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FRIDAY - JULY 8, 2005 - ISSUE NO. 170

Dear friends of Wireless Messaging and Paging,

The focus of this issue is on Public Safety and Homeland Security solutions. The topic began developing early in the week, before the reports of the bombings in London started coming in yesterday. That news is a grim reminder that these despicable, inhuman acts are not over and are likely to continue.

What is most sad to me is that not enough has been done to make use of the best technology we have to alert people and groups in the case of an emergency — Paging! A lot of time has passed since September 11, 2001 and there are many communications projects languishing in government bureaucracy. Some projects are funded but are still buried under "red tape."

I was having lunch with a friend the other day and we were discussing emergency alerting — specifically Paging group call. How would a person go about alerting a very large group of people? What technology would you use, say if you wanted to alert a whole state? Think of the practicality of trying to make 10,000 telephone calls. With Paging group calls, it is possible to alert extremely large segments of the population because one message goes to many. With other technologies, like telephone calls—whether wireless or wireline—a separate call must be placed to each person. One million Pagers could be set off in the time it takes to place one or two telephone calls. The technology already exists to do this!

So this issue of the newsletter has a compendium of authoritative articles about Public Safety Wireless Messaging. These articles have been written by some of the most qualified people in the industry. If you are interested, I encourage you to read all the articles carefully. I have included several supplementary articles that are referenced in the footnotes of the main articles so you will not have to look for them.

Three other very important papers on Homeland Security Communications that have been published here previously are:

* After it finishes downloading, keep clicking your mouse to advance through the presentation. Broadband Internet connection recommended.

So your homework assignment for this week is to study about wireless messaging and to be thinking about how we can help with the communications requirements of Homeland Security. That should include all of our "home lands" since this newsletter is read in nearly fifty countries. When reading about two-way Paging, remember that the latest ReFLEX specification (2.7.4) includes several new features including four-second latency (system dependent), enhanced group messaging with individual acknowledgement, and variable transmission power.

Some of the following news articles are about the "problems" and several of the whitepapers are about the "solutions." Please take notes and send in your comments and questions. I don't believe you can find a more complete report anywhere on how both one-way and two-way wireless messaging can be implemented to benefit Public Safety. Almost all of the authors of these papers are subscribers to this newsletter, so I should be able to get any question answered for you.

The rest of the news and views follow. Please read all the way to the end or you might miss something important.

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.)


PAGING EQUIPMENT FOR SALE

  • 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: steves@cvcpaging.com


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

ISSUE NO. 15— FRIDAY — JULY 8, 2005
join aapc

The AAPC Needs You

We all know that Paging and Wireless Messaging have been going through dramatic readjustments for the last several years. The AAPC offers a way for all interested parties to work together for the betterment of the whole industry. It is of vital importance that we all join together in supporting the AAPC's efforts in addressing regulatory issues, promoting new technology, and sharing new revenue-producing opportunities among its members. This trade association welcomes all wireless carriers, and vendors of related equipment and services. If you, or your company, is not yet a member please consider joining. Your help, your advice, and your support will all be sincerely appreciated.

AAPC to Redesign Web Site
AAPC’s web site, www.pagingcarriers.org, is about to get a new look and updated content!  In addition, there will be a members only section that will allow AAPC members access to legal/regulatory updates, PTC information, and association news.  Work on the web site will be beginning in the next couple of weeks. If you have suggestions, please forward them to info@pagingcarriers.org.

Plan Now for Fall Paging Symposium
AAPC is in the final stages of finding an excellent site to host their fall event in early November in Phoenix, Arizona. Stay tuned for the grand announcement for the exact location in the next couple of weeks!

Members—Do you have a new product you would like to feature or share in the newsletter? We want to help you promote your company, please submit content to info@pagingcarriers.org.

AAPC working with you to advance your business and the paging industry!


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
AAPC BULLETIN

FEATURED ADVERTISERS

Advertiser Index

AAPC—American Association of Paging Carriers Multitone Electronics
Advantra International  Northeast Paging
Ayrewave Corporation  NotePage Inc.
CONTEL Costa Rica   Outr.net
CPR Technology Heartland Communications
Daniels Electronics   Ira Wiesenfeld
Daviscomms USA  Payment Guardian
Electronic Entities Group   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.   TGA Technologies
Minilec Service, Inc.   UCOM Paging
   Zetron Inc.

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

www.gtesinc.com
Your Professional Services Partner


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


New Product Development

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

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

Continued Support Programs

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


CALL US TODAY FOR YOUR SUPPORT NEEDS


TWO TERM SUPPORTER
hark logo

Wireless Communication Solutions

The Hark ISI-400LX is a hardware device that encapsulates serial data into TCP/IP for transmission over the Internet. It can also be configured to convert incoming TAP messages from the serial port and send them over the Internet to Paging providers in e-mail (SMTP) or Simple Network Paging Protocol (SNPP) format. The ISI-400LX with the optional external modem can connect to a secondary dial-up ISP when a failure on the ethernet port is detected.

diagram

This device is the perfect companion for the Hark Gateway products. An ISI can be located at a remote location for receiving TAP, TNPP, or Billing traffic using a local ISP eliminating long distance phone charges.

isi image

System Features & Benefits:

  • Hardware Based
  • Uses Embedded Linux as the Multitasking OS
  • Secure access for Configuration and Maintenance
  • Converts Serial TAP message to SNPP or SMTP
  • Converts Serial Data to TCP/IP and TCP/IP back to Serial
  • Connects to Internet using 10Base-T Network
  • Connects to Internet using Modem and PPP
  • Dial Backup to another ISP or Modem
  • Can be Configured to use 1 to 4 Serial Ports
CONTACT
Hark Systems, Inc.
2675 Lake Park Drive
N. Charleston, SC 29406
Tel: +1 800-367-4275
or 843-764-1560 ext. 8104
Fax: +1 843-764-3692
E-mail: leanne@harksystems.com left arrow CLICK 
Web: http://www.harksystems.com left arrow CLICK
THIRD TERM SUPPORTER

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

daviscomms

State-of-the-art Manufacturing Facilities

wireless messaging

Wireless Messaging

oem telemetry board

FLEX Telemetry Module

reflex telemetry

ReFLEX Telemetry Module

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

FOURTH 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
SECOND 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

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

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


WIRELESS NEWS

GTES Today Announced That Mark Pocock Has Joined the Company as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development

(PRWEB) June 30, 2005—"The wireless location market represents an exciting opportunity for GTES, and we have leveraged our core strengths in carrier grade software to develop an innovative product for this market," said Russ Allen, GTES President. "We needed to expand our management team in support of this new business, and with his extensive experience in wireless and location technologies combined with an excellent track record of bringing new products to market, Mark is an ideal fit for this role."

"I am delighted to be working with the top-notch team here at GTES," said Pocock. "They have done a superb job in developing SHERLOC™ (www.sherlocgps.com), a hosted wireless location service, and I look forward to working with GTES to bring the benefits of location visibility to our business customers."

