introduction of the StarTac ClipOn Organizer which sells for $299. With this one accessory purchase they make as much profit as Nokia does with its face plates , headsets etc...

http://commerce.motorola.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=277&prmenbr=126&accessories_cgrfnbr=22&zipcode=

Its a must have toy for wireless junkies like myself.

I am waiting for the StarTac L7089 Trimode GSM phone to come out in December to also pick up the organizer.

Motorola with this phone shows that they will be exiting the Iridium mess for good, for who needs a Satellite phone when the L7089 will do just as good.
for 1/10th the price and can be used in any country that has a GSM network.

MYCROFT
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I thought we would start of with a bang and get everyone involved so here it goes!!!!

How come you use so many punctuation marks?
Why is the first post numbered 4? Did the spam beat the initiating post to the board!?

Which one of the following should we buy at this time and why should we buy it???

Qualcomm, Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola


Just considering handsets I would buy Nokia. I believe they have the largest percentage of the market. Their numbers must be pretty good because awhile ago Tom Gardner mentioned they were a Rule Maker candidate. My company supplied me with a Q phone and I am not at all impressed with its features nor interface. How do I sort the directory? Appears it can't be done. A colleague has the same phone and a personal Nokia. He is very pleased with the Nokia and hates the company Q phone. I can see why, Nokia has a much better understanding of ergonomics. Just looking at Ericsson phones in flyers leaves me cold. Motorola may be cheap at the moment but they have Iridium hanging over them and do many other things than just produce handsets.

Note the position of Nokia on this list of global brands: http://www.fool.com/portfolios/rulebreaker/graphs/global_brand_rankings990623.htm

However, everything considered, if I could only buy one of the four stocks mentioned it would be QCOM. It was recently--although perhaps slightly begrudgingly--declared a Gorilla by the author of The Gorilla Game. This is on the strength of QCOM's CDMA patents. Just the increased capacity of CDMA alone dictates it will be the winner. To this add:
-Intrinsically secure, although don't think the spooks can't eavesdrop.
-Flexible in easily and efficiently accommodating multiple and variable bandwidths. Any bit of the spectrum you don't use--even pauses between words with variable rate vocorders--can be uses by someone else.
-Uses less power than other systems.
-More reliable hand-offs.
-Multipath reception can even be a plus rather than the negative it is in the other systems.

It is very hard to imagine that a system could be conceived than is better than CDMA. It excels at maximizing available bandwidth and minimizing power requirements. And it isn't just for voice. All wireless devices where there is any competition for bandwidth will eventually be using CDMA.

Mmh? Makes one wonder why digital television doesn't make use of spread technology. Guess it wasn't ready in time. Everyone knew the benefits of spread technology. I imagine QCOM has the patents because they managed to cope with the complexities and wring out most of the theoretical efficiencies. The devil is in the details.
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>I imagine QCOM has the patents because they managed
> to cope with the complexities and wring out most
> of the theoretical efficiencies. The devil
> is in the details.

What key patents on CDMA does QCOM actually have?

Teemu
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In the great Nokia vs. Qualcomm debate I must side with the Q. I freely admit that Nokia makes the best phones (I use one myself). But technologies can leapfrog one another quite easily, and as a cell phone user I have no loyalty to any one manufacturer. I would much rather own the CDMA patents than be the company that currently makes the nicest phones.

For example, check out the new pdQ... obviously Qualcomm is catching up to Nokia in terms of phone features. One day they may pass them.

I have a question in the GSM/CDMA debate. I seem to get the impression that GSM is better at carrying voice, but that CDMA is more efficient in transmitting data. Given that GSM is the standard in Europe, are there any examples of glaring inefficiencies within that system? As wireless traffic expands, will they be forced to adopt CDMA as the new standard? Or will we ultimately have 2 worldwide wireless standards? What are the shortcomings of GSM?

(I know... these are the big questions that EVERYONE is asking. Just wondering if anyone has any opinions which may shed some light on the debate for some of us)

...btw, this is a great board. Hopefully we can bypass the cheerleading that has prevented any meaningful discussion on many individual company boards. Keep up the great work, guys!
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The problem with writing off Ericsson now is that the company looks a lot like Motorola in December 1998. The new models were just coming out, old ones weren't selling and network division had received plenty of bad press. Of course, that was the optimal entry point for Mot.

