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MONDAY - MARCH 17, 2003 - ISSUE NO. 57

Dear Friends and Industry Colleagues,

This is last Friday's issue of my paging and wireless data newsletter. Sorry that I am a little late. As most of you know, I went to the IWCE trade show in Las Vegas last week. It was a great show. My report, with some photos, follows below.

A lively discussion about the merits of wireless text messaging is developing. Two more opinions are in this week's issue and others are preparing responses according to several comments that I received at the show.

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. My apologies.
I came back with a pocket full of business cards and I have added everyone who's card I have to the newsletter database. I think I asked just about everyone if they wanted to receive the newsletter. If you do—welcome! If you would rather not, please click on the link in the box above this paragraph to be removed. If you have a friend or co-worker who might like to read the news about paging and wireless data once a week, please forward this to them. Anyone wanting to get their own copy each week, can do so by sending me an e-mail and saying: "sign me up." There is no charge, and there are no membership restrictions.
PAGING AND WIRELESS DATA NEWS

SouthernNet joins the AAPC

At its annual business meeting in Atlanta, Georgia the Southern Net Association of Paging agreed to join AAPC as a group.  SouthernNet has 26 members serving the Southeastern USA thru an interconnection of individual systems to make on.  With its system of primary gateways, secondary gateways, and satellite-controlled transmitters SouthernNet provides coverage from West Virginia to Louisiana and Arkansas to South Carolina.

Submitted by Tim Jones
Secretary SouthernNet
Secretary/Treasurer AAPC


TAPS and AAPC Dialogue Continues

A great discussion took place at the IWCE trade show in Las Vegas between the officers of the AAPC (American Association of Paging Carriers) and the officers of TAPS (Texas Association of Paging Systems). Now that the SouthernNet has joined the AAPC, it is becoming very clear that this association can indeed become national in scope and represent the common interests of its members. The AAPC's slogan is "we must must move forward together or perish individually."

It was wonderful for me to listen to the heads of several paging companies talk—as peers—about the legal, technical, and business issues that they each struggle with daily in managing their individual operations. Who better to talk to than the top manager of another paging company? These are not competitors, they are colleagues. It was clear, to me at least, that each one had great strengths and could make a very positive contribution to the whole group.

With paging companies in the Northeast, the old South, the Midwest, and the West, one common association can become a miniature version of the United States of America. Each member different, yet all sharing the same goals. Each one wanting to survive the current realignment of the telecommunications business, and wanting to build even more successful ventures using the latest technology. Each one has a voice that needs to be heard and each one has something to contribute.

I think we all know that saying: "It is insanity to believe that the same behavior will produce different results." Let's hope that these discussions continue and produce a bigger and better association based on mutual respect and cooperation. So far, we are off to a good start.


Arch Wireless decreases 4Q loss to $8.3M

March 12, 2003 1:19 PM EST

WESTBOROUGH, Mass.—Paging and messaging carrier Arch Wireless Inc. reported a net loss for its fourth quarter of $8.3 million, down from its net loss of $191 million in the same quarter last year.

Consolidated revenues for the fourth quarter totaled $182 million, a decline from the $251 million in the fourth quarter of 2001.

Arch reported a net decline of 503,000 messaging units in service during its fourth quarter, with a total of 5.6 million.

Source: RCR Wireless News


READER'S COMMENTS

In the February 28, 2003 issue I put out the following challenge for a debate on the SMS "texting" issue that has become a very popular means of communication around the world:

OK, if text messaging is exploding just like we thought it would, what are the two-way paging carriers doing wrong? Why isn't their business exploding as well? For the last several years we have been saying that text messaging over two-way paging was going to save the day for us. There are some very positive indicators that it would: the big success of SMS (short messaging service) over cell phones in Europe, and the popularity of IM (instant messaging) on the Internet everywhere. Two-way pagers are more suited for text messaging than cell phones are, and two-way paging networks are much more efficient for handling text than the other guys since theirs was designed for voice. So what's going on here? Let's get a little debate going on this topic. Send me your comments.

The topic is heating up and several people voiced opinions at the IWCE show in Las Vegas last week. More written comments were promised and I expect the following two will "fan the fire" some more. Several challenged the author of the anonymous comments in the March 7th issue to reveal his identity.


Brad,

I am compelled to disagree with "Anonymous" in today's [March 7, 2003] newsletter (surprise, huh?)

First off, the notion that SMS will disappear simply because of the keypad issue on most phones should by now be utterly debunked by its vast popularity around the world, notably Europe and Asia. If voice were so overwhelming a method of communication, one wonders why written communication is considered such a uniquely powerful tool...