Most recently, Pocock was a technology management consultant specializing in product management and launch in the areas of wireless data and wireless location. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Product Management for Wireless Messaging with Glenayre Electronics, a leading developer of hardware and software solutions based on one- and two-way paging protocols. Before joining Glenayre, Pocock worked with the management and technical teams at NovAtel Wireless and Bell Northern Research. Pocock holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

About GTES:
GTES has historically focused on providing support for Glenayre wireless messaging infrastructure and software. Recently, however the company has expanded its development activities to include wireless location technologies, a market that analysts forecast at $3.6 billion by 2010. In support of this new strategic direction, GTES has developed SHERLOC™ (www.sherlocgps.com), a complete one-stop wireless location service, which provides 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 field assets, SHERLOC™ is a hosted application that combines configuration flexibility with ease of use.

###

Press Contact: Mark Pocock
Company Name: GTES INC.
Email: mark.pocock@gtesinc.com
Phone: 604-293-4316
Website: www.sherlocgps.com


Monroe County, NY Homeland Security

 

Before the
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, DC 20554

 

 
 

In the Matter of

Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission’s
Rules to Provide for Flexible Use of the
896-901 MHz and 935-940 MHz Bands Allotted
to the Business and Industrial Land
Transportation Pool

Opposition and Petitions for
Reconsideration of 900 MHz Band Freeze Notice

)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)





WT Docket No. 05-62



DA 04-3013

 

 

 

 

To: The Commission

REPLY COMMENTS OF MONROE COUNTY, NY

Monroe County, NY (“Monroe County”) covers an area of approximately 663 square miles with a population of approximately 715,000. Monroe County is presently in the process of deploying a Narrowband PCS (“N-PCS”) 2-way paging system, operating under waiver of rule in the 896-901/935-940 MHz bands. Monroe County began deployment of this system after determining that it was the only way available to cost-effectively and reliably alert first responders, which is a capability critical to its role in Homeland Security. Unlike traditional paging systems and other wireless communications technologies, N-PCS 2-way paging systems notify the message originator when recipients receive an alert message and when they read the alert message. Additionally, these systems enable recipients to acknowledge and reply to alerts directly from their pagers.

In planning its own alerting system, Monroe County considered many solutions before arriving at the decision to deploy an N-PCS, 2-way paging system. Monroe County determined that none of the other solutions considered could provide usable, primary alerting capabilities on a scale meaningful to public safety. Traditional 1-way paging systems provide no means for a responder to acknowledge receipt of an alert. Existing mobile data systems are too expensive and too bulky for continual personal use. Digital and analog 2-way voice systems are similarly impractical for widespread, continuous deployment to volunteer forces. Several contemporary PCS technologies have integrated voice, data, and paging, but they involve expensive monthly charges and an unacceptable dependence on commercial networks. Broadband solutions such as 802.11 and 802.16 provide high-capacity data capabilities, but they lack the coverage, portability, and resilience required for wide-area alerting of large volunteer forces.

Of all technologies considered, Monroe County found that only N-PCS provides acknowledged alerting capabilities in an implementation suited for public safety. Small belt-worn devices with long battery life, powerful group alerting features, and high-power simulcast coverage combine to provide capabilities not seen with other technologies. Numerous vendors provide commercial, off-the-shelf (“COTS”) N-PCS equipment at costs comparable to that of traditional paging, with available product ranging from consumer-grade messaging units to GPS location transponders to deployable network solutions specifically designed for public safety. N-PCS pagers provide extremely effective interoperability, seamlessly roaming between agency and commercial carrier networks1. N-PCS offers significant benefit over 1-way paging and other technologies in enabling first responders to effectively, efficiently, and safely carry out their critical role in protecting the nation’s Homeland Security.

Additional evidence supports Monroe County’s conclusions regarding N-PCS technology. In late 2004, the Boston Globe reviewed public records of 3.3 million building fires collected by the National Fire Incident Reporting System from 20,000 fire departments nationwide, concluding that only 35% of departments were able to reach 90% of building fires within the six minute window required by the NFPA.2 These statistics point to a lack of resources as the root cause; however, communications shortcomings also play a well-documented, critical, and exacerbating role. All responses begin with an alert, and the alert must successfully mobilize the response force before any other operational issue even becomes relevant. While problems during the alert phase will delay or disrupt the response, early and accurate feedback from alerted responders helps commanders marshal their limited resources more effectively.

1-way paging can certainly broadcast alerts to first responders; however, the lack of an acknowledgment path creates significant problems. During the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, this limitation caused significant issues during the response process. From the Arlington County After Action Report on the Response to the September 11 Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon, two juxtaposed statements summarize the strength, and weakness, of 1-way paging:

The paging system seems to be the most reliable recall device, but most firefighters are not issued pagers.3

Directed “call-back” confirmation calls acknowledging receipt of pager instructions further compounded the overwhelming telephone traffic.4

Thus, while paging systems reliably notified responders even during this period of profound system failure, PSTN and commercial cellular congestion prevented responders from reliably acknowledging receipt of their instructions.

This dangerous shortcoming is instantly remedied with the use of N-PCS 2-way pagers. This solution is available now, at very reasonable cost, using proven, veteran technologies from a variety of competitive vendors. From the Homeland Security Journal,

Narrowband PCS has demonstrated compelling benefits in terms of functionality, geographic coverage, in-building penetration, and the ability to support reliable delivery in difficult environments. It is positioned to be extremely helpful to emergency personnel for public safety and other homeland security applications through its wireless instant messaging, broadcast messaging, email, and location capabilities5

Despite the clear advantages of N-PCS over other technologies, obtaining compatible spectrum was an almost insurmountable problem in deploying Monroe County’s N-PCS system, and will continue to be a problem to other public safety agencies unless action is taken. During auctions 1, 3, 41, 50, and 51, commercial carriers and speculators purchased all spectrum allocated for NPCS services. While much of this spectrum presently lies fallow, it is nonetheless unavailable to public safety. N-PCS equipment also operates in the 896-901/935-940 MHz bands, but public safety agencies are ineligible for these frequencies, and this band is presently frozen. Existing N-PCS systems could be redesigned for operation in public safety bands but such an exercise would transform the existing COTS technology into an expensive, proprietary solution with severely restricted interoperability. N-PCS services are available from commercial carriers, but reliability during power or PSTN disruption, susceptibility to congestion, potential delays in message transmission, security, and other concerns make commercial service unsuitable for critical operations.

First responders and public safety in general represent a significant user base for paging, and they rely on paging to carry out their critical role in Homeland Security6. It is therefore not reasonable that this community presently has no access to the most current paging technology available. On May 18, 2005, the NPSTC filed comments in this proceeding respectfully urging the Federal Communications Commission to allocate channels within the B/ILT pool in the 900 MHz band to public safety for digital paging. Because these bands are compatible with COTS N-PCS 2-way paging systems, which offer significant benefit over 1-way paging and other technologies in enabling first responders to effectively, efficiently, and safely carry out their critical role in protecting the nation’s Homeland Security, Monroe County supports and specifically reiterates the NPSTC’s request. Monroe County therefore respectfully urges the Commission to allocate channels within the B/ILT pool in the 900 MHz band to public safety for digital paging. Such action is in the best interest of the public.

