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FRIDAY - AUGUST 5, 2005 - ISSUE NO. 174

Dear friends of Wireless Messaging and Paging,

It is supposed to rain in Southern Illinois today. This drought is making the farmers here very unhappy. The ground is as hard as concrete and cracking in places. So some rain will certainly bring relief. In some places the corn crop is so bad, the farmers are plowing it under and hoping for better results next year. That's how we should be thinking about Wireless Messaging. Let's continue looking for revenue opportunities where we can use our considerable expertise in similar businesses. I think the key words are diversification and convergence. Keep an eye on the new technology coming out. Those who cannot adapt to change soon become extinct like the dinosaur.

I came across some Paging transmitters for sale. Please let me know if you are interested.

5 - GL-T8311 VHF, 125 watt transmitters w/GL2835 power supply - $2,200/each OBO.

5 - GL-T8411 VHF, 225 watt transmitters w/GL2835 power supply - $2,500/each OBO.

Shipped aligned, programmed & tested with your frequencies. All equipment is used/refurbished and includes a non-DOA/30 day warranty. Buyer is responsible for shipping & handling expenses. Does not include cabinet - various Glenayre cabinets available at additional cost.

I really appreciate it when readers share the news with me. Identities are kept totally confidential when requested. I can't always publish everything that comes to me (at least not right away)—for various reasons—but without everyone's help this newsletter would be much less interesting. Frequently you will see major breaking news about our industry here—exclusively—or at least before anywhere else. I hope to continue that tradition—with your help. I also must frequently consider the impact on, and wishes of, the person or company in the news. I am not about to needlessly strain good relationships that I have developed over the years just for a "scoop." In spite of what some mistakenly believe, I am not "out to get" anyone or any company. I will admit to having had a little resentment about some of the promises that were made to the managers at the company I used to work for, but I am no longer losing much sleep over that issue.

If you haven't browsed around The Paging Information Resource for a while, it might be worth a visit. This web site has become sort of a "public library" for Wireless Messaging and Paging information. There are over 6,000 files available and many excellent articles written by leading experts in our industry. I have recently added a Google search window to the site so you can now search for subjects within Don't miss the main section where all the good stuff is located.

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.)

aapc logoAAPC Bulletin • 866-301-2272
The Voice of US Paging Carriers


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

Building on the energy and excitement generated at the Wireless Forum in June, AAPC is hosting the Emerging Technologies Symposium. The Symposium will focus on presenting new ideas and advances within the paging industry to grow and develop your business.

New this year—vendor presentations will showcase the latest products and technologies in the industry. If you are interested in speaking or in sponsorship opportunities, please click here or contact Linda at or call 866.301.2272.

One of Arizona’s best resorts awaits you—the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center is a luxury desert vacation retreat and exceptional meeting destination offering spectacular surroundings and time-honored traditions of hospitality.

Hotel reservations must be made prior to October 17, 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 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!

Registration rates are as follows:
   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.


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
  • TGA Technologies
  • Trace Technologies LLC
  • Unication USA
  • United Communications Corporation
  • VCP International
  • Zetron, Inc.

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


Advertiser Index

AAPC—American Association of Paging Carriers Multitone Electronics
Advantra International  Northeast Paging
Ayrewave Corporation  NotePage Inc.
Bay Star Communications
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
1-877-612-1040 (fax)


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


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 and select “Reseller Opportunities”, or call us at 770-754-1666 for more information.
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

hark logo

Wireless Communication Solutions

isi imageISI-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 imageIPG 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 imageTNPP inline stats capture
  • Inserts Inline With Your Existing TNPP Cable
  • Easy-to-use Windows Based Reporting Program w/Search by Date Range

omega imageOmega 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).

Hark Technologies
2675 Lake Park Drive
N. Charleston, SC 29406
Tel: +1 843-764-1560
Fax: +1 843-764-3692
E-mail: left arrow CLICK
Web: left arrow CLICK
join aapc

daviscomms usa

  • 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
  • Receiver Boards-FLEX-POCSAG
  • Integrate our RF Technologies into your product


ReFLEX Testing Station

traffic monitoring device

Traffic Monitoring Device


ReFLEX Utility Module

pda accessories

PDA Accessories

Daviscomms—Product Examples

For information about our Contract Manufacturing services or our Pager or Telemetry line, please call Bob Popow at 480-515-2344, or visit our website

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

Prism Systems International, Inc.
300 Colonial Center Parkway,
Suite 100
Roswell, Georgia 30076 USA
Telephone: 678-353-3366
Internet: left CLICK HERE
E-mail: left arrow CLICK HERE
join aapc
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: left arrow CLICK HERE

erf logo
2911 South Shore Blvd., Suite 100 • League City, TX 77573
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


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 or telephone (202) 973-2827.