Ericsson has put a lot of effort into mobile data. That has had no impact on earnings, because technologies like GPRS, Bluetooth, Symbian and WAP are only being rolled out during next 12 months. I'd keep an eye on the next 3-5 years rather than focus on whether you hate those clunke 6xx phones currently in shops - we all do.

When it comes to GPRS, Ericsson got it and Motorola, Lucent and Nortel didn't. The company has now one third of all early deals. Likewise, first Bluetooth products in the market are expected to be made by Ericsson - they anticipated this development well in advance. Ericsson is also the only western company NTT-DoCoMo accepted as a partner in both W-CDMA handset and network development projects. That's a big deal. NTT calls the shots in the W-CDMA world.

This stuff is mostly in the horizon - but Ericsson's performance in mobile network sales *now* is very good. No other leading company managed that 40% sales increase in mobile infrastructure during the most recent quarter. So the handsets suck in a bad way right now. We all know that. What some don't know is that T28 is now the hottest new compact phone in Europe and Asia. Ericsson fell so low, so fast in the mobile phone market share race that they only need one solid hit and the margins will rebound - just like Motorola's did this year.

About timing - I was highly negative about Ericy up until this summer. But now that the sentiment couldn't get much more negative we're talking about a window of opportunity. I wrote the recent Ericsson piece where I reversed my "don't buy this clunker" opinion when Ericy hit 29 bucks - that seemed like an overreaction then and still does. You don't buy a stock when the company is basking in the universal adulation of all Johnny-come-late analysts. You buy it when nobody else will.

Tero




































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<. So the handsets suck in a bad way right now. We all know that. What some don't know is that T28 is now the hottest new compact phone in Europe and Asia. Ericsson fell so low, so fast in the mobile phone market share race that they only need one solid hit and the margins will rebound - just like Motorola's did this year.>

Dear Tero,

Let me tell you what the Salespersons are saying about Ericy phones;

1) They are ugly and look like bars of soap
2) their screens are so small that one has to scroll down continously to get anything done.
3) They will only sell them if they are asked to see them by the customer , otherwise they push the Nokia first and the Motorola second.

I have asked tons of salespersons and have gotten the same results.

Now the question I have for you is, if the people who are on the front lines selling the phones hate them ,then how can ERICY possibly recover? Does ERICY have a plan to radically overhaul the design of their phones or are they going to use the "BAR of Soap" Design?

Until I get the OK from the salesperson on the front lines I can not invest in ERICY.

MYCROFT
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That's all correct. And it's all in the rear-view mirror. Had you asked about Motorola or Siemens phones 12 months ago you would have heard the same outpouring of scorn. Just look at these two brands now, in the autumn of 1999 - Siemens is tripling its sales volume over 1998.

The key feature of mobile phone market is its constant flux. Ericsson was by far the biggest break-out brand of 1997. They clocked in steady triple-digit growth rates back then. Next year came the by-now infamous collapse. But we can't predict the year 2000 situation based on 1999 outlook - just like predicting the 1998 based on the stellar 1997 performance was a disastrous misjudgement many analysts made.

I'm more interested in the word-of-mouth on the new models - and T28 rates very high here. Ericsson is badly late in revamping their North American model line-up. But their core markets are Europe and Asia, and the T28 arrives there this month. The model is late and the early prodution hiccups are slowing the introduction. Ericsson's 3Q numbers may be murderously bad.

That's not the point - the point is whether the company can engineer a year 2000 turn-around that will stick. I think they might. I'm not saying it's a good idea to buy Ericy at 32 bucks - but it might be a good idea to keep an eye on the next slump. There may be a vicious backlash when the 3Q figures come out or when the company perhaps warns about the 3Q results. If there is and if Ericy sags one more time, it's something to keep an eye on. There is nothing remotely as attractive in the internet phone sector as the upcoming R380. If Ericsson can ship it during 1Q 2000, it's a possible break-through vehicle. Ericsson's TDMA/AMPS/GSM worldphone is another possible winner. That's three appealing models within six months - if even two of them perform in line with expectations, something's gonna happen.

