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FRIDAY - OCTOBER 1, 2004 - ISSUE NO. 132

Dear friends of Wireless Messaging and Paging,

I received an excellent whitepaper about how to solve many of the problems associated with people responding to public-safety emergencies. When police, fire, and EMS personnel have to respond to a major event, there is often a lot of confusion when their radio communications systems are all on different frequencies and they can't communicate with each other. Sometimes this happens in relatively minor situations too—but faced with the unpleasant reality world-wide terrorism, this is a timely piece and a much-needed solution.

Fully Interoperable First Responder Alerting System Based on ReFLEX Two-Way Messaging Technology by Barrett M. Kanne Founder and President TGA Technologies, Inc. Norcross, GA.

In the aftermath of any major public safety event, either natural or man-made, there are renewed calls for “interoperable communications.” This requirement dictates that a variety of responding agencies can coordinate their communication activities at the scene—where it matters most. Attempts to resolve this interoperability issue have ranged from audio patching systems to the provision of new digital radios quickly brought to the same group of channels. These solutions, however, do not address the initial alert of the responders and the subsequent on-scene warnings once they arrive. TGA Technologies, Inc., a 15-year-old company with a rich history in the radio paging industry, has developed what it believes is the answer to alerting responders. [Read the rest of the paper here.] left arrow

In this issue, Ron Mercer responds to the issues raised about encrypting sensitive one-way paging messages. Thank you to all who have participated in this very interesting and important topic. The views expressed, both for and against, and as to the best way to do it as well, have all been valuable contributions. The discussion continues.

More MAJOR news this week about how wireless text messaging is catching on in the cell phone industry. Be sure to read the news about "smart dust" in the Wireless Data section at the end of the newsletter. Also, the Paging Technical Committee is asking for help from carriers in creating a National Directory Of Paging Carriers. A description of their project and a link to their questionnaire follows. They would really appreciate the help of all paging carriers. Oh yes, there is a very good news article about SkyTel's diverse offerings under the able leadership of Bruce Deer. It is refreshing to see this kind of positive and aggressive marketing of wireless messaging devices.

Now on to the Wireless Messaging news and views.

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Promoting Wireless Messaging, Telemetry, and Paging.

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 Wireless Messaging 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.

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Don't forget about the AAPC 2004 Fall Conference, "Answering the Challenges of Today & Tomorrow" to be held November 3-5 at the beautiful Pointe South Mountain Resort in Phoenix, Arizona.

  1. AAPC Conference Brochure left arrow CLICK for pdf file
  2. AAPC Vendor Prospectus left arrow CLICK for pdf file

WIRELESS NEWS

Cingular Wireless selling interactive unit

12:49 PM EDT Monday

Cingular Wireless will sell its Cingular Interactive LP subsidiary to affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management LP for undisclosed terms, the company announced Monday.

Woodbridge, N.J.-based Cingular Interactive provides wireless corporate e-mail and messaging using Mobitex packet data technology. Its Mobitex network covers 93 percent of the U.S. business population in 492 metropolitan areas and 130 airports, and has been in commercial operation for more than 10 years.

The Cingular Interactive network also supports approximately 25 percent of all Blackberry users worldwide.

The acquisition of Cingular Interactive will include the Mobitex network, customer service operations and information technology systems as well as a majority of Cingular Interactive's current customer base.

Atlanta-based Cingular Wireless will retain all direct e-mail customers, as well as several other major accounts. Cingular Wireless will continue to purchase data services from Cingular Interactive for its Mobitex-based corporate e-mail, IMPlus and certain other data customers.

Cingular Wireless is a joint venture between SBC Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp.

Source: Dayton Business Journal


Pager provider looks for new niche

September 26, 2004

 

Telecommunication industry watchers are looking at Clinton-based pager provider SkyTel with glazed eyes or just not at all.

"I haven't followed them in a year or two. They just haven't been making a lot of noise," said Jeff Kagan, an independent telecommunications analyst based in Atlanta.

The company, a division of MCI, could garner attention again soon. In addition to new products it introduced this summer, SkyTel managed to remain profitable throughout WorldCom's bankruptcy reorganization.

WorldCom changed its name to MCI and moved its headquarters from Clinton to Virginia when it emerged from bankruptcy earlier this year. Last week, reports claimed that MCI hired three investment banks and a law firm to help it search for a buyer.

SkyTel made a splash in the paging market by offering text message paging. The company began in Jackson as part of MTel in 1988. WorldCom acquired it in 1999.

The paging market is now mature, said Robert Rosenberg, president of Insight Research Corp, a New Jersey-based telecommunication tracking firm. Cell phone usage has taken a huge chunk of the industry, and the increased use of Wi-Fi is expected to so as well, leaving little room for growth in the paging market. Wi-Fi is a wireless local area network technology that allows people to use wireless Internet.

Executives at the company are aware they have to be bullish if they are to send the message that the company hasn't vanished.

WorldCom filed for bankruptcy in 2002 after admitting to an $11 billion accounting fraud. SkyTel survived the accounting scandal, but it was not unscathed.

During the bankruptcy, Worldcom tried to sell the division. When the company failed to find anyone willing to pay its asking price, MCI took it off the market and added $20 million of revenue to the books in July 2003.

SkyTel, like the rest of MCI, has suffered through its share of job cuts. The company doesn't release employment figures by division, but SkyTel had about 800 employees in 2003, down from 1,700 when it merged with WorldCom.

skytel pagers
Brian Albert Broom/The Clarion-Ledger

SkyTel president Bruce Deer looks to the company's future with new products like vehicle location devices and text-messaging devices. Deer says the Clinton-based company faces a stiff challenge to add to its product mix.


About SkyTel

  • SkyTel is a division of MCI, formerly WorldCom. The company, which specializes in paging services, is based in Clinton.
  • SkyTel was subsidiary of Mtel, which was founded in1988.
  • SkyTel had more than 1 million subscribers to its wireless service for one-way and two-way pagers in 1998, comprising more than 90 percent of Mtel's business. Mtel changed its name to SkyTel in May of that year.
  • WorldCom acquired SkyTel in 1999 in a deal valued at $1.8 billion. At the time of the merger, SkyTel had 3,600 employees, including about 1,700 in Jackson.
  • After WorldCom filed for bankruptcy in 2002 following an accounting scandal,the company tried to sell SkyTel but decided in September 2003 to keep the division.
 
bruce deer
Bruce Deer

To push the company forward, SkyTel executives realize with the popularity of cell phones and Blackberry products, their devices have to go beyond two-way paging. Bruce Deer, SkyTel president, admits the market has dwindled. "I think the challenge is to recognize that we're going to have to change and add to our product mix. The biggest challenge is the execution of sales," Deer said.

Stashed in the company's goodie bag are potential noisemakers such as FleetHawk, a motor vehicle tracking device; the H200 from Hunetec, a personal digital assistant that includes two-way messaging; and the AT100 from ATCOM Wireless, a two-way device that replaces the Motorola T900. Later this year the company will unveil its ST900 from Sun Telecom. SkyTel would use this gadget to introduce a more secured encryption of two-way paging, Deer said. The company expects the ST900 to be in demand by government agencies, financial companies and health-care organizations with a penchant for highly secured communication.

