|FRIDAY - DECEMBER 15, 2006 - ISSUE NO. 240|
Dear friends of Wireless Messaging,
It's nice to know that people actually read this newsletter. I was interviewed by a reporter from The New York Times this week. He is working on an article about Paging that is due to come out on Monday. At first, it sounded like it was going to be a little negative, but I gave him a lot to think about on the positive side. Let's hope we get mentioned—at least as a good way—to do emergency alerting.
Once again, I must ask readers, friends, and customers to please forgive me for being behind on my correspondence. My move has been completed but unpacking and some health issues have diverted my focus on business. I will be getting caught up soon, so don't be shy about reminding me that I owe you an answer to a message. Occasionally important messages get thrown away by my e-mail-spam filter. Some days I receive almost one thousand messages—about 90% of them being unsolicited junk. If I didn't have a good spam filter, I don't know what I would do. But—it's not perfect.
If you are serious about staying up-to-date with what's going on in the field of Wireless Messaging, then you have some homework to do this week. Several very important events have taken place.
The FCC has granted the City of Richmond (Virginia) a waver, and has cleared the way for them to build a private ReFLEX system for Public Safety use. The proposed system will cover the counties of Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover, including the City of Richmond, which is an area of approximately 1,217 square miles, and has a population of approximately 818,000.
A waiver was required because the only equipment available for ReFLEX use is being manufactured to operate in the 900 MHz bands that are assigned to the commercial, public subscriber service providers. So, special permission was necessary. This is the second time that a government entity has been given a waiver to to use frequencies assigned to subscriber paging—Monroe County, New York was the first. Of course, they both had to first show that there would be no interference to other services, and to comply with all the legal requirements. It looks like this is part of a trend at the FCC to loosen the control of the radio spectrum and to allow innovative use of frequencies—to the benefit of the public.
Another significant event was an FCC grant to allow a new trunked radio build-out on 900 MHz business channels by a nuclear power company in Connecticut.
The advantages of ReFLEX—Two-way Paging—over other technologies has been emphasized here many times by Ron Mercer (Independent Consultant) , Bruce Deer (President of SkyTel & AAPC), Vince Kelly (President of USA Mobility), “yours truly” and others.
Whether you think it is a good thing or a bad thing—for the government to build a large ReFLEX system—it will certainly mean that more ReFLEX products will become available, and probably that the prices will come down with increased competition. Comments on this topic are invited for next week's newsletter.
More details, and lots of interesting news follow.
Now on to more news and views.
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 web site. 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.)
|AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PAGING CARRIERS|
Thank you for supporting AAPC in 2006, we look forward to working with you to promote your business in 2007!
AAPC Places Representative on FCC Communications Panel
The American Association of Paging Carriers greatly appreciates your participation and support. This has been a very productive year and AAPC has generated a tremendous amount of momentum in advancing the paging industry. With your participation, AAPC has provided a united front before the FCC to increase their knowledge of the reliability of paging communications during a crisis situation.
After the 9/11 attacks and the failure of communications systems immediately following Hurricane Katrina and Rita, the FCC created an independent panel focused on improving communications. AAPC President, Bruce Deer, and USA Mobility’s president, Vince Kelly testified about the dependability of paging before this panel. The panel made several comments in its recommendations that included paging as a solution.
In addition, as a result of the WARN Act, the FCC has established the Commercial Mobile Service Alert Advisory Committee. This committee’s purpose is to develop and recommend technical standards, and protocols to facilitate the voluntary transmission of emergency alerts by the Commercial Mobile Service (CMS) providers.
AAPC is pleased to announce that Stephen Oshinsky, an AAPC board member, has been appointed to represent the interests of the paging industry on this panel.
For those of you who do not know Stephen, he is Director of System Architecture for SkyTel Inc., a nationwide paging and narrowband personal communications service provider licensed under Parts 22 and 90 of the Commission’s rules. He also serves as Chairman of the Paging Technical Committee (PTC), a national engineering group dedicated to serving the technical needs of the paging industry.
With Stephen’s appointment our industry will be represented at the national level as the committee works to develop an emergency alerting communications systems. This will hopefully prove to benefit all of us in this industry as well as the public at large.
We will continue to keep our up-to-date on the committee’s activities as well as any other pertinent regulatory activities.
|FEATURED ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER|
By the Deputy Chief, Policy Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau:
1. We have before us an application and associated waiver request filed by the City of Richmond, Virginia (Richmond) to operate a regional public safety two-way paging system on 900 MHz band Narrowband Personal Communications Services (Narrowband PCS, or NPCS) Channel 16 (frequencies 930.65–930.70 MHz and 901.8125–901.8250 MHz).1 Richmond seeks a waiver, pursuant to Section 337(c) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act),2 or, in the alternative, Section 1.925 of the Commission’s rules,3 to enable it to use currently unassigned frequencies allotted for non-public safety use. For the reasons stated herein, we grant in part and deny in part Richmond’s waiver request.
