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FRIDAY - APRIL 11, 2003 - ISSUE NO. 61

Dear Friends and Industry Colleagues,

I hope this finds everyone in good health and good humor.

Since not all of our readers are engineers, I have included some more basic tutorial information about paging in this week's newsletter. I am sure you engineers wont mind—just scroll on past the TECH TIPS section, and I will try to have some real scientific stuff for you in a future issue.

This is my weekly newsletter about Wireless Data and Radio Paging. You are receiving this message because you have either communicated with me in the past about a wireless topic, or your address was included in another e-mail that I received on the same subject. This is not a SPAM. If you have received this message in error, or you are not interested in these topics, please click here, then click on “send” and you will be promptly removed from the mailing list with my apologies.

This week's newsletter topics:

  • Instant two-way text messaging
  • New boss at the FCC talks about spectrum
  • The world re-discovers push-to-talk
  • Two-way paging channel auction
  • The wireless browser market heats up
  • Special feature on wireless forms
  • Basic TNPP
  • Beginner's Paging

Infinite Messaging

April 2003

Instant two-way text messaging, that ubiquitous medium of Web-surfing and cell-phone-toting teens, isn't just for socializing anymore. Because of the medium’s immediacy—it’s faster than e-mail but less intrusive than a phone call—“people are increasingly getting hooked on the need for continuous two-way text messaging as a coordination, alerting, and notification mechanism” for conducting business, says James Kobielus, a senior analyst with Burton Group, an e-business analysis firm in Alexandria, VA.

Source: Technology Review

Adelstein Reveals Wireless Spectrum Agenda

April 10, 2003

news@2 direct Louisville, Colo.—In his first public address focusing on wireless communications, newly appointed FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein yesterday outlined his "framework for innovation," a plan he says "combines industry with a light regulatory touch" to provide the maximum support for wireless services.

Source: Wireless Week


April 10, 2003

Nextel is steadily increasing its market share, posts industry-leading ARPUs and records the lowest churn in the wireless sector, because it can offer the only truly differentiated product: a device that integrates a mobile-phone and two-way radio.

For years, U.S. wireless operators have been looking for innovative ways to compete with the powerful niche that Nextel (Nasdaq: NXTL) Communications has created in the mobile market through its integration of a mobile phone and walkie-talkie service known as Direct Connect.

For Nextel's competitors, the move to packet networks is finally giving them a way to compete using voice over IP (VoIP) solutions instead of network switching solutions that have in the past proven expensive and too difficult to launch.

PTT is clearly the most talked about subject in the wireless industry these days. Verizon Wireless, Sprint PCS (NYSE: PCS) and Alltel (NYSE: AT) have all indicated plans to introduce push-to-talk (PTT) services before the end of the year. AT&T Wireless (NYSE: AWE) has said it will test PTT this year in Seattle, with plans to commercially launch PTT in 2004, while Cingular Wireless has announced its interest in the capability but hasn't provided any concrete launch dates.

Source: Wireless Newsfactor

Narrowband PCS auction

The FCC has scheduled a narrowband PCS auction for a limited number of regional licenses to commence September 24, 2003. Comments may be submitted on the bidding procedures, reserve prices or minimum opening bids, and other auction procedures on or before April 17, 2003. Reply comments may be filed on or before April 24, 2003.

A total of six licenses are being offered in the auction. Channel 17, a 12.5 kHz channel paired with a 50 kHz channel (901-8250-901.8375 MHz paired with 930.700-930.750 MHz), is being offered in each of the five regions of the United States, Northeast, South, Midwest, Central and West. In addition, Channel 16, also a 12.5 kHz channel paired with a 50 kHz channel (901.8125-901.8250 MHz paired with 930.650-930.700 MHz), is being offered only in the South region.

In response to earlier comments by Space Data, the FCC has proposed to employ a package bidding procedure in this auction, which enables bids on groups or "packages" of licenses on an all-or-nothing basis. Space Data had commented that the regional licenses would be more valuable if aggregated into a national license, and the package bidding procedure permits such aggregation. Although the auction is scheduled to commence September 24, 2003, dates have not yet been set for the filing of registration applications or for making upfront payments.

Source: Courtesy of the AAPC

The Next Browser War

April 10, 2003

As the competition for wireless browser market share heats up, it will bear no resemblance to Browser War I. The PC world is sedate by comparison to the Wild West chaos of the cell phone market.