The company's target market for two-way devices is Fortune 1,000 companies, said Michael S. Barnes, director of marketing. Some 100 two-way devices were loaned to the Mississippi delegation for the Republican and Democratic National conventions this year.

SkyTel also has its eye on small businesses like Ridgeland-based Two Men and a Truck. The moving company that has a fleet of eight trucks uses SkyTel's FleetHawk tracking device. The product uses a Global Positioning System and the Internet to pinpoint a vehicle's location.

Company owner Jeff Taylor said FleetHawk also has a geo-fencing feature meaning a user can create boundaries where a vehicle can or can't go. It can be useful in helping to maintain fuel efficiency. The company has three devices installed in its trucks. "We're able to outline areas that trucks are not suppose to go to like the (Ross Barnett) Reservoir," Taylor said. The company chose to use SkyTel's tracking device because it's affordable, he said. Installation is $20 and monthly fee ranges from $16.99 to $39.99, according to SkyTel's Web site. The plan is to install units in all vehicles.

As part of the an expansion, Barnes said, SkyTel now has sales agents selling its FleetHawk products. The market is forecasted to grow by 22 percent through 2006. The company also has an advantage over competitors in the tracking device market or automated vehicle location, AVL, Barnes said. "We're the only AVL provider that owns and operates their own network," he said. In Barnes eyes, SkyTel has reinvented itself not as a pager provider but a wireless provider.

The company competes with Arch Wireless Holdings Inc., Metrocall Inc. and Verizon Wireless Paging. "We're already looking at the next products to offer," Deer said. Barnes said the company is eyeing several other wireless communication ventures that could significantly impact the company's growth. He would not give details for competitive reasons. The company hopes its plans will give MCI, which vowed in 2003 to remain competitive, an edge. Yet some have criticized the parent company for not getting a wireless unit under its belt.

Despite a shift in the industry, SkyTel still has many users, said Kagan, the Atlanta analyst. In 2001, some 540,000 people used the service. However, he said, the Clinton business isn't growing with the traditional wireless world. "MCI has got a lot of problems that they need to wrestle with and that's one of them. They don't have to own a wireless service, they just need to have one out there," he said.

Source: The Clarion-Ledger


AT&T's text-only device debuts

$18-a-month message service targets youths

September 27, 2004

Aiming to please "texting-crazed" young Americans, AT&T Wireless Services Inc. is today launching a hand-held device called Ogo that lets people send unlimited text messages, instant messages, and e-mails for $18 a month. What's notable is one thing the cellphone giant's new unit does not do: make phone calls. AT&T Wireless offers dozens of phones that can also be used for e-mail and instant messaging, but Ogo, which costs $100 after a promotional rebate, will be the sole text-only device the company is actively marketing. AT&T Wireless also sells five models of the BlackBerry messaging unit, but all have built-in phones.

The Ogo weighs five ounces and is roughly 4 inches wide, 3 inches tall, and 1 inch thick, with a 26-letter keyboard designed for thumbs. It will enable subscribers to use instant messaging and Web-based e-mail services from America Online, MSN, and Yahoo. The $18 monthly fee covers one of those three, plus the same 160-character-per-message text-messaging service provided by AT&T Wireless for cellphones. Subscribers can add a second and third e-mail and IM provider for $3 per month each.

AT&T Wireless is weeks away from closing its $41 billion sale to Cingular Wireless LLC, but executives said they saw no reason to delay getting the Ogo onto the market. Andre Dahan, president of AT&T Wireless's mobile multimedia services unit, said the Redmond, Wash., carrier wanted to create "an entirely new category" of consumer communications device. "Unlike many of today's disappointing multipurpose wireless devices, we created Ogo to do one thing, mobile messaging, extraordinarily well," Dahan said. "Ogo doesn't pretend to be all things to all people and is not bogged down by hardly-used features or an out-of-reach price tag."

Spokesman Martin A. Nee said AT&T thinks a key market could be parents with teens and preteens who want their kids to have a price-capped way to communicate, but no risk they will run up huge phone bills. AT&T Wireless engineers designed the overall concept for the unit, which can consolidate e-mail and text messages from several accounts, and then had IXI Mobile Inc. of Redwood City, Calif., work with Asian manufacturers to produce the unit.

The few close competitors for the Ogo are two-way text pagers sold by Arch Wireless Operating Company Inc. of Westborough, the biggest US provider of conventional beepers and pagers. Arch sells a $100 Webster 100 with service plans ranging from $10 to $40 a month, based on how many messages are sent. Arch reported fewer than 270,000 two-way messaging units in service as of the end of June, and it has been losing roughly 3,000 two-way-pager customers a month over the past year. After focusing on exiting bankruptcy and paying off debt, Arch has in recent months been consumed with executing a merger with Metrocall Holdings Inc. and has not aggressively marketed its mobile messaging services.

Mark Lowenstein, managing director of Mobile Ecosystem, a Wellesley consulting firm, said the Ogo device may prove popular for "a youth market that covets text messaging and IM. A BlackBerry is too expensive for them." Lowenstein said T-Mobile USA "has had moderate but not significant success with the Sidekick," the so-called hip-top computer made by Danger Inc. that T-Mobile sells for $250. The Sidekick has a built-in phone, and T-Mobile charges either $60 a month for unlimited messaging and 600 minutes of phone calls or $30 a month for unlimited messaging and 20 cents a minute for phone calls. Lowenstein said he does not expect Ogo to be a huge seller for AT&T Wireless, which has 21.7 million subscribers, but "If 5 percent of the market bought a device like this, that would be a big success for AT&T," he said.

Source: The Boston Globe


AT&T releases the Ogo, a dedicated messaging device

Ogo is the first wireless messaging device to provide instant messaging (IM) and e-mail from all three leading providers - AOL, MSN, and Yahoo! - plus text messaging, all in a single device.

The device costs $99.99 (after a $30 mail-in rebate), and AT&T Wireless is offering unlimited messaging plans starting at US$17.99 per month.

"With Ogo, we are creating an entirely new category and the next 'must have' device in the consumer electronics space," said Andre Dahan, president of AT&T Wireless Mobile Multimedia Services. "Unlike many of today's disappointing multi-purpose wireless devices, we created Ogo to do one thing - mobile messaging - extraordinarily well. Ogo doesn't pretend to be 'all things to all people,' and is not bogged down by hardly-used features or an out-of-reach price tag. Instead, Ogo offers the most desirable mobile applications, on a smartly-designed device that most people can afford."

