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FRIDAY - MARCH 19, 2004 - ISSUE NO. 103

Dear wireless colleagues and friends of paging,

There is a very interesting press release this week about a new paging service in Europe known as PAP or Professional Alerting of Population. It is being spearheaded by some well-known industry leaders like Dr. Dietmar Gollnick in Germany, Jacques Couvas in Switzerland, and Derek Banner in the UK. Interest is running high for this service after the unfortunate terrorist attacks against the Spanish railways. I have long been a proponent of this type of service, and of using pager-like devices connected to LED signs to alert the public—like our "Amber" alert system here in the USA. In today's world, this is a much-needed service.

The other big news is about one of our advertisers, ISC Technologies. They have been the authorized repair center for Glenayre paging infrastructure products since May of last year. Now they are going to start manufacturing Glenayre products again—using the same people in the same buildings as before. As announced three weeks ago, GTES will be taking care of the software and now ISC will be manufacturing the hardware. Glenayre had promised the paging industry that they wouldn't leave them without support. I am glad to see that they kept their promise. This will be good for our industry.

We have the agenda following for the Paging Technical Committee meeting at IWCE in Las Vegas next week. This is a great group of dedicated engineers who are working hard to support the paging industry. They all deserve our support and encouragement.

We have additional information about Metrocall's health and well being this week:

Metrocall reported an increase of 451,518 units in service for the fourth quarter over the third quarter including 634,000 units on hand attributable to Weblink operations. Total units in service on December 31, 2003 were approximately 3,465,000 comprised of 3,105,000 traditional and 360,000 advanced messaging units in service.

Next Friday's newsletter will not be out until Saturday or Sunday due to the show in Las Vegas. I am taking the red-eye special back on Friday night, arriving early Saturday morning. Expect some interesting news and photos. Now on to this week's news and views.

large newsletter logo

Keeping Paging Alive

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 apology.

A new issue of the Paging and Wireless Data Newsletter gets posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon Eastern US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the Internet. That way it doesn't fill up your incoming e-mail account.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world's major paging and wireless data companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers, so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It's all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

I regularly get reader's comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the paging, and wireless data communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my website.

NOTE: This newsletter is best viewed at screen resolutions of 800x600 (good) or 1024x768 (better). Any current revision of web browser should work fine. Please notify me of any problems with viewing. This site is compliant with XHTML 1.0 transitional coding for easy access from wireless devices. (XML 1.0 / ISO 8859-1


IWCE Las Vegas—I will be there next week in the Prism Systems International booth #9077 along with my friends and colleagues Jim Nelson and Ron Mercer. I want to extend a cordial invitation to all of my readers, to stop by to meet us and get acquainted.

IWCE and PTC NEWS and EVENTS

Paging Technical Committee Meeting
March 25, 2004
Hosted by Unication

Here is the agenda for the PTC meeting next week on March 25.  The meeting will start promptly at 8:00 AM.  We should be in room N249 in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Thanks again to Unication for their sponsorship of this meeting. If you have not yet done so, please remember to send me an e-mail if you will be attending.

Thanks,
Stephen Oshinsky
Phone: (601) 460-3449
<stephen oshinsky e-mail>

Agenda ItemStartStopModerator
Welcome8:008:10Stephen Oshinsky
Sub-committee Reports:8:1012:00Various
DSG8:108:40John Deboer
PWG8:409:45Gagan Puranik
RXP9:4510:00James Dabbs
Break10:0010:15

1-way Subcommittee10:1511:15Alan Carle
Developer Community11:1511:30Kim Spitznagel
LUNCH11:3012:30

New Business12:3012:45Stephen Oshinsky
Technical Paper & Presentations12:452:00Various
Security Algorithms12:451:15Gagan Puranik & Allan Angus
1-way POCSAG Swissphone1:001:15Alan Carle
United Communications1:151:30Laura Murphy
Hospital Campus1:301:45Ron Mercer
Paging Network Evolution1:452:00Allan Angus & Gagan Puranik

Source: Courtesy of PTC Chairman Stephen Oshinsky.
Copy available on AAPC/PTC web site.


American Association of Paging Carriers

A reminder to the paging industry: the Paging Zone will once again be a feature of the IWCE show in Las Vegas next month; it is sponsored by the AAPC. You should plan to come to the Paging Zone at the show, and if you haven't already done so, join the AAPC. It is the only organization that is fighting for the issues affecting our industry.

iwce 2004

 

http://www.iwceexpo.com

IWCE 2004

Technology Workshops:
March 22-23, 2004

Conference & Exhibits:
March 24-26, 2004


PAGING AND WIRELESS DATA NEWS CLIPS FROM THE WEB

News Release

ISC Technologies contact:
Tim Anderson 217-228-4173
anderson@illinoissignal.com

isc small logo

ISC Technologies Signs Manufacturing Licensing Agreement with Glenayre

Quincy, IL—March 16, 2004—I.S.C. Technologies, Inc. and Glenayre Electronics, Inc., a subsidiary of Glenayre Technologies, Inc. announced earlier this week that an agreement had been reached to provide ISC Technologies with the right to manufacture and distribute Glenayre’s paging infrastructure products. In May 2003 ISC obtained the rights from Glenayre to repair their paging infrastructure products and this agreement now also provides ISC with the ability to manufacture and distribute the complete Switch, RF and Control products associated with Glenayre’s discontinued paging operations.

ISC President Rich Houseweart stated, "We have been very pleased with the results we achieved through our initial repair agreement with Glenayre, and look forward to building on our past success with proven products. This latest agreement between ISC and Glenayre will allow paging service providers to expand existing paging networks and in some instances replace aging infrastructure with the latest field proven technology. ISC’s management and employees are committed to providing the paging industry with a long-term solution for the sales and support of paging infrastructure products."

ISC has also acquired certain assets, inventories and staff related to the discontinued paging operations. As part of the agreement, ISC subleased the manufacturing, warehousing and common spaces previously occupied by Glenayre’s paging operations, and hired the Glenayre employees associated with said operations. ISC will provide support for the paging hardware, and, as previously announced, the newly formed GTES LLC will support the software related to the discontinued products.

"ISC is confident that, based on a proven track record, we have one of the strongest product offerings in the industry and a top notch staff to support our customers after the sale," said Tim Anderson, Vice-President of ISC. "We are excited about the opportunity to provide the paging industry with field proven solutions that will allow them to expand and support their paging networks in the years to come. ISC employees have been involved with the wireless industry since it’s infancy and we are looking forward to working with old and new customers alike to meet their equipment needs."