The number alone is enough to get a lot of people breathing fast: About 400 million cell phones are sold worldwide each year. Given a world population of 6 billion, that means about one out of every 15 humans on the planet has one, from the jungles of Malaysia to the jungle of Manhattan. That's a big market.

By comparison, only about 130 million PCs will be sold this year. And that number is expected to stay flat. The PC market is just so ... yesterday. Forget the PC, babe, it's all wireless.

But as the wireless world matures, it will go through some similar experiences as its graying friend the PC. One of the most interesting to watch will be the browser war for the cell phone market.

This will be a big one. The winner of "most popular PC browser" got to dominate a big, profitable market. But the company that wins "most popular cell phone browser" could make enough money to buy all the land west of the Mississippi. Let the games begin.

Source: Wireless Newsfactor


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outrnet custom apps

Create new demand for your ReFLEX™ network, with Outr.Net's Wireless Forms. These low-cost, custom applications convert the paper forms that business people (like salespeople, field technicians, and delivery people) use, into interactive business tools that vastly improve the timeliness, accuracy and efficiency of information collected in the field. This custom software costs as little as $995 and can be delivered in just a few days.

Outr.Net has a web page on Wireless Forms for Timeports at:

Their latest newsletter also discusses Wireless Forms:

Please call me so we can discuss your need or your idea.

The use of paper forms is a fundamental and ubiquitous business process for enterprises with mobile workforces, but archaic in today's information age, because of:

  • Timeliness (lack of): Information typically doesn't get to the home office until the end of the day, or even the end of the week. The causes delays in acknowledging orders, updating sales and inventory information systems, and invoicing of customers.
  • Accuracy (lack of): Information may be entered inaccurately, incompletely, or illegibly, and the task of following through and chasing down information that should have been entered correctly in the first place is wasteful and frustrating.
  • Automation (lack of): Paper forms are typically dropped off or faxed in by the person in the field, and then manually typed into a database by someone in the back office.

Some of the larger and more technically advanced field-force companies, like those in the delivery and fleet management business, replaced their paper forms with wireless tablets years ago. However, these devices are generally bulky and expensive, and beyond the reach of most small-to-medium-size businesses. Mobile data technologies have now advanced to the point that wireless forms are now inexpensive and quickly developed, and make good business sense for most enterprises with a mobile workforce.

On some common handheld devices, screen resolution and navigation features now make it possible to render fairly complex paper forms electronically. In addition, wireless networks have dramatically reduced the recurring costs of using mobile data. Finally, software tools have been developed that can create these end-to-end solutions quickly and inexpensively, in a way that is customized and optimized for each business.


Basic TNPP

The Telocator Network Paging Protocol (TNPP) was created by a committee of paging terminal manufacturers to become the accepted industry standard mechanism to move paging and other information between paging terminals regardless of manufacturer. Although it initially was conceived of as a standard means of moving information between dissimilar paging terminals, it is used widely to create networks of similar paging terminals. TNPP is a point-to-point digital communications protocol. It is used basically to ensure reliable delivery of information from one paging terminal to another directly connected paging terminal. The primary purpose of TNPP is to move radio page requests within networks and between different carrier's networks, but the protocol also allows non-paging information to be transferred.

The TNPP specification only reviews the operation of the protocol in the point-to-point communications environment, but each "packet" of information that is transmitted under TNPP contains a destination address. This is an address value that represents which node or nodes are to process the page requests that are contained within this packet. If the paging terminal that receives a TNPP packet is not the destination address, this terminal may immediately send the packet over an outbound TNPP link over the "best" path to get closer to the destination. The specification does not define how TNPP can create networks or how network routing may be accomplished, but all the major TNPP implementations provide the ability to move packets between one or more nodes in a TNPP network.*

TNPP is a non-proprietary network protocol that is used to send paging messages between different paging systems. A protocol is a special computer language used when one computer talks to another. Non-proprietary simply means that this protocol does not belong to only one manufacturer—it is available for anyone to use.

