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Providing voice and data communications to people away from their wireline telephones has become a major communication frontier. This frontier is being penetrated by evolving approaches to portable communications, e.g., cordless telephones, mobile radiotelephone, and radio paging. However, these approaches have many limitations; none can provide universal portable communications services. This paper discusses limitations of the evolving approaches and considers objectives and approaches for providing more universal digital portable communications as an integrated part of telephone exchange networks. These more universal communications could be accomplished by using demand-assigned radio links for the last thousand feet or so of telephone loops and sharing the remainder of the fixed distribution facilities. Fixed radio ports as integrated parts of telephone distribution networks could be placed throughout service regions. Efficient use of the radio spectrum could be insured by the planned reuse of radio frequencies throughout the regions. The severe multipath radio propagation environment within and around buildings that strongly influences the design of portable communications systems is described in the paper. System configurations and radio link techniques, that can provide reliable communications in the multipath environment, are discussed. Radio system calculations are illustrated for radio ports with 30-ft-high antennas in residential areas. The calculations indicate that radio link availability would be greater than 99 percent for 2000-ft port separations and 5-mW portable transmitters. Reuse of frequencies would require dividing the allocated frequency band into segments for use at adjacent ports. Calculations suggest that link availability in the cochannel interference environment would be greater than 99 percent, if 25 to 35 segments were used in residential areas.