U.S. federal appeals court issues mixed rulings in BlackBerry patent suit

Bruce Meyerson
Canadian Press

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

NEW YORK (AP)—A federal appeals court upheld most of a patent infringement verdict against the Canadian company that makes BlackBerry e-mail devices, but ordered a lower court to reconsider part of the case and agreed to hear arguments that the long-running dispute is actually beyond U.S. jurisdiction.

The mixed ruling issued Tuesday seemed to confuse investors, who initially sent shares of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. of Waterloo, Ont. up about one per cent to $71.99 US in New York and at $87.65 Cdn in Toronto.

Industry analysts said the biggest impact of the ruling may be to drag out the proceedings even further. They see no immediate shift in the battle between RIM or NTP Inc. - the patent holding company that first brought the suit in 2001 - or a revival of a $450 million US settlement between the companies that appears to have unraveled.

The court opinion does not have any impact on separate proceedings by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which recently issued preliminary rejections of four of the five NTP patents that RIM was found to have violated in the lawsuit. A decision on the fifth patent is still pending.

Tuesday's rulings by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed most of a 2003 lower court verdict against RIM, which serves 3.1 million users of the BlackBerry, a device that popularized the concept of thumb-typing messages on a miniature keyboard.

The ruling found that the lower court was correct in allowing the jury to decide whether BlackBerry violated NTP's "system" patents for mobile e-mail technology, but wrongly defined a key term relating to "method" patents for such a system.

As a result, the appeals court reversed some of the infringement findings and asked the lower court to review whether the error tainted the overall jury verdict.

And because the jury's overall damage award of $53.7 million US was not broken down in terms of the individual patent claims, the appeals court ordered that the award be revised to reflect any change in the verdict.

The ruling also instructed the lower court to determine whether the scope of its injunction ordering RIM to stop selling BlackBerrys needs to be revised as well.

In another possible stroke in RIM's favour, the opinion said the entire appeals court would consider the question of whether the location of a key BlackBerry network centre in Canada puts the case beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. patent law.

"It's really hard to make a call on what eventually happens here," said analyst Rob Sanderson of American Technology Research. "But there's a contingent on Wall Street that would very much like to believe the patents will eventually be found invalid and they don't want to see RIM paying $450 million."


USA Mobility Sets Date to Report Second Quarter Results

Investor Conference Call Information Provided

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—USA Mobility, Inc. (Nasdaq: USMO), a leading provider of wireless messaging services, today announced that it will report operating results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2005 on Tuesday, August 9, 2005 at approximately 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

In addition, USA Mobility plans to host a quarterly conference call for investors at 11:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, August 10. The call-in number is 888-203-7667 (toll-free) or 719-955-1567 (toll). The pass code for the call is 2516741 (followed by the # sign). A replay of the call will be available from 3:00 p.m. ET on August 10 until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, August 26. The replay number is 888-203-1112 (toll-free) or 719-457-0820 (toll). The pass code for the replay is 2516741 (followed by the # sign).

About USA Mobility
USA Mobility, Inc., headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a leading provider of paging products and other wireless services to the business, government and healthcare sectors. USA Mobility offers traditional one-way and advanced two-way paging via its nationwide networks covering more than 90% of the U.S. population and with roaming partners in Canada and Mexico. In addition, the company offers mobile voice and data services through Nextel and Cingular/AT&T Wireless, including BlackBerry and GPS location applications. The company's product offerings include wireless connectivity systems for medical, business, government and other campus environments. USA Mobility focuses on the business-to-business marketplace and supplies mobile connectivity solutions to over two-thirds of the Fortune 1000 companies. For further information visit

Bob Lougee
(703) 721-3080

Source: USA Mobility

FL To Use Text Messaging For Amber Alerts

August 3, 2005 1:08 p.m. EST

Christina Ficara - All Headline News Staff Reporter

Tallahassee, Florida (AHN) - For the first time, anywhere, a state Amber Alert system will include cell phones.

Florida's Amber Alert system will now include cell phone text alerts - the first program of its kind, nationwide.

At no cost, subscribers will get text messages on their phones alerting them of recent missing children reports.

A wireless industry spokesman says technology can help people be the "guardian angels" of communities and save the lives of children.

The only problem lies in the number of wireless users who subscribe to the text messaging feature. A large majority of the nation's 182 million wireless users do not use text messaging - threatening the effectiveness of the new program.

Source: All Headline News

Iridium Provides Satellite Data Links for Maritime Container Security System

BETHESDA, MD – August 1, 2005 - ZOCA Container Security BV has developed an innovative approach to preventing unauthorized opening of shipping containers, a serious problem in today’s shipping industry. The ZOCA approach taps Iridium satellite data links to control the containers’ locking devices remotely.