ISC has been in the forefront of sales and repair of paging infrastructure from major manufacturers for over 6 years. Sales, manufacturing and support of the Glenayre product line will be integrated with existing maintenance and repair services presently being offered to wireless carriers. ISC remanufactures, repairs and markets a wide variety of paging infrastructure products including Skydata uplink and satellite receiver line and the EMS satellite receiver and network interface equipment.

ISC’s management and staff are veterans in the paging industry having been involved in all facets of manufacturing, sales, support and installation of paging products both domestically and abroad. ISC, headquartered in Quincy, IL, has manufacturing and repair facilities in Quincy, IL and Lewisville, TX. For more information on ISC’s products and service offerings please contact our sales team at 888-223-4028, 217-221-0985 or visit the ISC website at www.4isctech.com.

Source: Complements of ISC Technologies


European Professional Alerting of Population (PAP) Launched by Mobile Messaging Operators.

Hanover, March 12.

Five European wireless messaging operators and two industry associations today announced the formation of a task force aiming at the large-scale implementation of a highly effective population alerting program to prevent and minimize human casualties and material damage in case of public emergencies.

The program, known as PAP or Professional Alerting of Population, is sponsored by the public paging operators in the UK, France and Germany, and by the Wireless Messaging Association (WMA) and the European Mobile Messaging Association (EMMA), but other network operators, telecommunications equipment manufacturers and governmental agencies will be joining later this year.

“In today’s times when there are grave threats from terrorism, ever increasing dangers from natural disasters, and huge industrial accidents, there have never been more compelling reasons to provide local, regional, and national warnings to the population”, said Dr. Dietmar Gollnick, CEO of e*Message, a leading provider of mobile messaging in France and Germany.

According to Derek Banner, Chairman of the UK-based WMA, the requirements of a service for alerting the population in times of danger are the following:

  • very short message delivery times i.e. less than one minute even at times of enormous system load,
  • very high probability (at least 99%) that the message is delivered correctly,
  • very small, light, robust portable terminals that consume minimal energy,
  • the technology needs to be very reliable, and
  • the implementation needs to be inexpensive.

“The PAP program will satisfy all these prerequisites, thanks to the proven technology used and the solid experience of our Members”, emphasized Jacques Couvas, Chairman of the Geneva-based EMMA. “ The European Mobile Messaging Association fully supports this initiative and we expect that more than 20 operators and solution providers will participate in the project. This week’s terrorist attacks against the Spanish railways illustrates once more that no country is immune against major disasters”, concluded Couvas.

The task force will initiate a series of discussions with local, national and EU agencies in view of unifying efforts and methodology for the implementation of the PAP program on European scale.

— END —

Background Information
In an earlier authoritative publication, e.g. the first document of the “Deutsche Bundeszentrale für Zivilschutz” (German Department of Civil Defense) after 11th of September, Professional Alerting has been identified as an exceedingly capable medium for warning the population in times of danger from any cause. The UK-based Wireless Messaging Association (WMA), which represents paging operators and manufacturers in the UK, and the e*Message Group, which is market leader in France and Germany thoroughly supports this view. The supply of PAP services provided by the two partners covers almost all of France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with other European partners almost the whole of Europe could be covered easily and inexpensively.

The Geneva-based European Mobile Messaging Association, formed in January 1994, represents mobile messaging and paging operators, manufacturers and solution providers in Europe, and regularly advises the European Commission and transnational agencies on wireless communications issues.

WMA and e*Message have agreed to jointly present the initiative for PAP to the responsible parties in the European Union. The proposition of PAP targets the short-term supply of mobile warning services within 2 years, which would reach 50% of the population. The initiative will be supported by the European Mobile Messaging Association (EMMA). A “White Paper: Professional Alerting of Population” is in the process of preparation in order to initiate the lobbying process in Brussels.

Contacts:

  • e*Message: Dietmar Gollnick, +49 30 41 71 20 11 d.gollnick@emessage.de
  • EMMA: Jacques Couvas +41 22 747 7833 jcouvas@compuserve.com
  • WMA: Derek Banner +44 1895 82 02 68 derek.banner@wirelessmessaging.com
  • Web site: www.emma-info.com

Issued by the European Mobile Messaging Association. 12-03-2004
© Copyright 2004 EMMA, WMA, e*Message GmbH. All rights reserved.
Source: Press Release, complements of: e*message GmbH


EUROPEAN PAGING CONTACTS WEB SITES
EMMA (European Mobile Messaging Association) http://www.emma-info.com/home1.html
WMA (Wireless Messaging Association)http://www.wirelessmessaging.org
e*message (Wireless Information Services) http://www.emessage.de/de/index.html

More On Metrocall's 4Q Financial Report

Metrocall Reports Operating Results of Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2003

Quarterly Revenues Increase to $87.1 million

Alexandria, VA, Monday, March 15, 2004 - Metrocall Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: MTOH), a leading provider of paging and two-way wireless messaging, today announced total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2003 of $87.1 million and total revenues for 2003 of $336.9 million. Net income available to common stockholders was $2.0 million and $10.9 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2003, respectively.

On November 18, 2003, Metrocall acquired the substantial majority of the operating assets of Weblink Wireless, Inc. and subsidiaries. The operating results from these assets were included in Metrocall’s consolidated results of operations from November 18 to December 31, 2003. As such, fourth quarter revenues of $87.1 million consisted of $78.0 million from Metrocall’s legacy operations and $9.1 million from the Weblink acquired operations.

Operating expenses including service, rent and maintenance, cost of products sold, selling and marketing and general and administrative expenses for the fourth quarter of 2003 totaled $60.1 million, including general and administrative expenses of stock-based compensation costs of $0.7 million. Of the fourth quarter expenses, approximately $50.4 million and $9.7 million were related to legacy Metrocall operations and the Weblink acquired operations, respectively. Had the asset purchase not occurred, Weblink revenue and Metrocall operating expenses would have been approximately $2.0 million higher as a result of costs that would have been incurred by Metrocall to utilize the Weblink network.

Metrocall reported basic and diluted earnings per share available for common stockholders of $0.39 and $0.37 per share, respectively, for the fourth quarter and $2.17 and $2.11 per share for the year ended December 31, 2003. Cash balances were $35.6 million on December 31, 2003.