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Bowman
Director of Public Safety
Monroe County, NY
City Place
50 W. Main St.
Suite 4119
Rochester, NY 14694
1-585-428-4899
June 2, 2005


1 RXP 2.0 Specification. Retrieved April 2, 2005 from http://www.pagingcarriers.org/ptc.htm

2 Dedman, Bill. Slower arrival at fires in US is costing lives. Retrieved June 1, 2005 from:
http://www.boston.com/news/specials/fires/fire_departments_struggle_as_towns_grow/
[ARTICLE REPRINT FOLLOWS]

3 Arlington County After Action Report on the Response to the September 11 Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon, p. A-36

4 Arlington County After Action Report on the Response to the September 11 Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon, p. A-39

5 Kapsales, Peter (March 2004). Wireless Messaging for Homeland Security/Using Narrowband PCS for Improved Communication During Emergencies. Retrieved June 1, 2005 from
http://www.homelandsecurity.org/journal/Articles/displayarticle.asp?article=110
Also was reprinted in the April 2, 2004 issue of this newsletter.

6 Buchanan, David. Paging White Paper and Work Group Request. Retrieved June 1, 2005 from:
http://www.npstc.org/meetings/Paging%20Work%20Group_SO.pdf
 
[WHITEPAPER REPRINT FOLLOWS]

 

Source: FCC Web site


Paging White Paper and Work Group Request (David Buchanan)

Public Safety Needs Paging Capabilities

     Currently, many public safety agencies have a need for paging services. Public safety paging traditionally has used tone and voice technology. The other primary paging technology is digital paging giving numeric or alphanumeric message readouts on a display built in to the pager. One primary use is alerting of fire personnel for dispatch to a fire. Using tone and voice paging, each agency combines paging with voice dispatch on the same channel. Many new public safety paging systems are implemented with digital paging technology.

     As agencies migrate to trunked systems the traditional tone and voice paging cannot migrate. The conversion to narrowband below 512 MHz is also impacting traditional paging. No tone and voice pagers using Project 25 Digital modulation are available. Tone and voice pagers are more expensive than alphanumeric pagers, roughly $350 vs. $100 per pager. These factors will force changes to traditional public safety paging methodologies.

Types of Paging Technologies

     An alternative to tone and voice paging is digital paging, either numeric or alphanumeric. Numeric pagers simply give a series of numbers in their display when paged. These normally are telephone numbers input to the paging controller by the person initiating the page. The numbers can also represent a code, as example, adding 911 after a telephone number would mean emergency. Alphanumeric pagers can receive a text message sent via a computer to the paging controller. The paging controller receives messages to send out through a modem or by direct connected computers. By writing a program, e-mail can also be used to input messages to the paging controller. In addition, Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems with special programs will send messages to a paging controller. This allows the sending of automated messages that dispatch units to an incident.

     There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods of paging in public safety service. Certainly, commercial systems use alphanumeric digital paging exclusively. This is due to the spectrally efficient nature of the digital format. Many thousands of pagers can operate on a single channel. Tone and voice paging systems typically can support less than 100 hundred pagers assuming each pager has individual alerting.

     For public safety usage, tone and voice systems allow paging on a dispatch channel. This offers personnel the option to monitor their dispatch operations with the pager in monitor mode. However, the tone and voice format supports only limited numbers of individual paging codes. The relatively large amount of airtime required to send a voice message also limits the number of pagers supported on a channel.

     Alphanumeric pagers can store messages, allowing personnel to review messages if they forget the contents. This along with the ability to connect CAD systems to the paging controller provides an automated alerting function. The paging controller also provides priority levels for pages. Using this function, priority dispatch pages go to top of cue and immediately sent. Each pager can have up to four or more alerting codes. So individual paging plus group paging is possible. Digital paging systems can support many agencies on the same system. Using priority features of the paging controller, critical dispatch pages will be sent with minimal delay. Implementing shared systems reduces the cost per pager to build and operate the system. The primary disadvantage to alphanumeric paging is the loss of monitoring of the dispatch channel. Another possible enhancement is two-way paging. With two-way paging dispatch centers can get a positive response back from each pager giving status or a short message. Even limited mobile data functions such as driver’s license checks or AVL are possible. This would make a good tool for public safety even better.

     The more advanced commercial paging systems offer two way paging. This allows short text messages or auto reply messages to be sent back to the paging controller by a pager or for a pager to send a message to another pager. This technology requires a second frequency to allow inbound messages from the pager.

     Two trends in deploying public safety radio systems impact the current use of tone and voice paging systems. First, many agencies have migrated to the 800 MHz band and use trunked radio technology. Second, as systems below 512 MHz transition to narrow emissions to meet FCC refarming rules, agencies are electing to implement using digital modulations. Both of these trends impact the ability of agencies to retain their traditional tone and voice paging systems.

     Another trend to consider is the growth of cellular phone use. While a few years ago, commercial paging systems were a large growth area, commercial systems have lost large numbers of paging customers. This is a direct result of the huge growth in cell phone use.

     Because of the smaller market for paging, some paging companies have quit the business and others have merged. Due to this industry consolidation, apparently many 900 MHz paging channels are unused today. While more technical and licensing research is needed to better quantify and document the usage of 900 MHz paging channels, the trend creates an opportunity for the public safety community to request the FCC to allocate some 900 MHz paging pairs of frequencies for public safety use.

Need for a NPSPAC Working Group to Address Paging

     Based on the above, it is clearly time for NPSTC [National Public Safety Telecommunications Council] to form a Paging Working Group, under the NPSTC technology Committee. The following Mission and Charter Statements are proposed for NPSTC approval of this new Working Group:

Mission
This working group will focus upon ensuring that NPSTC properly addresses public safety requirements for paging capabilities. It will also address how Technologies and Spectrum allocations can address these needs.

Charter
Immediate goals of the working group include:

1. Documenting public safety paging requirements, including the paging needs of various groups such as Police, Fire, EMS, and other Government services
2. Identification and tracking of Paging technologies, including defining markets and tracking obsolescence schedules.
3. Advocating public safety spectrum allocations for paging, consistent with technologies available to serve larger markets

Source: Buchanan, David. Paging White Paper and Work Group Request. Retrieved June 1, 2005 from:
http://www.npstc.org/meetings/Paging%20Work%20Group_SO.pdf


brewster fire departmentBREWSTER
Response rate: 44.4%

Fire Chief Roy Jones thinks his town needs a second station but says, "The people don't want this information out." (Globe Staff Photo /John Tlumacki)

Slower arrival at fires in US is costing lives the boston globe

By Bill Dedman, Globe Correspondent | January 30, 2005
IPSWICH - Lisa Collum was breast-feeding her baby, and her 3-year-old was getting ready for a playdate, when the fire started in the apartment downstairs.

The firehouse a few blocks away was empty. Only three firefighters were on duty to cover all 33 square miles of this seaside town, and they were busy with two ambulance calls on this January evening in 2001. One firefighter drove back for the fire engine, then hurried into the chaos at the Collums' home.

Neighbors were shouting that the children were trapped. Up at a third-floor window, Lisa Collum was holding her baby. Before anyone realized what she was doing, she dropped 5-month-old Carly onto the driveway. Seconds later, the mother disappeared into the black smoke.