The ZOCA system consists of a strong mechanical tamper-proof lock, which can only be operated with a ZOCA handheld mobile device. In order to lock or unlock the container, the handheld instrument must be plugged into a connection on the outside of the container. The control unit sends a security code for the lock to a central computer at ZOCA’s global processing center through Iridium’s constellation of 66 low-earth orbiting satellites. The central computer confirms the correct security code. It then checks the GPS location of the container to ensure it is in the proper location and transmits a signal that permits the container to be unlocked.

Jaap van den Hoek, director of ZOCA Container Security, said, “Worldwide smuggling enterprises have become increasingly sophisticated. The ZOCA system effectively combats thefts by organized criminals as well as pilferage by employees and cargo handlers.”

“The container can only be opened with the handheld control unit when the container is at its correct location, such as a terminal,” added van den Hoek. “The system also records the date, time and location whenever the container is unlocked, making it easy to track down any incidents of unauthorized openings.”

Don Thoma, executive vice president of Iridium Satellite, said, “ZOCA’s unique solution for preventing thefts from containers is a good example of how Iridium’s global coverage and reliable data communication connections can be leveraged to solve specific problems for the shipping industry.”

About Iridium Satellite
Iridium Satellite LLC ( is the only provider of truly global satellite voice and data solutions with complete coverage of the earth (including oceans, airways and Polar Regions). Iridium delivers essential communications services to and from remote areas where no other form of communication is available. Iridium makes this possible through its constellation of 66 low-earth orbiting (LEO), cross-linked satellites and 12 in-orbit spares. The Iridium service is ideally suited for industries such as maritime, aviation, government/military, emergency/humanitarian services, mining, forestry, oil and gas, heavy equipment, transportation and utilities. Iridium provides service to the U.S. Department of Defense. The company designs, builds and sells its services, products and solutions through a worldwide network of more than 100 service providers, value-added resellers, value-added manufacturers, and value-added developers.

About ZOCA Container Security
ZOCA Container Security BV is a 100 percent subsidiary of ZOCA GROUP BV. ZOCA was founded in 2002, and is headquartered in Lelystad, Netherlands. The ZOCA GROUP ( is privately owned and has not accepted any seed funds, government subsidies or venture capital.

Source: Iridium

Iridium Issues 2005 Mid-Year Report

Subscribers Up 20% and Revenue Up 27% in First Half;

Company Has 127,000 Voice and Data Subscribers Worldwide

BETHESDA, MD – August 1, 2005—Iridium Satellite LLC, the global supplier of mobile satellite communication services, today said that it has approximately 127,000 subscribers as of June 30, 2005. This is a 20% increase over its total number of subscribers at mid-year 2004.

The new total also represents an 11% increase over the 114,000 subscribers that Iridium reported as of December 31, 2004. Revenue for the first six months of 2005 increased 27% over total revenue for the same period last year.

“Through the first six months of this year, Iridium met or exceeded its targets for subscribers, revenue and profitability,” said Carmen Lloyd, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Iridium Satellite. “We are on track with our business plan for the network, which places emphasis on adding integrated voice and data subscribers in key vertical markets. In particular, we expect to see continued strong demand for mission-critical, embedded application services by our maritime, aviation and defense customers. And, our commercial subscriber base has grown significantly—now roughly four times as large as our defense subscriber base.”

First Half 2005 Highlights

In June, Iridium closed a $32 million senior secured credit facility with Bank of America NA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC). The most recent agreement brought Iridium’s total amount of bank financing to $97 million.

Also in June, Iridium announced that Tokyo-based KDDI Network & Solutions Inc. received authorization from the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to offer mobile phone and data products and services in Japan through Iridium’s global satellite network. KDDI now offers Iridium service as a cost-effective solution for ship-to-shore communication for Japan’s extensive concentration of commercial fishing and merchant marine fleets, as well as long-haul aircraft operating over open-ocean regions.

Other recent corporate developments included Iridium’s creation of a Value-Added Developers (VAD) program to establish direct technical relationships with companies that have a particular expertise or capability to develop new products or solutions using Iridium. The first four companies to sign up as Iridium VADs were Flight Explorer, Gannexion B.V., The Oceanscience Group and Ontec Technologies. Iridium believes the VAD program will lead to new applications for its network in oceanography, flight tracking, asset tracking, land-based wireless communications and Internet/Web integration.

Iridium cited the following developments in its key vertical markets in the first half of 2005:


The U.S. Marines with the 2nd Force Service Support Group (FSSG) recently implemented an Iridium satellite-enabled equipment identification and tracking system to provide a critical in-transit visibility and asset tracking capability in support of the warfighter. The system, which is under trial with the 2nd FSSG at Camp Lejeune, incorporates radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and Web-based tracking software to locate and track the movement of vital supplies for warfighters at the front.