“Our fourth quarter and fiscal year results reflect our continued focus on business and enterprise based accounts as well as our commitment to providing superior customer service while running an efficient, low cost operation,” stated Vincent D. Kelly, President & CEO of Metrocall Holdings. “These results were also affected by the acquisition of the major assets of Weblink Wireless on November 18th. As the integration of the former Weblink operations continues, we expect the operating expenses of the combined company to continue to decrease throughout 2004 relative to the synergies that will be realized.”

Metrocall reported an increase of 451,518 units in service for the fourth quarter over the third quarter including 634,000 units on hand attributable to Weblink operations. Total units in service on December 31, 2003 were approximately 3,465,000 comprised of 3,105,000 traditional and 360,000 advanced messaging units in service. Average revenue per direct and indirect unit in service was $7.09 for traditional and $22.17 for advanced messaging at the end of the fourth quarter of 2003, representing an increase in traditional ARPU of $0.03 per unit and a decrease of advanced messaging ARPU of $2.46 per unit respectively, as compared to the end of the third quarter of 2003.

Said Kelly, “In addition to significant reductions in operating expenses, since the beginning of 2003 our financial condition has strengthened due to the retirement in full of approximately $81.5 million aggregate principal amount of Metrocall’s long-term debt securities and the redemption of $40 million of our series A preferred stock, including a redemption payment made in January 2004. Following the recently announced $20 million series A preferred stock redemption, to occur on March 31, 2004, Metrocall will have made payments representing 95% of the Company’s aggregate debt and preferred stock obligations related to our 2002 reorganization.”

Metrocall's operating results include separate results and cash flows prior to its emergence from bankruptcy on October 8, 2002 (the Predecessor Company), as well as operating results and cash flows after its emergence from bankruptcy (the Reorganized Company), reflecting the application of "fresh-start" accounting that resulted from the Company's Chapter 11 reorganization. Consequently, and due to other reorganization-related events and adjustments, the Predecessor Company's financial statements, share and per share information for the twelve months ended December 31, 2002 are not comparable to the Reorganized Company's financial statements for the twelve months ended December 31, 2003. In addition, all share and per share amounts of the Reorganized Company give effect to the 5 for 1 common stock split effected through a common stock dividend on October 16, 2003.

Source: Metrocall Press Release left arrow CLICK HERE FOR THE DETAILED FINANCIAL REPORT


FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Advertiser Index
AAPC—American Association of Paging Carriers Multitone Electronics
Advanced RF CommunicationsOutr.net
Advantra International Infostream Pty. Ltd.
Amtel Wireless Jerry Griffith
Cassel & Associates 
Commtech Wireless USA Preferred Wireless
CONTEL Prism Systems International
Daviscomms USA Programming Concepts
DX Radio Systems Ron Mercer
Enrique Llaca—Authentium rep. in Mexico Selective Communications
Global Fax Network Services Swissphone Wireless
GTES Inc. TGA Technologies
Hark Systems The Wireless Watchman
ISC Technologies UCOM Paging
Motorola Inc.Zetron Inc.
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indiana paging

Download Mr. Mercer's resumé. left arrow CLICK HERE 
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Motorola Introduces Two New Pagers Ideal for Health Care, Hospitality, Manufacturing, and Utilities Markets

Motorola's newest one-way pagers—the Advisor II pager and the LS355 pager—are ideal for users in demanding business environments who need a convenient and cost effective way to stay in touch.

Both the Advisor II pager and the LS355 pager were developed for use in hospitals and medical facilities, manufacturing environments, utilities, hospitality applications, campus settings, and for businesses that own and operate their own paging systems.

advisor 2 The Advisor II pager's alphanumeric four-line display and expanded functionality incorporate many of the most advanced paging features available. A major advantage of the Advisor II pager is that it is synthesized which enables the user to program the pager to a specific frequency in the field. Other features of the Advisor II pager include:

  • Displays up to four lines of text and 80 characters per line
  • Zooms in on two lines for larger view
  • Optimax® EL Electra Light for optimum readability
  • 52 message slots for storing multiple pages
  • Two notebook areas, including a personal notebook and a mail drop notebook

ls355 The LS355 numeric pager enables users to receive a "call-back" number that can be returned at the user's convenience. This pager has a one-button design for ease of use. Features of the new LS355 pager include:

  • 16 message slots for storing multiple pages
  • Six individual addresses to allow the user to receive individual or group pages
  • 4 icons including Message Preview, Unread Message Indication, Alert Mode, and Out of Range Indication
  • Saves messages when off or when the battery is being changed and offers the time and date when on standby
  • RS232 programmable to allow for programming changes in the field

Both the Advisor II pager and the LS355 pager are available in POCSAG, UHF or VHF models and ship with a one-year standard warranty. As part of the continued support of these pagers, Motorola offers a two-year Express Service Plus program. This feature provides hardware repair coverage for two years beyond the standard one-year warranty for a total of three years of pager repair coverage. Both pagers are available through Motorola Authorized Resellers.

MOTOROLA and the Stylized M Logo are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. © Motorola, Inc. 2003.

See you at the IWCE show in
Las Vegas
booth number 10075

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swissphone excellence
quattrino pager

two tone pager
QUATTRINO RE529

  • Reliable operation
  • Flexible programming
  • Weather resistant

A fast and reliable alarming system is an indisputable prerequisite for emergency fire and rescue services to respond successfully and efficiently. State-of-the-art paging enables groups as well as individuals to be alerted.

The Quattrino Voice and Memo two tone pagers are suitable for everyone, even for those working in an emergency during severe weather conditions. Continual further development of previous popular models has resulted in a practical, reliable and user-friendly device, innovatively housed with ergonomic operating controls. Design elements include a very long standby function and weather proofing to the European IP54 specifications.

I am an authorized Manufacturer Representative for Swissphone. Please contact me directly for any additional information. left arrow CLICK

advanced rf logoiwce 2004 logo

Why upgrade your outdated paging terminal hardware when you can replace with PRISM Systems International products that feature non-proprietary COTS components?

Advanced RF Communications will be in the Prism Systems International booth #9077 at the International Wireless Communications Expo.

Stop by and meet us to learn more about the superior features included in the PRISM line of:

  • One-way paging terminals, encoders & voicemail systems.
  • T1/E1 switches, TNPP routers & TAP concentrators.
  • SNAP Server email message switch.

Advanced RF Communications will also demonstrate a live ReFLEX™ two-way data messaging system powered by the TGA SparkGap two-way messaging terminal. Subscriber equipment from several manufacturers will be available for live two-way messaging demos.

