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Wireless Nation: The Frenzied Launch Of The Cellular Revolution Paperback – October 16, 2002
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That all changed in the 1980s, of course, when cellular technology began moving from experimental to ubiquitous and those clunky early car phones went the way of the Model T and telephone operator. The subsequent rush to wireless has been one of the most dynamic business stories of our time, and James B. Murray Jr. does a fine job of running it down and sorting it out in Wireless Nation.
The negotiator of some of the industry's biggest deals as chairman and managing director of Columbia Capital, Murray has had firsthand access to most of the major players in the ongoing saga, and his book benefits tremendously from the insider's perspective that these connections helped forge. It also benefits from his novelist's eye, which virtually puts readers into the center of the action with big-time participants like McCaw Cellular's Craig McCaw as well as "regular folks" like a middle-aged truck driver named Bob Pelissier who snagged one of the country's first cellular licenses.
Moving effortlessly from Newfoundland to New York and Washington state to Washington, D.C., Murray deftly chronicles the emergence of the cell phone as a worldwide business and societal phenomenon. He also offers informed speculation on its future, as emergent wireless Internet connections promise to make current technology and consumer penetration look as quaint as a black dial telephone. --Howard Rothman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Time and again he details the steps, and more often mis-steps, that led to the wireless world we live in today. As interesting as the stories of the visionaries who "got it" from the begining are, the tales of those who guessed wrong are even more incredible. Huge corporations, respected "experts," and the US government all made one wrong decision after the other, while a handful of players who figured out just how big this industry could be took incredible gambles to succeed. At the same time, every day individuals from widows to plumbers had a chance to participate, and make millions in what was essentially a government run lottery.
A riveting first hand account of the creation of an industry where billions were made and lost, and continue to be today.
I work in the cellular industry and often hear, from those who worked in the industry in the mid-eighties, references to the "old days." While the current success of the cellular industry makes it seem as if its success was a "no-brainer," Murray makes clear that this was not the case--he does an excellent job of describing the free-wheeling, if not chaotic, beginnings of the industry, the fateful steps and mis-steps of some of the early players, and the vast uncertainty of whether the industry would ever be viable. Most memorably, he provides interesting profiles of some of the pioneers, cowboys, and charlatans that participated in the creation of America's cell-phone sector.
If this were simply a fast-moving, well-written, and intriguing story, it would be no more than an enjoyable piece of historical writing. However, Murray's story teaches us the important lessons of what it takes to recognize an opportunity, to think outside the box, to go against the traditional wisdom, to find new ways of doing things--all of which are necessary to the entrepreneurial spirit. In sum, this story is testimony to American ingenuity that can make something succeed that will alter and improve our lives, despite well-intentioned but counterproductive governmental rules.
But lest we think it is merely a story, intriguing though it is, if it were nothing more, then it would simply be a piece of history. However, the story that Murray tells teaches us important lessons of what it takes to recognize an opportunity, to think outside the box, to go against the traditional wisdom, to find new ways of doing things--all of which are necessary to the entrepreneurial spirit. For in the end, the story is a testimony to American ingenuity that can make something succeed and can immeasurably alter and improve our lives, despite the well-intentioned but ultimately counterproductive rules of the government.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jim, Great historical documentation and perspective anyone in telecom appreciates. No one can pull this complex history together like you did in Wireless Nation. Read morePublished on December 4, 2013 by Lisa R.
A very well written, fast-paced, and captivating read about how a regulated scarce asset (spectrum) was captured by smart entrepreneurs. Read morePublished on December 1, 2007 by Amit Jain
A thoroughly enjoyable read! Murray takes a series of broadly related threads culled from the rise of the US cellular industry and weaves them together to create a very... Read morePublished on September 26, 2005 by barberikyawp
Very well written book! Jim Murray does a very good job of making an interesting story as he narrates how FCC distributed valuable cellular licenses in the US in the 1980s. Read morePublished on June 14, 2005 by RR
This novel is actually pretty interesting after I read it. At first, I thought it was just another average book by some unknown, unpopular author that no one has ever even heard of... Read morePublished on December 6, 2004 by Nick I.
For a book that calls itself wireless nation there is surprisingly little about the technology from the human aspect and how it came to be embraced by the common man. Read morePublished on November 20, 2003 by Chaitanya Gaddam
This is a great book for getting a personal account from the major business personalities involved in building the nation's cell phone system. Read morePublished on July 30, 2003 by C. Watkins
Murray has written an immensely entertaining view of the development
of cellular telephone, the wrangling over FCC spectrum, the con artists
and hucksters, the visionary... Read more