AT&T is marketing the Ogo mainly to the youth market, but consumers of all ages will probably benefit. In addition to its messaging applications and low price, Ogo's clamshell case hides a large colour screen and full keypad with "hot keys" to all major messaging functions. With the click of a button, users can read mail, compose messages, access IM contact lists, insert emoticons, and view all open messages at a glance. In addition, customers can get themselves up and running on Ogo by simply turning it on and following the on-screen activation wizard - bypassing the hassle of an in-store activation process.

ogo wireless text messaging device
  • "Clamshell" design unfolds to display large, colour screen and keypad;
  • Full QWERTY keypad and 8-way navigation joystick pad;
  • 4K color display;
  • Compact size and weight: 11.5 cm x 7.5 cm x 2.5 cm (closed) and 4.8 ounces;
  • Special "hot keys" for simple navigation, including a special "emoticon" button for inserting emoticons into IM chats and an "Ogo" button to view all active messages and chats on one screen for easy multitasking;
  • Instant messaging on all three leading providers enables users to view and conduct unlimited chat sessions with buddies on Yahoo!, MSN, and AOL instant messaging services;
  • E-mail from POP3 providers and Yahoo!, MSN and AOL accounts;
  • SMS (Short Message Service)
  • Consolidated inbox allows users to view all e-mail and text messages in a consolidated mailbox or sort by individual account;
  • Special animated features allowing users to assign unique sounds and visual animations to different IM friends/contacts so users hear a different sound when each IM contact comes on-line or sends a message;
  • No annual service contract with automatic credit card payment for new activations;
  • Self-activationon wizard.

After developing the idea for Ogo internally at AT&T Wireless, the company selected IXI Mobile Inc., to manage overall development and delivery of Ogo's software and hardware based on their PMG (Personal Mobile Gateway) technology.

Source: Geek Zone


America Online Launches Mobile Developer Program to Deliver the AOL Instant Messenger Service to Mobile Users Everywhere

DULLES, Va.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Sept. 27, 2004—

LG Electronics, Motorola, Samsung Telecommunications America and Siemens Join AOL Mobile Developer Program to Provide Customers with the Nation's Most Popular Instant Messaging Service 

America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, today announced that it has launched an industry-wide mobile developer program that will make it easy to develop, test and distribute licensed AOL(R) Instant Messenger™ (AIM®) clients for mobile devices. LG Electronics, Motorola, Samsung Telecommunications America and Siemens have signed on, and OZ, the leading developer of standards-based mobile instant messaging solutions, has also joined the program.

The AOL Mobile Developer Program leverages the open standards of the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) to produce a better instant messaging experience for mobile users everywhere, regardless of device, service provider, network or geography. Joined by four leading mobile device manufacturers as well as OZ, the AOL Mobile Developer Program marks the industry's first major commercial deployment of OMA's Wireless Village-based Instant Messaging Presence Service (IMPS) standard.

"Working closely with the industry's leading manufacturers, we are able to bring the familiar AOL and AIM Buddy List® feature to today's mobile users, helping them to stay in touch with friends, family and associates everywhere they go," said Doug Gardner, executive director, AOL Mobile, America Online, Inc. "We are pleased to be working with some of the industry's most innovative companies as we strive to deliver the very best instant messaging experience through this industry-wide, collaborative effort."

Benefits of the new program include:

1. An AOL® Client Certification Kit that includes user interface guidelines, branding elements and functional specifications;
2. Access to AOL's Gateway server, which is compliant with the OMA client server protocol IMPS version 1.1 and version 1.2; and
3. Development support and an expedited AOL review process to help speed the approval of new AIM clients for mobile devices.

By joining the AOL Mobile Developer Program, the leading manufacturers and OZ are ensuring an easy to use and a seamless wireless experience for AOL's community of instant messaging users. These companies were among the first to provide AOL® members and AIM® users with an AIM branded instant messaging experience on a variety of mobile devices.

More than 18 million mobile instant messages are sent by AOL members and AIM users on a daily basis, and the number of messages sent and received by users on the OMA IMPS-based AIM clients is on the rise.

According to a recent study,(1) 20% of all IM users engage in mobile instant or SMS text messaging at least once a week, and 34% for those aged 13-21 (2) do so. Nearly one in three IM users (31%) say they send mobile instant messages to keep in touch with the office and make business decisions while on travel for work. Nearly three in four (72%) say they send mobile instant messages when they don't have time for a phone conversation, and more than half (52%) say they use mobile instant messaging to keep from disturbing others on public transportation and at sporting events.

More than nine million mobile devices already feature an AIM client, and industry leaders, Nokia and Sony Ericsson have already delivered mobile AIM clients on their popular cellular phones. OMA IMPS-based AIM clients are available on Nokia models 3200, 3100, 1100, 3300, 3595, 6010, 6800, 6820; and Sony Ericsson models T637 and T237.

Under the new AOL Mobile Developer Program, AOL has approved development of the following OMA-based AIM Clients:

  • LG Electronics has delivered the mobile AIM client on its L1200, C1300, G4015, and L1400 models.
  • Motorola has developed an AIM client for several new and yet to launch mobile devices, including the V180, V220, V400, V600 and A630 models.
  • Samsung has delivered the mobile AIM client on its E315, E317 and X427M models, and will deliver it on the C207 when that model is available for public purchase.
  • Siemens has delivered the mobile AIM client on selected C and S class products.
  • OZ has created Java-based AIM clients that are pre-installed or embedded on a variety of mobile phones, including HP devices.

About AOL(R) Mobile
AOL
® Mail and the AOL® Instant Messenger™ (AIM®) service help bridge the gap between the desktop and today's mobile lifestyle, offering the ability to send and receive e-mail and instant messages, get AOL® Alerts and Reminders, and access the AOL® Address Book and Buddy List® feature from mobile devices. To learn more, go to www.AOLmobile.com.

About America Online, Inc.
America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. Based in Dulles, Virginia, America Online is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.

AOL Mobile services require a text or Web-enabled device and wireless service plan. Additional charges from your wireless service provider may apply for use of AOL Mobile services.

(1) Opinion Research Corporation study of instant messagers in 20 of the top US DMAs, conducted June 7-17, 2004 on behalf of America Online, Inc. All rights reserved.
(2) Must be 18 or older or have parental consent to register for or use AOL or AIM instant messaging.

Source: BusinessWire

RON MERCER'S RESPONSE TO COMMENTS ON ENCRYPTION

REPLIES TO COMMENTS ON CAUTION, DANGEROUS CURVE AHEAD

Both the quantity and quality of comments received following the original publication of the essay entitled “Caution, Dangerous Curve Ahead” are very encouraging. Thanks to all who contributed comments.

Initially, I had planned to reply to each of the received comments individually, but the quantity of commentators, as well as the fact that several expressed similar points of view, motivates me instead to reply more universally as follows:

Regarding the need for encryption in 1-Way paging systems:
Several readers, including Richard Jones, Alan Carle, James Dabbs, and Barry Kanne, Jonathan Brickman, John Deaton, Les Taylor, and Brian Gilmore pointed out that:

  • Carriers, particularly from a CALEA liability point of view, do not desire to be directly involved in encryption.
  • Carriers do not see a demand for encryption within their subscriber bases.
  • Those who are demanding encryption are probably better advised to look to other technologies, hopefully to Two-Way paging, where encryption standards now exist and where concerns based on the limitations of 1-Way paging (i.e. the difficulty of changing encryption keys) are surmounted.