It was standing room only at the funeral, as the entire town helped Mark Collum mourn his wife and two girls.

And it was standing room only the next year at the town meeting, as the residents of Ipswich voted against hiring more firefighters. The Collum fire was a horrible tragedy, town leaders said, a series of coincidences that might occur once a generation.

In fact, it is a daily event somewhere in America. Once a day on average in this country, someone dies when firefighters arrive too late, an investigation of fire response times by the Globe has found. America's fire departments are giving fires a longer headstart, arriving later each year, especially in the suburbs around Boston, Atlanta and other cities, where growth is brisk but fire staffing has been cut.

In Massachusetts, people waited 10 minutes or more for firefighters to arrive at 214 building fires in 2002, the last year for which data is available. Since 1990, there have been 2,786 such fires, including blazes at jails, mental hospitals, apartment buildings, shopping malls and private homes.

Indeed, in 2002, only about half of the local fire departments in the state — 54 percent — met the fire industry goal of arriving within 6 minutes of the first alarm at 90 percent of building fires. Across the nation, the showing was even worse, with only 35 percent of departments meeting the response time goal.

The national picture is somewhat brighter when only departments with full-time as opposed to volunteer firefighters are considered. Still, only 58 percent of such departments consistently met the standard. And that on-time performance has worsened steadily from 75 percent in 1986, when alarm times began to be reported.

Big-city fire departments, such as Boston's, are generally well staffed and respond to fires swiftly and in force. Outside the cities, it is another story. With fire departments receiving a steadily shrinking share of municipal budgets, fire stations in many communities, here and across the country, are shutting down. Fire engines often roll with only one or two firefighters on board.

And although fires are getting rarer—thanks to stricter fire codes and safety education — the workload of fire departments has risen sharply, with medical calls and every sort of household emergency being addressed by fire departments.

Even when they arrive quickly, fire departments, in Massachusetts as in the nation, commonly muster too few firefighters to put out blazes effectively and safely. Milton sometimes sends out its ladder truck with a crew of one — the driver. Concord seems comparatively well staffed, with two men on its ladder truck, except when someone in town is having a medical emergency. The two firefighters on the ladder are also the town ambulance crew. And Boxborough, which has a persistent budget deficit, simply sold its ladder truck to the highest bidder, leaving the town dependent on its neighbors.

"Fire protection in America is a myth," said Vincent Dunn, a retired New York City deputy fire chief and author of books on fire safety, who reviewed the Globe's findings. "These two subjects are the dirty little secrets of the fire service: The response times outside the center cities are too great, and the personnel responding, inside and outside the center cities, are too few. No one wants to talk about that."

The decline in fire department performance has gone largely unexamined by state and federal officials, who have collected response times for fires since the mid-1980s without analyzing them. The Globe's investigation is apparently the first national effort to use those public records to measure the performance of this basic municipal service. The newspaper analyzed public records of 3.3 million building fires reported by 20,000 fire departments across the United States to the National Fire Incident Reporting System.

Fire departments have contributed to the problem by resisting proposals to regionalize fire response. Massachusetts has 351 cities and towns, and more than 360 fire departments — some towns have more than one. Fire chiefs and firefighters unions have stymied efforts to save money and improve response times by combining fire departments or dispatch centers, fearing loss of turf and jobs.

But a few frustrated fire chiefs around the country are beginning to speak out.

"Since 1998, I've been trying to get a station location and response time study, and it was submarined," said Roy E. Jones III, the fire chief in Brewster, a town on Cape Cod with one fire station protecting 25 square miles. Jones thinks a second station is needed.

"Quite frankly," he said, "the people in power don't want this information out because it might mean spending more money. Life safety is not the top priority here — saving money is. Unfortunately, we are not alone in this situation."

In Brewster in February 2003, postal worker Lynn Sullivan and her family were awakened by a fire at their home, probably caused by cigarettes. Only two firefighters were on duty, as on every night in Brewster. Two volunteers happened to live nearby and arrived within 7 minutes but could not get inside without air tanks. When a full crew arrived, they were able to revive Sullivan for a moment, but she died at the hospital of smoke inhalation.

"If we'd been there a minute earlier," Chief Jones said, "I'm sure she'd be alive."

'Every minute counts'

A swift response may be more critical than ever for avoiding fire tragedy.

It has always been true that a fire doubles in size roughly every minute, so long as it has oxygen, fuel, and heat. But many of today's fires burn hotter because the tight, energy-efficient construction that keeps out cold in the winter also keeps heat in during a fire. Newer roofs are collapsing faster because the prefabricated truss, the rigid framework that holds up the roof, separates easily into kindling during a fire. And modern furnishings generally burn faster.

In the 1970s, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology found that after a fire breaks out, people have about 17 minutes to escape before being overcome by heat and smoke. Today, the estimate is 3 minutes.

"If you get to a fire early, you get there before flashover," said Dunn, the retired New York deputy fire chief, referring to the moment when a burning building gets so hot that walls and furniture spontaneously ignite. "And this saves lives of the occupants, and the firefighters' own lives, and property."

For these reasons, the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, set a 6-minute standard — a guideline, not a law. In 2001, a 27-to-2 majority of its national panel of fire chiefs, firefighters, and others in the field set this goal for communities with full-time firefighters: 1 minute for the dispatcher handling a 911 call to alert firefighters; another minute for a full company of four firefighters to slip into their gear and get on the road; and 4 minutes to drive to the fire.

A 6-minute guideline also holds for ambulances responding to medical emergencies, based on the time before a heart attack causes brain damage.

Perfection is not expected: The NFPA recommends that each of the goals should be achieved 90 percent of the time.

The standards were opposed by the National League of Cities and many small fire departments. They argued that one benchmark could not fit every community, that the studies on flashover were insufficient, and that the cost of adding firefighters and stations would be overwhelming.

Communities across the country routinely adopt NFPA standards for electrical codes and other safety measures, but few have adopted the response-time standard. It is rare for response times to be measured by communities and reported to the public.

Still, the International Association of Fire Chiefs endorsed the standards as the minimum that fire departments should achieve.

"The key is getting water on the fire. We've got to get enough people in there quickly," said Chief Billy Goldfeder, a leading trainer of firefighters who commands a fire battalion in a suburb of Cincinnati. "It all ties in to money, what people are willing to pay for."

The cost of late arrival was demonstrated on a Sunday morning last September in Prairie Township, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. The Noriegas, an extended family of Mexican immigrants, were awakened by smoke and flames in their apartment building. The closest fire engine was on another call, so it took 8 minutes for the first responders to arrive. By then flames were shooting through the roof. Four more fire departments were called, arriving 16 to 22 minutes after the original call.

"My family is dead," Antonio Noriega told reporters, after 10 relatives and friends died, including three children. Investigators said the family was the victim of an arsonist. Most of the bodies were just inside the door.

Across the nation from 1986 through 2002, more than 4,000 people died in fires in which response time was greater than 6 minutes, the Globe found. That works out to about five deaths a week. The true figure is probably higher because the US Fire Administration, which keeps the fires database, estimates that fewer than half of structure fires are reported. Reporting is voluntary. California, for example, last reported fires in 1998.