Tero
































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<the point is whether the company can engineer a year 2000 turn-around that will stick. >

Ok Tero,

I'll be watching like a hawk, for I love ERICY's Network Infrastructure business and would love to own a piece of that. If they can produce just a simple design that doesn't look like a bar of soap , I will jump. There is an interesting article in the Sept 20th issue of Forbes called "Swedish Massage" by Richard Heller which is not linkable yet. I think you should look for it in two weeks on the website www.forbes.com
I think it is very well written and it is about Kurt Hellstrom. I will keep an eye out for it and post it when it goes online.

MYCROFT
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For example, check out the new pdQ... obviously Qualcomm is catching up to Nokia in terms of phone
features. One day they may pass them.


Except that the pdQ is ugly as sin :-) and late.
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I like AIRO for wireless. They have a good sales base already (check out their website), 3 strong buy recommendations, standardized, they are a leader and one of the founders of the industry. Any thoughts?
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Hi John and Mary
ssia
Go Nokia , here in Europe Nokia is king . Its products are not only innovative but easy to use and of great quality ( something very important to Europeans ) .

Its financials are also strong and its link to the Asian markets may just provide the momentum to keep growth at its current levels.

Just hav a look at its Commnicator , sometimes referred to as th 9910 - full net access , mobile phone etc etc all rolled into one without the need for cables , infra red mobile phones.

A great company with great products with a great future.

Best of luck

Paul
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I wrote yesterday that

My 10,000 dollar investment in wireless at this time would be:

Nokia $4,000
VoiceStream $1000



I was thinking about VoiceStream last night while I was in bed(I need to get a hobby). AT $50/share, it sells for about 5 times next years sales. It's growth rate currently makes most Internet stocks look like their standing still. If Voicestream can someday achive 10% free cash flow, it would mean VoiceStream is trading at 50 times next years free cash flow. That is extremely cheap for a 100% grower. VoiceStream is the type of stock that Wall Street quickly falls for. It is a leader in a market with unlimited potential. I believe that the stock could easily run up 100% or more quickly.


If we are comparing the wireless industry to the PC industry, I would consider Nokia as the Dell of the industry. Qualcomm looks like the Microsoft of the industry and who is the Intel of the industry?

I notice that RF Micro Devices is a supplier for Nokia. It's success has been a critical piece of technology called a power amplifier, which can increase battery life dramatically in cellular and digital phones. This technology allows clients such as Nokia (NOK), which accounts for 57% of RF Micro Devices' revenue, to produce wireless phones with battery lives of at least five hours. Does anybody have thoughts on this company?

Best wishes and thanks for all the great inforamtion from everybody.

Doug

Current portfolio holdings
Voicestream 2%
Nokia 5%

And thinking about QCOM. The one thing that concerns me about QCOM is their 10 fold recent advance. It makes me wonder how many momentum players and unsophistiacted holders are in the stock. If there are a lot, it may take the market a little longer to shake them out. On the other hand, VoiceStream is busy making new highs and Nokia is near it's high. I would like to see QCOM dip below $160 again.
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I would either choose Nokia, or Motorola

Motorola because of its broad technical influence, not just in Cellular phones, but also manufactures computer chips and other products

Nokia Because of the quality of their business and phones
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<I was thinking about VoiceStream last night while I was in bed(I need to get a hobby). AT $50/share, it sells for about 5 times next years sales. It's growth rate currently makes most Internet stocks look like their standing still. If Voicestream can someday achive 10% free cash flow, it would mean VoiceStream is trading at 50 times next years free cash flow. That is extremely cheap for a 100% grower. VoiceStream is the type of stock that Wall Street quickly falls for. It is a leader in a market with unlimited potential. I believe that the stock could easily run up 100% or more quickly.>

One Word ===> BULLSEYE

As for a Hobby , this board is my hobby!!!

As for QCOM , I would say its a combination of MSFT and INTC ans it make Eudora and is the chip for CDMA phones.

Mycroft
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My wife and I have invested in both Qualcomm and Nokia. Of course we have been very happy about both investments. We have owned Q for 3 yrs now and were
rewarded for our long term position by the run up early this year. I am convined Q is the real thing
for the long run. I was impressed when I first
interviewed with them for a job (no I did not
get an offer) several years ago.

We bought Nokia last year. Their cell phones are everywhere in Europe. The US still has a big
pent up growth in cell phones which Nokia should
reap.