The answers to that question are simple and many: one can write and read quietly, written text can be made permanent, written text can be shared with many readers, written text can be machine-processed much more simply than the spoken word, written text is independent of the dialects and accents of the writer or readers, for the same message written text is much more compact than the spoken word. Perhaps most powerfully, written text can be made "plastic" in electronic media such as the web. It is virtually impossible to see how a spoken word mass-medium like radio; for example, could be altered into a medium like the web. Yet, the plasticity of text that allows it to be interpreted as "hyper-text" by associating it with a hidden grammar of actions ("hot links") is essential to a variety of applications of SMS, MMS, and 2way messaging.

This plasticity is supported in electronic media by the underlying digital encoding of written text. In principle, this is hardly more complex than the kind of "pop-up" books popular with preschoolers, in which an action accompanies the written word. It would be hard to argue against the notion that dramatic expansion of the public Internet has largely been driven by two protocols for the delivery of text: smtp and http. Granted, because of the introduction of MIME, both can also carry a vast array of other media and executable code. But I would imagine, based solely on my own personal experience, that well over 90% of that multi-media traffic is accompanied by or controlled by a text-based "message" such as a covering email or html.

To shift the focus slightly, I am the happy user of a TiVo system. As many of you may have heard, TiVo dramatically changes the way in which you interact with TV. That change is almost impossible to "advertise" in any common medium: TV itself, radio, magazines, the web, newspapers, and so on. Let's call this marketing issue the "TiVo problem." If you've experienced it, you recognize the value. Until you've experienced it, you don't really have a clue what it might do for you.

ReFLEX messaging has a TiVo problem. If one is a user in a group of other users, you get the value. Almost no one who doesn't have a ReFLEX device given to them for free is willing to try it though. Even then, the value increasing dramatically as the number of one's friends, relations, co-workers that are also reachable with it increases from 0 to 10 or so. The same has been true in North America for GSM-style SMS. The small number of carriers that did have the service couldn't interwork with TDMA and CDMA carriers who supported different flavors of text messaging; certainly not with the ease of the all-GSM/SS7 back-bones of Europe. This has almost nothing to do with Anonymous' claim that voice service will ultimately drive "texting" away. Anonymous might do well to recall that long before there was a broad deployment of voice telephony, there was the telegraph.

Frankly, I'm not sure what the outcome of NPCS and SMS will be in North America. But I am reasonably sure that the key drivers are not what Anonymous has put forward.

-Allan Angus

Allan.Angus@weblinkwireless.com


While your anonymous reader's comments on SMS v two-way paging are correct in so far as they state consumers want primarily voice/telephone communications capability (at least when they sign-up for a mobile phone) he is significantly off the mark in a number of respects, particularly in regard to his SMS forecasts.

Firstly, for a significant proportion of users outside the USA (where text messaging has experienced absolutely phenomenal growth rates over the past 5 years) SMS is the predominant means of mobile phone communications, especially among those in the youth market for whom cost is an important driver.  For example, in Australia each month 275 million SMS messages are sent from a base of about 8 million mobile phones.  To facilitate this traffic a new shorthand language has developed to allow messages to be sent with minimal keypad manipulation and for those who prefer longhand, predictive text input software is on most phones.

Secondly, using the 'horrible keypad' will not 'become unbearable' it will at first be challenging and with practice will become tolerable.  And no, far from 99.9% of mobile comms being voice, for many users a majority of their comms will be TXT messaging (for benefits such as recipients not having to be ready to take a call when a message is sent and a fixed cost for each message).  This has been the experience in Europe to an even greater extent than in Australia which has not achieved the per capita SMS rates of some countries.  For instance, school kids will try and send an SMS in a class in which they would not attempt a phone call.

Thirdly, 'hardcore text messagers' are the ones who become adept at using the SMS shorthand and do not need the bother of carrying and connecting a mini keyboard.  For an example of how far this has gone, see the article from The Telegraph, London on a school girl who submitted an entire essay in SMS shorthand.  The teenager's essay began: "My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we usd 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :- . FTF. ILNY, it's a gr8 plc." Translation: "My summer holidays were a complete waste of time. Before, we used to go to New York to see my brother, his girlfriend and their three screaming kids face to face. I love New York. It's a great place."  A copy of that article appears at http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/03/1046540139361.html and there are many other sites have references to, and compendiums of, SMS shorthand including a short list at http://www.communic8.com.au/connected/wireless/sms.asp

Whether ReFLEX will fade away into oblivion I do not know; certainly the presence of an effective substitute in the pockets of many prospective users will be a significant impediment to ReFLEX's ability to compete in the two-way messaging market.  As for web access on mobiles devices, now that is painful and may well prove unbearable, but web content is something which paging can deliver to end users far more efficiently than GPRS or 3G.