But it is clear from the data available that the probability of a death in a fire increases as the response time increases. Elaine Allen, a statistics professor at Babson College in Wellesley who examined the Globe's findings, confirmed this correlation.

"Every minute counts," Allen said.

Still, it is difficult to say precisely how many deaths would be prevented if firefighters always arrived within 6 minutes, Allen said. The circumstances of each fire are unique, and some occupants are killed by smoke or flames before anyone can dial 911. But Allen said she found that the connection between response time and the risk of a death was greater than could be explained by chance.

"If you were setting a response time standard based just on the death rates, not on what's practical for a fire department to accomplish, you'd set it at 1 minute," she said.

Property damage is also tied to time. As response times lengthen, the average property damage in a house fire steps up quickly. Using the national database, which provides estimates of fire losses, the Globe calculated these averages for property damage in house fires: when firefighters arrive in 3 minutes or less, $27,000; at 5 minutes, $34,000; at 7 minutes, $41,000; at 9 minutes or longer, $61,000.

The Globe estimated that if the 6-minute standard had been reached, about $1 billion a year in losses from house fires nationally could have been prevented.

Colleen Fyffe knows something about such losses. When her family Christmas decorations caught on fire in January 2003 in Scituate, it took 20 minutes and three 911 calls before the fire department arrived.

We called again, and they didn't come, and they didn't come," said Fyffe, who closed off the room with the blaze, slowing its spread. "We called again, and they said, 'Oh, everyone is out on another call,' and they had called Norwell and Cohasset, and they were all busy."

The Scituate fire chief, Edward J. Hurley, said that the town needs two more fire stations in addition to its current three, and that it has approved borrowing money to build them. But both sites, he said, are tied up in land-use disputes.

And there are other obstacles: money to pay firefighters to staff the stations, and the reluctance of many towns to regionalize fire service.

The Fyffes live in a fast-growing area on the west side of town; the closest station is in Cohasset, but fires in the Fyffes' area get a Scituate fire engine first. The town closed a station in 1992 on the north end of town, near the beach, to save money. Three children died in a fire near the station in 1995, but the station remains closed.

While she waited for a fire engine, Colleen Fyffe tried to put out the fire with a garden hose. When Scituate firefighters arrived, followed close behind by Norwell and Cohasset, they put out the fire easily. "Once they got here, they were as nice as could be," she said.

But $500,000 in smoke and water damage had been done. The Fyffes had to stay out of their house for 10 months.

'Luck of the draw'
Slow-responding fire departments are found in established, wealthy suburbs: Bellevue, Wash., the fire department for Bill Gates's neighborhood, arrives within the 6-minute guideline at just 67 percent of fires. They are found in poorer cities: East St. Louis, Ill., 71 percent; Jacksonville, 64 percent. And, most commonly, they are found in fast-growing suburbs: The nine counties surrounding Atlanta have on-time rates of 71 percent or worse.

Communities commonly touted on lists of the most attractive places to live, in part because of low tax rates, also commonly have failing fire departments. The telecommuting haven of Bend, Ore., ranked in a Forbes magazine cover story as one of the best "cheap towns" in America, has an on-time rate of 18 percent.

Among Eastern Massachusetts communities with career firefighters, on-time rates ranged from a low in Westford, 53 percent, up to 100 percent in Melrose. Boston's on-time rate has consistently been above 90 percent, although it is barely at that level in some neighborhoods, particularly in Fire District 10, covering parts of West Roxbury and Readville.

Why are firefighters taking longer to get to fires? Fire chiefs say the explanation is simple: more work, fewer people.

Although the number of fires has declined with a greater emphasis on fire prevention, the number of calls at fire departments has doubled over the last two decades, according to the fire protection association. Many fire departments began handling ambulance work in the 1970s and '80s — the source of most of the new calls. It's valued work, a source of revenue for the departments, but when two calls come in at once, someone must wait.

"City manager-type people have said these firefighters are just sitting around all day; we'll let 'em go on medical runs," Battalion Chief Goldfeder said. "Well, we're sitting around because you need someone when your house is on fire."

Not all the new calls are emergencies. Bats in the attic — call the fire department. The basement is flooded — dial 911. Somerville firefighters answered a call because a television was "buzzing," even when unplugged — it turned out to be a vibrator in a bedside table.

And the fire department budgets are not growing to keep up, but shrinking. As a share of all municipal budgets across the country, fire spending has slipped, from 6.1 percent in fiscal 1987 to 5.7 percent in fiscal 2003, the Globe calculated from the US Census Bureau's survey of governments. Fire spending per capita, adjusted for inflation, is up 14.5 percent from fiscal 1987 to fiscal 2003, but other municipal spending is up 23.5 percent over the same period.

Since September 2001, Massachusetts has lost 800 paid firefighters by layoffs and attrition, a state legislative committee found.

And few communities in Massachusetts are adding firehouses to serve new subdivisions. Stow has no fire station for the new homes at the southern end of town. Marlborough's west side is uncovered. Fire chiefs are barely able to hold onto the resources they have: Gloucester has closed its Bay View station off and on since July. Springfield closes two when there is no one to work at them, which is most of the time. Andover closed one of four stations, Bridgewater one of two.

Volunteers can no longer fill the gap. There was an era when the self-employed grocer and the counterman at the hardware store were volunteer firefighters, available during the day to fight fires in small towns and suburbs. Now they may work at chain stores or commute to work three towns away. Still, many communities in metropolitan areas rely entirely or in part on volunteers.

"We struggle during the day to get people back to a fire," said Kenneth "Kirby" Brand, Hamilton's deputy fire chief. His volunteer department, north of Boston, has an on-time rate below 80 percent — and falling. "We're a bedroom community. We'll get six to 10 people to a fire sometimes. At night we may get 20 or 25."

It shows in the response times. Service has always been slower in areas with volunteer firefighters, but it has gotten worse more quickly than in career departments. The share of volunteer departments in the United States hitting the 6-minute mark has fallen from 23.1 percent in 1986 to 14.3 percent in 2002. Although the NFPA exempts volunteer fire departments from its 6-minute standard, the Globe evaluated every fire response by the same benchmark, for two reasons: Communities choose what type of fire department to have, and a fire does not burn slower when volunteers are coming to put it out.

Among volunteer fire departments in the Boston area, the lowest on-time rate was in Boylston, at 18 percent, and the highest in Nahant, at 100 percent.

"You're playing the luck of the draw," Brand said. "Where are the people the exact second the tones go off?"

Even when a deadly fire makes clear the costs of delays and inadequate staffing, will taxpayers pay more for better fire service? Fire chiefs respond with a sigh and a single word: Ipswich.

Even before the fire at the Collum house, Ipswich town supervisors had paid for a consultant's report that confirmed what their fire chief had told them. The town had one fire station, built for horse-drawn wagons, but needed three. Taxpayers were paying about $84 per capita per year for fire protection, below the $117 median in Eastern Massachusetts.