Two paging systems may be located in the same room or in different countries. Messages sent using the TNPP protocol are like letters mailed in envelopes. An envelope typically has an address showing who the letter is from in the upper left-hand corner, and has another address in the lower right hand part of the envelope showing to whom or to where the envelope should go.

tnpp envelope

A TNPP "packet" (envelope) also has two addresses. One address called a Source Code, shows where the message is from or where it originated. The other address indicates where the message should be sent and is called a Destination Code.

tnpp envelope

A TNPP routing hub performs a function similar to a post office. Paging messages are sent to the hub, using TNPP, where they are sorted and sent to the next "post office" (hub). We could continue the analogy further with a postmark on the envelope because TNPP includes the time and date of the message.

* Paging Protocols, by Jay Moskowitz

Beginner's Paging

One-way—Paging went through an interesting evolution. Early systems were simply AM radio stations that broadcast messages from a tape recorder that ran in a closed loop. Anyone expecting a message would tune in the radio station and listen to the message tape until it repeated itself. That way a person could be sure that he or she had heard all the messages on the tape. The next big advance in paging was the development of a "selective call" radio receiver. This feature allowed the radio receiver, now known as a "pager" to remain silent until it received a message sent specifically to that unit by using a unique code for each one. These were known as "tone and voice pagers."

There was also a "tone only pager" which only beeped, indicating that the person carrying it should call a predetermined telephone number or perform a predetermined action. For example volunteer firemen knew that when their pager beeped, they were to immediately go to the fire station. Salespeople knew to call their offices. Later, the "numeric display pager" was developed. It could display a telephone number for the user to call. The next, and final, revolution in one-way paging was the "alphanumeric display pager" which could display a complete text message consisting of letters of the alphabet, numbers, and punctuation. This was a revolution because, in many cases, it eliminated the step of making a telephone call to find out what to do.

Two-way—The evolution into two-way was so dramatic, that many tried to drop the word "pager." The physical unit is now called a two-way "device" because it does much more than the lowly pager was ever able to do. This new service is now referred to as: "wireless instant messaging," "wireless data," "wireless interactive messaging," "wireless e-mail," "wireless chat," or simply "two-way" as in: "two-way me" instead of "page me."

A pager is basically a "selective-call radio receiver." It became a two-way device by adding a small radio transmitter inside, so it could answer back and initiate (send) messages. The evolutionary steps that two-way technology took were:

1. Automatic Registration provided Automatic Roaming (from one city to another)
2. Acknowledgement provided Ultra-reliable Delivery (assured delivery)
3. Single Packet Response provided Simple Subscriber Responses
4. Canned Message Initiation provided Subscriber Initiated messages
5. Full Interactive provided Full Two-way messaging (send and receive)

This has opened up an exciting new way to communicate using text, and a great way to interact with the Internet when away from a wired PC. There is an amazing world-wide trend that people now choose text messaging to communicate over voice, because is more polite and "non-intrusive." International roaming now allows users to send and receive messages while traveling in certain foreign countries.




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ptx-150 image


Specifications and Features

User's Manual

To request pricing and delivery information for the PTX-150, please click here. left arrow

animated wireless logo Wireless Data

I am a manufacturer representative (MR) for Vytek Wireless Products. (Formerly Sonik.) Please look at their web site to see what they have to offer to the Paging and Wireless Messaging industry.

To download the product brochure for the PL-900 Paging Data Receiver, please click here. left arrow left arrow CLICK FOR MORE INFO

To let me know if you would like to receive a price quotation on any Vytek product, click on the link above.

aapc logojoin aapc

AAPC’s Mission Statement Defines Purpose

  • Identifying issues of common concern to its members
  • Providing an effective forum for the discussion and progression of issues relating to the industry
  • Monitoring and addressing regulatory and legal matters as a unified organization
  • Providing research into and development of our industry and its current and prospective markets
  • Providing education and resources to address the challenges and trends affecting our operating environments
  • Encouraging and maintaining high standards of ethics and services
  • Championing the industry and representing paging carriers with a positive voice

Our industry must move forward together or perish individually. If you want to get involved, please click here. Come and join us!

tga logosparkgap photo

Two-way Paging Network and Transmitter Controller

TGA Technologies believes that the future of the radio paging industry lies in the evolution of 2-way paging for both man and machine, based on the ReFLEX™ format. To that end, TGA has produced the SPARKGAP™ ReFLEX Network Manager. This device is fully ReFLEX 2.7.x compliant and will support campus, local, regional or national networks.  When used in conjunction with the TGA PRISM paging terminal, SPARKGAP™ offers a controlled path for growth in paging technology.

