newsletter logo

FRIDAY - SEPTEMBER 2, 2005 - ISSUE NO. 178

Dear friends of Wireless Messaging and Paging,

Before beginning with the news about Hurricane Katrina, I want to express my sympathy for the families and loved ones of the people who perished in this terrible tragedy. There are many who are grieving over losses, along with thousands of others who are suffering from injuries, and who have lost every material thing that they possessed.

There has been some really bad reporting on television that at times almost sounded like they were glad something like this has happened so they could glibly report it.

So, let's not lose sight of the fact that this is a human tragedy. Most of the news in this week's newsletter is about the affects of the hurricane on communications. I want everyone to know about the heroic efforts going on to restore and maintain vital communications equipment and services for the emergency personnel trying to bring aid to the injured. Times like this show that many people work for more than just a paycheck. Yes, paychecks are important, but there are many people who are working long hours without rest to restore communications. They believe in what they are doing and can see how it will help others.

In several previous issues, I have lamented the fact that little has been done since 9/11 to improve communications for first responders. This natural disaster—possibly the worst one ever to occur in this country—is teaching us painful lessons about how communications can break down when we need them the most. So I am going to repeat once again my firm belief that Paging is the BEST technology to use when it is necessary to alert many people in a short time. Why?

  • Because of "group call" a feature of Paging that allows us to alert almost an unlimited number of people with one single radio transmission (to a common capcode). For example, with Paging a message can be sent to a million people in the time it takes to make two or three telephone calls.
  • Because of "simulcasting" a feature of Paging that allows the same radio message to be broadcast over multiple transmitters simultaneously — (simultaneous + broadcast = simulcast) meaning that a radio Paging signal generally has much better penetration into, under, and around buildings and is less likely to be blocked by obstructions since it will be coming to the Pager from several different directions.
  • Because of the fact that Paging systems cost a fraction of other technologies like cell phones.
  • Because Paging transmitters can be individually controlled over satellite links and they do not need a physical land line running back to the control point (like the fiber-optic networks used in cellular systems).
  • Because Paging is a mature technology. It has been refined and perfected over many years and it works very well. It is here today and available to be used RIGHT NOW.

I have talked to many people this week on the telephone. Even the top managers of several of the largest Paging companies—who were, and continue to be, very busy—took my phone calls and agreed to contribute to this report on what is being done to maintain communications. One of them told me that this has been the worst week of his life. I am sure he will look back someday with great pride on what he has accomplished.

On Tuesday of this week, I sent out a news bulletin with the following message that I received from a subscriber to this newsletter involved in the rescue efforts in New Orleans:

QUOTE

FYI I am with an Urban Search and Rescue for FEMA and with the cell and data service down and systems being flooded. I just want you and your readers know that ReFLEX is working fine and communications are flowing through the units! We are allowing people to send e-mails to loved ones to let them know they are alive and well. Again the critical use of the ReFLEX in the all the disaster situations I have been to (9/11 NYC, Ivan, Isabel and now Katrina!)

Carter C Blumeyer
Communication Specialist
Boone County Fire / MO-TF1 (COMS)
US-Forrest Service (COML, COMT)
Cell 573-268-3000 Pager 866-227-6582

http://braddye.com/homeland_security.html left arrow this is all the explanation needed.

UNQUOTE

I just heard from Carter again and he was on his way to Missouri to lead the second rescue team back to New Orleans.

Now on to the rest of the news and views.

messaging graphic

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.

iland internet sulutionsThis newsletter is brought to you by the generous support of our advertisers and the courtesy of iland Internet Solutions Corporation. For more information about the web-hosting services available from iland Internet Solutions Corporation, please click on their logo to the left.

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 central 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. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.

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.)


HURRICANE NEWS

Your Help Needed

From: On Behalf Of Tracy Waldron Answer Center
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 09:42
To: ATSI Message List server
Subject: ATSI: Relief fund for Answering service operators affected by Katrina

Because Katrina has had such devastating affects to all the areas she touched, a lot of fellow answering service operators have lost their homes and belongings. The answering service industry has come together as a group to start a fund to help operators who were victims of Katrina.

We are asking everyone but most specifically those who know and have been helped by answering service operators in the past to contribute whatever they can to help these outstanding people who so often are the ones to say "How can I help you?"

It's our turn to help them. This is the website that they have created to help us do what we can for them. These are people who have no home, no food, no jobs even to go to. They have lost everything and have no idea how long it will take to get it all back. Most operators work at or below the cost of living wage and do not have insurance to help them put their lives back together.

www.naeo.org/relief.php left arrow

Please take a moment to look at the site and give whatever you think you can. I think of our operators here right now in the next room taking calls. Giving everything they can to each of your callers. I think about them and what would happen to them if Katrina had hit here. Where would they go, what would they do if they didn't have this job or a home to go to. I pray that someday if anything ever happened to any of them, this fund would be available to them.

Again, just take a moment to take a look and if you can spare a few dollars to help them get back on their feet.

Thanks,

Tracy Waldron

[More discussion on this relief effort follows below in the READER'S COMMENTS section.]


HURRICANE NEWS

Hurricane Katrina—State of Mississippi—Gulf Coast—USA

Damage to SkyTel Paging Sites

tower
Paging Tower
grand casino
Former Paging Receiver Site—Grand Casino
tower
Paging Tower
inside grand casino
Inside Hall in Grand Casino
outside grand casino
Outside View of the Grand Casino
Hurricane Katrina
State of Mississippi
Gulf Coast
USA

HURRICANE NEWS

usa mobility logo

A MESSAGE FROM VINCE KELLY, PRESIDENT & CEO

August 31, 2005

Anyone who has seen pictures of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina knows of the difficulties being faced by people in that part of the country. We want every employee in New Orleans, Gulfport, Jackson, and the surrounding affected areas to know that the entire management team and board of directors are concerned about your health and safety as well as that of your family. Those of us who watched the storm approaching on Sunday night and Monday morning can only imagine how you felt and the decisions you had to make. We send you our very best wishes for a quick and speedy return to normal life at home and at work, and we are prepared to do our best to support you and help you recover from this unfortunate storm.

That support will include the opportunity for USA Mobility employees, including the Board of Directors and Senior management, to contribute to a special fund intended to assist employees who have lost their homes or have been otherwise affected by this terrible disaster. Further information on that fund will be forthcoming. Our fund coordinator will be Doug Mertes in Human Resources assisted by Sharon Woods Keisling in our Treasury department.

We should also take a moment to thank Mike Curd and our Technical group for their tremendous efforts in maintaining and repairing our paging systems. A number of our transmission sites in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi went down during the storm, but many have been repaired and are now back in service. Where necessary, we are augmenting permanent installations with mobile units until the facilities that have been damaged beyond repair can be replaced. Multiple teams of field techs are working through difficult conditions to restore service as quickly as possible, especially to the critical hospital, police and emergency response customers that rely heavily on us. Understand that this means in many if not most cases they are going without adequate facilities to wash, sleep or eat. Many can only drink the water they carried and they are tired. What keeps them going is their dedication to their fellow man, their recognition of the critical service we provide, and YOUR support and gratitude. Make sure you let them know how very proud of them we are.

Thankfully, the building housing our billing and IS installation in Jackson, MS did not sustain major damage. However, power and telephone lines remain down in much of that area, although commercial power to the facility itself has now been restored. Due to advance planning by the IS team, we had sufficient generator power to keep the system up and running, and as of last night they had enough fuel to last them well over a week with a promise from the fuel company of repeat deliveries. We understand that our Jackson employees have had a very difficult time due to the massive damage of trees, power lines, banks being closed and lack of fuel. Peter Barnett, our Chief Operating Officer, is doing everything in his power to address specifically some of these situations and is very focused on our team members there. Yesterday afternoon, under the leadership of Dave Duclos, our SVP of Technology, we dispatched a truck to Jackson loaded with supplies. It will be there any minute now. Also, due to the Mellon lockbox situation we have decided to wait one more day to run Cycle 1 in order to get the payments received posted to customer accounts prior to invoicing so as to avoid confusion and unnecessary phone calls post billing.

Remarkably, the Pensacola call center avoided major damage, even though they experienced high winds from the storm. Although they were closed on Monday, Pensacola was back on line yesterday and running at full capacity, fielding their normal call volume. We understand the schools are still closed there and we acknowledge and greatly appreciate the sacrifices and special arrangements employees are making to support our call activity. We thank Lynn Pomas for her leadership.

Once we re-establish communications, we’ll learn more about the effects of the hurricane on our employees. So far, we’ve heard from about half of the ones who live and work in the area hit by the storm, and all are in good health. Many of them will suffer personal hardships as a result of Katrina, including damage to homes and possessions, as well as loss of power and water, perhaps for an extended period of time. At this point, especially in Mississippi, there are many employees we simply have not heard from. To the extent any of you can get news on these fellow team members, please forward it to Doug Mertes in Human Resources so he can update our records. Gulf Port was extremely hard hit; in fact one of the buildings housing a paging terminal was completely destroyed and washed away. Our technical team is already addressing this and has reconstructed a terminal in Dallas and is providing access via an over dial capability to restore paging functionality.