Regards

Jonathan Bolton

jb@metropage.com.au


THE IWCE TRADE SHOW IN LAS VEGAS

Going to a paging trade show is one of my favorite things. It's like a combination of all the things that I like:

  • a carnival
  • a circus
  • a hamfest
  • a class reunion
  • an institution of higher education
  • a party
  • a meeting with old friends
  • a chance to make new friends
  • a shopping trip

The things that I don't like about paging trade shows are:

  • sales and marketing people who lie
  • malicious gossip and false rumors about competitors
  • my sore foot
  • my other sore foot
  • red-eye-special airline flights back home

Unfortunately there are some sales and marketing people that don't always tell the truth. In over 25 years in this business, one thing I have always tried to do, is tell my customers the truth. Some people may think that they can sell more stuff if they "embellish" the truth, but I have customers that keep on buying whatever I am selling—for 25 years now—because they know they can trust me. I was surprised that the "honor system" that I use for commissions on things sold on my web site and via this newsletter, hasn't always worked. Some of the people that have sold things here have never bothered to send me anything and some of the companies want to cheat. So I figure if they want to cheat me they will probably cheat you too. You wont be seeing certain companies mentioned or recommended here in the future. Enough said.

There were hundreds, no thousands of things to see at the show in Las Vegas. It would have been impossible to see everything and talk to everyone, especially once a couple of blisters develop on your foot.

I took the several photos of things and people that I thought you might find interesting—things that caught my eye. Other people—real reporters—always do a good job of covering trade shows. The next two links show some of their work:

Breaking News at IWCE

New Products at IWCE

My views on issues, and my personal contacts in the industry, are the things that make this newsletter a little different than the rest. I could have taken more photos but it would have made this newsletter too long. Actually, I think it turned out just right.

There are a lot more interesting products that I couldn't include in this issue, such as those from DX Eagle Wireless. I may include them in a future issue. So, here we go. . . to the show.


Las Vegas, Nevada

welcome to las vegas

[Translated: Welcome to Lost Wages.]

TGA Technologies and Zetron

paging zone photo

The Paging Zone at the International Wireless Communications Expo held March 10-14 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a show within a show. There was lot of activity in the booths and a lot of interest in paging. Enthusiasm—new products—and new services!

Like I have been saying, "paging ain't over yet!"


the paging zone


Digital Paging Company
Apollo pagers

digital paging company booth photo

I confess that I didn't know about this company before the show. They had this nice booth and were showing their Apollo pager line. Their pagers are available in VHF, UHF, and 900 MHz with FLEX™ coding. They also had an interesting POCSAG paging data receiver (PDR) for use in telemetry applications.

There was even a little pager with a built-in FM radio and an earphone, so now you can walk, jog, or rock 'n roll while listening to your favorite FM radio station—and not miss a page.

They are located in California.

www.apollopagers.com


Motorola

motorola photo

If you can tear your eyes away from these good-looking Motorolans, look at the sign above their heads. It says: "Paging Products from Motorola." Yes, believe-it-or-not, Motorola is selling pagers again! They were showing an alphanumeric display model—the Advisor II—and a top-mounted, numeric display model.


Daniels Electronics, Ltd.
MT-3 Radio System

daniels radio in rack

I found this beautiful rack of radio equipment. It is the Daniels MT-3 Radio System with their optional CI-PM-3 Paging Modulator Card installed. Following is the description from their product brochure:

The CI-PM-3 Paging Modulator module is an optional plug-in component of the MT-3 Radio Repeater System. This module provides digital and/or analog paging capability for Daniels MT-3 transmitters in all supported frequency bands.

The CI-PM-3 is designed for low power consumption, typically drawing less than 300 mA in steady state. In its standard configuration, the CI-PM-3 uses an on-board frequency reference source consisting of a 10 MHz OCXO with a standard stability of 0.03 ppm. However for high stability applications such as Simulcast, the CI-PM-3 Paging Modulator may be configured to use an external high stability reference source to discipline the on-board phase-locked loop OCXO oscillator. Furthermore, to ensure that paging signals are the same relative to each transmitter in a Simulcast application, the CI-PM-3 also incorporates limited delay compensation for the different link propagation paths between transmitters.

The CI-PM-3 Paging Modulator supports both analog and digital paging formats and can transmit POCSAG and other 2-level modulation schemes at data transfer rates of 512, 1200, and 2400 Baud. It can also be configured for use as a data repeater whereby 2-level paging data is recovered, re-shaped and the re-transmitted to an additional repeater/paging transmitter. As well, the Paging Modulator is capable of supporting 4-level modulation formats in non-repeater mode at data transfer rates up to 1600 bps. Each of the four modulation deviation levels can be independently set which makes the CI-PM-3 suitable for use in pager signaling schemes such as Motorola's FLEX™ Paging Protocol. It is also compatible with PURC controller systems.

Daniels Electronics is located in Victoria, BC Canada.

www.danelec.com


NETFLOW
Billing Software

billing software screen shot

Richard Starck, President of NETFLOW, was showing ProfitPlu$, a versatile pager management system that features single entry pager activation and billing. With the Zetron interface and default terminal/frequency settings, ProfitPlu$ streamlines the time involved with pager sales and service.