They also have a new product that can replace the RTS Advantage™ that many international paging network members are using.

I completely agree with TGA's strategy. If you would like to have more information about the SPARKGAP™ click here.

Can You Help?

news stream imageAs we all know, Wireless Messaging is less than 20 years old yet it is almost impossible to find evidence of our early experiments and successes.  Many of us experimented with wireless delivery of e-mail using the Teknow solution from the late 80s and others wrote simple scripts to parse and send SMTP messages to our pagers.  However how many of us documented these experiments?

Before what is left goes to the landfill, or is lost as us old timers start to die off, I would request help in archiving the following into a Museum of Early Messaging.  It appears that support to house this museum may be forthcoming from a pioneering company in Wireless Messaging but nothing is firm at this point.

  • Articles or papers on early 90s use of a browser on a two-way wireless device (Newton etc.)
  • Description of Anterior Technologies / RadioMail (pre Motorola) messaging Gateway and PDA/paging solutions.  Any magazine articles or early brochures on RadioMail would be very helpful.
  • Documentation and HP95LX software for the Motorola NewsStream module. Any articles on examples of uses would be great.
  • Any documentation magazine articles on the use of delivery of e-mail to a wireless device.
  • Back issues of Telocator Magazine from 1990-1995 time frame.
  • Motorola PCMCIA PagerCard with documentation and PC or PDA software.  Any articles depicting early use of the card also helpful.
  • Comprehensive Guide to Paging that was printed in early 90s.

If you think you can help with any of the above I am prepared to cover all hard costs as well as compensate fairly for any old hardware offered to the cause.  

Can you help? Give me a call or e-mail.

Paul Cassel
Telephone: 519-634-5139

nolia 3390 image

Cell Phones

I owe everyone who asked for my list of cell phones for sale, a big apology. I am very sorry but my source of this equipment has temporarily disappeared. The fellow I work with said his computer died and he had to buy a new one. I haven't been able to talk to him in over two weeks now. Maybe I will have to stick to paging and wireless data. I am very sorry; this was beyond my control.

Needed, one LS350 Motorola pager programmer.
Contact Glenn Varen.

In need of Motorola BR-850s pagers—looking for new, refurbished or A stock.
Contact Ralph LoPilato.

Legacy Technology Solutions LLC

Paging infrastructure repair with warranty. Please ask for Virgil Jarrard, President, and tell him Brad sent you. Toll-free voice: 1-877-436-8044 or voice: 972-436-8044, fax: 972-436-8944. They are located in the Dallas suburbs, and they occasionally have some good deals on reconditioned paging equipment as well. Check with them for current product availability. You can send Virgil an e-mail by clicking here. left arrowCLICK

If you hear any good paging or wireless data news next week, please share it with the rest of us. Thanks and have a great week.

The PTX-150 VHF Direct Digital Paging Transmitter is designed to meet the paging industry’s latest standards for high-speed FLEX and simulcast operation. It operates with a wide range of standard network interfaces, and is ideal for both new systems as well as upgrading of existing paging networks.

This Direct Digital Paging Transmitter is designed to generate all modern paging formats including POCSAG, FLEX and ERMES. Standard output power is 100 watts continuous (adjustable 25-100 Watts). Optional amplifiers are available with 250 and 500 Watts output. Up to sixteen channels can be preset for multichannel operation over the 138-174 MHz frequency range.

For simulcast operation the standard internal 1 ppm TCXO may be supplemented by either a built-in 0.05 ppm high stability option or an external reference oscillator. Precision control over carrier offset and delay equalization is also provided.

The PTX-150 incorporates a wide variety of network interface and remote diagnostic capabilities. The standard unit includes an interface for conventional POCSAG controllers and paging terminals. It also includes an interface for C2000 and C-Net controllers. A separate data port provides comprehensive local or remote programming, real time diagnostics, and alarms for all key operational parameters. A WINDOWS®-based software package is available to provide a convenient and easy-to-use remote monitoring capability.

The PTX-150 is ultra-efficient in operation and incorporates a built-in universal 115/230 VAC power supply (auto select) 50/60 Hz. It is supplied in a compact 4 RU high rack mounted case and includes internal front to back cooling optimized to maintain low PA junction temperatures. The unit is rated for 100% continuous duty at up to 60° C ambient temperature.