Under the leadership of Jim Boso, Mark Dipple and Kedron Pogue we have provided literally hundreds of free pagers to Emergency Service, hospital, police and other mission critical storm recovery agencies. We will continue to do so as our corporate citizenship and leadership role requires. We have been in touch with the Red Cross, FEMA and Department of Homeland Security and we are offering and providing services. After all, we are USA Mobility and after what we have all been through in the last five years we are not about to let a hurricane get us down!

Meanwhile, we will continue paying all affected employees in the area their wages through the end of next week, even if they are unable to make it to work. After next weekend, we’ll review the situation to determine when our offices will reopen. We’ll also arrange to have Counselors ready to provide special services to employees as needed or when requested. Some of our customer service employees from the New Orleans area may be asked to relocate temporarily to Pensacola, where they will work and be housed at our cost until our New Orleans office is able to reopen.

However, I want to make something very clear. If we have an employee with a special need, who has experienced a severe personal loss we would like that information right away. Supply it to Doug Mertes and we will immediately see what can be done to help them out.

We all recognize that this is a terrible natural disaster for many of you, as well as your families and friends and many of our loyal customers. I appreciate the bravery, resolve and professionalism you have demonstrated over the past several days. And, I am proud of the team who mobilized to support those of you affected by the storm and to support our customers’ needs. Let’s keep up the good work!


HURRICANE NEWS

aapc logoAAPC Bulletin
www.pagingcarriers.org • 866-301-2272
The Voice of US Paging Carriers

ISSUE NO. 23— FRIDAY — SEPTEMBER 2, 2005

AAPC Emerging Technologies Symposium
November 3–4, 2005
Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center
Scottsdale, Arizona

VENDORS—This is your chance to present to the audience your
innovative products and services!

New this year—we are offering a limited number of vendor presentations.   

We are currently securing vendors who would like to showcase new products, services, or telemetry applications that they are using, at the upcoming Emerging Technologies Symposium, November 3-4, 2005 at the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center.

To learn more, please review the vendor opportunities and vendor contractor contact Linda at aapc@ec.rr.com or call 866-301-2272.

Plan on spending two nights at one of Arizona’s best resorts—the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center is a luxury desert vacation retreat offering spectacular surroundings and time-honored traditions of hospitality. 

Hotel reservations must be made prior to October 1, 2005 to receive the special discounted rate of $149 plus tax/night. To make reservations call 800-540-0727 and reference AAPC or book online at www.thescottsdaleresort.com and use the group booking code, 23883. If you do not use this code, you will not receive our reduced rate.   

First-class accommodations, networking with colleagues, learning about new successful revenue streams—this is a must attend event.  Make your plans now to attend! 

REGISTER TODAY at www.pagingcarriers.org!

   AAPC Member Registration (On or before October 5)$170.00
 Non Members (On or before October 5)$220.00
 AAPC Member Late Registration (After October 5)$190.00
 Non Members (After October 5)$245.00
These rates include all meals on Thursday and a continental breakfast and lunch on Friday. Hotel room rates are not included.

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE NEW LOOK OF THE AAPC WEB SITE
right arrow www.pagingcarriers.org left arrow


AAPC Executive Director
441 N. Crestwood Drive
Wilmington, NC 28405
Tel: 866-301-2272
E-mail: info@pagingcarriers.org
Web: www.pagingcarriers.org
AAPC Regulatory Affairs Office
Suite 800
1015 - 18th Street N.W.
Washington DC 20036-5204

Thanks to the Gold Vendors!
prism logo
PRISM Systems International, Inc.
recurrent2 logo
Recurrent Software Solutions, Inc.

Thanks to the Silver Vendor!
isc technologies
ISC Technologies, Inc.

Thanks to the Bronze Vendors!
  • BLP Components, Ltd.
  • Canyon Ridge Communications, Inc.
  • Commtech Wireless
  • Global Technical Engineering Solutions (GTES)
  • Hark Systems, Inc.
  • Motorola Inc.
  • Minilec Service, Inc.
  • RMS Communications
  • Trace Technologies LLC
  • Unication USA
  • United Communications Corporation
  • VCP International
  • Zetron, Inc.

AAPC BULLETIN

FEATURED ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER

Advertiser Index

AAPC—American Association of Paging Carriers Multitone Electronics
Advantra International  Northeast Paging
Ayrewave Corporation  NotePage Inc.
Bay Star Communications   Outr.net
CONTEL Costa Rica  Heartland Communications
CPR Technology  Ira Wiesenfeld
Daniels Electronics  Payment Guardian
Daviscomms USA   Preferred Wireless
ERF Wireless   Prism Systems International
Global Fax Network Services   Ron Mercer
GTES LLC   Selective Communications
HMCE, Inc. Sun Telecom International
Hark Systems  Texas Association of Paging Services
InfoRad, Inc.   UCOM Paging
Minilec Service, Inc.   Zetron Inc.

assist star logo
When every second counts, manage them effectively.

Messaging Business Opportunity

Supplement your existing business by launching this new AssistSTAR message distribution management system. Increase your revenue without purchasing a lot of new infrastructure, by starting out with a subscription service on existing equipment.

What is AssistSTAR?
The AssistSTAR System allows you to manage and track the distribution of text and voice messages to individuals and groups. It also allows you to easily manage those groups (also called Distribution Lists), reassigning personnel to response teams with only a few clicks, all via the internet. AssistSTAR also
provides a Scripted Interactive Voice Response menu system that can interact with callers to determine the nature of the call and it’s appropriate processing. It will handle automated distribution of messages based on interaction with the caller, or patch callers to a live operator. It can even provide a name-dialed directory. The most unique aspect of AssistSTAR is that it is available as a monthly service. No costly servers or software licenses needed.

Subscription-based AssistSTAR to start
For a nominal setup fee and a reasonable monthly service fee, AssistSTAR can provide you with the most sophisticated communications management available today. This is ideal for the current business climate - you can add or withdraw from services as your business requires. There is no capital investment required to take advantage of advanced call handling and IVR processing. The IVR can be customized to meet any needs for caller interaction.

Server-based solutions when you are ready
When you are ready to invest in a system to eliminate recurring service fees, we will be ready to build a system for you, including custom features developed to meet your special requirements. The system can be customized to provide all of your voice mail, communication management, automated front-desk, inbound and outbound telemarketing, and campus paging needs.

Time-critical response
It may not be every day that you have a crisis that requires fast, closed-loop communications, but with AssistSTAR managing your teams, you can be prepared to respond at a moment’s notice.

When every second counts, manage them effectively.

You are invited to view our emerging case study presentation by clicking here. left arrow

Brought to you by:
bay star logo

Bay Star Communications
11500 N.W. Freeway, #170
Houston, TX 77092
1-800-BAYSTAR
1-877-612-1040 (fax)
www.baystar.com

preferred logo
EQUIPMENT FOR SALE
(12)Glenayre RL70XC Midband Link RXs$250 each
(3)Glenayre Hot Standby Panels$300 each
(1)Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX.$900
(2)Glenayre QT5994, 45W, 900 MHz Link Tx, Hot Standby$1300 both
(1)Glenayre QT4201, 25W Midband Link TX.$500 each
(1)Glenayre QT6201, 100W Midband Link TX.$900 each
(2)Motorola Midband Link TX. 30W$250 each
(6)QT-7795 900 MHz, 250W, TX.$500 each
(5)Quintron QT-6772, 90W, UHF TX.$400 each
(14)Glenayre GLT5340, 125W UHF TX., DSP Exciter$2500 each
(50)Motorola PURC 5000, UHF, 110W, Advanced Control$1000 each
(1)Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W, 900 MHz$1300
(20)Motorola PURC 5000, 300/150W, 900 MHz$600 each
(15)Motorola ACB Control Shelf, 3.69 software$400 each
(1)Zetron DAPT 1000B$250
(11) Skydata 8411B Satellite Receivers$450 each
(15)Battery Backup for C2000$100 each

GL3000 Cards - UOE, Memory, CPU’s, QVSB’s, T1’s, DID’s, SIO, Drives…

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

rmcm@preferredwireless.com left arrow
CLICK HERE
THREE TERM SUPPORTER


GTES LLC

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

sherloc

www.sherlocgps.com

GTES has recently made the strategic decision to expanding its development activities to include wireless location technologies; a market that researchers forecast could reach $3.6 billion by 2010. In support of this new strategic direction, GTES has developed SHERLOC™ a complete one-stop wireless location service, providing the flexibility of being protocol neutral and network agnostic. Targeted at business customers who need to track their high-value shipments or better manage their service or delivery fleets, SHERLOC™ is a hosted application that combines configuration flexibility with ease of use.