Shortly after the end of the second half of the year, Iridium announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) has fitted 200 primarily contract aircraft with Iridium equipment. The aircraft are part of the interagency Automated Flight-Following (AFF) program. They are mainly helicopters, and light and transport fixed-wing air tankers, used for wildland fire fighting and other natural resource agency missions.


In the commercial airlines arena, El Al Airlines is equipping seven passenger jets with Sky Connect Iridium Satellite terminals, which will provide global cockpit voice and data communications during long-haul flights. The 747-200 aircraft are being fitted with Sky Connect Classic Iridium satellite phone systems, which are being supplied by GayaCom, Iridium’s authorized Service Provider for Israel.

In corporate aviation, shortly after the end of the second quarter, Blue Sky Network announced that Rockwell Collins certified Iridium as an approved data channel for the Airshow 4000 moving map and inflight information system, which delivers customized news, financial, sports and weather data to aircraft. The combined offering, called the Blue Sky Network C-1000A Iridium satellite communication terminal, was also certified by Rockwell Collins for the Airshow Network (Genesys) system. This system has been in service for more than seven years on mid-sized and larger business jets.


In June, Iridium signed a letter of intent for Radio Holland Group to provide installation and support services for Iridium marine satellite communication systems. Radio Holland plans to become the Preferred Iridium Maritime Equipment Service Centre, offering installation, maintenance and repair capabilities to Iridium partners, dealers and end-users. Radio Holland will install Iridium marine terminals, provide onboard inspection and troubleshooting of Iridium equipment, and provide project management and logistical services to support major fleet customers.

Iridium is also upgrading and enhancing its In-Network service to make it easier for fleet operators to take advantage of the low-cost calling and the convenience of prepaid Crew Calling programs. The In-Network service provides substantial savings in satellite-calling charges by routing calls end-to-end via satellite without going through a gateway or switching station. This avoids additional charges from public switched telephone networks (PSTNs). The call path is highly secure, making it ideal for confidential or secure communications between ships and offices ashore.

About Iridium Satellite
Iridium Satellite LLC ( is the only provider of truly global satellite voice and data solutions with complete coverage of the earth (including oceans, airways and Polar Regions). Iridium delivers essential communications services to and from remote areas where no other form of communication is available. Iridium makes this possible through its constellation of 66 low-earth orbiting (LEO), cross-linked satellites and 12 in-orbit spares. The Iridium service is ideally suited for industries such as maritime, aviation, government/military, emergency/humanitarian services, mining, forestry, oil and gas, heavy equipment, transportation and utilities. Iridium provides service to the U.S. Department of Defense. The company designs, builds and sells its services, products and solutions through a worldwide network of more than 100 service providers, value-added resellers, value-added manufacturers, and value-added developers.

Source: Iridium


Subject: Nucleus Paging Transmitter
Date: August 4, 2005 8:02:27 AM CDT

Hello Sir,

I was searching in the web, when I realised your website was perhaps better placed to help me. We have a 125 watts VHF Nucleus Paging Transmitter we would like to sell. We are here in Nairobi, Kenya. It was in use for about 3 years before our company closed down. It is still in good condition.

Please advise on where and how we can sell it.

Edwin Munga

Subject: Re: Wireless Messaging Newsletter for Joe Leikhim
Date: July 29, 2005 1:21:57 PM CDT


If any of your industry contacts are interested in an opportunity, Iredell County North Carolina will be putting out an RFP around August 15th for a three site, three channel simulcast analog FM voice system. Prospective bidders should be experienced with installation of GPS synchronized simulcast systems utilizing Intraplex or TenSr channel banks, and should be familiar with MDS LEDR900 960 MHz microwave. I have forwarded same to Ed O'Connor at Simulcast Solutions.

Joe Leikhim
Managing Consultant (Please note new mailing address and telephone number below)
RCC Consultants, Inc.
818 Orangewood Drive
Oviedo, Florida 32765
850-212-6132 (Cellular)

Subject: from the newsletter
Date: July 28, 2005 1:32:26 PM CDT

Brad Dye,

We are looking for a 5 tone EEA tone pagers PC tuned preferably 1n the 156\174 MHz band 12.5kHz spacing the pagers rely only requires a single alert they it is to be used for revertive paging on a large radio system the cost is important as they are to be a value added item in our rental contracts. Do any of your advertisers make a product that could fill our requirements.

Peter Tustian


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1-888-854-2697 x272


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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

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Developer Kit







Sales and Marketing Contacts

Advantra International
Bootweg 4
8940 Wervik, Belgium
Tel: +32 56 239411
Fax: +32 56 239400
General information:
Questions regarding our tracking solutions:
Sales Representative USA
Advantra International
322 Woodridge Drive
Atlanta, GA 30339 USA
Bert Devos
Mob: 404-200-5497
Tel: 770-801-5775
Fax: 770-801-5623
Jim Carlson
1911 S. Calhoun Street
Griffith, IN 46319
Jim Carlson
Tel: 219-864-1347
Fax: 219-864-1237
Sales Representative Canada
Ian Page
Tel: 416-920-8820

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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: left arrow CLICK HERE
Minilec Service, Inc.
Suite A
9207 Deering Ave.
Chatsworth, CA 91311

Repair and Technical Support Services

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

410 ½ S. 10th
Quincy, IL 62031

Please click here to e-mail Ayrewave.