After the Collum fire, the chief asked for 64 additional firefighters, a fourfold increase. The town selectmen asked voters to approve only eight of the 64, at $756,800 a year, or an additional $56 for every person in town. But townspeople voted against even those eight. The vote was 1,027 for and 1,388 against.

In the three years since the vote, the selectmen have not raised the issue again. There may be a vote this spring on a new fire station, but no new firefighters.

"It was more than the town was willing to bite off," said Edward B. Rauscher, the chairman of the selectmen. "As horrible as the fire was, it wasn't an everyday event, and there are horrible consequences from cutting other town services."

The fire chief, now retired, said maybe his timing was off.

"It would have passed," Chief Henry Michaelski said, "if we'd had the vote at the funeral."

(Correction: Because of a reporting error, a Page One story on fire department response times in the Jan. 30 Sunday Globe incorrectly listed Carver among communities that have closed fire stations. Also, because of inaccurate reports filed with a federal database by the Watertown Fire Department, the department's record looked worse than it should have in a map accompanying the story. The town's fire chief says the department got to all local fires from 1996 to 2002 in six minutes or less, not 89.1 percent of the fires, as the Globe reported.)

Source: The Boston Globe


An Improved Alerting Solution for Public Safety

Jim Weichman
[ex] Assistant Director of Communications
Monroe County, NY

Public Safety needs access to new methods for wide-area alerting. Traditional one-way paging systems provide no confirmation from pagers receiving an alert, and they provide no feedback from responders as to their disposition or course of action. Newer 900 MHz Narrowband PCS technologies provide these features at a cost comparable to traditional paging, and the NPSTC should take steps to gain control of spectrum compatible with these systems.

I Overview

Wide area alerting is a critical component of any public safety communications system. At present, this function is usually performed by use of traditional, one-way display and voice pagers, with underlying technology that has remained unchanged for over a decade. While traditional paging is extremely simple and reliable at what it does, it also has serious limitations. Most notably, an alerting system based on one-way paging requires other, potentially unreliable paths of communication for responders to acknowledge receipt of instructions.

Many newer technologies available to public safety have “acknowledged alerting” features, but none of them can provide usable, primary alerting capabilities on any meaningful scale. Existing mobile data systems are too expensive for wide deployment to volunteer battalions, and they are too bulky for continual personal use. Several contemporary PCS technologies have integrated voice, data, and paging, but they involve expensive monthly charges and an unacceptable reliance on commercial networks. Broadband solutions such as 802.11 provide high-capacity local-area connectivity but they have neither the coverage nor the resilience for wide-area alerting.

In contrast, 900 MHz Narrowband PCS (N-PCS) provides acknowledged alerting capabilities in an implementation uniquely suited for public safety. Small belt-worn devices with long battery life, powerful group alerting features, and high-power simulcast coverage combine to provide capabilities not seen with other technologies. Numerous vendors provide N-PCS equipment at costs comparable to that of traditional paging, with available product ranging from consumer-grade messaging units to GPS location transponders to hardened devices specifically designed for fire and EMS.

Unfortunately, the FCC auctioned all available N-PCS spectrum to commercial carriers in auctions 1, 3, 41, and 50, and while N-PCS devices themselves also operate in the 900 MHz SMR band, this spectrum is only available to public safety under waiver of operation. Lack of spectrum has prevented widespread adoption of this otherwise extremely well-suited technology, but the FCC recently announced plans to auction 199 channel pairs from the 900 MHz private land mobile radio pool. It is vital that the NPSTC secure a public safety allocation from this pool prior to any such auction.

II The Benefits of N-PCS Alerting

From an agency standpoint, the benefits of N-PCS alerting over traditional paging and mobile data methods are vast. This section attempts to summarize some of the more relevant features.

III The Need for N-PCS Alerting

In late 2004, the Boston Globe reviewed public records of 3.3 million building fires collected by the National Fire Incident Reporting System from 20,000 fire departments nationwide. They concluded that only 35% of departments were able to reach 90% of building fires within the six minute window required by the NFPA.1 These statistics point to a lack of resources as the root cause; however, communications shortcomings also play a critical, exacerbating role. All responses begin with an alert, and the alert must successfully mobilize the response force before any other operational issue even becomes relevant. While problems during the alert phase will delay or disrupt the response, early and accurate feedback from alerted responders helps commanders marshal their limited resources more effectively.

One-way paging is famous for alerting responders successfully, and it is equally famous for its missing acknowledgement path. During the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, this was endemic to the response process. From the Arlington County After Action Report on the Response to the September 11 Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon, two juxtaposed statements summarize this paradox:

The paging system seems to be the most reliable recall device, but most firefighters are not issued pagers.2

Directed “call-back” confirmation calls acknowledging receipt of pager instructions further compounded the overwhelming telephone traffic.3

Thus, while paging systems reliably notified responders even during this period of profound system failure, PSTN and commercial cellular congestion prevented responders from reliably acknowledging receipt of their instructions.

This dangerous shortcoming is instantly remedied with the use of N-PCS pagers on agency-operated 900 MHz N-PCS networks. This solution is available now, at very reasonable cost, using proven, veteran technologies from a variety of competitive vendors. From the Homeland Security Journal,

Narrowband PCS has demonstrated compelling benefits in terms of functionality, geographic coverage, in-building penetration, and the ability to support reliable delivery in difficult environments. It is positioned to be extremely helpful to emergency personnel for public safety and other homeland security applications through its wireless instant messaging, broadcast messaging, email, and location capabilities.4

IV Conclusion

Traditional paging systems rely on separate, unprotected channels of communication for acknowledgement. This reliance creates vulnerability during alert phase of the response, which in turn places the entire response process at risk. During large-scale events or events involving volunteers, the risk of disruption or delay is particularly severe.

Such vulnerability is unacceptable and unnecessary. 900 MHz N-PCS provides a proven, vastly superior, more appropriate, and more affordable alerting solution with its own acknowledgement path. Access to an allocation of 900 MHz channel pairs will make N-PCS technology available to public safety agencies, and this will create safer, more reliable, and more resilient overall communications systems. With an upcoming auction, the 900 MHz PLMR pool is an excellent place to seek such an allocation.

References

1 The Associated Press. Report: Firefighters Responding Slower. Retrieved February 10, 2005 from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6886107

2 Arlington County After Action Report on the Response to the September 11 Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon, p. A-36

3 Ibid. p. A-39

4 Kapsales, Peter (March 2004). Wireless Messaging for Homeland Security/Using Narrowband PCS for Improved Communication During Emergencies. Retrieved February 10, 2005 from http://www.homelandsecurity.org/journal/Articles/displayarticle.asp?article=110

Attachment I — Typical Agency N-PCS System Implementation

two-way system

Attachment II — Examples N-PCS Subscriber Equipment

two-way messagingtwo-way messaging
two-way tracking 

This excellent whitepaper was reprinted with permission from its author.


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. Please call Brad Dye at: 618-842-3892.