While it is true that this newsletter has a Carrier rather than an industry-wide orientation, the essay was focused on the total paging industry and particularly on the budding opportunity for paging within the emerging Homeland Security/First Responder communities about which several factors are noteworthy:

  • The Homeland Security/First Responder community is planning to operate private systems covering large geographic areas that, from infrastructure, coverage area and subscriber device points of view are nearly identical to the public systems operated by Carriers.
  • In contrast to the general population which has clearly demonstrated a diminishing interest in paging, many First Responder organizations continue to like 1-Way paging, to some degree for the following reasons:
    • Intrinsic “Store Until Free To Read” Mode Of Operation:
      Wherein transmitted messages are retained in the receiving device until the receiving individual is free to check and respond to it. This mode of operation is important to First Responders who may be preoccupied at the moment a message arrives (e.g. holding a fire hose, assisting an injured person, be in a smoke filled room etc.) and is in sharp contrast to many other forms of wireless communication (e.g.. two-way radios, cell phones etc.) wherein if the message cannot responded to immediately, it tends to be lost or at least rendered more difficult and time consuming to retrieve (e.g. routed to voice mail).
    • Simulcasting For Improved Radio Coverage:
      Because Wireless Messaging can simulcast each message via multiple base station transmitters, coverage, particularly “In Building” coverage, is significantly improved. Simulcasting is not practical with most other forms of radio communication.
    • Group Calling:
      Which allows messages to be delivered to multiple devices on a single call. This capability is difficult to achieve with most other technologies, and impossible with some.
    • Inconspicuous Operation:
      Important during undercover activities that are sometimes required in security activities.
    • Low Cost and Reduced Potential for Abuse:
      Both of which are important when subscriber devices are placed in the hands of large numbers of people, some of whom are part-time volunteers who respond on an “as needed” basis.
  • The systems being designed for First Responders use multiple types of end-user devices (cell phones, palm hand-helds, lap tops, two-way radios as well as pagers and devices specific to the security milieu). In many cases, systems are being designed to send messages to multiple device types many of which inherently include encryption and, if pagers included in such multiple destination transmissions, an ability to intercept the pager transmission would compromise transmissions to other devices. It follows, therefore, that Homeland Security applications may well require encryption for pagers, including 1-Way pagers.

Although the Homeland Security application may not appear to present an immediate opportunity for Carriers (Homeland Security may even be prevented by statute from using public systems), it does present an opportunity for the industry at large. Also, some Carriers, because they have the technical knowledge and facilities, may decide to branch out to build and maintain private systems. Moreover, Homeland Security appears to be well financed and capable of funding any engineering which encryption might dictate. Any techniques developed for this specialized market would accrue to the benefit of carriers long-term.

Regarding the Magnitude of the Risk
Several readers, including John Deboer and Vaughan Bowden have expressed the view that I might be overestimating the ease with which encryption keys in the 1-way environment could be “cracked” simply because keys went unchanged for multiple messages. John also asks if I had any information detailing how easy such would be with various key lengths etc.

I may have been guilty of overestimation and I do not have any empirical data on the subject, but consider the following:

  • If keys remain unchanged for multiple messages, the possibility of “cracking” messages certainly becomes, or at least appears to become more real.
  • In certain environments, there are people who are strongly motivated to “crack” codes and intercept messages.
  • High-powered computers are available to assist in the process and these people have the financial resources to obtain them.
  • Consider the havoc created by computer hackers; and they are often school kids with minimal resources.
  • And then consider the competitive situation. Imagine what salespeople selling other technologies will tell potential customers if we do not have a viable, believable solution and how much more difficult it will then become to sell our product.

Regarding additional suggestions for 1-Way pager encryption
As hoped for when the original essay was submitted, several readers, including Allan Angus, Vaughan Bowden and Tom Hanan have also suggested additional techniques to provide encryption in the 1-Way paging environment. While I have not evaluated these, and I am probably under qualified to do so, at least to do so fully, I applaud these contributions and trust that others will continue the dialog.

Even if each of us as individuals do not plan to implement 1-Way encryption, our industry must have a viable solution (or several solutions from which users may chose) or risk losing still more market share to other technologies that do. And, most importantly, we must provide guidance to the manufacturers. Absent input from input based on the experience of our group, we could end up with a very inappropriate solution. In developing a solution the following questions should be considered:

  • Cost, both initial and ongoing support?
  • Degree of security required in specific applications?
  • Any impact on the reliability of message reception?

For all the reasons mentioned above, discussion of viable 1-Way encryption techniques is believed to be worthwhile and I sincerely thank all who have contributed thus far. I also encourage further discussion.

   Respectfully,
—Ron Mercer

READER'S COMMENTS

ENCRYPTION ON ONE-WAY PAGING SYSTEMS

September 27, 2004

Requiring encryption on a one way paging systems in this day and time would only add unnecessary cost to providing paging services to the customer. Encryption is only as secure as the code keys used to encrypt and decrypt the messages. The largest number of one way paging messages are notifications only and do not need to be encrypted. The terminal and distribution equipment used for today’s systems are not well suited for encryption.

The one way paging business is in the flux of change and most carriers are operating at a loss or at best “At a break even.” I have to ask, “Is this level of service really necessary?” To add the cost of providing an encrypted beep will only cause further deterioration in the customer base with little or no real benefit. It will make the service slow and cumbersome. To provide an encrypted beep would require some type of encryption at the terminal plus each pager would have to be changed to be able to decrypt a message. Every thing would have to be custom built and that will take big bucks. I doubt that manufacturers will invest the money required for R & D to develop a line of Encrypted Pagers.

Encryption requires certain equipment to produce this service. A computer is required to scramble the message at the head end and decoders in each of the pagers to decode the message. The encrypts and decrypts will require the same key to be used and used over an entire paging system. Any one that wants to intercept the message only needs to capture the key and they have everything on the system. Changing the key would be almost impossible to do. Over the air would also change the monitoring unit, therefore a hands on for each and every unit would be necessary. Today you can’t go to Radio Shack and buy the equipment that you would need to intercept messages from today’s existing paging systems, IT IS NOT READLY AVAILABLE. And though the equipment needed to intercept an encrypted page will not be readily available it will be available. So what is the use?

Since 99 % of all one way paging messages are of the notification type, (call home, Sally Jones called from XXX-XXX-XXXX, call the ER desk for patient status, trauma team report to ER 1 STAT.) These messages contain no critical information that needs to be encrypted. Just to intercept these messages one would have to know (a) the transmitter frequency, (b) the coding type of the message, (c) the capcode of the message, (d) the baud rate of the paging unit and (e) when the message might come across. This would involve a receiver of proper type, a computer with the proper software, and an enormous amount of time to sift thru the messages to find the one you want. If one should just duplicate a pager the why would they not just duplicate the decryption also.

Most all paging terminals used for today’s one way paging systems were designed in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Their primary concern was reliability, thru put, interconnect ability and serving all formats of the different pagers. These designers did a good job because the terminals are still running and providing paging services to millions of pagers each day. The process of adding an encryption encoder would require placing a computer or an encoder into the data stream that was not designed for the additional data. Since the demand for paging is not on the rise then these additions will be custom installations the cost will be driven into the stratosphere.

Some day there may be the need for paging systems that will require encrypted messaging. The agencies that will require this level of service will have to be willing to pay the price. In my opinion the vast majority of the paging customers want a reliable messaging system that is reasonable priced. Encryption will be about as effective as placing a lock on each telephone drop box and saying “You can’t be monitored.”