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PDT2000 Paging Data Terminal

  • 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

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

Mobile Data Terminals & Solutions

GPS Controller

Mobile Data Terminal

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.
Selective Communications Group
4467 Terracemeadow Ct.
Moorpark, CA 93021
4467 Terracemeadow Ct.
Moorpark, CA 93021
Web site: left arrow CLICK
E-mail: left arrow CLICK
Phone: 1-805-532-9964

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


  • Glenayre 8500 and 8600 Transmitters (multiple configurations)
  • Glenayre Terminal Cards
  • Exciters, P.A.’s, Receivers…
For a complete inventory list visit:

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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: 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


  • Motorola Nucleus VHF 350 Watt w/advanced control
  • Motorola PURC 5000 UHF 250 Watt w/advanced control and mid band RX
  • Hark TNPP Routers
  • SkyData 8360 MSK Modulators
  • SkyData 8550 Modem Protection Switches
  • C-Net Platinum Controllers w/CIU, NCU, NCX

Glenayre T8500 PAs tested and guaranteed $200.00 each. WHY PAY $400 TO $600 TO GET THEM REPAIRED???

Satellite Uplink Services Available–Completely redundant. We will uplink your paging data to two separate satellites for complete redundancy. Be prepared in the event of another satellite failure!

Please e-mail if interested:

Motorola CreataLink OEM Modules


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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: arrow CLICK HERE

Zetron, Inc.
P.O. Box 97004
Redmond, WA 98073-9704 USA
Tel: 425-820-6363
Fax: 425-820-7031
E-mail: left arrow CLICK HERE
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sun pagers

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.

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

Telephone: 800-811-8032 (toll free)
Telephone: 678-720-0303
Fax: 678-720-0302

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


Industry Reactions to Ensign Bill Mixed

July 28, 2005

TMCnet Communications and Broadband Columnist

It did not take long for industry to weigh in on Sen. John Ensign's deregulatory telecom legislation that was introduced before the Senate on Wednesday.

There's a lot to talk about.

Indeed, the Broadband Investment and Consumer Choice Act of 2005 (BICCA) calls for sweeping changes as to how communications services are regulated, substituting "stifling government managed competition" with a market-based approach in which consumers choose the best products and services at the best prices.

The light regulatory touch, according to Sen. Ensign, will spur investment, competition, and innovation in the marketplace.

Predictably, telecom carriers lauded the bill, which would eliminate the requirement to obtain local franchise agreements to provide video services. Thus, telcos such as Verizon and SBC would be able to launch their IP video services more quickly.

Additionally, the bill does not require video service providers to build out their systems in any particular manner.

"We applaud Senator Ensign for introducing legislation to bring our communications laws into the 21st century," Peter B. Davis, Verizon senior vice president for government relations, said in a prepared statement. "The Ensign bill puts consumers first by enabling people to choose from the expanding array of choices made possible by changes in technology and the marketplace."

While the legislation would eliminate the requirement for telcos to obtain local franchise agreements, states would have the option to collect up to 5 percent of telcos' video revenues.

The cable industry also had kind words for the legislation because it "seeks to promote competition and innovation and treats like services alike," according to National Cable and Telecommunications Association President Kyle McSlarrow.

The legislation also contains several provisions prohibiting broadband service providers from blocking voice over Internet Protocol, or any legal content for that matter, from consumers.

Not everyone in the industry, however, viewed the bill through rose-colored glasses.

Indeed, one industry association that represents competitive telecommunications companies vehemently opposed the legislation, going to far as to conclude that "the American economy would suffer" if it became law.

"Overall, the bill is a big step backward," Earl Comstock, president of CompTel, continued. "It would re-monopolize communications networks resulting in fewer choices, less innovation and higher prices for consumers. Nascent technologies such as VoIP would be killed in the cradle under this regime because entrepreneurs would be denied the nondiscriminatory access to infrastructure they need to deliver their cutting edge products and services."

Ensign's bill does not eliminate municipal broadband deployment. If a municipality chooses to offer broadband services to its residents, it must first give notice to and permit non-government entities to bid to provide the service. Preference must be given to non-government entities in the bidding process.

Municipalities that already offer broadband services to their residents and businesses would be grandfathered.