GTES is offering SHERLOC™ services both directly and through authorized resellers. If your company has an interest in finding out how location services can enhance your revenue stream, and has the contacts and expertise to make you successful in the location marketplace, please contact us for further information at www.sherlocgps.com and select “Reseller Opportunities,” or call us at 770-754-1666 for more information.


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.


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


CALL US TODAY FOR YOUR SUPPORT NEEDS
THREE TERM SUPPORTER


HARK TECHNOLOGIES

hark logo
Wireless Communication Solutions

isi image

ISI-LX Internet Serial Interface with Protocol Conversion


  • Converts Serial TAP message to SNPP, SMTP, or WCTP
  • Pass through Serial Data to TCP/IP and TCP/IP back to Serial
  • Supports Ethernet or PPP Connection to Internet w/Dial Backup
  • Includes 4 Serial Ports for Multiplexing Traffic

isi image

IPG Internet Paging Gateway


  • No Moving Parts Such as Hard Drives or Fans to Fail
  • Supports 10Base-T Network Connection to Internet
  • Accepts HTTP, SMTP, SNPP, and WCTP from Internet
  • Sends TAP or TNPP to Your Paging Terminal

tsc image

TNPP inline stats capture


  • Inserts Inline With Your Existing TNPP Cable
  • Easy-to-use Windows Based Reporting Program w/Search by Date Range

omega image

Omega Unified Messaging Server


  • Full Featured Internet Messaging Gateway
  • TAP Concentrator and TNPP Routing Functions w/TNPP over Internet
  • Serial Protocols Supported: GCP, SMDI, SMS, TAP, TNPP
  • Internet Protocols Supported: AIM, HTTP, SMPP (out only), SMTP, SNPP, and WCTP
  • Full Featured, Easy-to-use Voice/Fax/Numeric Mail Interface
  • One Number For All Your Messaging
  • Optional Hot-swap Hard Drives and Power Supplies Available

Please see our website for even more products designed specifically for Personal Messaging carriers. For example, the Omega Messaging Gateway and Email Throttling Gateway (anti-spam).


CONTACT
Hark Technologies
2675 Lake Park Drive
N. Charleston, SC 29406
Tel: +1 843-764-1560
Fax: +1 843-764-3692
E-mail: sales@harksystems.com left arrow CLICK
Web: http://www.harksystems.com left arrow CLICK
THREE TERM SUPPORTER

join aapc

daviscomms usa

www.daviscommsusa.com

  • Contract Design, Engineering, & Manufacturing
  • Telemetry Devices
  • Bravo Pagers—Numeric/Alphanumeric
  • ISO9001-2000 Certified Facility
  • Low Cost-High Volume solutions
  • Maximize Time-To-Market Objectives
  • Minimize procurement materials management
  • FLEX-POCSAG-ReFLEX
  • Receiver Boards-FLEX-POCSAG
  • Integrate our RF Technologies into your product
bravo 800
Bravo 800 Front Display
Alphanumeric Pager
bravo 500
Bravo 500 Front Display
Numeric Pager
br802 front
BR802 Front Display
Alphanumeric Pager
br502 front
BR502 Top Display
Numeric Pager
br801 plus
BR501 Plus Top Display
Numeric Pager

Daviscomms—Product Examples

For information about our Contract Manufacturing services or our Pager or Telemetry line, please call Bob Popow at 480-515-2344, bob@daviscommsusa.com or visit our website www.daviscommsusa.com


FOUR TERM SUPPORTER

prism logo

Prism Message Gateway Systems
Modular and Configurable

Your Choice of Options

  • Radio Paging Terminals
  • Voicemail Systems
  • E-mail 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 left CLICK HERE
E-mail: info@prismpaging.com left arrow CLICK HERE
THREE TERM SUPPORTER

eRF Wireless
Paging Hardware
End-to-End Solutions for Wireless Personal Communications and Messaging Productsbase stations
Base Stations & Link Transmitters
power amplifiers
Power Amplifiers
Exceptional quality. Unmatched sales and service support.

redundant switches
Redundant Switches

As a worldwide supplier of telecommunications equipment eRF Wireless designs, manufactures and markets transmitters, receivers, controllers, software and other equipment used in personal communications systems, as well as radio and telephone systems. eRF Wireless also provides service and support for its products, as well as consulting and research development on a contract basis.

If you'd like a single-source provider that's committed to competitive prices and fast delivery, call us today at 1-800-538-9050 or visit our website at:
www.erfwireless.com left arrow CLICK HERE

erf logo
1-800-538-9050
www.erfwireless.com
2911 South Shore Blvd., Suite 100 • League City, TX 77573

www.erfwireless.com
multitone graphic

multitone graphic

Multitone North America Inc.
2300 M Street NW
Suite 800
Washington, DC 20037
Tel: (202) 973-2827
Fax: (202) 293-3083

multitone logo

Launches...

NEW state-of-the-art PowerPage 750 with Advanced Reliability offering Digital Voice Storage Technology and a range of other exciting new features and benefits...

multitone pager group

Multitone also has a range of PowerPage & FuturePhone Wireless Communication Solutions to suit your individual communication needs.

For information on our product range and how Multitone can help enhance your communications, please e-mail info@multitone.com or telephone (202) 973-2827.

www.multitone-usa.com

WIRELESS NEWS

COMMUNICATIONS

Millions Said to Be Lacking Phone Service of Any Kind

By KEN BELSON
Published: September 1, 2005

Efforts to get food, water and electricity to the hundreds of thousands of survivors of Hurricane Katrina have been hampered by a lack of an essential tool: the ability of aid groups, citizens and even the phone companies to communicate with one another.

Landline and wireless phone service across the Gulf Coast from New Orleans eastward has been largely cut off, and restoring it will take weeks, if not months.

As many as 750,000 BellSouth landline customers and millions of cellphone customers are thought to be without service across Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, though precise figures are hard to come by because phone companies have been unable to get to all their equipment to assess the damage.

"As difficult as last year was," said Bill Smith, the chief technology officer at BellSouth, speaking of the efforts to restore service after a string of hurricanes in Florida, "it may have been a dress rehearsal for what we're seeing now."

The spotty or nonexistent coverage in the affected areas highlights one longstanding myth about cellular phone service: that users can make calls even when electric power or landlines are inoperable.

What millions of Americans do not realize is that cellphone service relies on land-based fiber optic networks to route calls.

When customers place cellphone calls, their calls are sent to nearby antennas, which are connected to base stations operated by each mobile phone company. Those base stations pass on the calls using fiber optic lines to switching stations operated by BellSouth and other landline providers. BellSouth then sends the calls on to their destinations.

If any of this equipment is out of service, whether because of fallen trees, cut cables or flooding, calls typically cannot be placed.

"If we don't have landline connectivity to our equipment at the towers, it doesn't matter if it's running," said James J. Gerace, a vice president at Verizon Wireless. "Customers could be getting five bars on their phone and they can't get through."

Much of the cellphone system relies on electric power, too. When electricity is interrupted, many switching stations and cellular base stations switch automatically to alternate power sources, either batteries or generators that run on diesel fuel. BellSouth, for instance, has 180 switching stations running on generators.

But most of these sources can supply only 24 to 48 hours of alternate power, which means many stations could shut down soon.

While the worst disruptions are in and around New Orleans, where the most equipment is submerged, coverage is only slowly improving elsewhere in the region. In the hard-hit towns along the Mississippi coast, phone company workers—not to mention ordinary cellphone users—are having to trek five miles or more inland to get a signal on their phones.

Cellular companies have been trying to fix this problem by moving "cell sites on wheels" into the area. Verizon, for instance, has 20 of these three-axle trucks, some working in Baton Rouge, La., and some sitting on elevated roadways in New Orleans waiting for a place to go.

As with stationary cellular base stations, though, these "COW's" have to connect to a wider network to complete calls. Some will connect directly to telephone switching equipment. Others will connect using microwave antennas that beam signals to other dishes that are connected to networks.

Many of the New Orleans residents with a 504 area code have been unable to receive calls on their cellphones, even if they have left the region. All cellphones have a home switching office, which keeps billing and service data. When people call a 504 number, the disabled switching stations in New Orleans are unable to route the call.

While voice coverage in New Orleans and other areas hit by the hurricane is sporadic, some cellphone customers have been sending and receiving text messages. These messages get through because, unlike voice calls, they do not need to immediately connect to a user on the other side. Rather, the data packets that form a message are small and will wait until a network is free.

To circumvent cellular networks entirely, many officials—including some phone company chiefs—are using satellite phones. They do not rely on equipment on the ground because they beam their signals to low-orbiting satellites. But the batteries on these phones can provide only about six hours of talk time. Some are equipped with solar rechargers, while others can be plugged into cigarette lighters and wall jacks.