—Richard T. Jones
   MPW Paging
   Carrollton, Georgia


Brad, I really like your methods. I suspect that encrypted wireless messaging will become and remain a very tiny niche market, unless some large service provider packages it as standard (at no additional charge), at which time the others will jump on. This might well happen if there is a profound wave of cracking—but I don't see it on the radar screen at the moment. Part of my reason for this statement is the current (almost completely absent) state of encrypted email, and the corresponding lack of a significant business model for email encryption systems.

—Jonathan E. Brickman
   http://joshuacorps.org


A few comments about encryption.

Having been involved in CALEA compliance from the terminal side . . . it does not matter what encryption method is used on one or two-way messaging . . . the Feds or any other court order monitoring will have access to the unencrypted message at the encoding terminal. . . As Barry Kanne mentions . . . let the customer provide his own encrypted message and pass thru the network as just another text message. . . Vaughan Bowden's comments about letting end user load their own keys via PC and programming cables is right on target. . . Paging networks then become just another data stream path to such devices. Third party vendors could provide all the hardware/software solutions and keep the network provider away from CALEA compliance all together . . . while offering those who do want to pay for extra privacy the option.

—John Deaton
   White Buffalo & Partners
   817-929-6587


Hi Brad-

Thanks for sending me the newsletter. I am retired now but I still find the issues interesting. My view on encryption is that the people who are willing to pay for it want higher level of encryption than you can provide economically. The rest would like it if it is free. I think for 99% of users FLEX or POCSAG is sufficient encryption. I think one-way needs to be the low-cost provider and provides the user with the benefit of one-way that there is no acknowledgement and no location information. People who want to encrypt the message can do so using whatever level of security they wish. The other advantage is the message is hidden among millions of others. We used to get requests from the police for duplicate pagers to track the contacts of drug dealers etc. but simple substitution codes would make the phone numbers difficult to identify.

In two-way where corporate e-mail is transmitted I can see more of a need but if the e-mails I have received over the years are any indication, only the sixth sigma level needs to be encrypted.

   Best Regards,
—Les Taylor


Brad:

I'm not competent to offer much input on the demand for or requirements of Homeland Security applications when it comes to wireless security. But I do respectfully encourage the paging industry to set aside technical and financial concerns about encryption just long enough to understand the motivations for healthcare customers and their telephone answering services and triage services to use secure means to communicate Protected Health Information (PHI) under HIPAA. [Brian's series of articles on this topic last year: article 1, article 2, article 3, and article 4.]

No one wants to have to do this, in fact we think the government regulations on data security are overkill for the minor amounts of PHI TASs transmit wirelessly. But many healthcare providers and certain of their contractors MUST use secure means to transmit PHI wirelessly beginning April 21, 2005 and all will be covered by April 2006. It is the law. And with much due respect for those who point out interception is unlawful, may be technically difficult, and seems unlikely - those points are not contemplated in HIPAA. Covered Entities and their Business Associates must find and use "secure means" to transmit PHI.

There are even more factors that will push healthcare providers to comply with the HIPAA Security Rule and Privacy Rule, and I hope we will address these and understand them better in Phoenix.

The fact is there will be competition for healthcare providers' secure wireless text messaging spending. The only question is how much competition, and what parts of the paging industry will choose to compete for healthcare dollars. Once the motivation for using secure paging is well understood, then the demand level and potential revenues should be established through aggressive communication with the healthcare community. The first step to understanding how the market is changing is through market research.

Financial and technical concerns should THEN be applied to bring a robust variety of competitive options to market for the customers who want them and will pay for them.

On the technical front I urge the paging industry to attend one point particularly well: As the healthcare, TAS and triage services industries are being compelled to use encryption reluctantly, the best and most attractive wireless security solutions will promote ease of use, user friendliness, and simplicity as their competitive edge. Keep it simple!

Complex key schemes will appeal to those who demand high security on an end-to-end basis. But for most healthcare applications transmitting tiny snippets of PHI, the most popular options will be user-transparent network encryption and will not require changes in the mode of "first-hop" transmission (TAP dialup, WCTP, etc.).

Simplicity is also critical when one understands the average healthcare pager user receives both messages that need to be secured, and those that do not. They regularly receive text messages from up to a half dozen sources including their office, multiple nurse stations in hospitals, (typically) several TASs and (sometimes) a triage service, and from home. Successful service offerings will take this into account and make implementation simple for the users.

Finally, on the topic of encryption for one-way systems: I do hope operators of regional POCSAG and FLEX networks will carefully evaluate the business case for adding network encryption for their healthcare customers. While I understand reselling encrypted ReFLEX solutions may seem the most expedient solution until demand is better established, from what I can tell regional one-way networks offer more comprehensive coverage in many areas than the existing ReFLEX networks. If healthcare providers in such areas are forced to stop sending PHI over 1-way networks in order to comply with HIPAA and keep a pager with acceptable coverage, then most of the VALUE of text messaging is lost for these customers. They may as well fall back to using a simple numeric pager or even a good old Motorola Metrix dual tone beeper!

I appreciate the dialogue and look forward to seeing many of you in Phoenix.

   Respectfully,
—Brian Gilmore


From: Gagan Puranik
Subject: The Protocol Working Group
Date: September 25, 2004 7:49:22 PM EDT
To: PTC-PWG-DeveloperCommunity@yahoogroups.com

The Protocol Working Group will meet on November 3rd at the beautiful Pointe South Mountain Resort (http://www.pointesouthmtn.com) in Phoenix, Arizona. The meeting will start after PTC meeting (probably after lunch) and end before the AAPC reception (starts at 6:30 pm). Details soon.

Tentative PWG agenda:
1) Finalize RFCs for ReFLEX v2.7.4
2) Finalize RFCs for WCTP v1.3

AAPC (http://www.pagingcarriers.com/apps/conf04.pdf)has set aside rooms at the resort at the special rate of $149 per night. The special rate is available through Sunday, October 10. To make your reservation call 1-877-800-4888, extension 2. We suggest calling soon to ensure a room at the hotel.

In addition, below please see AAPC and SCA announcement. . .

   Regards,
—Gagan


Announcing a fall opportunity to network with colleagues, increase your business exposure, and enjoy a trip to the beautiful Arizona countryside. SCA and AAPC have combined to offer their inaugural fall conference-Answering the Challenges of Today and Tomorrow, November 3-5. 2004, at the Pointe South Mountain Resort in Phoenix, Arizona.

The conference will offer a wide variety of educating, stimulating, and relevant business sessions, combined with recreational activities designed to encourage networking among your colleagues and customers. In addition, it is anticipated that the SCA and AAPC will formally announce a merger into one association to better serve your professional needs. To receive the registration brochure which includes the conference agenda and registration costs, please e-mail paulh@ewald.com or James.McLochlin@Suntelecom.com. Also, please refer to the AAPC web site at www.pagingcarriers.com for conference updates.

As a long time supporter of SCA, we hope you will mark your calendars now to attend SCA's annual trade show, June 1-3, 2005, at the outstanding Myrtle Beach Resort at Grande Dunes. In addition, we hope you will consider supporting this new and exciting opportunity by registering to attend the conference today.