As for, Ericson, I have no data. But forget
Motorola. I think they are one of those old dog
technology companies that will always perform
mediocre in the tech future. Sure, they'll be
around, but I don't like them. It's just a
personnal gut feeling. I used to work for
Rockwell, so I understand how a culture of
stodgy Senior management can remain conservative
and burn out the flame of innovation.


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<My wife and I have invested in both Qualcomm and Nokia. Of course we have been very happy about both investments. We have owned Q for 3 yrs now and were
rewarded for our long term position by the run up early this year. >

Welcome TechNoSam,

Congratulations on having the foresight to buy QCOM three years ago, I kick myself everyday for not having bought it after I read Teros analysis . Well I guess I can't get in early to every show. I'm there now and hoping that the next two quarters for QCOM will have some fine results so the warnings by the analysts will prove to be meaningless.

Thanks again for posting,

MYCROFT
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Nokia
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I'm the new kid on the block over here. I have found your board very interesting, as QCom and MCom are both on my list of learn-more-about. Why has no one mentioned MCom? Ricochet Wireless.
Thanks.
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Qualcomm, Without a doubt!!!
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Sorry bethbyline,

I have written three posts on Metricom and it one of my favorite wireless plays.

MYCROFT
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<I seem to get the impression that GSM is better at carrying voice, but that CDMA is more efficient in transmitting data. Given that GSM is the standard in Europe, are there any examples of glaring inefficiencies within that system? As wireless traffic expands, will they be forced to adopt CDMA as the new standard? Or will we ultimately have 2 worldwide wireless standards? What are the shortcomings of GSM?>

GSM runs on 2 different frequencies, so to be truly roaming, you need a dual band phone (expensive), and
the bandwidth is limited to 9.6 Kbit/s, not much indeed. As for the quality, It seems CDMA is clearer than GSM, does not drop calls, and potentially is less dangerous for your brain (less microwaves maybe...)

Personnaly I´m long on QCOM, I also think NOK is a rapid mover, and they really sell their stuff worldwide. I´ve been living in France, UK, Spain and Australia, they´re everywhere. Even Japanese think they´re a Japanese company. See this month Wired magazine for more on Nokia.

Guillaume
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My picks:

Noka and its supplier Rfmd
Qualcom:

Mot: has questions about its 500million iou by iridium
whats happening there?

ericsson: bought large money losing division from qualcomm. looks better for qcom , I don't know if this
benefits ericsson.
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In your case, I would either suggest none of the above
or a solid mutual fund until after the first of the year. I expect the traders to kick tushy with panic scares and the market will yo-yo through the millenium
eve. Then you should consider Qualcom or a top mutual index fund and not "bet" on the fortunes of just one company. These fools do OK but they have never been through anything but dream market conditions. Stokboy
is old. Stokboy has lost money. Stokboy has made it back and shall retain it. Slide the money into a full service E-brokerage account now and make sure it is a
good solid big real company with holding accounts that are money markets. Then do your homework and in my opinion, invest 1/2 in a stock and 1/2 in Vanguard Index 500 fund.
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$3k in NOK
$3k in MOT
$2k in ERICY
$2k in QCOM

This way you cover all your bases. If wireless
expands
in the next decade as predicted, one or more of
these
companies will be a 10-bagger or a 100-bagger.

I would modify this just slightly. $2k in each, and
as someone posted earlier, $2k in TI (Texas Instruments).

Why? Let's break it down by funtional area:
1. QCOM has the CDMA--for those who don't know this is a digital coding scheme. Everyone who uses CDMA pays
QCOM a royalty. Therefore they receive revenues from sources outside their own company.

2. TI has a huge corner on DSP's--digital signal processors. This is the cornerstone of digital signals. No DSP, no digital signal. DSPs are also used in an abundance of other digital devices. This also broadens their revenue base from just wireless devices should (God forbid) wireless become useless.

3.NOK and ERICY provide finished products--as long as they maintain a steady flow of new products they are acceptable. Will a cash crunch stop them in their tracks? Ask the number crunchers around these boards.

4. MOT provides hardware. How much of Motorolas business is wireless? As a large conglomerate, Motorola is my last choice. Don't forget they own a huge chunk of those satellite phones, Iridium, which is
filing for bankruptcy. Is this a weak spot or just under the horizon for the next big leap in communications?