Equipment Needed—Want to Buy the following

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READER'S COMMENTS

From: sales@callnetgroup.co.uk
Subject: PIR_message
Date: July 7, 2005 9:22:48 AM CDT
To: brad@braddye.com

Nucleus base.
I have a moto nucleus paging tx that needs a freq change, what is the default password for a VHF unit 1995 vintage?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
THIRD TERM SUPPORTER

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


MORE TECHNOLOGY NEWS

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FEATURES
How to Ride the Fifth Wave
Cheap computing, infinite bandwidth, and open standards are powering an epic technological transformation that will churn up huge new opportunities—and perils for those who can't adapt.
By Michael V. Copeland, Om Malik, July 2005 Issue

[Excerpts follow.]

Skype, another fifth-wave pathfinder, may similarly transform the phone business by wielding the weapons of cheap computing and bandwidth. Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, the brains behind music file-sharing service Kazaa, created Skype in 2003 to provide phone calls over the Web. They spent almost nothing on marketing; the company is basically a roomful of off-the-shelf servers and a tiny peer-to-peer program, downloadable for free from the Web. Skype users can essentially call anywhere in the world to PCs, cell phones, or old-fashioned wired handsets. A half-hour call from, say, San Francisco to London over a Cingular cellular network costs $5.70 or more. On Skype it costs 69 cents—which is why Skype now has 41 million registered users and is in the process of pulverizing traditional long-distance carriers.

Salesforce and Skype make a lot of noise because of the disruption they're causing to long-standing business models. But there are many other companies flourishing beneath the radar that have even more fully embraced the technological convergence driving the fifth wave. Ambient Devices was founded in 2001 by a group of MIT Media Lab refugees specifically to exploit the fact that it's now cheap and easy to put computing anywhere. And they meant anywhere. Ambient has, for instance, put a computer in a lamp that changes color every time the Nasdaq rises or falls, or when a sunny day turns to rain.

The Cambridge, Mass., startup's combination of software and chipsets allows a wide range of devices to wirelessly pull data from the Internet about weather, traffic, the stock market, and other subjects, and display it as changing colors in a glowing orb or simple movements of a needle against a graphic. In the space of six months before the 2003 Christmas buying season, 10 people at Ambient set up a wireless network that covers 90 percent of the United States, developed a content platform, and manufactured the company's first product, the Orb, to be sold by Neiman Marcus and Brookstone. The clever color-changing object flew off the shelves, and now Ambient products are sold by more than 50 retailers. Ambient won't disclose specific financial figures, but its COO, Nabeel Hyatt, says sales doubled last year and the company is already profitable.

Ambient is a poster-child fifth-wave startup: It used chunks of open-source code as the core of its software. Rather than build its own wireless network, which would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars, Ambient cut a deal with telecom company USA Mobility that let Ambient use existing infrastructure. Data from the Internet was already available, and setting up a Web-based interface for people to program their Ambient toys was a breeze for the MIT brain trust. And since the company is piggybacking on the Internet and an existing wireless network, it can easily scale to millions of customers. "Ultimately we will embed the technology inside all kinds of devices that display information from the Internet for all sorts of manufacturers," Hyatt says. "It's an incredibly broad opportunity."

As Ambient illustrates, the ability of a company to easily scale services from a single customer to millions is a defining feature of the fifth wave. Gordon Ritter, a VC at Emergence Capital Partners in San Mateo, Calif., says the secret to doing that is the "Amazon-ification" of software. People tend to think of Amazon (AMZN) as an online store, but it can also be viewed simply as a software platform for delivering a service over the Web. Its interface is customizable down to the individual user, it learns about customers' preferences, and it scales from one person to millions almost effortlessly. Ritter believes all software will soon function that way.

Source: Business 2.0 left arrow CLICK

These have been just a few paragraphs out of a longer article. It is a very good article and highly recommended for additional reading. To get the whole article, click on the link above.


Steve Jobs calls family of teenager killed for iPod

Published: July 5, 2005, 9:20 PM PDT
By Kareem Fahim
The New York Times

As Errol Rose made preparations on Monday to bury his 15-year-old son, Christopher, who was killed last week in Brooklyn during a fight over an iPod, he received a telephone call from a stranger. The man spoke in tones that the grieving father said had momentarily quieted his anguish.

The stranger, Rose soon learned, was Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple Computer, the company that makes the iPod.

"I didn't know who he was," Rose said yesterday. "He called me on my cellphone, at 4 maybe. Or maybe it was 5." Rose said he had stopped noticing the passage of time since his son was killed.

The men spoke for a few minutes.

Calling him by his first name, Jobs asked how Rose was doing, he said, and conveyed his sympathies. "He told me that he understood my pain," Rose said. "He told me if there is anything—anything—anything he could do, to not be afraid to call him. It really lightened me a bit.

Source: c|net News.com


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.

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Serving the Paging
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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.

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EMPLOYMENT SECTION

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

EXPERIENCED PAGING TECHNICIAN

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: nickb@cawinet.com left arrow CLICK HERE

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843-266-6241

Wi-Fi, WiMax, and VoIP News

Linksys pleased with VoIP's positive market reception

Businesses already enjoying benefits, but consumers to wait a bit longer

By Roland Lim, Business Times
27 Jun 2005

VOICE-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) is hot, and Linksys founder Victor Tsao has been coolly surprised by the market acceptance for the technology.

'We have shipped over 2 million VoIP ports for the period September last year to May 2005,' said Mr Tsao, senior vice-president and general manager of Linksys. 'This is beyond my expectations.'

'VoIP is absolutely one of our drivers for growth, and its market acceptance will be the driving force,' he added.

Sanjeev Gupta, Linksys' regional sales director for north and south Asia, revealed that in Singapore, its VoIP products are already being sold by StarHub to business users. Consumers however, will have to wait a little longer. Mr Gupta said: 'With the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore's recent liberalisation of VoIP services. . .I'm guessing in the next 90 to 120 days, we will see someone in the (consumer VoIP) fray.'

Mr Tsao said that digital home products were another area his company is working on, but added frankly: 'While the current products are good for the early adopters, I must admit that it's not there yet for the mass market. This is something we're working on and hopefully we'll see more products by Christmas this year.'

Linksys will ship its first line of digital home products later this year, starting in the United States. They are the Wireless AG Media Centre Extender, which is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, and the Linksys Wireless-G Media Link, which is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP and 2000. These devices can be hooked up to televisions or flatscreen displays, and stream audio or video content from the computer over a wireless home network.

'Content is going to play a major role,' said Mr Tsao. 'We're going to see more partnerships with content providers, and we're currently in discussions with some of them, mainly in the States.' He added that with Linksys now part of networking giant Cisco Systems, it has the clout and ability to talk to major content providers.

Singapore is Linksys' international headquarters. Linksys currently employs about 450 people worldwide, of which about 50 are in the Asia Pacific region.

'With more production shifting to China, the region will take a bigger supply chain and logistics role,' he said. While Mr Tsao declined to provide Linksys' current revenue, he said in an interview with BizIT in April last year that he aimed to take Linksys to the US$1 billion revenue mark this year.

Mr Tsao also revealed that his company is working on its next generation of wireless products based on the IEEE 802.11n standard, and hopes to be the first on the market with these products.