Iridium, one of the country's largest suppliers of satellite phones, said the amount of traffic from the region on its satellites had doubled since the storm and was likely to rise further.

Some of Iridium's dealers have also been swamped by requests for handsets, which typically cost $1,500 each. Craig Van Wagner, the chief salesman at GMPCS, a distributor of Iridium phones in Pompano Beach, Fla., said he had "done a month's worth of business in two days," or about $1 million in sales.

Getting the phones to customers is another question. GMPCS is shipping handsets by overnight mail to Jackson, Miss.; Birmingham, Ala.; and other cities near the worst-hit areas. Customers are typically picking up their phones there because delivery service is so spotty closer to the heavily damaged towns.

Carmen L. Lloyd, Iridium's chief executive, said he had been scrounging up thousands of handsets to send to emergency service workers and others in the area.

Vikas Bajaj contributed reporting for this article.

Source: The New York Times


FCC Extends Deadline

The FCC has announced that it is extending until September 28, 2005, the deadline for paying 2005 regulatory fees for those entities affected by the recent Katrina hurricane. To take advantage of the extension, FCC licensees and other regulated entities must include a certification with their payment that the payment could not be made on a timely basis because of the hurricane. Full details concerning the extension are contained in the following FCC press release. [Courtesy of the AAPC.]


fcc logo PUBLIC NOTICE  
 Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 1-888-835-5322
 
 
 
 

DA 05-2396
Released: August 31, 2005

By the Commission:

Commission Extends Regulatory Fee Filing Window For Those Regulatees Affected By
Hurricane Katrina

As a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in certain areas within the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, the networks of many essential services have been disrupted causing the delay, suspension, or elimination of certain commercial and government services. The Commission is mindful of the effect of the hurricane on licensees and regulatees who are required to pay annual regulatory fees pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 159 (Public Law 103-66). Due to the interruption of essential services such as, but not limited to, banking, mail, utilities, and other public services, the Commission is extending the deadline date for those licensees and regulatees in the affected area for filing FY 2005 Regulatory Fees from 11:59 PM, September 7, 2005 to 11:59 PM September 28, 2005. For all others, i.e., those not affected by the hurricane, the previous announced window remains in effect, and the Commission’s rules concerning late payment or non-payment will be enforced.

Licensees and regulatees affected by the hurricane must include a certification that payment could not be made within the previous announced time because of the hurricane. Licensees and regulatees that submitted a manual payment of the regulatory fees during the days immediately before Hurricane Katrina affected the area, and who have reasonable belief that payment is or may be delayed by the hurricane, should notify the Commission, as soon as practicable, of the details of payment, including FRN, method of payment delivery, amount, and date of payment.

The Commission continues to monitor circumstances of the hurricane including recovery and reconstruction efforts, and we will provide additional guidance as is necessary.

Both manual filing of regulatory fees, and the Fee Filer automated system will be available during the extended filing period.

We encourage you to use the Fee Filer automated system to process your filing. You may visit the Commission’s website at www.fcc.gov/fees then click on Fee Filer for additional information on how to use the system.

The Financial Operations Help Desk (1-877-480-3201, Option 4) will remain available to assist filers in using the Fee Filer until 6:00 PM Eastern time, September 28, 2005, or in the alternative, you may contact ARINQUIRIES by email for further assistance.

 

Source: FCC web site


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Orion and PixelPlay Partner to Create First Interactive TV Mobile Entertainment Portal

Sophisticated, fully interactive TV based portal enables viewers to download mobile entertainment content via their TV to their cell phones

New York—August 30, 2005—Orion Information Services and PixelPlay announced today that they are partnering to create the world’s first interactive TV mobile entertainment portal; all previous mobile entertainment portals have been Web based. Under the terms of the partnership, PixelPlay will create a very sophisticated front end to Orion’s Mobile Entertainment Portal that will launch by the end of 2005 and will be far more interactive with wider choices for viewers. Further, it will enable subscribers to browse and listen to more than 5,000 entertainment options on their TVs and then download their selections to their cell phones including ring tones, images, music tones, animations, sound effects and Java games. The full range of mobile content available can be found at http://www.dishmobile.com.

“This partnership is a natural step in the growth of Orion,” said Kristian Gjerding, CEO of Orion Information Services. “During the past year we’ve signed agreements with major and select independent music publishing groups as well as numerous specialty content houses. These agreements license Orion to distribute a wide range of existing content as well as all new content as soon as it becomes available. Our alliance with PixelPlay puts a mechanism in place that satellite and cable networks can leverage to offer their subscribers mobile entertainment that is already in high demand.”

“Orion is the only company we found with the technology, management, and partnerships to ensure success in the use of ITV as a delivery channel for mobile entertainment,” said Ron Chaimowitz, CEO of PixelPlay. “We’re delighted to pioneer this new distribution channel with Orion which complements PixelPlay’s current distribution channels that already include Cablevision Systems Corporation, EchoStar, Bell Express Vu, MultiChoice, Vodafone, and GoGo on HOT Cable.”

The TV portal integrates both Web and WAP based outlets to enable users access from TV, the Internet and mobile phones. The WAP service is unique in this respect because it uses SMS as the initiator to drive advertising.

About Orion Information Services
Orion Information Services (OIS) is a cross media company delivering profitable, engaging mobile content and services. Founded in 2002, this new breed of company provides its partners with innovative interactive services designed to keep pace with the ever-changing mobile world. Its cross-media services combine traditional media (television, radio and print) with the Internet and mobile consumer devices, such as mobile phones or palmtop units, to connect consumers to an entirely new world of wireless services.

Headquartered in Miami Beach with offices in New York and LA, Orion is focused on the US and Latin American markets, and with a development office in Copenhagen, Denmark, Orion has secured access to the cutting edge wireless markets of the Nordic region. http://www.ois-inc.com

About PixelPlay
PixelPlay is a worldwide provider of brand-name games and entertainment for cross-platform play on interactive television, broadband, iPTV and mobile devices. It offers the best technology and iTV cross-platform game service operations by promoting the best games and entertainment brands in the marketplace. PixelPlay provides an unmatched offering and value proposition to cable and satellite TV operators around the world. PixelPlay’s core team has an 11-year track record in the games and entertainment industry with strong core R&D and operational and technology experience in iTV and the mobile space.

PixelPlay features licensed games from leading global brands such as Atari/Hasbro, The Tetris Company, Tribune's Jumble interactive crossword puzzles, Microsoft Games, RealArcade games, and many others. PixelPlay's catalog reads like a "who's who" of the world's top game brands. The company is a headquartered in New York and United Kingdom. http://www.pixelplay.com

Orion Press Contact:
Jan Wall
Orion Information Services
(250) 388-0865
jan@oismail.com

PixelPlay Press Contact:
Paulina Piekarski
Connors Communications
(212) 798-1407
Paulina@connors.com


HURRICANE NEWS

usa mobility logo

The Story of Hurricane Katrina

There are many stories to be told in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. For those of us in the paging industry, ours is an important one that illustrates the value our industry contributes to the country in times of crisis. We bear a critical responsibility to maintain our network integrity so that our customers, many of whom are emergency responders, can do the really important work of saving lives and preventing further disaster.

What follows is USA Mobility’s story of Hurricane Katrina to date. It details our preparation for the storm and the tireless efforts of our workforce to serve the needs of our customers—so they can, in turn, serve the needs of the community.

The Storm and Our Preparation

On Wednesday evening, August 24, 2005, the Network Operations Center (NOC), USA Mobility’s 24X7 technical monitoring group was discussing the possibility of a storm hitting the Florida coast. It was unclear at that time exactly where it was going to hit and how bad of a storm it would be. There were conversations with the field technical staff in Florida and we felt we were ready for the storm.

On Thursday evening, at 8:01 PM CT, Hurricane Katrina made landfall near Adventura, Florida with maximum sustained winds at 80 mph. It is moving slowly to the west at about 6 mph. There have been reports of wind gusts from 62 to 92 mph with some trees coming down in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. The gusty winds have caused widespread power outages across southern Florida.

By midnight, Katrina had slightly weakened and by 2:00 AM CT, Friday morning, had moved into the Gulf of Mexico. As the day progressed, the NOC was happy that the storm was over and there was only minor damage to our paging systems. There were 26 outage tickets related to storm events and they were thinking that the worst was over and that Florida was in good shape as compared to some of the more recent storms that have hit that storm ravaged state.

The field technical staff had been working diligently on closing out work tickets related to the storm and they felt most of the work in Florida would be completed by Monday or Tuesday. No significant damage had occurred to any of USA Mobility’s facilities and that is the most that anyone could ask for after being hit by a hurricane.