Advanced RF Communications offers a complete line of products and services for one and two-way paging/data messaging systems. Services include:

  • Simulcast RF coverage design, verification and optimization services for one and two-way paging systems.
  • Design of GPS-synchronized simulcast tone & voice and digital one-way paging systems and two-way digital paging/messaging systems.
  • System integration of dispatch, email, mobile data, status/messaging, SCADA, meter reading, load management and telemetry services.
  • System design, installation and maintenance by experienced paging engineers and technicians.
CONTACT
Advanced RF Communications, Inc.
301 Oak Street—Suite 2-46A
Quincy, IL 62301 USA
For further information please contact:
Fred Pakosta or Jim Neves
Telephone/Fax: 217-221-9500
E-mail: sales@advancedrf.biz
left arrow CLICK
Web: www.advancedrf.biz
left arrow CLICK

Need a good paging engineer?

Jason Loefer is looking for a job.

Atlanta Area

Download his resumé here.

Tell a friend about the newsletter.

— It's free —

authentium

Authentium's COMMAND Antivirus™

COMMAND Antivirus™ is used by leading education institutions, Fortune 500 companies and government agencies for one simple reason - it works. Based on the proven F-Prot engine and developed continuously over a period of more than ten years, COMMAND Antivirus™ deploys more easily, detects more viruses (and potential viruses), handles more file extensions, and returns fewer false positives than competing antivirus products.

Authentium's new representative for Mexico:

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Mexico City
Telephone: 011 52 55 53734241

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Wireless Telemetry

wireless watchman logo
Data CommunicationsLevel 1A basic ReFLEX transceiver, sending and receiving serial RS-232 ASCII data.
Telemetry Remote Monitoring and ControlLevel 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.
We 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 about it. ()
WANTEDWANTED

Thank you to all of Brad's readers who provided equipment and leads for my last want list.  I continue to search out and recreate early wireless e-mail systems from the 80s and 90s and am looking to acquire the following:

  • CE Software's QuickMail Server from, or prior to 1995 on any OS c/w documentation.
  • MobileVision server plug-in for QuickMail server  c/w documentation.
  • Working MOTOROLA MARCO with MobileVision client c/w user guide documentation.
  • Motorola AirMobile software.  Both client and server apps.
  • Working NEC D4 or D7 alphas on any band.   RS232/Printer interface.  Any user manuals or brochures.
  • Early Motorola ADVISOR PrintPals c/w Version 1.0 PC software and documentation for reading the  Advisor.
  • Complete IBM KDT based DCS terminals, documentation, user manuals, anything associated with the IBM KDT based DCS system.
  • MOTOROLA PAGER CARD the PCMCIA pager card from Motorola on any frequency.  Also looking for any documentation and software for the pager card.

If you have any of the above or a lead on same please contact us.

Cassel & Associates
e-mail:  paul@ve3sy.com
Phone: (519) 634-5139

aapc logo

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 we will perish individually. If you want to get involved, please click here. Come and join us! The AAPC "newsroom" is a great source of information. The AAPC also hosts the Paging Technical Committee site. There is a lot of good paging industry information here.

join aapc

Click on the logo above to get a membership application.

Zetron Simulcast System

High-speed simulcast paging with protocols such as POCSAG and FLEX™ requires microsecond accuracy to synchronize the transmission of digital paging signals.

zetron simulcast

Zetron's Simulcast System uses GPS timing information to ensure that the broadcasted transmissions between the nodes of the Simulcast System and associated transmitters are synchronized to very tight tolerances.

This system is ideal for public or private paging system operators that use multiple transmitters and wish to create new paging systems or to build out existing systems into new regions. For more information about Zetron's High Speed Simulcast Paging System, the Model 600 and Model 620, go to:

www.zetron.com/paging. left arrow CLICK HERE

CONTACT
Zetron, Inc.
P.O. Box 97004
Redmond, WA 98073-9704 USA
Tel: 425-820-6363
Fax: 425-820-7031
E-mail: zetron@zetron.com
left arrow CLICK

prism logo

IWCE Las Vegas booth #9077

Prism Message Gateway Systems
Modular and Configurable

Your Choice of Options

  • Radio Paging Terminals
  • Voicemail Systems
  • Email and Network Text Messaging Systems
  • Digital Trunk Switching Systems
  • Digital Trunk and Voicemail Concentrators
  • Remote Network Encoders
  • TNPP Network Routers

Popular Choice for Domestic and International

  • Commercial Paging Carriers
  • Private Paging Systems
  • Hospitals
  • Public Safety
  • Federal, State and Local Government
  • Industrial Paging
  • Energy Companies – Load Management

Logical Choice

  • Replace Outdated, UNLICENSED Paging Terminals
  • Eliminate Outrageously High Support Costs
  • Add New Paging System with ALL THE FEATURES
  • Provide Your Customers With Features They Want
  • Designed and Supported by Industry Experts

Go ahead… be choosy… choose Prism Systems International

CONTACT
Prism Systems International, Inc.
300 Colonial Center Parkway,
Suite 100
Roswell, Georgia 30076 USA
Telephone: 678-353-3366
Internet: www.prismpaging.com
E-mail: info@prismpaging.com
commtech wireless

MAXPage
It's like a Motorola PeopleFinder™ on Steroids!

MAXPage
More information

Commtech Wireless introduces MAXPage, a desktop paging terminal packed with features.

Alpha, Numeric, Tone, & Voice
MAXPage, from Commtech Wireless, is the ideal replacement for the Motorola PeopleFinder™. With its advanced features, it can be used with Alphanumeric, Numeric, Tone only, Coaster pagers as well as 2-tone voice pagers in countless applications.

Serial Interface
With the inclusion of a serial interface, MAXPage can interface with Comp, TAP, Scope™, Waveware & Tekk systems as well as Commtech's Wireless Callpoints.

Telephone Interface
Anyone can be given easy access to the MAXPage system through its telephone interface. Once the system is connected to a telephone port, anyone can pick up a telephone, dial the MAXPage unit and use the keypad on their phone to send messages to pagers. The telephone can also be used to transmit voice messages to 2-tone voice pagers.

Alarm Inputs
A powerful feature of MAXPage is its onboard alarms. The four, dry contact closure, onboard alarm inputs will automatically dispatch messages to pagers or groups when activated. Alarms not cleared within a configured time frame can activate a repeat message (escalation) to either the same pager/group or to an alternative pager/group.