VYTEK's PL-900 Paging Data Receiver

paging data receiver

Wireless Data—breathing new life into the paging industry. The Daviscomms TMR (Telemetry Messaging Receiver) is a one-way FLEX™ telemetry device and is being manufactured by Daviscomms in Singapore. It is being stocked and distributed in the Americas by Vytek Wireless Products as the PageLink™ PDR (Paging Data Receiver). The PL-900 provides a solution for customers looking for a CreataLink™ one-way receiver replacement. THIS IS A HOT PRODUCT.

Do you have a product or service that you would like to promote in this newsletter?

If you have any wireless equipment that you would like to buy or sell, please let me know. I don't charge individuals for listing something for sale. If a sale is made through this newsletter, I ask the seller to send me a 10% commission, much the same as the voluntary payments that are requested on the Internet for shareware. There is no cost to the buyer.

There is a small charge for companies wanting to put their products in the newsletter and on my web site. There is no obligation for payment of a commission for this kind of basic advertising. I would be very pleased, however, to get involved in the sales process as a manufacturer representative—for quality wireless products and reputable companies. left arrow CLICK FOR MORE INFO

Wireless Messaging Software

InfoRad® Wireless Office (Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP) is designed for the professional who needs full-featured wireless messaging capabilities. Features include enhanced user interface,  message log with search function, scheduled paging,  group and individual message addresses, TAPI Smart™, multiple protocol SMS communication compatibility. AlphaCare™ support services available. With a 32-bit architecture, InfoRad Wireless Office is designed for compatibility with Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP. For more information on InfoRad Wireless Messaging software, and a free demo, please click on the logo.

InfoRad logo left arrow CLICK HERE

Recommended Paging Equipment Broker

Pat Merkel

Telephone: 770-638-1006 left arrow CLICK TO MAIL

I have known Pat for many years. We worked together at BBL Industries in Atlanta about 20 years ago. She is a friend—you can trust her. If you are hunting for some paging infrastructure equipment, Pat can help you find it.

PDR photoFLEX™ Telemetry device

A reader has 190 surplus Tellus one-way PDR's (paging data receivers), model no. TSPM9FXSB, tuned to 929.0125 MHz, re-tunable 929-932 MHz (synthesized), with RJ-11 out. All are in original bubble wrap/individual cardboard box packaging.

For general info on the product click here. For technical specs click here.

These are a steal at $49 each—(FOB source USA)—if you take the whole batch. If you want to buy them, please contact me by e-mail or telephone at: . They wont last long at this price.

outr net logo


outrnet custom apps

If you see someone in the field (like salespeople, technicians, and delivery people) using paper forms, their company could probably save a pile of money, and get much better timeliness, accuracy and efficiency, by using converting to Outr.Net's Wireless Forms. Custom applications for as little as $995, delivered in just a few days.

Outr.Net has a web page on Wireless Forms for Timeports at:

Their latest newsletter also discusses Wireless Forms:

Please call me so we can discuss your need or your idea.

Wireless Automation

Check out the following four categories of two-way wireless data communications. We have the ability to customize solutions to meet your (or your customer's) needs.

Data CommunicationsLevel 1A basic ReFLEX transceiver, sending and receiving serial RS-232 ASCII data.
Telemetry (Alarm and Control)Level 2An enhanced ReFLEX transceiver, monitoring alarms from a remote site, and sending commands to the remote site.
Asset or Fleet TrackingLevel 3An enhanced ReFLEX transceiver, with the addition of a GPS module for the reporting of accurate locations to enable tracking.
Field Force AutomationLevel 4An enhanced ReFLEX transceiver, with the addition of a GPS module and a handheld computer terminal for full automation of field service activities all the way from the customer's location back to the service company's back office.
AMTEL Wireless can generally turn a specification into a prototype in two to four weeks. If you have an interesting application in mind, please give me a call so we can talk.


brad photo

With best regards,

brad's signature

Brad Dye

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Web:Consulting and Job search page left arrow CLICK HERE
Can I help you with some consulting on one of your projects?
I am also looking for a full-time position and I am willing to relocate.
FLEX, ReFLEX, and InFLEXion, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Motorola, Inc.
CreataLink is a trademark of SmartSynch Communications Corp. The product and trademark were formerly owned by Motorola Inc.
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