AAPC/SCA

FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Advertiser Index
AAPC—American Association of Paging Carriers Minilec Service, Inc.
Advanced RF Communications Motorola Inc.
Advantra International Multitone Electronics
Amtel Wireless Northeast Paging
Outr.net
Commtech Wireless USA Ira Wiesenfeld
CONTEL Costa Rica Preferred Wireless
Daviscomms USA Prism Systems International
DX Radio Systems Programming Concepts
Electronic Entities Group Ron Mercer
Global Fax Network Services Selective Communications
GTES LLC Swissphone Wireless
HMCE, Inc. TGA Technologies
Hark Systems The Wireless Watchman
ISC Technologies UCOM Paging
Infostream Zetron Inc.

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acarle@ucom.com

northeast pagingucom paging

minilec service logo

Newsletter repair prices—starting at:

  • $4.50 labor for numeric or alphanumeric pagers
  • $6.50 labor for 2-way pagers
  • $9.50 labor for cellular phones

**Special pricing on cellular and pager refurbishment**

motorola logoMotorola Authorized Service Center for Paging and Cellular.

Ask for Special Newsletter Pricing.

Please call: (800) 222-6075 ext. 306 for pricing.

E-mail:info@minilec.com left arrow CLICK HERE
 Minilec Service, Inc.
9207 Deering Ave., Suite A
Chatsworth, CA 91311

multitone logo

multitone
multitone graphic 1

Multitone Electronics plc, a subsidiary of the Champion Technology Group, is one of the world's leading designers, developers, and manufacturers of wireless communications solutions. Founded in 1931 Multitone is headquartered in Basingstoke, Hampshire in the United Kingdom and has sales and service facilities throughout the world, including North America, Europe, South America, Australia, and the Far East.

With 70 years of experience delivering tailored paging solutions, globally Multitone has scored a number of firsts in its innovative approach to paging: inventors of the world's first wireless paging system, produced the world's first digital paging solution, and developed one of the world's first voice and encrypted pagers.

multitone graphic 2 Multitone Electronics plc
6135 Barfield Road
Suite 119
Atlanta, GA 30328 USA
Tel: 404-255-8399
Fax: 770-234-5790
Internet: www.multitone.com/usa
E-mail: Steven.Beeferman@multitone.com

Multitone Electronics develops, suppliers, and supports high performance wireless networks that lives depend on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Featuring PowerPage™ the world's most advanced private paging system, and FuturePhone™ a new wireless telephone system.

www.multitone.com
 

advantra logo

Building on its long success story in 1-way paging, Advantra International has become the expert in designing and manufacturing the most advanced and lowest cost ReFLEX™ radio modems for 2-way data-communication. The company also focuses on offering total telemetry solutions.

Advantra thanks its solid reputation to its world-renowned development team, state-of-the-art manufacturing, excellent customer service and its proven track-record.

Sales and Marketing Contacts
Headquarters
Advantra International
Bootweg 4
8940 Wervik, Belgium
Tel: +32 56 239411
Fax: +32 56 239400
E-mail: info@advantra.com
Contact
Eline Terryn
Management Assistant Marketing & Sales
E-mail: eline.terryn@advantra.com
Sales Representative USA
Wireless Innovations, Inc.
102A West Main Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Tel: +1 717 591 2630
Fax: +1 717 591 1838
Web: www.w-innovations.com
Contacts
Tammy Decker
President & CEO
E-mail: tammy.decker@w-innovations.com
Lance Decker
Executive Vice President
E-mail: lance.decker@w-innovations.com
Sales Representative Canada
Dacosta Page
300 Bloor Street E. Suite 1701
Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3Y2
Tel: +1 416 207 4316
Fax: +1 416 920 8682
Web: www.dacostapage.com
Contact
Ian Page
E-mail: ian@dacostapage.com
ADVANTRA

THE PAGING ASSOCIATION NEEDS YOU TODAY !!

join aapc

AAPC represents our interests in this fast changing industry:

  • Narrowbanding—AAPC first flagged for the paging industry the FCC’s order for shared channels to go to 12.5 KHz. This would be disastrous for carriers in 150 and 400 MHz.
  • Reverse Billing Numbers —AAPC initiated negotiations with the companies to reinstate LATA-wide numbers.
  • FCC Fees—AAPC and others fought against increased fees and was successful in keeping them at the 2002 level.

WE NEED THE AAPC TO FIGHT FOR OUR INDUSTRY—JOIN TODAY !!

Click on the logo for a membership application.

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.

Complete Technical Services For The
Communications and Electronics Industries
Design • Installation • Maintenance • Training

Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Registered Professional Engineer

Tel/Fax: 972-960-9336
Cell: 214-707-7711
7711 Scotia Dr.
Dallas, TX 75248-3112
E-mail: iwiesenfel@aol.com

 

Advertise Here price reduced graphic

Your company's logo and product promotion can appear right here for 6 months. It only costs $500 for a full-size ad in 26 issues—that's $19.23 an issue. (6 month minimum run.)

Details about the various advertising plans can be read here. left arrow  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

PAGING SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION CONTRACTOR NEEDED

I’m working with a client on a proposal for a large, private paging system in the Buffalo NY area and we need a quality organization to assist with system implementation and on-going maintenance activities. If you, or someone with whom you have worked in the past could be interested, please contact Ron Mercer at (631)266-2604 or by e-mail at ronofglobal@yahoo.com. Thanks

two tone pager
QUATTRINO RE529

  • Reliable operation
  • Flexible programming
  • Weather resistant
quattrino pager

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

www.swissphone.com swissphone logo
advanced rf logo
Analog & Digital One-Way Paging Systems
ReFLEX Two-Way Paging/Data Messaging Systems
Technical Services support for existing paging systems
SIMULCAST SYSTEMS ARE OUR SPECIALTY!!
call (217) 221-9500 or e-mail sales@AdvancedRF.biz
301 Oak St., Suite 2-46A, Quincy, IL 62301

CALL CENTER

contel poster

Please click on the image above for more information.

pat merkel ad

hmce@bellsouth.net left arrow CLICK HERE
USED-FUNCTIONAL MOTORLA AND GLENAYRE RADIO PAGING EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE FOR SALE
     
  MOTOROLA  
 1125 Nucleus Paging Transmitter$2,500.00 
 2Advanced Simulcast Controller (ASC)$4,000.00 
 3Data Splitter$200.00 
 4Monitor Receiver$600.00 
 5UHF Link Transmitter $1,500.00  
 6Unipage Paging Control Terminal (Model 15) configured for Multiframe with 68040 CPU and following cards/Modules:
  • Memory Card
  • Channel Processor Card
  • Alarm control Module
  • Fast load card
  • Group processor card
  • Extra card for repeat paging
  • Voice Prompt Card
  • Tandem Link Card
  • Group Modem card
  • Channels interface card
  • TNPP card
$15,000.00 
 7Trunk Frame with Z280 CPU and Message Manager Complete$ 11,000.00 
 8Spare Cards e.g. Memory Card, TNPP Card, 68040 CPU, Z280 ATC Card, TK2 Card with R2MFC daughter board, OTK, TLUNI etc.$1,200.00
(each)
 
 9Link Receiver$500.00 
     
  GLENAYRE  
 1GL 3000 ES COMPLETE$6,500.00 
 2Network Management System (Hardware & Software)$2,600.00 
 3UHF Link Transmitter Model GL 5351 (40W) with Hot Standby$8,500.00 
 4Paging Transmitter Model GLT8411$3,000.00 
 5C2000 Transmitter controller$1,400.00 
 6GPS KIT$320.00 
 7Combiner Unit 350W (Two Port)$2,450.00 
 8Link controller complete set$1,500.00 
 9Link Receiver$500.00 

To inquire about this equipment, please send me (Brad Dye) an e-mail and I will put you in touch with the seller.

