Palestinian Group Targets AT&T

A Palestinian group is waging an online battle against AT&T for repairing the website of the Israeli parliament, urging its subscribers to cancel their services.

Hanthala Palestine, a group that promotes Palestinian rights, denounced AT&T for its recent decision to repair the Knesset site. A flood of e-mail from Lebanon brought down the site two weeks ago.

“AT&T is a responsible corporation and should not sustain violations of human rights by supporting one of the main sources of breaches of international humanitarian law – namely the Israeli occupying forces,” said a Hanthala representative. “AT&T’s close proximity to human rights violations is not very favorable of its name and stature in corporate America.”

An AT&T spokeswoman declined to comment. “We don’t discuss individual customers or potential customers,” she said.

Tracking telecom ventures: In yet another move to extend its wireless service know-how, NTT DoCoMo is reportedly poised to purchase a 10 to 20 percent stake in AT&T Wireless.

The Japanese telecom giant is also seeking a stake in Cingular Wireless -– the joint venture between SBC Communications and BellSouth.

AT&T Wireless struck a deal with Sprint PCS to exchange certain 10 MHz blocks of spectrum to give 39 million U.S. customers more coverage.

World watch: Ireland’s telecom regulators plan to award three new 10-year wireless licenses to service carriers with the lowest tariffs, and with guarantees for the best coverage and fastest roll-out.

Poland extended the deadline to bid for a 3G mobile license and dropped a requirement that potential bidders must post a $588.4 million promissory note.

Spain’s Telefonica and Telekom Austria AG’s Mobilkom are each bidding for three of Austria’s 12 UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) standard licenses. Bids have totaled so far 630 million Euros or $540.5 million.

But will they make house, er, car calls? WellMed, an online health-care company, can now alert cell-phone users when it’s time to take their medicine, get a vaccine or head to the gym.

WellMed also offers more advanced wireless services, including the ability to retrieve information on whether a drug would interfere with a prescription, and to use a phone to send faxes to the doctor’s office.

School buses go wireless: Maryland’s Montgomery County City Council is requesting residents to dig up their old, unused cell phones so that school bus drivers can use them in an emergency.

In other school news, MindSurf, a company that builds mobile computing infrastructures for kindergarten to 12th grade classrooms, just acquired education technology company HiFusion to offer more Palm pilot programs to schools.

First-time Palm owners can take a tutorial at

Fill ‘er up with long-distance: A Dutch company has unveiled the first GSM (global system for mobile communications) payment system for gas stations.

Folks register their mobile phone number using the Internet or at any participating gas stations that issue a debit number. At the pump, customers call the number displayed on the pump and enter that number and their pin number.

DSL is all the rage: The number of digital subscriber lines that provide high-speed Internet access jumped from 2.8 million to 4.3 million -– 57 percent –- the first six months this year, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

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