Features*

  • 1000 Pager capacity
  • Selectable 2 or 4 watt transmitter
  • Reminder messages
  • Dual mode function keys - one touch messaging
  • 2-tone voice paging - from on-board mic or telephone
  • 4 alarm inputs
  • Voice prompted telephone paging
  • QWERTY keyboard interface (PS2)
  • Windows® interface for advanced features
  • Serial interface for Comp/TAP/Scope™/Waveware/Tekk
  • Coaster paging management system

*Some of the features listed are optional and are not supplied as standard

For more information, simply fill out the feedback form or contact us on the details below.

CONTACT
Mr. Zane Lewis
Commtech Wireless USA
6900 Philips Highway, Suite #26-27
Jacksonville, FL, 32216
Phone: 904-281-0073
Fax: 904-281-0074
E-mail: sales@commtechwireless.com
Web: www.commtechwireless.com

SPECIAL OFFER

The RIM 957 has a large, high-resolution display screen. This data-only handheld also offers:

RIM 957

rim 957

  • Integrated e-mail/organizer software
  • Intel 386 processor
  • 5 MB of memory
  • Large screen optimized for viewing of data
  • Was developed for Mobitex networks and operates on 900 MHz.

Wynn & Associates is offering a special discount on these RIM (data only) units to readers of this newsletter. Please call 301-292-3030 or e-mail and mention The Paging and Wireless Data Newsletter to receive this special offer.

 

isc logo

ISC Technologies is the industry leader in the pre-owned Paging equipment marketplace. We specialize in purchasing, reconditioning, reconfiguring and sales of quality paging infrastructure. We can customize and configure equipment at a fraction of the cost of new. All equipment carries a standard warranty to insure your trouble free operation.

At ISC Technologies we service what we sell and more. Our factory-trained technicians repair most Quintron, Glenayre, Motorola, and Skydata equipment. All of our repairs are done on a Time and Material basis, saving you money over flat rate repair. From vacuum tubes to surface mount equipment, we are ready to handle your repair needs quickly and cost effectively.

Glenayre’s only licensed repair facility!

isc glenayre logo

CONTACTS
Chris Kephart
888-645-7545
972-221-4528
ckephart@mckcom.com
left arrow CLICK
Ken Knapp
888-223-4028
217-221-0985
kknapp@4isctech.com
left arrow CLICK
Web: www.4isctech.com left arrow CLICK
SECOND TERM SUPPORTER

hark logo

Wireless Communication Solutions

Hark Systems has provided the wireless industry with innovative products for over 20 years. The Omega family of products continues that tradition.

The Omega Gateway performs the function of a TAP Concentrator, a TNPP Router, and an Internet Paging Gateway. This allows the paging operator with TAP and TNPP connections to their paging network to offer e-mail and Internet based paging services. Any message coming in via any supported protocol (SMTP, SNPP, TAP, TNPP, HTTP) can be converted to another protocol and sent. Pages can also be sent to e-mail boxes for safe keeping. Subscribers can log on with a web browser and view stored alpha messages. The TNPP router function has the most extensive routing and filtering capabilities in the market today. The Internet Gateway also has extensive anti-SPAM and other selective filtering options to protect your system. The Gateway is available as a turnkey system or software only.

The Omega Unified Messaging Platform gives you the competitive edge by offering the ability to bundle a variety of services that can include Voicemail, FAXmail and e-mail as part of customized subscriber packages. Subscribers can view faxes, listen to voicemails, and modify features using a common browser. System administration can also be performed remotely as well as locally. This robust set of features allows the system operator to build a profit center with low initial expense and expand as needed

hark messaging

CONTACT
Hark Systems, Inc.
2675 Lake Park Drive
N. Charleston, SC 29406
Tel: +1 800-367-4275
or 843-764-1560 ext. 8104
Fax: +1 843-764-3692
E-mail: leanne@harksystems.com
left arrow CLICK
Web: http://www.harksystems.com
left arrow CLICK
SECOND TERM SUPPORTER

Paging Technician

Mark Hood mehood@cox.net
Telephone: 757-588-0537

Paging Field Engineer/Electronic technician in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area.
Download resumé here. left arrow CLICK

CALL CENTER

contel poster

Please click on the image above for more information.

daviscomms usa

  • ISO 9001 - 2000 certified manufacturing facility.
  • THE High-Quality RF design and Contract Manufacturer of choice.
  • Do you have a product or product component that you would like to have manufactured?
  • Would you like to have us design and manufacture a product just for you?
  • Would you like to know firsthand that your contract manufacturer is one of the leading providers of service with the highest degree of quality in mind?

Daviscomms USA Inc. is your direct connection to Daviscomms (S) Pte Ltd., the leading pager manufacturer in the world with many years experience in Engineering, Design, and Manufacturing of highly-reliable, premium-quality FLEX and POCSAG Alphanumeric and Numeric pagers. Daviscomms offers unparalleled quality, features and functions. We perform our own stringent quality testing as well as certification by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to meet all of their standards. All of our paging products meet FCC and IC Standards for use in the USA and Canada.

Our manufacturing facility, located in Malaysia, is a 40,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility. Customers, globally, choose Daviscomms for our QUALITY, RELIABILITY, ON-TIME DELIVERY, COMPETITIVE PRICING and our TOTAL COMMITMENT to providing the best value for their needs.

BR501 PLUS
Br501plus
Numeric
We offer full product support (ODM/OEM) for our worldwide customers, including a complete design center, research facilities, proto-typing, field services, contract manufacturing, commodity sourcing, and distribution.
In addition to both Numeric and Alphanumeric pagers, we have designed, engineered and manufactured 1-way Telemetry devices, paging receivers, 2-way paging (ReFLEX) telemetry devices, DECT phones/devices and PDA accessories.bravo 800 pager
Bravo 800
Alphanumeric

At Daviscomms, we are proud to provide our customers with end-to-end manufacturing solutions while delivering superior quality and support. Daviscomms is at the forefront of the industry with its commitment to leading-edge technology, cost-effective manufacturing and the highest degree of customer service.

Daviscomms delivers low cost, high volume manufacturing solutions to our customers. We help maximize time-to-market objectives while minimizing procurement, materials management, and manufacturing costs.

For information about our contract manufacturing services or our Bravo-branded line of numeric and alphanumeric pagers, please call Bob Popow, our Director of Operations for the Americas, 480-515-2344. (Scottsdale, Arizona) or visit our website www.daviscommsusa.com.

pci logo

Programming
Concepts, Inc.