"The provision rests on numerous false assumptions," municipal broadband expert Jim Baller, of Washington, D.C.-based The Baller Herbst Law Group, said in a statement. "Furthermore, the procedures set forth in the bill are unnecessary, unworkable and counterproductive. At best, they would result in time-consuming, expensive, burdensome, and contentious delays and possibly years of litigation. Such procedures have no place in a bill that is intended to speed up America’s recovery of its leadership in the emerging broadband-based global economy."

Additionally, the grumbling at the grassroots level started almost immediately. Indeed, the definition of "broadband communications service" drew the ire of a group of people who monitor telecommunications regulations so much that it set off an e-mail chain that has carried on for the better part the last two business days.

Specifically, the bill defines broadband service as the transmission of communications at greater than 64 Kbps, which is slightly – and only slightly – faster than dial-up.

As one member of the group stated in an e-mail, "We all have broadband!"


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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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
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(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…

Preferred Wireless
Rick McMichael
888-429-4171 left arrow



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$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 left arrow CLICK HERE TO E-MAIL

daniels electronics animated graphic

Paging Company For Sale

I have built two web pages about Mountain Communications in Mountain Home, Arkansas—a regional Paging company that the owner wants to sell. The first page has several photos and some links to background information on the company. Please click here for that page. If you like what you see and want to read all the financial details, please send me an e-mail and I will send you the unpublished address of the second page. This is an outstanding opportunity for someone to acquire a Paging company in a beautiful resort area of the Arkansas mountains where there are several large lakes and rivers. They tell me the fishing and boating are great in that area. By the way, this business also includes some wireless broadband, a trunking radio system, and a two-way radio dealership. Update: we are willing to negotiate—seller motivated. Please call Brad Dye at: 618-842-3892.

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Brad King

The well-known sales manager at CalAmp (formerly Vytek/Sonik) is looking for a new position.
Please contact him directly.

You may download his resumé hereleft arrow

And you can send him an e-mail hereleft arrow

Jim Dombrouski

With 30 years experience, a seasoned wireless industry executive that has the unique blend of strategic planning skills, balanced with operational management experience.

You may download his resumé hereleft arrow

And you can send him an e-mail hereleft arrow


Knowledgeable w/ Glenayre 3000L and Motorola paging infrastructure. Full-time salary including health benefits. RCC in Allentown, PA.

Send resume & salary requirements via e-mail to: left arrow CLICK HERE

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Now Hiring
Motorola 2-way Radio
Outside Sales Person
Charleston, SC

Engineer Needed

Staff Engineer for LG MobileComm USA (US Cellular Account)

Located: Chicago

Job Accountabilities
This employee when hired, will communicate and liaison with major subsystem component providers to establish partnerships and strategic relationship designed to efficiently and rapidly penetrate the company’s target market by performing the following duties:

Job Requirements
Bachelor Science degree or equivalent experience; minimum 3-5 yrs Engineering experience in successfully developing CDMA/GSM/UMTS mobile terminals or base-band chipsets. Experience in mobile terminal systems integration, including system software and hardware; previous background in either mobile terminal system design or terminal testing; experience in customer interface, with mainly carriers, mobile terminal performance specifications, end to end concurrent engineering, and mobile terminal system block diagram. Provides terminal expertise to BAEG and Product Development Group to devise optimum product lines.

Strong ability to develop positive and effective relationships with customers and internal clients and leverages a positive relationship with customers. Strong oral and written communication skills. Strong ability to handle multiple priorities. Strong ability to capture market requirements, determine strategic relevance and translate into technical requirements. Strong ability to write technical and market documents. Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.

Prefer Bilingual speaking and writing for English and Korean.


Vickie S. Stone (858-635-5308)
Sr. Staffing Consultant
LG Electronics MobileComm USA, Inc.
10225 Willow Creek Road
San Diego, CA 92131
FAX 858-635-5399

Wi-Fi, WiMax, and VoIP News

Talk Is Cheap, but Not That Cheap

Published: July 30, 2005

REMEMBER when the phone bill was just one bill? Last month, I realized that my husband and I were paying for six different phone/cable/D.S.L./local/long-distance/cellular services. Not only is it a pain to keep track of all these charges, our monthly telecom costs are infuriatingly high: $350 or more.

This is crazy. When the amount you pay to be wired approaches your monthly retirement contributions, loud warning bells should go off.

Although no one would accuse me of being an early adopter of anything, I decided to cut costs by signing up for one of these hot new Internet-based phone companies. Based on my limited understanding and wishful thinking, I gathered that for $15 a month all my local and long-distance calls would be routed over the Internet - and as God is my witness, I would never pay another exorbitant phone bill again.

Not quite. These Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, services convert your voice into a data stream that can be transmitted via D.S.L., cable or other high-speed Internet lines - just like e-mail, and almost as cheaply. In most cases you can keep your phone number and still use a regular landline telephone to make and receive calls. But those low, low prices of $15, $20 or $30 a month don't tell the whole financial story.