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For a very good comparison of CDMA vs TDMA (including GSM), visit the following link:

http://www.arcx.com/sites/CDMAvsTDMA.htm

glaborie mentioned that GSM runs on 2 different frequencies. Actually, it runs on 3 frequencies: 900 MHz, 1800 MHz (DCS), and 1900 MHz (PCS).

Regarding the initial question of what stock to buy, I
won't answer it for two reasons:
1) I work for one of the four companies, so I'm inherantly biased.
2) You're comparing apples and oranges in many ways. For example, Nokia is mainly a handset manufacturer, while Motorola has a lot of business chip-making as well as it's cellular business. Motorola's stock performance will depend on a lot more factors than just sales of cell phones or network infrastructure.

Currently, Nokia is the darling of the industry, mainly due to their superior handsets. Motorola has been playing catch-up for the past 1-2 years. Qualcomm may own CDMA, but depending on the upcoming 3G standard, that may not help them. Ericsson? They've fallen to pieces, and I won't wager a guess as to whether they'll get back into the cellular game anytime soon, but they have other business units, just like MOT.

In the next decade, the 3G standard will be key to winning the cellular battle. The first company that can provide a high-quality handset will certainly reap large rewards. But the conversion to 3G will be slow. All the existing networks will need to be upgraded, which will take time. Look at how long the digital rollout is taking in the U.S. and how much we still rely on old analog networks for coverage outside major metropolitan areas. This means that companies with market share now can expect to hold onto the existing products for a while, at least.

However, it is predicted that the largest share of market growth in the next 5-10 years will not be in North America, Europe, or Japan. Instead, it will be the rest of the world which does not have a strong, existed infrastructure. China, for example, is emerging as a hugely important market for cellular. These companies won't be buying CDMA or GSM netorks, they'll jump right into the 3G market.

Dan
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<However, it is predicted that the largest share of market growth in the next 5-10 years will not be in North America, Europe, or Japan. Instead, it will be the rest of the world which does not have a strong, existed infrastructure. China, for example, is emerging as a hugely important market for cellular. These companies won't be buying CDMA or GSM netorks, they'll jump right into the 3G market>

Dear Dan,

Great Point on China, I think with its 1.3 Billion people and its going to 3G right away, that it will be the most advanced for a few years for it doesn't have to upgrade, Its crazy for The wireless world might delay the removal of the last Communist system, due to its massive cost savings for the Chinese Communists in that they don't have to run cables. Ironic that a Capitalist Superproduct with help a Communist System. Communism in Russia collapsed because we crushed them financially in the arms race, that is not a route that we can take with China for they have combined Communisms best with Capitalisms best to form a pseudo system which I guess we may call socialism.

MYCROFT
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MOT, all the way. It is the best. I bought at 43 and it still grows and pays div.
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MyCroft...

You are correct with this statement:
"Communisms best with Capitalisms best to form a pseudo system which I guess we may call socialism."

A Socialist truelly is a dirty communist in a clean capitalist's suit. Looks good on the outside, but pretty scary on the inside.

Just think of what the Tianmen (can't spell to save my life) Square massacre would have been like if people with cell phones had been in the area.

The explosion of technology and the incredible services it offers is the greatest threat to totalitarianism around the world. The Bamboo Curtain will not fall in like the Iron Curtain, the Bamboo Curtain will explode out with people yearning to be truelly free and hopefully a cell phone in their hand from a company that I will be investing in.

jlt


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The Bamboo Curtain will not fall in like the Iron Curtain, the Bamboo Curtain will explode out with people yearning to be truelly free and hopefully a cell phone in their hand from a company that I will be investing in.

Caution: There are many smart minds that believe China we be faced with having to devalue their currency over the next 18 months. If that happens, or even becomes a strong rumour, the shock wave will be immense around the world. However, if they do, I would be a very aggressive buyer of China.com, which will crater.

25% of the worlds population both entering the labor force and becoming consumers will alter the lives of every person on this planet. It will not matter what you do, or where you are, it's going to alter your life.

Hopefully all of them like Coke better than Pepsi :)


Robert

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This pseudo system seems to have worked in Italy (where I have previously lived for 25+ years).

