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Telecoms in the 1990s and 2000s

Richard Lambley speaks to Sam Fenwick about the telecommunication industry’s earlier years and some of the highlights from his time as editor of Land Mobile

While his insight piece does an excellent job of capturing the state of the wireless communications industry when Land Mobile was founded, we would be remiss if we didn’t ask Richard Lambley for more details and anecdotes gathered from the broad sweep of his time as founding editor.

To this end, I visited Lambley at his home. When I arrived, he was tinkering with a system that uses an antenna and Raspberry Pi computer board to track commercial flights across South-East England – nicely illustrating the way his interest in radio communications is a life-long fascination rather than simply being a profession.

One thing that Lambley was always keen to do during his time as editor (and is still something of a Land Mobile tradition to this day) was to highlight “small companies that had done something creative or clever and giving them a bit of publicity to help them along”. As an example, he cites a mobile data terminal developed by a Finnish company, which he saw for the first time at the CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany. “I thought this was novel and wrote it up and gave it a bit of space in my report. I was quite surprised to get a phone call 18 months later from a company which was operating a fleet of prison vans. They had put these mobile data terminals in their vans so that they could be tracked on their journeys, which was a new idea at the time. To have seen this little product go from just something at an exhibition to actually working because of a story I wrote was quite exciting really. I felt I’d done a bit of good in bringing it to their notice.”

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