For example, VoIP services are Internet-based - but they don't include an Internet connection. So the car is cheap, but you still have to buy an engine. The tasty-sounding $24.95 package from Vonage, a company that has about half the Internet telephone market, according to Vince Vittore, executive editor of Telephony magazine, promises unlimited calling anywhere in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. But as with similar deals offered by BroadVoice, AOL, Cablevision, Time Warner and others, you still have to pay for Internet access.

This leads to the next problem. Most high-speed lines are already bundled with your telephone or cable TV service. Many companies are reluctant, said Mr. Vittore, to disconnect the primary service in order to give you "naked D.S.L.," as it's called in the industry. Sure enough, Verizon, which provides my landline and D.S.L., wouldn't sell me Internet service a la carte.

ENTER the hassle factor. I could cancel my Verizon package and switch to a local cable company, which would sell me the Internet access alone. Not including the set-up fees of $30 to $40 that most digital voice services charge, I'd end up saving about $50 a month. That's O.K., but it's not the breathtaking savings, especially since I'd have to give up my landline to save that much. When your Internet connection goes down, you can't make calls. What if you don't have a cellphone, or cell service in your home is sketchy?

For those who are not as paranoid about this, a number of companies now offer three-way packages that include cable TV, Internet and digital voice. Before you subscribe, do the math. In my case, the savings in the Time Warner package available in my area of Brooklyn weren't compelling.

The real value in digital voice, said Mr. Vittore, "is if you make a lot of international calls." VoIP technology is ideal for cheap global calling because it runs on the World Wide Web. Jeff Pzena, co-founder of the Cotton Tree Lodge, an ecoresort in Belize, subscribed to Vonage last year, in part for his business and in part because his girlfriend was living in Australia. "I did it for the 3-cents-a-minute calls to Melbourne," he said.

His girlfriend now lives in Scranton, Pa., but Mr. Pzena kept the digital voice service. Now he is hooked on the gee-whiz stuff like "simul ring," a feature that can ring both your phone and your cellphone. "You can pick up whichever is cheapest or more convenient," he said.

Mr. Vittore says the main appeal of digital voice will be innovations like these. "The ultimate promise is not just that it's a cheaper way to have phone service, but that you'll have a lot more applications."

I'm not hooked yet, but I'm intrigued by the cool factor. For my friend and colleague Athena Vorillas, a Greek-American media consultant, subscribing to BroadVoice was a terrific move. For $27 a month, Ms. Vorillas can make unlimited calls between Greece and the United States - and she can have three numbers in any American area code she likes. "I can have a New York number, a Miami number, a San Francisco number." Clients make a local call - and it rings in Athens, or wherever Ms. Vorillas's computer happens to be. Now that may be worth paying for.

M. P. Dunleavey writes about personal finance for MSN Money.

Source: The New York Times


The Likely Sale of Skype Will Be Another Kick in the Head to Old-Line Phone Companies Worldwide

July 28, 2005
By Robert X. Cringely

In high tech, the theory goes, advantage lies with the pioneers—the first company to introduce a product in a new category. And that's true except when it is not, which is typically when the pioneers were too early, too expensive, or too difficult to use. In those cases, a second model generally holds, and in that one, the dominant company is a later entrant who simply does the task far better than it had been done before. For Internet searching, Google is a perfect example of this latter effect, entering the market years after Alta Vista and Excite. And the Google of VoIP looks like it might be Skype, which was almost sold last week to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. for $3 billion.

It may seem odd for me to be writing a story about a company ALMOST being sold, but there is still plenty to be learned from this story that never really happened, especially if Skype ends up being sold next week or the week after, which is a very real possibility.

Skype, for those who've never heard of or used the service, is a Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) company based in Luxembourg. Remember when all the hot Internet startups were in the U.S.? No more. That started to change years ago when Mirabilis, an Israeli company, invented the ICQ messaging system, later sold to AOL.

Since the Internet is a global network, good ideas can originate from anywhere.

Skype comes from the people who did the Kazaa peer-to-peer network application that drives record company executives mad while simultaneously loading spyware on your PC. But where Kazaa at one point annoys everyone, Skype just offers peer-to-peer voice communication, sans spyware, for the best of all prices: free. If I have Skype on my computer and you have Skype on yours, we can talk for nothing and the audio quality is surprisingly good—good enough that 142 million people have so far downloaded Skype, with probably 20 million using the service on a daily basis.

The big question for any of these software-only Internet services is always how they make their money? Having millions of users is nice, but if none of them are paying, well what's the point? One alternative is to run ads on the phone client, but Skype sees its payday coming primarily by linking its system to regular old telephones. SkypeOut lets you buy time that can be used for calling any phone anywhere, generally for less than two cents per minute. SkypeIn gives you a regular phone number your Skypeless friends can call. Numbers are available in many cities and the price is around $37 per year. SkypeZones allow users to make Skype calls at 17,000 WiFi hotspots around the world for $7.95 per month. And SkypeVoicemail, which is free with SkypeIn, is available separately for otherwise non-paying Skype users so they can send or receive voice messages.