Bit of rough history:

Since WW II, Italy had the largest Communist party in Western Europe and came close, in the 1970's, to being part of the ruling government (with the Christian Democrats) through the visions of their ingenious and charismatic leader Enrico Berliguer as part of his idea of a historic compromise. Berlinguer was the only communist leader to openly defy the Soviet Union's rule on communism (at a major international communist meeting in Moscow of all places) with his own visions of Euro communism. This was all diluted in the rightist/leftist terrorist movements of the late 1970's and early 1980's, but the communist stronghold of Emilia Romagna remained intact.
The Tangentopoli scandals in the 1990's helped bring down all the major parties into fractitious sub-groups, and although the rightists seemed to have the upper hand in the beginning, the leftist government has now come out ahead. We look at where the most prosperous area of Italy is and we find the small cities of Emilia-Romagna on top. Progress in both agriculture and industry have run rampant due to the people's innovation through new technologies. And I'm sure wireless has had a play in there.

Well, for a country that had almost no wireless service at the beginning of this decade, it now boasts one of the largest cell phone per capita ownerships in the world. I am amazed at the use of the so called "telefonini" there, many people are already on their second or third one. Most companies now conduct their businesses over wireless, so you see people with two seperate phones. The rates for calls are also very cheap (when you call after 20:30 you pay the same as landlines over the whole service area! - so my friends tell me). With the Italians being notoriously "phone happy" the service providers are making quite a bundle. Though I have been away from Italy for 1 1/2 years and can't give up to date happenings on the industry, I would definately look into Italian wireless service providers as an investment possibility if you want to diversify your portfolio with European stocks.

Sorry for the rambling, but I just wanted to throw some Italian stories in for the spice.

Best regards,

AZ

P.S. My friend's wife had the foresight to open a phone store 5+ years ago in their hometown in Tuscany and they are doing quite well.
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<). With the Italians being notoriously "phone happy" the service providers are making quite a bundle. Though I have been away from Italy for 1 1/2 years and can't give up to date happenings on the industry, I would definately look into Italian wireless service providers as an investment possibility if you want to diversify your portfolio with European stocks.>

Dear AZ,

I envy your friend whose wife had such foresight and opened a phone store. I am looking into the possibility myself for thats where the action is. I visit Rome regularly (being an Ancient Rome Historian but only as a Hobby) and I am amazed at how organized Rome is (except for the drivers ofcourse). They were smart enough to catch the wireless wave very early, just after the Fins. I like all the European Wireless Providers for they are forming partnerships or buying each other out. It is an extremely rapidly growing industry and one could build an index fund of atleast 100 companies throughout the world and invest just in wireless . I hope someone will create one someday so we have a measure of how the industry holds up against other industries.

MYCROFT

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"Great Point on China, I think with its 1.3 Billion people and its going to 3G right
away, that it will be the most advanced for a few years for it doesn't have to
upgrade"

Currently China has two operators: MCC = Mobile Communication Company, earlier PTT and Unicom. MCC has market share on ~95%.

It is illegal for foreign companies to operate a telecom network in China.

There are ~20 million GSM subscribers in China. This number grows by 1 million monthly.

China has also submitted their own proposal for 3G standard.

Their are also 3 Chinese companies that have released GSM infra products (Huawei, Datang and Zhong Xin Xin).

These boys will need huge upgrade when moving to 3G.

Teemu
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As an early adopter of the Palm Pilot (I still have and use my 1000 every day), I am finally looking to upgrade but have decided to wait for the pdq to get two devices in one. I figure I must be the typical potential new pdq buyer and so my thought processes and ultimate buying decision may be a predictor of how the pdq sells (hence my question is not so much about me, but about whether a lot of palm pilot owners will switch to the pdq).

I currently have ATT's Digital One plan. 600 minutes for $90 with no roaming charges. As a DC lawyer who travels a lot, it's the best plan available to me. (As an owner of VSTR shares, I would switch to their new plan but I don't believe it is available in DC; btw, VSTR was my first investment in wireless and I bought it because I concluded they have the best management in the industry - the stock has gone from 32 in July 9th when I bought it to 54 this week).

Here is my question. ATT sold me a nokia phone when I enrolled. Can I buy the pdq when it comes out and stay on the ATT plan or will I have to wait for my one year ATT contract to expire and then switch to a provider that sells the PDQ? I think the answer to this question will determine how many pdq phones get sold and therefore whether to buy Qualcomm.