The NOC continued to monitor the storm and was hoping that the storm would soon take a downward turn or gradually diminish its strength before hitting land again. By 10 PM CT, on Saturday evening the national weather bureau was categorizing Katrina as a Category 3 hurricane moving 7 MPH with winds near 115 MPH with higher gusts. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical force winds extend outward up to 160 miles. The NOC was beginning to worry that the storm was not going to weaken and there were hurricane warnings issued for the north central gulf coast from Morgan City, Louisiana eastward to the Alabama / Florida border including the City of New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.

At 4:00 AM CST, Katrina becomes classified as a category 4 Hurricane and is moving toward the West-Northwest near 10 MPH. Maximum sustained winds are near 145 MPH with higher gusts. Winds extend 85 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles.

The NOC is very concerned at this point and starts escalating warnings to various personnel that this is an “All hands on deck call!”

By 7:01 AM CT, Katrina is now classified as a category 5 hurricane and is 275 Mi SSE of the mouth of the Mississippi River moving WNW at 10 mph, winds are currently at 160 mph.

AT 9:23 AM CT, Vince Kelly, President and CEO of USA Mobility, sends out an email to IT and Engineering.

Team,

Obviously, this is a very dangerous storm and it looks like it is going to do a lot of damage. I realize we all have an enormous amount of work to do on …. However, our recovery from this storm will have to take top priority. Let’s bring our “A” game to this recovery. To the extent our technical or customer service departments need more financial resources they will be authorized. Overtime, travel, etc. is also clearly supported to get our networks back up and online. We can’t do a lot about loss of power, but we can provide temporary generators, COWS and other short-term solutions to bridge the gap while commercial power is restored. I have seen us recover from these events before and now that USA Mobility has come together as the best team ever in our industry, I know we can handle this. Lets show ‘em what we can do.

Vince

AT 10:35 AM CT, Mike Curd, VP of Engineering, responded with a plan to back up all paging terminals in the path of Katrina. He double-checked all generators and mobile two-way sites (COWS) for usability, where should they be staged away from the hurricane’s path and be ready to be deployed to key sites upon notice. Techs from adjacent regions are planned to be staged to assist and be deployed as necessary along with parts and equipment. There was a call at 11 AM CT for all appropriate parties.

At 4:01 PM CT, Mike Curd sent out an update to all senior management:

The Field Technical and Engineering teams have been working over the weekend to prepare for Hurricane Katrina. The key Team Leaders are the Divisional VPs of Engineering, Greg Hoss and Dave Foster. The RTMs in the strike zone are Greg Cartwright (Louisiana) and Mike Redd (Florida Panhandle and Mississippi). Please use the NOC as your primary contact point for these Team Leaders, as they will be mobile during this period and need to keep their cell phones available.

We have established toll free numbers that will route to several paging terminals in Plano, which will be programmed with over-dial service (7 or 10 digit, depending on the terminal) to support any terminal that has an extended outage. Backup databases for these terminals have been shipped to Plano. The numbers and their associated terminal databases, along with user instructions, will be posted on the internal Intranet as soon as the service is tested.

AT 4:43 PM CT, Vince Kelly, President and CEO of USA Mobility, sends out an email to all senior management:

Team,

At this point it looks like we are going to take a major hit in the early morning hours tonight and tomorrow. This storm has the potential to do major damage, both personal and property wise. Some of the more recent news reports indicate a strengthening and an epic consequence.

Your technical team has been monitoring the situation all weekend and keeping us up to date. They have held conference calls and organized their forces. They have distributed the attached action plan. The quality of this plan and the preparation behind it, speaks for itself. Our technicians are up to the task despite the huge workload they have incurred already this year due to integration goals and unexpected storms. Our customer service and finance department stand ready to provide resources and support.

At times like this we have to remind ourselves that USA Mobility is more than just a profitable wireless communications company. We provide mission critical communications for police, fire, rescue, hospital and government services, not to mention the many utilities and workers who are needed to respond.

Typically our biggest issue is loss of power to our switches and transmitters. We can’t do a lot about that, but we can move quickly to restore our signals once we have commercial power or drop in a COW where there is a dire need like a hospital or police department. We can also make alternative access arrangements using switch backups, over dial and rerouting.

Let’s all do our part to stand tall and make USA Mobility the wireless company that we can all be proud of. I can honestly say we have the best group of managers and dedicated employees I have ever been associated with. We have created a new culture of winners and we are on our way. Let’s not let this storm break our spirit. Let’s all rise to the occasion. Let’s get the job done.

At mid-day tomorrow we will hold a brief conference call after the technicians indicate to me they are ready with their initial assessment. I look forward to speaking with you all then.

Vince

At 7:00 PM CT, the center of Hurricane Katrina is located 130 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Katrina is a potentially catastrophic hurricane. Katrina is expected to make landfall as a category four or five. Katrina is moving at 11 MPH and sustained tropical storm force winds are already occurring over the SE Louisiana Coast. Maximum sustained winds are near 160 MPH with higher gusts. Winds extend up to 105 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 230 miles.

The technical organization in Florida had been working diligently on outages from Southern Florida and had already closed 13 tickets. The rest of the field organization, engineering services, and the IT department are scrambling to get all of their bases covered.

At 7:16 PM CT, Dave Duclos, Sr. VP—IT & Engineering, sent out an email to all Corporate IT:

Please have your teams on "ready" mode just in case we need to help out due to the storm—I am also very concerned about the Jackson facility from a flooding and/or loss of network connectivity standpoint! We should be prepared to "fire up" the Sungard BOSS system if we end up with what could be a long-term outage in Jackson (let’s hope not)—Ghina and I will be responsible for that. Additionally, we need to assess all systems running in Jackson and determine a plan for recovery—we can discuss this tomorrow morning.

Sometime after 6:00 AM CT, Monday, August 29, 2005, Katrina made landfall again. There is nothing else to say; by now, all of you have seen the catastrophic damage that Katrina did from the moment she touched land between New Orleans and Biloxi; to northern Mississippi, Alabama, and the tornados she spawned in Georgia.

The Aftermath

I believe we all work in organizations that feel they are prepared for the worst and many of us feel like we can handle whatever is thrown our way. All of the preparation we could ever have imagined would not have been enough to minimize the amount of damage and turmoil created by Katrina, possibly the worst hurricane ever recorded.

USA Mobility’s entire staff has risen to the occasion to help in whatever way possible to do at least their share in helping out the general public. Our field technical staff is doing whatever it takes to repair, where possible, the many systems operated by USA Mobility for public safety, search and rescue, first responders, hospitals… In addition, temporary sites (COWS) have been put up in as many strategic locations to help FEMA and other organizations communicate as well as possible during the recovery period.

USA Mobility’s sales force is in contact with the State of Louisiana, hospitals, rescue agencies, law enforcement, FEMA, Homeland Security, and many other support organizations to offer help. So far, USA Mobility has supplied over 1,500 pagers in the last 48 hours to ease their communication needs.

A first hand account on the performance of paging in the Hurricane affected zone was sent in to Brad Dye’s Wireless Messaging Newsletter. As reported by Carter C. Blumeyer, a Communication Specialist with FEMA:

FYI I am with an Urban Search and Rescue for FEMA and with the cell and data service down and systems being flooded. I just want you and your readers know that ReFLEX is working fine and communications are flowing through the units! We are allowing people to send e-mails to loved ones to let them know they are alive and well. Again the critical use of the ReFLEX in the all the disaster situations I have been to (9/11 NYC, Ivan, Isabel and now Katrina!)

Our work will continue along the Gulf Coast for weeks, months and, in some areas, for years. What is interesting is that our work has already expanded beyond simply restoring the network to its pre-Katrina form. We are in daily contact with our customers and emergency response organizations of the state and federal government. The conversations go beyond restoring previous paging functionality into a new area of “What else can we do to help?” At all levels within USA Mobility—network operations, sales and customer support—our people are developing solutions for new ways to meet the unique needs presented in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a situation like this, that is the greatest contribution that we can make to our customers and the community overall.

USA Mobility would like to offer its regrets to the people who have been affected by this act of nature and best wishes to them as they move on.

Sincerely,

Peter Barnett, COO, USA Mobility


SBC Puts Wi-Fi in Astrodome; T-Mobile Extends Free Wi-Fi

September 01, 2005
By Glenn Fleishman

Telecommunications’ firms are stepping up to the plate to help: I know there are many more stories about free cell phones and other offers of help, but I’ve only heard two about Wi-Fi. SBC will install Wi-Fi service in the Astrodome to aid public safety workers and media. (They’re also making 1,000 phones available.)

T-Mobile HotSpot has extended its free usage to Sept. 9 in areas affected in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi that still have power and other services.

Source: WNN Wi-Fi Net News


New Orleans radio system flooded

BY Bob Brewin
Published on Aug. 31, 2005

Operation of the New Orleans police radio system in the wake of Hurricane Katrina has been plagued not only by floodwaters but by a lack of natural gas to power generators.