Since 1979

RTS Wireless ADVX System
Support and Enhancements

Programming Concepts, Inc. provides authorized RTS ADVX Wireless Gateway Support & Enhancements. Our RTS lab includes source code control, development tools, and test beds for all deployed RTS systems. Call now to sign-up for our first class support of your aging RTS system. More info ...

PCI (www.programmingconcepts.com) has been in business for 24 years providing custom application programming for medium to large businesses. PCI's primary business segments include web enabled application development, financial industry systems, telephony (IVR, CTI, and Wireless), Secure Enterprise Instant Messaging System, Microsoft Customer Relationship Management (MS-CRM) Applications, and a wide variety of commercial applications.

Contact Sales sales@programmingconcepts.com
or 631-563-3800 x220.

DX Radio Systems

dx radio systems

DX Radio Systems, Inc. manufactures high quality, high specification type communications products. The following is a list of products that DX Radio Systems, Inc. manufactures or supplies as a single supplied product and can be included as part of a turnkey system:

  • Repeaters
  • Repeater Systems
  • Paging Transmitters
  • Paging Systems
  • LTR & MPT1327 Trunking Systems
  • MPT1327 Trunking Repeaters
  • SmarTrunk II Trunking Repeaters
  • Complete Trunking Systems
  • Airport Ground to Air Base Radios
  • Airport Ground to Air Systems
  • Rural Radiotelephone Link Systems
  • Antenna Systems
  • Combining Systems
  • Complete Turnkey Systems
  • Engineering & Installation of All Systems

Performance that is tough to find anywhere at a price you can afford.

CONTACT
DX Radio Systems, Inc.
10941 Pendleton Street
Sun Valley, California 91352-1522 USA
Telephone: 818-252-6700
Fax: 818-252-6711
E-mail: Info@DXRadioSystems.com
left arrow CLICK
Web: www.dxradiosystems.com
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MORE WIRELESS NEWS

Your Trekkie Communicator Is Ready

03.16.04, 3:00 PM ET

NEW YORK - It's no accident that the conference rooms at Vocera Communications headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., are named after characters from the Star Trek universe—Kirk, Spock and Picard.

Just as the communicators that Captain Kirk carried down to alien planets in the 1960s version of the Viacom (nyse: VIAb - news - people) TV show foreshadowed a world with ubiquitous mobile telephones, the two-ounce badge central to the Vocera Communications System was inspired at least in part by the "com badges" that appeared on later versions of the show. Just as Captain Picard would do, Vocera badge wearers can touch the slim device they wear on their uniforms, say who they want to talk to and, assuming that person is wearing his badge, be connected.

The badge contains two chips, one a digital signal processor chip from Texas Instruments (nyse: TXN - news - people ), the other a fairly unremarkable wi-fi radio not terribly dissimilar from those found in any Wi-Fi networking card used in a laptop PC. The TI chip handles all the voice processing and the wi-fi radio transmits them up to a computer network.

That's where the real work takes place. Hitting the badge button and saying a name triggers a powerful server-based application that matches the name spoken with a database entry. It then locates that person on the network, activates their badges and starts the conversation, which takes place using Voice-Over-Internet Protocol or VOIP—meaning the voices are converted to bits and transmitted over a computer network.

vocer communicatorThe Vocera badge has been available only for a year. Brent Lang, a vice president at the privately held company, says the company has 60 customers using it, and more than 40 of them are hospitals or health care providers.

"Once we had a prototype, we started doing research into who might want to use a product like this," Lang says. "At one point we had nothing more than a bunch of PowerPoint slides, that we showed to health care organizations, and we had nurses in tears saying 'Where has this been all of my life?' "

It turns out that communication in a hospital is often an amazingly inefficient affair. Nurses and doctors spend a lot of time playing phone and page tag. Nurses need approvals for treatments from doctors who often aren't easy to find. Paging the doctor usually takes several minutes, by which time a nurse may have left the station where she was waiting. Then the whole process starts over until finally one catches up with the other.

With the Vocera badge, a nurse needs only to hit a button and say the name of a doctor. The request goes over the hospital's wireless network to the server, which then locates the appropriate doctor and delivers the message more or less instantly. If the doctor is available he or she can respond right back. If not, the nurse can ask for another doctor, by name or by specialty. Say "I need an anesthesiologist," and the server finds the nearest anesthesiologist and connects him.

All that time, otherwise lost waiting for instructions or other communication, adds up. One study by the First Consulting Group, a healthcare consultancy based in Long Beach, Calif., found that when the 300-bed St. Agnes Healthcare facility in Baltimore deployed the Vocera system, its nurses saved more than 1,100 hours a year, while the entire organization saved some 3,400 hours.

It's also easy to integrate the system with desktop phones and mobile phones. The database software allows the device to forward its messages to phones and pagers and also can accept calls forwarded from phones.

Vocera was launched four years ago by Robert Shostak, a software engineer who started a company called ANSA Software, now part of Borland (nasdaq: BORL - news - people). Vocera has investments from both Intel (nasdaq: INTC - news - people) and Cisco Systems (nasdaq: CSCO - news - people).

The company is next looking at deploying the technology with big retailers and manufacturing concerns. Vocera has been working on tests with both Target (nyse: TGT - news - people) and Best Buy (nyse: BBY - news - people). The U.S. Department of Defense is also showing interest. Sailors aboard the Navy's sea-based battle laboratory ship, the U.S.S. Coronado, have installed the Vocera system to speed up communications between crew members. And yes, Star Trek fans, there is, somewhere in that fictitious Federation Starfleet, a spaceship by the same name.

Source: Forbes.com

FEATURED ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER

TGA Technologies

tga ad

 

CONTACT
TGA Technologies, Inc.
100 Pinnacle Way, Suite 140
Norcross, Georgia 30071 USA
Tel: +1 770-441-2100
Fax: +1 770-449-7740
E-mail: sales@tga.com
left arrow CLICK HERE
Web: www.tga.com
left arrow CLICK HERE
SECOND TERM SUPPORTER

preferred logo

GL3000 Cards

  • RAM Cards, CPU’s, LCC, UOE, QVSB’s, T1s, DIDs, SIO, Drives, Almost any card you need—priced right.
  • TOWERS (NEW) Self supporting, Guyed, Monopoles, with all the hardware
  • Antenna Line Hanging kits, and misc hardware.