Many thanks to all. I love this board and look forward to learning about wireless (thinking about selling SBUX and buying some more wireless soon),
I remain

Lew Rose
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<Here is my question. ATT sold me a nokia phone when I enrolled. Can I buy the pdq when it comes out and stay on the ATT plan or will I have to wait for my one year ATT contract to expire and then switch to a provider that sells the PDQ? I think the answer to this question will determine how many pdq phones get sold and therefore whether to buy Qualcomm.>

Welcome Lew Rose,

I'm sorry to tell you but you will have to wait for your AT&T contract to expire and then probably have to go with Sprint to get your PDQ for Sprint will start selling them shortly through their Sprint Stores. Congratulations on your VSTR purchase, besides having tremendous management, they have the best customer service that I have ever seen of any company that I have ever dealt with both on the phone and at the stores.

Best of Luck with your PDQ purchase,

MYCROFT

P.S. From what I hear on the street, they will never be able to meet the demand that is already out there for the PDQ. This Industry is just going to be to huge for us to fathom right now, whatever your estimates are just double them and you will probably be right. I have never seen that before in any other industry.
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One stock=QCOM (especially since the recent senseless sell-off)

I would probably spit this 50/50 with NOK and QCOM in real life.

Annual QCOM analyst meeting will produce a pop in QCOM's stock, I believe, so if you're "buying on dips" then do so before 9/15...

And remember, you get what you pay for with dlc's stock tips! (ha!)

Seriously, I think that QCOM is well positioned here with intellectual property rights on CDMA, and will likely continue its inexorable rise very soon.

dlc

($0.02 worth)
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>Stokboy is old. Stokboy has lost money. Stokboy has made it back and shall retain it. Slide the money into a full service E-brokerage account now and make sure it is a good solid big real company with holding accounts that are money markets.
------------------------------------------------------
Great Post!!!!!

I was also fully vested in Good Old '87. Everything I owned went down. I had Harley Davidson which is a great company, it went from 15 to 7 in a couple of hours. All my sheep went to slaughter and it took a couple of years to rebuild my flock.

We can look at all these great wireless future growth stocks but most of them have terrible trailing PE's. If we see another Fall like '87 it will be like Grant taking Vicksburg.

I'm not a betting man but if there was a year which could most likely mimic good old '87 I'd place a bet on '99. I'm going to keep a good portion of my holdings in a musty old money market account for now.

Like you said, making it is one thing, keeping it is another.
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Well that is too bad, if true. Around DC, Sprint PCS has a terrible reputation for quality so I would not switch to their service even if that is the only way to get the pdq.

Hmm, may have to upgrade the palm after all.


Lew
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Hallo everybody, it`s a great idea to start a board like this.
Maybe an opinion from Germany might be intersting too:
If I had to choose one of the four I would take nokia becaus of its great quality and ergonomic style.
I don't know the quality of cdma and qualcomm, but I know the exellent standard of gsm. If I go to the autbahn with my car doing 120 miles the quality of the telefon is still exellent. (I did this only once!)
Therefor I think, it might be good to buy some shares of a gsm company like voicestream.(?)
And when those handies are able to open the door to th internetit will be great, because you can work everywhere in your house (laptop) and outside. Here in Geramy D2 (,which I use; it`s an wireless net, owned by Mannesman) announced that they will offer an internetgate end of Y99 or beginning of Y2000. If the price is not too high, I will buy a laptop and use my handy as a modem.
If you don't need a special modem anymore only your handy because of a transmissionrate of 248 bps or more, what would happen to a comapny like metricom? To go one step further: if the transmissionrate is high enough for transmitting videos, do we still need broadband?, especially when
the connection has two channels like ISDN'?

Any opinion out there?

Thanks again for this very interesting board.

Fool on
Stephan

P.S. what does pdq stand for?
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Just another question:
If the merger bell/vodafon comes to happen, what standard will they use in U.S.? Will it be gsm because vodafon is european?
Any opinion?
Many thanks for all the good information.
Stephan

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Vodafone-Airtouch is a chimera. They have a CDMA network in USA and GSM networks in Europe. One major reason for the merger was the aim to fuse the extensive GSM networks of Airtouch with the GSM networks of Vodafone. One was strong in Southern Europe, the other in Northern markets. Now they have a continent-wide European GSM coverage.