Not only that, Louisiana State Police turned away repair technicians when they attempted to reach the city, according to an on-scene report the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International relayed to Federal Computer Week.

The report, contained in an e-mail Wednesday from Dominic Tusa, a communications consultant in Covington, La., to Willis Carter, chief of communications for the Shreveport, La. fire department said the New Orleans Police Department’s dispatch center on the second floor of police headquarters was flooded. The police were forced to relocate to the nearby Hilton Hotel.

Tusa said the police department’s citywide 800 MHz radio system functioned well during and immediately after the hurricane hit New Orleans, but since then natural gas service to the prime downtown transmitter site was disrupted and the generator was out. Transmitter sites for the police radio system “are also underwater with the rising water and [are] now disabled,” Tusa said.

Owners of the sites that housed police radio transmitters would not allow installation of liquefied petroleum gas tanks as a backup to piped gas, meaning generators did not have any fuel when the main lines were cut, Tusa said.

Radio repair technicians attempting to enter the city were turned away by the state police, even though they had letters from the city police authorizing their access, Tusa said.

In contrast to the problems in New Orleans, Tusa said the Harrison County, Miss., Department of Public Safety’s radio system, which serves Gulfport and Biloxi, remained fully operational throughout the storm and continued to operate afterward. He added that the system has experienced generator problems, “but those are being resolved as they crop up. “

Source: FCW.com


READER'S COMMENTS

The President of USA Mobility Writes

From: Vince Kelly
Subject: FW: A Message from xxxxx
Date: September 2, 2005 8:51:36 AM CDT
To: brad@braddye.com

Brad,

This e-mail I am forwarding gives you a small flavor of just a few situations we and our wonderful staff are dealing with. I would not want to make their actual names public, but the circumstances are unfortunately common to many right now. We are obviously making special arrangements to support these folks. This storm was a terrible event and it’s going to take people a long time to get their lives back in order.

Vince


From: xxxxxx xxxxx
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 9:23 AM
To: Vince Kelly
Subject: A Message from xxxx xxxx

We received the following (slightly edited) message from xxxxx in Biloxi last night and I thought you might want to read it:

"Well the long wait is over. Today we were allowed back in to our neighborhood and as xxxxx and I walked across downed wires, things I am not even sure of, and debris in some places over 6 feet high, we finally found our house.

There are walls standing, the garage collapsed on one side, about five feet of water in the house there is no roof or ceiling and most of the contents are across the bay . . . with the exception of xxxxxx's New Balance shoes. 3 pairs ended up in our neighbors living room and she saved them! The big picture is that we are lucky. Many of the houses here are gone . . . I mean nothing but a slab and you just don't know what to say.

What you see on the news is what it is. It's horrible and there are really sad stories but people just keep going. You say to yourself 'That will never happen to me' . . . well, I will not be saying that any more.

Over all, we are doing fine. We hope to have water by the middle of next week and power within the next 30 to 60 days. Every thing else we are not sure of until we talk with our insurance company and FEMA tomorrow.

USA Mobility has been very kind in helping with accommodations, mental support, and a phone call just when needed. I want to thank you for your prayers (don't stop) and support at this time.

Presently there is nothing that can be done, but when the time comes, I will ask.

Oh . . . there is a sail boat in our side yard and xxxx wants to know if he can keep it?"

I spoke with her sales manager this morning and he is in touch with her via direct connect. She has a place to stay but it turns out there is no water. I suggested they find an apartment or temporary quarters far enough away that they have water and power, even if it means a bit of a drive to deal with their house for the short term. We'll have the landlord/property owner direct bill us as you requested. We're also going to make sure we hook up with xxx xxxxxxx today and get him into a place to stay and find out what the situation is with his home.

Finally, we'll be touching base with all of the remaining New Orleans employees today (if possible), find out what they need, and get them headed to Dallas, Houston or Pensacola so they can get into temporary housing and (hopefully soon) back to work.

Another idea being kicked around is to set up a vacation/sick leave bank that employees can contribute to and that affected employees can use to keep being paid while they deal with their home circumstances when they are allowed back into the area (in New Orleans, that could be months from now). This isn't something we have to do this minute since all are being paid through next week, but I think it's a great idea and a way for employees to contribute. Meanwhile, xxxxx xxxxxx has an account ready that we can put funds into for disbursement to employees affected by the hurricane.

If you want to discuss any of this or feel we are heading in the wrong direction, give me a buzz at xxxxx.

Thanks,

xxxx


Needs Help With PURC 5000

From: stephen@1s.net
Subject: PURC 5000 Advanced Control Delay Line
Date: August 26, 2005 7:53:19 AM CDT
To: brad@braddye.com

Brad,

I ran across your site and it has been very informative. I was wondering if you could point me in a direction on a little problem I have. A customer of mine has been changing some paging stations out to the PURC 5000 with advanced control for a pseudo-simulcast setup. Some of the used units they have obtained give the message 'No Delay Option' when trying to enable the delay line even though the parts are on the TRN7337 board. Do you know where I could go to find out how to enable this option? Thanks in advance for your help.

Stephen


Stephen Bernhardt
Omega Electronics
2700 Climer Circle
Amarillo, TX 79124
806-352-8251
806-352-1579 Fax
www.omegaelectronicsonline.com


Ron Mercer Writes

Hi Brad,

I was very encouraged to read Carter Blumeyer’s evaluation of the performance of ReFLEX service in disaster recovery situations. After several months evaluating a variety of “first responder” systems, some less and some more sophisticated (e.g. POCSAG 1-Way, Broadband Networks, MESH Networks etc.) I too have become convinced that ReFLEX offers the best balance between functionality and cost. Greater functionality is possible with some systems, but at a much higher cost and often with other serious shortcomings (e.g. in-building coverage). Lower cost systems are also possible, but with greatly reduced functionality, security and performance (e.g. one-way alphanumeric paging).

ReFLEX is a proven technology and new sources of ReFLEX equipment are now commercially available. We should be taking every opportunity and making every effort to educate the homeland security community with regard to the advantages ReFLEX brings to their operations.

Best regards as always and keep up the good work.

Ron Mercer
Global Fax Network Services, Inc.
217 South First Street
East Northport, NY 11731
631-266-2604
www.braddye.com/mercer.html
ronofglobal@yahoo.com


Telephone Answering Services Helping Their Own in Devastated Areas

From: aosgood@streamline-solutions.net
Subject: FW: ATSI: Industry wide fund
Date: September 1, 2005 11:42:28 AM CDT
To: brad@braddye.com

Hi Brad,

The below message(s) are concerning the ATSI user organization's effort to assist with the Gulf Coast Disaster. The NAEO (National Amtelco Equipment Owners) group has stepped up to the plate and created a website for messaging industry members to assist their own in devastated areas. Can you help spread the word?

Thanks!

Aaron D. Osgood

Streamline Solutions L.L.C
P.O. Box 6115
Falmouth, ME 04105

TEL: 207-781-5561
FAX: 207-781-8067
MOBILE: 207-831-5829
PAGE: 2078315829@page.cingular.com
AOLIM: OzCom1
AOsgood@Streamline-Solutions.net
http://www.streamline-solutions.net
Introducing Efficiency to Business since 1986.

-----Original Message-----

From: On Behalf Of John Ratliff Listserve Box
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 11:44
To: ATSI members
Subject: RE: ATSI: Industry wide fund

Gary,

NAEO is accepting and distributing donations regardless or platform or users group affiliation. I will forward and email that contains instructions on how to nominate an employee as a potential fund recipient.

We felt that we wanted to get something started right away since time was critical. It is open to anyone that wants to contribute, and anyone that wants to apply for benefits.

Thanks,
John Ratliff
Appletree

-----Original Message-----

John & Joe,

As TASCOM users, I don't believe there is a TUG group anymore, at least not that I'm aware of.

Would this therefore something that would be organized through CAM-X or can one participate through NAEO despite not using Amtelco equipment.

The Canadian Gary, eh?

Gary Blair
Vice-President / Vice Prisident
Tele-Page - Metro-Montreal Communications Inc. / Communications Mitro-Montrial Inc.
EIGHT TIME WINNER OF THE CAM-X AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
GAGNANT DU PRIX D'EXCELLENCE CAM-X POUR HUIT ANNIES
(514) 342-3611 Ext. / poste 226
(514) 342-7737 Fax / tilicopieur
garyb@tele-page.com
www.tele-page.com

-----Original Message----

From: John Ratliff Listserve Box
Reply-To: atsi@atsi.org
To: ATSI members
CC: NAEO board
Subject: RE: ATSI: Industry wide fund
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 23:02:13 -0400

Vicki,

You are right about the need for an industry wide fund. The Board of NAEO has made arrangements to set up such a fund. Our plan is to disburse funds based on the recommendations of owners for frontline staff. We are not using platform or user group membership as criteria. Our goal was to create an industry-wide fund. Details are as follows:

The answering service and call center operators of the gulf coast have suffered dearly. Apparently we don't even know the extent yet.