Transmitters

  • (12) Motorola Nucleus, 350W, VHF, Advanced Control
  • (2) Glenayre QT5994, 45W, 900 MHz Link TX, w/ Hot Standby
  • (1) Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX.
  • (3) Glenayre QT4201, 25W Midband Link TX.
  • (15) Glenayre RL70XC, Midband Link RX.
  • (10) Glenayre GLT5340, 125W UHF TX.
  • (75) Motorola PURC 5000, UHF, 110W, ACB
  • (12) Glenayre GLT85/8600, 250/500W, 900 MHz w/C2000
  • (5) Micor PURC UHF, 250W Complete – (Make Offer)

Motorola PURC UHF RF Trays & UHF 110W PAs, tested and ready to ship. Motorola PURC Advanced Control Units, tested and ready to ship.

TOO MUCH TO LIST • CALL OR E-MAIL
Rick McMichael
888-429-4171

rmcm@preferredwireless.com left arrow
CLICK
Mark Dawson
972-467-8188

markd@preferredwireless.com left arrow
CLICK
SECOND TERM SUPPORTER
gtes logo
GTES Corporate
2736 Stein Hill Lane
Custer, WA 98240
Tel: 360-366-3888
Cel: 360-820-3888
russ.allen@gtesinc.com
GTES Sales
870 Mountclaire Drive
Cumming, GA 30041
Tel: 678-947-5649
Cel: 770-598-4442
tim.hall@gtesinc.com

www.gtesinc.com
Your Professional Services Partner


GTES is the only Glenayre authorized software support provider to the paging industry.

The GTES team consists of highly qualified and seasoned associates who were formerly a part of Glenayre's paging infrastructure support and engineering operations. We are poised and ready to "Partner" with you to ensure the viability of your network, reduce your long-term cost of ownership, and to provide future solutions for profitability. GTES will offer product sales, maintenance services, software development and product development to the wireless industry.


GTES SUITE OF PRODUCTS

GTES Partner Program
Software and/or Hardware Support Programs

Product Sales
Software and Hardware Sales

On-Site Services
Upgrades, Relocations, Repairs, Consolidations

Software Development
New features, application development

Product Training
GL3000, GL3100, GL3200, GL3300, N2000, C2000


CALL US TODAY FOR YOUR SUPPORT NEEDS

selective logo

Intelligent Paging & Mobile Data Hardware & Software

{See us at IWCE 2004}

pdt 2000 image

Selective is a developer and manufacturer of highly innovative paging receiver/decoders and mobile data equipment. The PDT2000 Paging Data Terminal is a large display pager designed for desktop or in-vehicle mounting and is widely used by emergency services and in onsite paging systems for forklift dispatch etc. Our range of Paging Data devices and software products have multiple uses and capabilities including:

  • FLEX and POCSAG decoding
  • POCSAG encoding and transmitter control
  • Parallel printer output
  • Serial inputs & outputs
  • Relay control (1-256 or more)
  • PC interfacing and message management
  • Message interception & logging
  • Remote control
  • Cross band repeating & paging coverage infill
  • LED sign control
  • Remote printing etc.

selective products

Our mobile data equipment includes a range of Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) which may be interfaced to a variety of wireless networks including trunked and conventional radio, GPRS & CDMA cellular, Mobitex etc. Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and GPS solutions, Dispatch & Messaging software.   We offer mobile communications dealers and systems integrators a "fast to market" job dispatch and job management capability.

Specialised local area paging systems, paging interception and message reprocessing software, field force automation and mobile dispatch solutions. We export worldwide.

CONTACT
Postal
Address:
Selective Communications Group
PO Box 8798
Symonds St.
Auckland, New Zealand
Street
Address:
3/2 Haultain St.
Eden Tce
Auckland, New Zealand
Web site:
E-mail:
www.selective.co.nz left arrow CLICK
info@selective.co.nz
left arrow CLICK
Phone:
Fax:
+64-9-3021142
+64-9-3021148
SECOND TERM SUPPORTER

I am an authorized Manufacturer Representative for Selective Communications. Please contact me directly for any additional information. left arrow CLICK HERE

Paging Training Course

Specially designed course for sales, marketing, and administration personnel. Engineers will only be admitted with a note signed by their mothers, promising that they will just listen and not disrupt the class. (This is supposed to be funny.)

This is a one-day training course on paging that can be conducted at your place of business. Please take a look at the course outline to see if you think this might be beneficial in your employees: Paging training course outline.

Although it touches on several "technical" topics, it is definitely not a technical course. I used to teach the sales and marketing people at Motorola Paging and they appreciated an atmosphere where they could ask technical questions without being made to feel like a "dummy" and without getting a long convoluted overly-technical answer that left them more confused than before. A good learning environment is one that is "non-threatening."

Let me know if you would like to receive a quotation, or if you would like to have any additional information. left arrow CLICK

ucom logotriangles
ne paging logo

Satellite Uplinking Service
Affordable and Reliable

  • Own and operate our own satellite uplink
  • Provide the same reliable services to several other paging carriers with room for more
  • Lower than average industry costs
  • Completely redundant hardware
  • Access to knowledgeable technical staff 24/7

Glenayre Technical Support
Paging Terminals & Transmitters

  • Paging terminal upgrades, relocations, troubleshooting, emergency repair & training
  • Transmitter installation & maintenance
  • Experienced industry technicians and engineers
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed

Call or write today to learn more Alan Carle, Dir of Engineering 888 854 2697 x272 or

acarle@ucom.com

outr net logo

CUSTOM APPLICATIONS

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: http://www.outr.net/overnight_pw.htm left arrow Their latest newsletter is: "Business Development in Mobile Data" left arrow

Please call me so we can discuss your need or your idea. Or contact me by e-mail for additional information. left arrow CLICK

WI-FI NEWS

Chill hits wi-fi 'hot spots'

By SCOTT THURM,
The Associated Press
DAVID PRINGLE and EVAN RAMSTAD
The Wall Street Journal
3/18/04 8:26 AM

Tom Montalbano seems like an ideal customer for wireless Internet "hot spots" in hotels, restaurants and airports. The 41-year-old insurance investigator travels four days a week, compiling reports from jewelry robberies on his laptop computer.

But Mr. Montalbano, of Syosset, N.Y., bristles at paying $6 an hour, or $10 a day, to log on using the technology known as Wi-Fi. Monthly plans, available for $25 to $30, are little help, because no one service offers access in enough places, so he'd have to pay multiple monthly fees. And his clients won't pick up the tab. "They say, 'We'll wait the extra day' " for Mr. Montalbano to e-mail his reports from slower, wired Internet connections.