The aim of BAM merger would be getting a similar, continent-wide CDMA coverage in USA. BAM is currently strong in the eastern half of the continent, Airtouch in the western. Not much to be done about the fact that the V-A has different standards in different continents. The arrival of third generation technology may change that in 2003-2005.

Tero






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<I don't know the quality of cdma and qualcomm, but I know the exellent standard of gsm. If I go to the autbahn with my car doing 120 miles the quality of the telefon is still exellent. (I did this only once!)>

Welcome Stephan,

It's wonderful to have posters from Germany posting for I am a Germanophile as I am a German Philosophy Freak of the highest magnitude. Just last night my friend called me from his CDMA phone driving 85 MPH and I must say he was breaking up and at times I had to repeat myself. He was using a Samsung so maybe it was the phone itself and not the technology. I bought a Qualcomm Slim Phone yesterday for $100 from Radio Shack and plan to test it out fully with a corvette.
He is upgrading he samsung which is really Sam&*%#!!!
in my opinion and will be buying the Nokia 6185. With all the real action coming from Finland these days I am also adding Finophile to my list of loves.

Best of Luck and thanks for posting,

MYCROFT
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btnelson

you can totally write-off Iridium, if their is any business left in the gobal cellular sat. business is going to be Globalstar since their system is cheaper and better than Iridium.

How much is MOT stake in Iridium that is going to effect their earnings if they write it off?

Alchemist1
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For Globalstar, what does cheaper and better than Iridium have to do with its success?

With the worldwide proliferation of "conventional" phone systems, which will connect about 98% of the sites that drive world commerce (an estimate of course), I predict that Globalstar will be scrapped also.

When I was following Iridium and Globalstar last year, no one was saying that Globalstar was cheap enough to win the war; both systems had their pluses and minuses, but the overriding point was that the market didn't care, and won't pay for it.

IMO, wireless phone networks will find even more creative ways to fill most of the areas not covered, certainly by the time the demand is there for connectivity.

What does this portend for Teledesic? Someday, satellites will be the delivery vehicle of choice for wireless, global, connections, but no one is predicting this anytime soon.

I think Globalstar and Iridium are incredibly fascinating systems - just not financially viable, IMHO.

Shaken
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Shaken: "I think Globalstar and Iridium are incredibly fascinating systems - just not financially viable, IMHO."

Globalstar is an attractive short now. Price is quite high and service should start in October, but is most likely delayed.

There are three basic reasons why it is not financially feasible:

1. Techology can't be upgraded to provide good data services unless satellites are changed.

2. Coverage is poor for premium service. Satellite system is combined with cellular, but satellite does not have indoor coverage. If you have a Satellite+CDMA phone, but travel to GSM area you can only make calls from outside and usually not in city area.

3. Satellite air time and phones are and will be significantly more expensive than cellular.

I.e. Service does not equal to cellular and system is more expensive.

Teemu
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I'm also interested in this Iridium-Motorola topic. The recent Motorola take-over of that set-top box company may make sense in the long term. But Mot's problem is that the company was regarded as a write-off wonder a couple of years ago. There were always these "one-time" charges that confused the profit picture. Now Mot makes that acquisition write-off - is the Iridium write-off next? I wish they would make that decision one way or another and move on. Either invest a lot in pushing Iridium and advertising it - or write it off tomorrow.
This indecision is something Wall Street hates. Even a billion dollar write-off would be better.

At the same time they might as well put a bulldozer through their paging manufacturing and sprinkle the ground with salt. That unit is a malign tumor draining vitality from the stellar performance of the digital phone unit. Both operate under the same "consumer product" division. Tough decisions - but they won't be any easier next year.

Globalstar is even more interesting - they seem to be pushing the commercial launch gradually into the future. During the summer, September was the word. Then, the October Telecom conference in Geneve. Now, several markets are tentatively talking about year 2000 commercial launch. This is the same exact pattern we saw with Iridium. More to the point - the Globalstar handsets are similarly kept under wraps. If the early information about 8-hour satellite mode stand-by time is true, there will be hell to pay when the first reviewers actually get their hands on these phones.

Tero







































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