There is testimony already of a TAS worker's entire home and contents being lost. Let's not let her face this alone, or with only help from strangers.

Let us answer her often repeated "how may I help you?" with our own "what can we do for you?" Let us make monetary donations to benefit the hourly answering service workers of the gulf coast. Go to www.naeo.org/relief.php to pledge a cash donation or to make a credit card donation. Unfortunately, there are no bone fide charities that benefit hourly answering service workers directly, so the donations you make will not be assured tax deductible status. But we can't let them deal with this alone.

Every dime of your donation will go directly to hourly workers in the affected area. Award recipients will be nominated for consideration by their owners or managers. Unpaid volunteer committee members will consider

the nominations and disburse funds in $100 amounts. The judgment of the committee will be final and will be based on their best effort to balance need and the quantity of people that we can help.

I will report the progress to the naeo membership. Other associations are invited to participate. If other organizations participate they will be encouraged to do committee work, too.

If there is an excess of donations, they will be disbursed to a bone fide charity on 12/30/2005 for disaster relief.

I endured disastrous flooding with hurricane Floyd. Dealing with it was a lonely proposition. And it was pretty much over with within weeks. These people are going to need a much longer time to regain their normal lives. Please join the rest of us and try your best to give relief.

As of 9 PM, the website is under construction, but it works! www.naeo.org/relief.php

On behalf of your NAEO board,

Joe Miller, VP


Dr. Peter Kapsales Writes

Brad,

Thank you for issuing the August 30th News Bulletin with the note from Carter Blumeyer, a member of an Urban Search and Rescue team for FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, about his ability to let survivors send e-mails to loved ones using the narrowband PCS network while cellphones, landlines, and other data services were inoperable.

Cellular telephones are great—most of the time. 200,000 emergency calls a day are made by the over 194 million cellular subscribers in the US. It was anticipated cellphones would help a great deal as Katrina approached. The General Manager of the Louisiana/Alabama/Mississippi area for the largest cellular provider in the US stated “Wireless phones are the only line of communication for many people during and after hurricanes. We are prepared and our network stands strong as Hurricane Katrina threatens the Gulf Coast.” Subscribers were advised to charge batteries and keep their cellphones dry. Network preparations included the staging of 100 portable generators, more than 18,000 gallons of fuel, several portable cell sites, and hundreds of network technicians and engineers in the area were ready to ensure customers and emergency agencies had reliable wireless service before, during, and after the storm.

Well, it did not matter, the cellular network has been mostly inoperable in those areas that need it the most. It simply is not built with an end-to-end architecture that can withstand a catastrophic event. Fortunately, many FEMA and other emergency responders know that two-way pagers provide the best communication alternative during such events. The communication failures from Hurricane Katrina further support the position of my March, 2004 paper “Wireless Messaging for Homeland Security: Using Narrowband PCS for Improved Communication During Emergencies”. Hopefully, more and more emergency responders will be as prepared as Carter Blumeyer for providing survivors of catastrophic events with the ability to communicate as well as providing a reliable means of communication for the emergency responders.

Peter Kapsales, Ph.D.
CEO
KCG LLC
kapsales@comcast.net


FEATURED ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER

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  • Dial-in modem access for Admin
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Knowledgeable Tech Support 24/7

Contact Alan Carle Now!
1-888-854-2697 x272
acarle@ucom.comwww.ucom.com

THIREE TERM SUPPORTER

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’s current product mix of own products includes the ReFLEX™ radio modules Barran, Karli and Wirlki and the new, highly successful and very low cost location device, the Kepler.

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

Location Devices & ReFLEX Modems

developer kit

Developer Kit

kepler

Kepler


barran

Barran

karli

Karli


Sales and Marketing Contacts


Headquarters
Advantra International
Bootweg 4
8940 Wervik, Belgium
Tel: +32 56 239411
Fax: +32 56 239400
Contact
General information: info@advantra.com
Questions regarding our tracking solutions: AVLsales@advantra.com
Sales Representative USA
Advantra International
322 Woodridge Drive
Atlanta, GA 30339 USA
Contact
Bert Devos
E-mail: Bert.Devos@punchnetservices.net
Mob: 404-200-5497
Tel: 770-801-5775
Fax: 770-801-5623
Premgard
Jim Carlson
1911 S. Calhoun Street
Griffith, IN 46319
Contact:
Jim Carlson
E-mail: sales@premgard.com
Tel: 219-864-1347
Fax: 219-864-1237
Sales Representative Canada
Contact
Ian Page
Tel: 416-920-8820
E-mail: ian@dacostapage.com
TWO TERM SUPPORTER

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.


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

ayrewave

Repair and Technical Support Services

  • Glenayre/Quintron Transmitters, Receivers and Controllers
  • Experienced former Glenayre/Quintron Technicians and Engineers

217-222-5242
410 ½ S. 10th
Quincy, IL 62301
Ayrewave@sbcglobal.net

Please click here to e-mail Ayrewave.

join aapc

selective logo

Intelligent Paging & Mobile Data Products

PDT2000 Paging Data Terminal

pdt 2000 image

  • FLEX & POCSAG, (ReFLEX avail Q3) Inbuilt POCSAG encoder
  • Huge capcode capacity
  • Parallel and 2 serial ports, 4 relays
  • Desktop or vehicle mounting

LED Moving Message LED Displays

led display
  • Wide variety of sizes
  • Integrated paging receiver
paging data receivers

PDR2000/PSR2000
Paging Data Receivers

  • Highly programmable, intelligent PDRs
  • Desktop and OEM versions
  • Multiple I/O combinations and capabilities

Specialized Paging Solutions

  • Remote switching and control (4-256 relays)
  • PC interfacing and message management
  • Message interception, filtering, redirection, printing & logging
  • Cross band repeating, paging coverage infill, store and forward
  • Alarm interfaces
  • Paging software
psr2000

Mobile Data Terminals & Solutions

gpc2000GPC2000
GPS Controller
wdt2000

WDT2000
Mobile Data Terminal

mdt400MDT-400
Mobile Data Terminal
  • Fleet tracking, messaging, job processing and field service management.
  • Automatic vehicle location (AVL), GPS.
  • ReFLEX, CDMA, GPRS, Conventional and trunked radio interfaces.

CONTACT
Postal
Address:
Selective Communications Group
4467 Terracemeadow Ct.
Moorpark, CA 93021
Street
Address:
4467 Terracemeadow Ct.
Moorpark, CA 93021
Web site: www.selectivecomms.com left arrow CLICK
E-mail: info@selectivecomms.com left arrow CLICK
Phone: 1-805-532-9964
THREE TERM SUPPORTER

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

Wireless Messaging Software

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

InfoRad logo left arrow CLICK HERE

heartland
WAREHOUSE SALE
PRICED TO MOVE!!!

  • Glenayre 8500 and 8600 Transmitters (multiple configurations)
  • Glenayre Terminal Cards
  • Exciters, P.A.’s, Receivers…
…AND MUCH MUCH MORE!!!
For a complete inventory list visit:
www.heartlandcommunications.com
815-477-8130
orders@pagerrsales.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

Want to help the newsletter?

Become a SPONSOR

Promote your company's image with one of the posters or better yet, one of the commercial advertising packages

OPTIONSSIZECOST*
Small100X35$3.85
Medium 200X70$7.70
Large300X100$11.54
Extra Large 300X300$15.38
Package 1 variable$19.23
Package 2 variable$23.08
Package 3 variable$34.78

* cost per week—six-month minimum—or 26 issues

For more details, and pricing on the various advertising options please click here left arrow CLICK HERE

Motorola CreataLink OEM Modules

Specifications:

  • Operating Frequency 929-932 MHz
    (Synthesized Receiver)
  • POCSAG Paging Protocol 512 /1200/ 2400 Baud
  • Supply Voltage 12V +/- 10%
  • Operating Temperature -20º to +70º C (-4º to +158ºF)
  • Storage Temperature -40º to +85º C
  • First Oscillator Stability +/- 2.5 ppm
  • Second Oscillator Stability <300 Hz
  • Page Sensitivity (2400 baud) 15 mV/m
  • Direct Coupled (via optional antenna coupler) -104 dBm
  • Adjacent Channel @ 25 KHz >50 dBC
  • Co-Channel (Fc and +/- 3 KHz) >-8 dBC
  • Blocking > 70 dBC
  • Intermodulation >50 dBC
  • +26 dB High Level Intermodulation >50 dBC
  • +46 dB High Level Intermodulation >50 dBC
  • Spurious Response >40 dBC
  • Radiated Spurious Emissions -46 dBmV/m

Inputs/Outputs:

  • 6 Customer Configurable Open Collector Outputs 350mA Current Sink or Source
  • 2 Customer Configurable Open Collector Outputs
  • 1.75A Current Sink or Source
  • 2 Outputs Configuration Ports - Connect to +12 or Ground
  • 1 Serial Data Port (and programming line) RS232 or TTL Output
  • 1 RTS Output for Serial Data Operation RS232 or TTL Output
  • 1 CTS Input for Serial Data Operation RS232 or TTL Output
  • 1 Protocol Specific Input 0-12V Input Voltage
  • 1 B+ Input Per Supply Voltage Spec
  • 1 Ground Per Supply Voltage Spec

General:

  • Physical Dimensions 4.75” x 3.25” x 1” (LxWxH)
  • Weight 4.6 ozs.
  • Antenna Connection Internal (standard)
    External with BNC connector (option)
  • Interface Automotive grade, 16-pin connector

Motorola brochure. left arrow CLICK HERE


CreataLink POCSAG 900 Mhz Telemetry Modules

These are new closeout surplus and still in original Motorola packaging with very favorable below cost pricing. Several hundred are available. They have RS232 serial outputs in addition to the trigger points and the optional external antenna connectors. Please let me know if there is any interest in this opportunity.