The Electronic Entities Group

www.EEonTheWeb.com

Remember that old word “Residuals”?

The EE Group is actively seeking Dealers with sales/ service/installation capabilities to promote the latest wireless AVL, SCADA and data products from Telegauge Systems, Inc. This innovative program requires NO inventory and NO billing by your facility; you just sell it and sign up the end user to collect the commissions.

Now the real reason to choose the EE Group and Telegauge over the host of others; we pay you permanent residual income every month on your airtime sales forever.

Airtime commissions range up to 12% per month based on prior sales and you buy all equipment direct from the factory at 2-tiered wholesale prices as well for great margins. 

Telegauge builds fully 2-way overt and covert (hidden) GPS based Automatic Vehicle Location, SCADA, remote management, telemetry and data systems routed via cellular and satellite that are delivered to the end user via the Internet or direct to the desktop. Applications are both ‘canned’ and custom depending upon the customers needs. We even have full dispatch systems including credit card swipe and billing if needed.

Finally, the prices on the product are guaranteed to be the LOWEST in the industry at under $600 retail for the equipment and from $6 to $30 on the monthly airtime with most customers in the $15 range. Note too that the price is the same for cellular OR satellite world wide coverage and no one else has this exclusive capability.

Telegauge provides the product, software, airtime, billing and final information from a single source and you can be a BIG part of it. You stock NOTHING, just collect the checks.

We are paid by the manufacturer to support YOU and unlike other factories; we never bid against you, restrict you or take your deal. We help you with demo equipment, brochures, information, sales assistance, web advertising and user name/passwords for the website so that you don’t even need to buy anything to start up fast.

Contact us for a no-obligation CD of all the presentation and training material, price spreadsheets and information at: EEGroup@EEonTheWeb.com or for fast action call for a link to the Dealers Only page: 310-534-4456 and mention that you found out about it via Brad Dye’s Newsletter. You have nothing to lose and some great residual income to gain. Call or e-mail NOW.

Wireless Telemetry

wireless watchman logo
Data Communications Level 1 A basic ReFLEX transceiver, sending and receiving serial RS-232 ASCII data.
Telemetry Remote Monitoring 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.
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. ()

 

join aapc

 

 

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

aapc logo

AAPC Mission Statement

To represent paging carriers throughout the United States to ensure the success of our industry by:

  • 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.

AAPC links:

join aapc

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

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

ron mercer global

Download Mr. Mercer's resumé. left arrow CLICK HERE

isc ad 3-29-04

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

Protect your Internet-enabled Paging System!

The Hark SAFe is a hardware firewall with SPAM and virus blocking designed to protect email servers, corporate intranets, and unified messaging systems like the Hark Omega Messaging and IPT products. System includes a Linux based operating system with Web-based configuration (no keyboard and monitor needed!). Price is $995.00 including hardware!

hark safe system

Firewall protects your Internet enabled paging system:

  • Provides a firewall to protect your paging system and internal network.
  • Protect company workstations by giving them internal IP addresses.
  • Can redirect external IP addresses and ports to specific internal computers.

SPAM blocker eliminates un-wanted email:

  • Uses the latest techniques to identify and block SPAM
  • Supports new techniques as they become available

Virus blocker:

  • Prevents emails with viruses from being accepted.
  • Automatically downloads virus signature updates each night.

hark logo

 

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
infostream2

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.

tmr w/bnc
TMR w/BNC
Telemetry
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.

SECOND TERM SUPPORTER
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

1-Way Paging issues Subcommittee of the Paging Technical Committee

In response to numerous requests, the “1-way Paging Issues” subcommittee of the Paging Technical Committee (PTC) has undertaken the development of a “National Directory Of Paging Carriers” in cooperation with the AAPC. The committee believes that this effort will benefit carriers, venders and the entire paging industry by:

  • Representing the paging industry as unified and with common interests and needs
  • Increasing industry visibility to legislative and regulatory bodies
  • Encouraging inter-carrier sharing agreements to expand coverage and services
  • Identifying facilities and systems which may be for sale
  • Improving vendor awareness of carrier requirements
  • Encouraging the sharing of system maintenance experiences and know-how
  • Improving public recognition of industry capabilities

We would very much like to include your organization in the Directory, but, in the interest of accuracy, we need additional information. Accordingly, would you please be so kind as to complete and forward this questionnaire. (The questionnaire and a sample completed questionnaire are included in this zipped Word file.)

Also, please note the following:

  • The data received from respondents to this questionnaire will be compiled along with data obtained from other sources of publicly available information.
  • All participants will receive a free copy of the directory, in paper form, upon its publication.
  • We also expect to offer the raw data of the directory for sale to interested parties.
  • We would emphasize that only non-competitive information is being requested.
  • We welcome any comments and/or suggestions, which you feel appropriate.

For additional information, or to return completed questionnaire, please contact the committee chair, Alan Carle, via any of the following mechanisms. Please feel free to forward this questionnaire to other carriers in your area of whom we might not be aware.

Thank you for your assistance,

Alan W. Carle
Dir. Engineering
NEP, LLC d/b/a Northeast Paging
100 Larrabee Road STE 3
Westbrook ME 04092-5105
Tel: (207) 856-1276 X272
Pager: (207) 580-0150
Cell: (207) 318-0580
E-mail: acarle@ucom.com

FEATURED ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER
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New, never installed, complete with hardware.
Please call or e-mail with questions.

MANUFACTURERMFG. IDLOCATIONTWR TYPE HeightWind (mph)CARRIERSSALE PRICEACCESSORIES
Central TowerGT-942Newburgh, ING350703$17,500 
Central TowerGT-952Newburgh, ING380704$25,800 
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Commstructures20156Pensacola, FLM80/100703$7,900Platform at 80'
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EEI10560Belle Chase, LAM-tree140/160755$97,500 
FibrebondCRC0942Minden, LAG375704$24,0001 Set of Sector mnts.
FWT21136000El Paso, TXM65/80754$3,8001 Top Platform
Summit11858Mercer, PAM100853$11,8001 Top Platform
Summit 14263Mercer, PAM75/95905$9,0002 platforms, brown paint finish
Telestructures Pensacola, FLM-flag160704$35,900 
Valmont 14185-01El Paso, TXM-flag65/75802$5,500Antenna Canisters
TOO MUCH TO LIST • CALL OR E-MAIL
Rick McMichael
888-429-4171

rmcm@preferredwireless.com left arrow
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SECOND TERM SUPPORTER
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

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

join aapc

gtes logo
GTES Corporate
Russ Allen
2736 Stein Hill Lane
Custer, WA 98240
Tel: 360-366-3888
Cel: 360-820-3888
russ.allen@gtesinc.com
GTES Sales
Brooks Marsden
340 Bethany Bend
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Tel: 770-754-1666
Cell: 404-518-6632
brooks.marsden@gtesinc.com

www.gtesinc.com
Your Professional Services Partner


GTES is the only Glenayre authorized software support provider in the paging industry. With over 200 years of combined experience in Glenayre hardware and software support, GTES offers the industry the most professional support and engineering development staff available.