If Skype has 20 million regular users (there are 2.6 million signed-in right now as I am writing this) and 10 percent of those can be converted to SkypeIn, that's $74 million in revenue with some inevitable SkypeOut volume, too. In short, it is a business. But is it a business worth $3 billion?

Remember in the heady days of the Internet boom when Microsoft paid $400 million for Hotmail and AOL paid $178 million for ICQ, neither of which had revenue or even a HOPE of revenue?

Yeah, but that was then and this is now, and $3 billion is a LOT of money. What makes Skype worth so much?

The big difference between Skype and Hotmail or ICQ is that Skype threatens existing, highly profitable franchises. As free e-mail, Hotmail may have threatened paid e-mail services, but there were no hugely profitable paid e-mail services. And ICQ threatened nobody. But Skype absolutely takes money out of the pockets of existing telephone companies. And since the value of a telephone subscriber is generally a known quantity, the value of an active Skype customer can be at least guesstimated.

If Skype really has 20 million active users and the company is worth something near $3 billion, then the market value of a Skype customer is $150.

While that may seem like a lot of money, it is around 10 percent of the imputed value of a traditional telephone, mobile telephone, or cable television customer. This lower value evidently factors in the ephemeral nature of a Skype customer who might disappear forever at any moment, or go for months without using the service.

Yeah, but who would want to buy Skype, especially for that kind of money?

Frankly, News Corp. surprises me, though the company did recently buy Intermix (MySpaces) for $580 million. It surprises me so much, in fact, that my guess is Rupert Murdoch wasn't really serious and mainly looked at Skype to see the company's books and to learn more about the VoIP business without having to pay for the lesson. So what's most interesting about News Corp. and Skype isn't that the deal fell through, but that News Corp. even knew Skype was available. That means the company is probably being broadly flogged by an investment bank. It also means that whether News Corp. is the purchaser or not, Skype WILL be sold sometime in the near future.

The sale of Skype was pretty much inevitable. Startups only have so many exit possibilities, and Skype was sure a lot more likely to be sold than to go through an IPO. And there just aren't that many Swiss companies going public on NASDAQ these days.

So if Skype is on the block, who is likely to be the eventual buyer and with what effect?

Skype takes customers away from traditional wired telephone companies, so while an SBC or Verizon might buy the company, I just don't see that. If they bought Skype just to kill it, well then another Skype will appear overnight to take its place, so that isn't going to happen. If they buy Skype to make money from it without killing their own customer relationships, then these are smarter phone companies than the ones I know.

A big broadband provider like Comcast could buy Skype. There is actually a lot of synergy between Comcast (or most any other big cable company that also offers broadband) and Skype. Using Comcast just as an example, the company is trying to enter the local phone service business, so it wants phone customers. Since Comcast's own phone offering is VoIP, there are probably some technical synergies. And buying Skype would give Comcast a global reach and global customer relationships for any future broadband content business. If Comcast started offering movies for download, for example, owning Skype would give it 20-plus million extra customers on top of the seven-plus million U.S. broadband customers it has already.

So a Comcast might well be interested in Skype and $3 billion would probably not be too much to pay.

But I think the most likely purchaser of Skype would be a mobile telephone company. Since Skype service requires broadband, and broadband so far is inherently fixed, Skype threatens only incumbent FIXED phone service, not mobile service. Skype causes headaches for Verizon, but not for Verizon Wireless. So Skype would appeal most to mobile phone carriers who have no fixed telephone assets. That means no offers from SBC, BellSouth, Sprint, or Verizon, just to speak of U.S. carriers, but Skype might be supremely attractive to a Vodaphone or an NTT DoCoMo, both of which have the ability to finance such a deal effortlessly.

Expect Skype to be sold, another viral marketing success sucked up by big business. Expect it to go to either a major broadband provider or, more likely, to a big mobile carrier with no fixed telephone assets. And whoever buys Skype, expect them to throw money into making the company into even more of a multinational telecom headache than it currently is.

Of course, the rest of the VoIP industry loves this. If Skype is worth $3 billion, then so is Vonage and maybe Packet8. This purchase will validate the VoIP industry, give it a per-subscriber value number that can be used to justify more debt, raising more money that can be used to further undermine those creaky old phone companies.

And that may be the greatest reason why Murdoch was interested in the first place. By putting Skype in play, he distracts for no money at all most of the major media companies. And while they try to figure out how to respond to VoIP, old Rupert will be attacking them on some completely other front. He'll be stealing their shoes.



Well, that's all the news I could find for this week. Keep in touch.

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With best regards,

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Brad Dye

P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

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