Estos son módulos de sobra, nuevos en su embalaje original de Motorola. Los precios son muy favorables, menos del costo original. Hay centenares de ellos disponibles. Incluyen salidas seriales RS232 en adición a los puntos de abre y cierra. También tienen conectores opcionales para antenas externos. Avísame por favor si hay alguna interés en esta oportunidad.

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 HERE
THREE TERM SUPPORTER

sun logo
sun pagers
1-800-811-8032www.suntelecom.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 advertising plans can be read here.

sun logo
   Sun Telecom International
   Suite 160
   5875 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
   Norcross, GA 30092 USA

CONTACT
Telephone: 800-811-8032 (toll free)
Telephone: 678-720-0303
Fax: 678-720-0302
E-mail: information@suntelecom.com
Internet: www.suntelecom.com
SUN TELECOM

Customers in Latin America may contact Brad Dye for price and delivery information. Español esta bien.


PHOTOS FROM THE APCO SHOW IN DENVER

commtech
Commtech Wireless
contact wireless
Contact Wireless
nighthawk
Nighthawk Systems
selective
Selective Communications
sonik
Sonik Messaging Systems
stroup trott forsythe
Tom Stroup—Ray Trott—Scott Forsythe
usa mobility
USA Mobility
verizon
Verizon Wireless
zetron
Zetron

APCO Show

Denver, Colorado

August 2005


FEATURED ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER

Paging Seminar

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 Seminar 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

Serving the Paging
Industry Since 1987
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www.cprtech.com
CPR Technology
Tel: (718) 783-6000
ron mercer global
Download Mr. Mercer's resumé. left arrow CLICK HERE

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
join aapc

pat merkel ad

hmce@bellsouth.net left arrow e-mail
http://www.h-mce.com left arrow web site

notepage ad

daniels electronics animated graphic
http://www.danelec.com

SATELLITE CONTROL FOR PAGING SYSTEMS

$500.00 FLAT RATE

TAPS—Texas Association of Paging Services is looking for partners on 152.480 MHz. Our association currently uses Echostar, formerly Spacecom, for distribution of our data and a large percentage of our members use the satellite to key their TXs. We have a CommOneSystems Gateway at the uplink in Chicago with a back-up running 24/7. Our paging coverage area on 152.480 MHz currently encompasses Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Kansas. The TAPS paging coverage is available to members of our Network on 152.480 MHz for $.005 a transmitter (per capcode per month), broken down by state or regions of states and members receive a credit towards their bill for each transmitter which they provide to our coverage. Members are able to use the satellite for their own use If you are on 152.480 MHz or just need a satellite for keying your own TXs on your frequency we have the solution for you.

TAPS will provide the gateways in Chicago, with Internet backbone and bandwidth on our satellite channel for $ 500.00 (for your system) a month.

Contact Ted Gaetjen @ 1-800-460-7243 or tedasap@asapchoice.com left arrow CLICK HERE TO E-MAIL

join aapc

 

CALL CENTER

contel banner
http://www.contel.co.cr


EMPLOYMENT SECTION

money$1,000.00 Rewardplane

Reward offered to help Brad King secure a job!

Put Brad in contact the hiring manager of his new employer and when he begins working you get the reward.

(Subway, Wal-Mart, Jiffy Lube, and Burger King don’t count)

You will have your choice of a check for $1,000.00 or two roundtrip tickets anywhere in the lower 48 that Delta flies.

For this noble act, in lieu of the reward, Brad will donate $1,000.00, in your name to the charity of your choice. (Prizes paid 30 days after he starts working because he needs the money) If it’s the Braille institute he will contribute another $500.00.

Brad wants to thank all the fine professionals that have tried to help him land a decent job over the past five months. They include his friends at Daviscomms, Selective, Waveware, Bearcom, DPC, and Zetron. BUT “No Mr. Popow, Brad is not interested in taking a job in Fargo, ND.”

See the attached resume then contact Brad for the summary of job parameters and the details here.

(This message sponsored by Brad’s wife who really wants him out of the house!)

Send Brad King an e-mail hereleft arrow

 

join aapc


Wi-Fi, WiMax, and VoIP News

Wiretap Rules Split VoIP

Skype and GoogleTalk could be exempt from eavesdropping laws, for now, and that could create divisions in VoIP community.

August 26, 2005

The VoIP community could be on the verge of a major split as the U.S. government continues to sort out whether companies such as Skype and vehicles such as GoogleTalk are subject to wiretapping rules recently announced by the Federal Communications Commission.

Earlier this month, the FCC said that VoIP providers must be prepared to accommodate law enforcement wiretaps, which are covered by the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA).

The commission limited the requirement to “facilities-based broadband Internet access service providers and VoIP providers that offer services permitting users to receive calls from, and place calls to, the public switched telephone network (PSTN).”

That, on the surface, exempts peer-to-peer architectures, including Skype’s main product, and instant messaging products such as GoogleTalk. But law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency are reportedly up in arms over any such technical exemptions.

‘Homeland security should take precedence in this case.’
—Jim Andrew,
Adventis

“Where is the guarantee that Skype’s traffic does not cross the PSTN?” asks Jim Andrew, vice president of Adventis, a Boston-based consultancy. “Some leg of that traffic is on the public network, so that loophole is going to be closed by the FCC. The FCC is anxious about squashing innovation, but homeland security should take precedence in this case.”

That view is shared by other analysts.

“The FCC could make the assertion today that Skype and GoogleTalk are both subject to CALEA, and the courts would not be able to overturn it,” said Tom Nolle, president of CIMI, a Voorhees, New Jersey, technology assessment firm. “It defeats the purpose of homeland security to exempt a form of public network communication from CALEA requirements.”

Mandating Software Redesign
CALEA responsibility could possibly require Skype, for instance, to redesign its architecture and force its millions of subscribers to download new software that accommodates the redesign.

“Compliance would be a major challenge for Skype. With its architecture, there may not be a central point like a server where all the calls placed on its network could be subject to eavesdropping,” said Mr. Nolle. “And it’s not just CALEA. What about E911 compliance?”

Many of the traditional VoIP vendors, such as Vonage, have been forced to comply with a number of government rulings, including E911. In May, the FCC required VoIP providers to offer full 911 emergency services to their customers. Now these same companies are required to assure the government of their compliance with CALEA.

“On the one hand you have companies being forced to make expensive adjustments in their network to comply with the law and on the other hand you have companies such as Skype, with its peer-to-peer product, and Google, with GoogleTalk, that are not being forced to do these things,” said Mr. Nolle. “With Vonage doing an IPO, there could be a schism in the VoIP world.”

According to Mr. Nolle, traditionally VoIP providers have taken an “Internet” view of the world. They usually appeal to the regulatory agencies such as the FCC for a hands-off attitude.

“But Vonage can’t be happy with the creation of two classes of VoIP providers, only one of which is called on to comply with emergency and national security laws,” he said.

Source: Red Herring


UNTIL NEXT WEEK

There will certainly be more news about Wireless Communications and Hurricane Katrina by next week. Please send me any pertinent information that you come across. Original photos would be especially interesting. If you are a person of faith, please join me in prayer for the victims of this terrible tragedy.

brad dye 04 photo

With best regards,

brad's signature

Brad Dye
WIRELESS DATA CONSULTANT

P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

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Skype:braddye WIRELESS
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DATA
Telephone/Fax:618-842-3892 
E–mail:brad@braddye.com 
Web:Consulting page left arrow MAY I HELP YOU?
   
A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
—George Moore

Anyone wanting to help support The Wireless Messaging Newsletter can do so by clicking on the PayPal DONATE button to the left.

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FLEX, ReFLEX, FLEXsuite, and InFLEXion, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Motorola, Inc.
Si desea escribirme en español, puede hacerlo con toda confianza.

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