I met Rick and his lovely wife Linda. They are nice folks. If you need a billing system, take a look at this one and let me know what you think.

www.netflow-usa.com


Zetron

photo os steve walters of zetron

This is Steve Walters, paging products manager at Zetron showing some of Zetron's many communications systems products. Steve is a great guy with a great family, and he is very knowledgeable about paging.

www.zetron.com


Wisco International

photo of reggie chauvet

 

Mr. Reginald Chauvet is president of Wisco International, a consulting and export company in Miami and BIPCOM, a paging company in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Reggie has been friend and colleague of mine for many years—a great guy!

www.wiscointl.com



Tait Electronics, Ltd.

photo of tait sign at iwce

It was a joy to find out that Linda Smith has just joined Tait Electronics and will be moving from Florida to Tait's corporate headquarters in New Zealand. Linda is one of my favorite people. She is a real marketing professional and reported to me at Motorola paging when I was the international market development manager. Good luck in your new position Linda! Congratulations to our friends at Tait Electronics for making a good choice.

www.taitworld.com


Tait Electronics, Ltd.

tait radio panel photo

It was good to find Tait Electronics, the famous Radio Communications manufacturer from New Zealand, at the show with a big booth, lots of equipment and nice people. They are renewing their presence in the US market. Since I am mainly interested in paging, I took a photo of their paging transmitter (above).

This is the T800 Series II Paging Transmitter

  • Power amplifiers up to 200 watts
  • Driver modules may be used with OEM power amplifiers
  • Simulcast compatible
  • Option for external frequency reference
  • Configurable broadcast delay for network usage
  • Compliant for may formats
  • Wide frequency coverage
  • Solutions for Tone/voice combined with data paging
  • Enhanced remote access with optional T803 Tone Remote

Tait Electronics Ltd., is located in Christchurch, New Zealand. They have offices and dealers all over the world.

www.taitworld.com


MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Legacy Technology Solutions LLCleft arrowCLICK

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 sometimes have good deals on reconditioned paging equipment as well. Check with them for current product availability. You can send Virgil an e-mail by clicking on the Legacy Technology name above.


Would you like to put something in the newsletter?

If you have any wireless equipment that you would like to buy or sell, please let me know. Everything that is offered for sale in this newsletter is on the honor system. There is no charge for the listing, but if a sale is made, 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.

brad@braddye.com left arrow CLICK TO MAIL


outr net logo

CUSTOM APPLICATIONS

handhelds image

For All Popular Wireless Handhelds

For more information contact me directly, and please check out their web site at: www.outr.netleft arrow CLICK


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

 


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.

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


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!


nolia 3390 image

Nokia GSM Phones

I am able to offer up to 20,000 units (per month) brand-new Nokia GSM phones (model #3390) 1900 MHz, to anyone from outside of the USA. These phones are all ESN unlocked. All phones must be exported, and are in original-new boxes and have never been used. Price is very low and depends on quantity—heavy discounts are possible. Let's make a deal. Other new models are available as well.

I also have some great deals on refurbished phones. They are Sony-Ericsson, Nokia, Siemens, Mitsubishi, Samsung, LG, and Motorola—a mix of CDMA and GSM phones.

brad@braddye.com left arrow CLICK TO GET MOST RECENT LIST

 

 


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 Communications Level 1 A basic ReFLEX transceiver, sending and receiving serial RS-232 ASCII data.
Telemetry (Alarm and Control) Level 2 An enhanced ReFLEX transceiver, monitoring alarms from a remote site, and sending commands to the remote site.
Asset or Fleet Tracking Level 3 An enhanced ReFLEX transceiver, with the addition of a GPS module for the reporting of accurate locations to enable tracking.
Field Force Automation Level 4 An 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, give me a call so we can discuss it.

Motorola Keynote Voice & Numeric Pager

Do you remember the Motorola Keynote pager? There was a model that included both voice and numeric display paging in the same unit. I have a customer that needs several hundred of these pagers. They haven't been manufactured for ten years now. The frequency is 149.185 MHz but anything is this VHF sub-band would be OK—the pagers can be re-crystalized. If you know where I can find some of these pagers, please send me an e-mail. Surely there is a big box full of these in a back room somewhere.

brad@braddye.com left arrow CLICK TO MAIL


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)—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.



There are probably some errors in this week's newsletter. I put it together in a hurry. . . I hope nothing major. Sorry if I got anyone's name wrong. Please send me any corrections or clarifications and I will happy to make it right. C U L8er.

UNTIL NEXT WEEK

brad photo

With best regards,

brad's signature

Brad Dye
WIRELESS DATA CONSULTANT



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FLEX, ReFLEX, and InFLEXion, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Motorola, Inc.
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