Sprint Spectrum has memorable debut


November 18, 1995

Sprint Spectrum, the digital wireless phone service that made its debut in the Baltimore-Washington area Wednesday, apparently is on track after a rocky start.

American Personal Communications Inc., the Bethesda-based company that operates the network, said yesterday that a glitch in a computer program prevented some early purchasers of its "personal communications services," or PCS, handsets from activating their accounts Wednesday and Thursday.

Anne Phillips Schelle, an APC spokeswoman, said the problem was straightened out by yesterday morning. She said the computer malfunction did not stop the activation process but slowed it considerably.

Ms. Schelle said the problem was caused in part by stronger-than-expected sales of the PCS handsets, which will compete with traditional digital phones.

"We are surprised. It's better than we thought it would be," she said.

Ms. Schelle said that some retailers already have sold out of the phones. She added that she did not expect any problems resupplying them.

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