Mr. Montalbano's experience helps explain why fee-based Wi-Fi hot spots have failed, so far, to become tech's next big thing. Connection charges are high. Services don't offer ubiquitous coverage. There are a growing number of free wireless connections, so many users don't feel any need to pay for access. And some laptop users connect to their cellphone or cellphone network to go online.

Market researcher In-Stat/MDR, Scottsdale, Ariz., estimates that service providers world-wide will generate $80 million this year from Wi-Fi access. In the U.S., In-Stat estimates that Wi-Fi providers will take in about $28 million -- roughly as much revenue as Verizon Wireless Inc., the nation's largest cellphone company, generates in 12 hours. Senior analyst Amy Cravens says In-Stat recently lowered its revenue projection to reflect sluggish use.

No Wi-Fi provider "will make any money before the end of 2005," says William Clark, an analyst for market researcher Gartner Inc., Stamford, Conn.

It's a far cry from a year ago, when Wi-Fi burst on the scene with a $300 million marketing campaign from chip titan Intel Corp., which makes chips for wireless connections.

Of course, public hot spots are only a small part of the Wi-Fi market — 3 percent of Wi-Fi equipment sales this year, acc1ording to market-researcher ABI Research, Oyster Bay, N.Y. Most Wi-Fi equipment is used to extend high-speed Internet access wirelessly inside homes and businesses, and that market remains strong. But hot spots took on outsize importance as cellphone service providers and well-financed start-ups promised seamless Wi-Fi access from every airport and coffee shop in the country.

Many of those plans have been scaled back drastically. Cometa Networks Inc., a start-up backed by Intel, AT&T Corp., and International Business Machines Corp., among others, once boasted of building 20,000 hot spots. Today, it has roughly 220. Chief Executive Gary Weis talks about "rightsizing the network" and declines to estimate how many hot spots Cometa eventually will deploy. Like most other major Wi-Fi providers, Cometa also won't disclose how many users it has. "We're all learning as we go how to build a profitable service," Mr. Weis says.

One lesson from around the world: To attract users, lower the price. In Europe, where access charges are higher than in the U.S., Wi-Fi use is even lower. But Asian operators that offer cheap Wi-Fi service have attracted a following.

In South Korea, for example, KT Corp. charges less than $13 a month for unlimited access to its 12,000 hot spots. Subscribers to KT's residential high-speed Internet service can add Wi-Fi access for less than $1 a month. Through January, KT reported about 364,000 Wi-Fi subscribers, two-thirds of whom are also Internet subscribers. In Hong Kong, PCCW Ltd. has attracted 40,000 Wi-Fi users with similar deals, at even lower prices.

"The uptake in Korea has been dramatic," Mr. Weis says. But he questions whether that experience translates to the U.S., because so many of KT's Wi-Fi subscribers are taking the service along with regular Internet connections.

By contrast, BT Group PLC, the leading hot-spot operator in the U.K., charges nearly $11 an hour, or $153 a month, for Wi-Fi access. European providers believe that "Wi-Fi is really about high-end business travelers who are price insensitive," says Matt Lewis, a senior analyst in London with ARCchart Ltd., a research firm. European systems say their prices are justified because they include security safeguards.

European service providers, like their U.S. counterparts, decline to provide customer numbers. But market researchers say usage lags behind both the U.S. and Asia. Gartner estimates that just 1.7 million Europeans tapped a free or fee-based Wi-Fi hot spot last year, compared with 4.7 million Americans and 2.7 million Asians.

In both Asia and Europe, Wi-Fi services must compete with advanced cellphones, which allow users to exchange e-mail or short text messages without computers, although at connection speeds slower than Wi-Fi. Vodafone Group PLC of the U.K. and some other cellphone operators also are targeting computer users by selling data cards that plug into laptops and can be used to surf the Web wirelessly via cellphone networks. In fact, though European cellphone companies also frequently are big Wi-Fi providers, they are reluctant to push Wi-Fi too hard, for fear of jeopardizing their investments in cellphone-based Internet service.

The upshot: As Robert Cameron sipped his coffee in a London Starbucks one recent morning, he wirelessly downloaded his e-mail to his laptop through his cellphone, rather than the available Wi-Fi connection. The Wi-Fi price of $9.90 an hour is "too dear," the 28-year-old theater director says.

A year or two ago, pundits viewed Wi-Fi as a threat to advanced cellular networks because it offers faster connections and is much cheaper to deploy. Now, Wi-Fi's limited range from a transmitter — roughly 300 feet — and the crazy-quilt of network operators appear to be bigger liabilities. As a result, some analysts think Wi-Fi will merely whet users' appetites for more ubiquitous cellular-data networks. "Once you get used to checking e-mail at Starbucks, you want to check it on the bus," says Edward Rerisi, vice president for research at ABI.

Backers say Wi-Fi hot spots are in their infancy, similar to the high-price, brick-size cellphones of two decades ago. Coverage will improve, and more laptops and hand-held computers will come equipped with Wi-Fi capability, eliminating the need for special adapter cards. Moreover, U.S. carriers are beginning to share hot spots, offering more coverage for a single subscription.

But carriers still must contend with sites that offer Wi-Fi free of charge. Tom Keller, general manager of the Hampton Inn in Auburn Hills, Mich., installed Wi-Fi in the hotel's 124 rooms early last year. He doesn't charge for the service, but views it as a way to compete with the 12 other hotels within five miles. Mr. Keller figures he needs to book 10 extra rooms a night, at an average of $100, to defray the $30,000 installation cost and $1,000 monthly fees to provide Wi-Fi. By now, he says, he's recouped the cost "many times over."

Every hotel offering free Wi-Fi makes it less likely that John Dean will pay for the service. Mr. Dean, a 36-year-old technology manager for a high-tech manufacturing company in Milwaukee, is a big Wi-Fi fan. But he hasn't subscribed to a service because he's accustomed to logging on free at restaurants and cafes around town, or at hotels on an occasional business trip.

"There's no question that it's useful," he says. "The big question is at what price does it become useful enough to pay for."

Source: Mlive.com Business NewsFash

UNTIL NEXT WEEK

Please remember that next Friday's newsletter will not be out until Saturday or Sunday due to the show in Las Vegas. I am taking the red-eye special back on Friday night, arriving early Saturday morning. I will get it finished as soon as I can. You can expect some interesting product reports and photos.


brad photo

With best regards,

brad's signature

Brad Dye
WIRELESS DATA CONSULTANT


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Voice:  
Fax:  
E–mail: brad@braddye.com
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