'We are also working on WiMAX products in the CPE (customer premise equipment) and bridge device space,' he said, noting that 'WiMAX is going to take a while for acceptance as the technology isn't complete yet.'

Source: IT Asia One


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEzigbee alliance

ZigBee Alliance Announces Developers’ Conference for
Hands-on ZigBee Product Development

Event is Co-located with CABA’s Connected@Home2005
in Las Vegas, October 3-6

San Ramon, Calif. – July 5, 2005 – The ZigBee™ Alliance, an association of companies working together to enable wirelessly networked monitoring and control products based on an open global standard, today announced the inaugural ZigBee Developers’ Conference to provide developers with a hands-on opportunity to incorporate ZigBee technology into products and attend workshops on four ZigBee-compliant platforms. Held in conjunction with CABA’s Connected@Home2005 in Las Vegas, October 3-6, attendees of the ZigBee Developers’ Conference will learn directly from ZigBee member companies including Chipcon, Daintree Networks, Ember Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor, Integration Associates, and San Juan Software how to implement ZigBee technology into wireless sensing and control products for the residential, commercial, and industrial markets.

“The ZigBee Alliance continues to respond to the growing public interest in ZigBee by increasing the ways organizations and individuals can learn more about ZigBee and benefit from valuable hands-on experience of those who have designed products using the ZigBee specification,” said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. “The ZigBee Developers’ Conference provides another venue for product developers to explore the ZigBee specification in detail and receive training in using ZigBee for their wireless monitoring and sensing control applications.”

The announcement of the ZigBee Developers’ Conference coincides with recently published independent research that forecasts tremendous growth prospects for ZigBee. According to Joyce Putscher, director and principal analyst at In-Stat Research, “The market for 802.15.4 compliant nodes and chipsets is seeing a significant upsurge. We see ZigBee as having a strong position in this market, already having announced its completed specification last year and actively promoting the public availability of the specification in 2005. Developers who are on board with ZigBee will be among those with the widest range of opportunities and the lion’s share of the chip market for 802.15.4-compliant products.”

“A global, open standard creates opportunities and choices,” said Tim Gillman, chair of the ZigBee Developers’ Conference Task Group and cofounder of San Juan Software. “At the ZigBee Developers’ Conference, attendees will benefit from the collective knowledge of ZigBee members who have been developing products on the specification. This event also provides a forum for current and prospective members to collaborate on effectively implementing ZigBee technology and driving market adoption.”

The ZigBee Developers’ Conference will be held in conjunction with CABA’s Connected@Home2005 Conference & Expo, a global showcase of products and technology to enhance the digital lifestyle of connected consumers. The Connected@Home2005 show will address innovative hardware, software and services for consumers looking to take advantage of their broadband connection to unite consumer electronics and home appliances. The ZigBee Alliance, a Diamond sponsor of CABA’s Connected@Home2005 show, will have a member pavilion on the show floor.

The ZigBee Developers’ Conference will be held at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort, in Las Vegas, October 3-5, 2005. The ZigBee Developers’ Conference will begin on Monday, October 3rd, at 1:00 p.m. with a series of interactive presentations by ZigBee Alliance member companies. Tuesday kicks off at 8:00 a.m. for a full day of hands-on training workshops on four ZigBee platforms. The last day includes the final presentations from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. For additional information on the ZigBee Developers’ Conference or to register online, please go to http://zigbee.org/en/events/developersconference_2005.asp.

ZigBee: Wireless Control That Simply Works

The ZigBee Alliance is an association of companies working together to enable reliable, cost-effective, low-power, wirelessly networked, monitoring and control products based on an open global standard. The ZigBee Alliance is a rapidly growing, non-profit industry consortium of leading semiconductor manufacturers, technology providers, OEMs, and end-users worldwide. Membership is open to all. Additional information can be found at www.zigbee.org.

# # #

All company, brand, and product names may be trademarks that are the sole property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

For further information contact:
Erin Hanley, Lois Paul & Partners
+1-512-638-5309
erin_hanley@lpp.com

Kari Hanson, Lois Paul & Partners
+1-781-782-5738
Kari_Hanson@lpp.com


Project Gizmo challenges Skype

By Tony Lock, Bloor Research
Published Tuesday 5th July 2005 09:14 GMT

IP Telephony is on the brink of becoming mainstream in both the business sector and for "personal" communications. Indeed, when it comes to "personal" usage — by which I mean a small number of people talking together using relatively simple systems rather than corporate solutions — IP telephony has already made an impressive impact. Indeed, amongst the analyst community, and in many other areas of everyday life, IP telephony is growing rapidly.

At the forefront of much individual usage has been the solution supplied by Skype. So successful has Skype been that the company name has already started to transform into a verb — "To Skype". However, Skype's current pre-eminent position is now facing a serious challenge with the launch of Project Gizmo, the latest brainchild of Michael Robertson, the founder of MP3.com and Linspire.

In many ways Project Gizmo at first appears to be very similar to Skype. By making a free download of its Beta release software, users can make free telephone calls to others on the Gizmo system utilising whatever IP connection they have in place, typically broadband. The software delivers good sound quality and also offers free voicemail, the ability to take part in conference calls and call recording facilities.

In addition, the Gizmo CallOut service enables users to initiate calls to landlines and mobile phones from 1.8 US cents per minute using CallOut Credits. Gizmo also provides a facility to allow users to receive calls on a traditional phone number from mobile phones and landlines. The Gizmo CallIn service, which costs $5 per month, supplies a phone number from one of over 50 cities in the US and UK.

The major difference between the two, lies in the fact that Project Gizmo has been built using an open source philosophy around the emerging SIP standards. In addition to being based on the SIP open standard, Gizmo has publicly stated that it is committed to interconnecting its IP telephony system with those operated by other organisations. Gizmo already has links to several other VOIP networks including certain Asterix-based systems.

Project Gizmo IP telephony software is currently available in beta versions for Mac OSX, Microsoft Windows XP and Windows 2000 platforms, with a Linux version due for release in the next few months. When loading the software and registering, users are supplied with two identifiers—a Gizmo name and an SIP number. Using the SIP number, VoIP networks can reach Gizmo accounts without charge.

There is no doubt that 'Voice over IP' Telephony is growing rapidly. It is equally certain that it will grow even faster as the solutions continue to develop and as ever-expanding populations of potential users come into contact with the concept. Skype has pretty much ruled the roost for the last year or so as IP telephony finally hit the Internet. However, it may now face serious challengers, especially as SIP matures.

Project Gizmo could do very well if it can attract users quickly enough. Indeed, Gizmo is even asking for suggestions on a "cooler" name under which to operate.

Source: The Register


UNTIL NEXT WEEK

I hope that you enjoyed this issue of The Wireless Messaging Newsletter. Please pass along a link to a friend or coworker. Subscription is free and without any strings attached. Readers' e-mail addresses are never shared with any third party, so no one has to worry about getting any more junk mail as a result of being on this list. This is a community forum about Wireless Messaging, Paging, Telemetry, Location-based Services, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and VoIP. Your opinions or comments are welcome here.


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With best regards,

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Brad Dye
WIRELESS DATA CONSULTANT

P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

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E–mail: brad@braddye.com 
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