New Product Development

New Hardware Platform
New Data Protocol Support
Small Campus Two-Way Systems
Location LSP
Hosted Two Way Support

Please call GTES Sales at 770-754-1666 for more information on the above.

Continued Support Programs

GTES Partner Program
Product Sales
On-Site Services
Software Development
Product Training


CALL US TODAY FOR YOUR SUPPORT NEEDS

selective logo

Intelligent Paging & Mobile Data Hardware & Software

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 THE MOST INTELLIGENT PAGING RECEIVER IN THE MARKET. The PDT2000 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. All of the following capabilities are standard features of the PDT2000 and of our other paging data receivers:

  • 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. I would be happy to customize the content to meet your specific requirements.

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

WIRELESS DATA NEWS
Tiny Sensors That Can Track Anything

Potential Seen for Security, Home, Habitat

Friday, September 24, 2004; Page E01

They're small, smart and vigilant, the sort of miniature technology that science fiction writers once dreamed of. But the battery-powered, wireless sensors sometimes known as "smart dust" are here, and they're making their way into the electronic fabric of our lives. In the last few years, smart dust sensors smaller than a deck of cards have been deployed in research projects to monitor the vibration of manufacturing equipment, keep tabs on colonies of seabirds and measure fine variations in vineyard climates that can make or break a wine.

Now they're being sold for real. Dust Networks Inc., a chief developer, said this week that defense contractor Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego would become one of its first customers, using the technology for perimeter security systems. A grocery chain in Minnesota installed the sensors in August to monitor energy use. A competitor, Sensicast Systems Inc., just announced its own arrangement to provide sensors to monitor the environment at a nuclear generating station. Those deals resonate in an industry that didn't exist until a few years ago. Industry analysts predict that micro-sensors—which communicate via radio-linked networks like computers on the Internet—will become as ubiquitous in their own way as personal computers on the World Wide Web.

To be sure, sensors have been around for decades, particularly in the manufacturing world. But they've been costly, relatively large and limited by the wires that connected them to centralized monitors. As a consequence, they were generally used by companies with deep pockets. In recent years, as the cost of computing plummeted along with the size of computing machines, science fiction fantasy quietly morphed into technological fact. Starting in academic labs at the University of California at Berkeley and elsewhere, development of smart dust (a whimsical name that suggests where inventors hope the technology is headed) has spread to the government and private sectors.

The capabilities vary. Some take pictures. Others serve as sensitive thermometers. There are even tiny sensors that can detect the presence of gunmetal and tanks. Some analysts and researchers believe that networks of these diminutive monitors may eventually link refrigerators, printers, car keys and other everyday objects to the Internet, enabling observers and other machines to keep track of them remotely. "It's vast, in terms of the possibilities," said Glen Allmendinger, president of Harbor Research Inc., who predicted that sales of smart dust and related technology would grow from about $10 million this year to billions by the end of the decade.

"Homeland security is going to be a big part of it, but there are so many other applications," said Craig Mathias, an analyst at the Farpoint Group, an advisory firm specializing in wireless communications and mobile computing. "Is it going to be a $1 billion business? Absolutely." It's not just technology enthusiasts and executives at tiny companies who are excited. The Defense Department's research project agency has spent millions on university research. Earlier this year, the CIA's venture capital arm In-Q-Tel bought a stake in Dust Networks. Technology researchers at the Department of Homeland Security have made sensors a priority. Even computer chip giant Intel Corp. is working on wireless networks of sensors. "Wireless sensors have moved out of the labs," said Intel spokesman Kevin Teixeira. "The technology is being figured out."

Researchers said the devices, also known as "motes," can include any number of sensors to track activity or assess the surrounding circumstances, such as weather, light and heat. When the devices collect meaningful information, their systems turn on a low-power transmitter and broadcast the data to the next closest device, up to about 100 feet away. Researchers and analysts claim the devices can sometimes operate for up to three years on a pair of double-A batteries. If one device in the network fails, the data are picked up by another one, an echo of the sort of redundancy that makes the Internet so reliable. Dust Networks officials call it "smartmesh." They say their software is designed to enable a central PC or laptop to fuse or triangulate reports of the same activity from different angles within the network. In doing so, they said, the network can determine with far more nuance the direction a person is moving, the weight of a vehicle or even the likelihood that a machine is failing.

"This is no longer futuristic. This is real deployment for real customers," said Kris Pister, an electrical engineering and computer science professor at Berkeley who began studying smart dust in 1997. He founded Dust Networks two years ago. "It's a huge threshold to have a product we can actually shop to customers." Researchers still face formidable technological challenges. Communication can be disrupted by hills or electrical interference. Developers have to figure out how to ensure the increasingly tiny machines don't burn through their meager power supplies too quickly, or overwhelm the networks with false alarms. In addition, the devices can still cost hundreds of dollars, scaring away some potential customers.

But analysts said they're making progress. In 2002, researchers from the Intel Research Laboratory at Berkeley linked 32 sensors about the size of a prescription bottle to the Internet to take readings of the weather on Great Duck Island, Maine, and to assess the condition of nesting burrows used by local seabirds known as Leach's storm petrels. In the second season last year, they used more than 150 second-generation sensors that were smaller than size D batteries. "These networks monitor the microclimates in and around nesting burrows used by the Leach's Storm Petrel," said a report on the project. "Our goal is to develop a habitat monitoring kit that enables researchers worldwide to engage in the non-intrusive and non-disruptive monitoring of sensitive wildlife and habitats."

In August, two dozen Dust sensors were installed in a Supervalu grocery store in suburban Minneapolis. That network is monitoring temperatures and energy use, which typically accounts for the second-largest cost of operating a grocery store. As for SAIC, it's adopting "smartmesh" sensor networks to create electronic perimeter systems for defense and intelligence customers. Thomas J. Sereno Jr., manager for the SAIC monitoring systems division, said tests found the technology can use small magnetometers to detect whether someone is carrying a gun. SAIC plans to use microphones to search for "acoustic signatures" of vehicles, moving groups of people and such. Sereno said it also will build in cameras of the sort used in mobile phones.

Sereno speculated that some SAIC clients may use unmanned airborne vehicles to fly over rugged and dangerous environments and deposit the technology. SAIC will also be pitching it for homeland and border security. He said the ability of the network to be "self-healing" if some of the devices fail is appealing. The company intends to unveil a model for customers next month. "If you combine all the information from these sensors and fuse it, you can make inferences," he said. "We're starting to get the firm belief this is truly going to work."

Source: Washington Post

UNTIL NEXT WEEK

Well, that's all for this week folks. If you enjoyed this issue, please recommend it to someone. Your views and comments are always welcome.

BRAD DYE PHOTO

With best regards,

brad's signature

Brad Dye
WIRELESS DATA CONSULTANT


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