2. The Counties of Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover, including the City of Richmond, cover an area of approximately 1217 square miles, and have a population of approximately 818,000.4 Richmond states that it needs a secure, reliable, interoperable, and cost-effective method of alerting and recall for police, fire, emergency medical services (EMS), and other government agencies charged with maintaining public safety in the region.5 Richmond reports that it considered other solutions, such as one-way paging, mobile data systems, digital and analog two-way voice systems, PCS technologies, and broadband solutions, before deciding to deploy a two-way paging system.6Among the benefits of two-way pagers are small belt-worn devices with long battery life, group alerting features, high-power simulcast coverage, off-the-shelf availability of equipment from numerous vendors, and costs comparable to traditional paging.7 Richmond states, however, that the devices it plans to use operate only in the 900 MHz band, and commercial paging systems cannot meet its need for immediate, secure communications with adequate back-up reliability.8 Richmond therefore seeks to utilize NPCS Channel 16 on an exclusive basis.9 It proposes the initial deployment of twenty-three base station sites to cover the City of Richmond and Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover Counties, but also requests authorization for the entire Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia Economic Area (EA 015), which covers thirty-eight counties, in order to provide for growth of the regional system to incorporate adjacent jurisdictions.10
3. Richmond requests waivers of Sections 24.11 and 24.103 of the Commission’s rules, and any other of the Commission’s rules that are necessary to grant its application.11 Richmond requires a waiver of Section 24.11 because its system would be site-based.12 Next, Richmond requires a waiver of Section 24.103 because the proposed paging system would not meet construction requirements to provide commercial service over a certain composite area or to a given percentage of the population within a certain timeframe.13 Richmond seeks these waivers pursuant to Section 337(c) of the Act14 or, in the alternative, Section 1.925 of the Commission’s rules.15 On December 8, 2005, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau placed Richmond’s application and Waiver Request on public notice.16 We received comments from USA Mobility, Inc. (USA Mobility)17 and reply comments from the County of Monroe, New York (Monroe),18 Richmond,19 and the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC).20
4. Comments. While USA Mobility does not oppose Richmond’s petition, it submitted comments to emphasize the important role that commercial paging providers play in serving public safety entities and to dispel any suggestion that commercial providers cannot meet the public safety community’s requirements.21 In this regard, USA Mobility urges the Commission to consider the many advantages of commercial services and the inefficiency of duplicating existing infrastructure in conducting the public interest inquiry required under Section 337(c) of the Act.22
5. In reply comments, both Richmond and Monroe claim that commercial paging services are not adequate to serve public safety. Monroe argues that private systems utilizing the current ReFLEX protocol are much faster than the system portrayed by USA Mobility.23 Monroe also states that that its private ReFLEX network is interoperable with the SkyTel network, other private ReFLEX systems, open e-mail and internet standards, and with text messaging devices on all major wireless carriers.24 Monroe also states that private systems generally are much simpler and can dispatch technicians immediately to respond to calls for service and repair.25
6. USA Mobility also states that the Commission should impose two requirements on waivers granted under Section 337(c) of the Act or Section 1.925(b)(3) of the Commission’s rules.26 First, USA Mobility seeks a requirement that applicants certify that they have exhausted commercially available means of providing communications.27 Second, USA Mobility seeks a requirement that any private paging networks authorized by waiver must interconnect with national paging networks, to promote interoperability and prevent public safety agencies from being cut off from other emergency personnel.28
7. In response to USA Mobility’s first proposed requirement, NPSTC and Richmond remark that Section 337(c) of the Act does not impose any requirements for public safety agencies to certify that they have exhausted commercial paging alternatives.29 With regard to USA Mobility’s second proposed requirement, NPSTC observes that the Commission’s Parts 24 and 90 rules make no interconnection requirements on private paging systems.30 Richmond, in noting that it may be desirable for both private and commercial systems to have this capability, states that marketplace forces should be allowed to address the issue.31
8. Section 337(c) of the Act provides that the Commission must waive any rules necessary to authorize entities seeking to provide public safety services to operate on unassigned non-public safety spectrum, if the Commission makes five specific findings:
9. When considering requests under Section 337, we must first determine whether the applicant is “an entity seeking to provide public safety services.”33 The statute describes public safety services as services that are provided by state or local government entities or by non-governmental organizations that are authorized by a governmental entity whose primary mission is the provision of such services.34 Richmond, a city chartered in the Commonwealth of Virginia, seeks to deploy a regional two-way paging system to enable police, fire, EMS and security agencies in the region, including 7000 first-responders serving a population of 818,000 persons, as part of its homeland security measures.35 Accordingly, based on the record before us, we conclude that Richmond is an entity providing public safety services. We therefore move to whether Richmond meets the other statutory requirements supporting a waiver under Section 337(c) of the Act.
10. Public safety spectrum is not immediately available. Richmond contends that public safety mobile data systems and other systems available to public safety are unsuitable for two-way paging.36 Richmond observes that two-way paging equipment is only manufactured for the 900 MHz bands, and there are no 900 MHz channels allocated to public safety.37 We agree that no public safety spectrum is available for the requested two-way paging capability, and thus conclude that no other public safety spectrum is immediately available to satisfy the requested public safety service use.38
11. The proposed use will not cause harmful interference to protected spectrum users. Richmond states that the requested channel frequencies are not assigned within 200 kilometers of the specified sites or anywhere else in Virginia.39 We note that NPCS Channel 16 is licensed in adjacent PCS Region 1 to American Messaging Services, LLC, Call Sign KNKV216. Although we have determined that the border of PCS Region 1 is located approximately 158 kilometers from the specified sites, we found that Richmond’s twenty-three base stations meet the power and antenna height limits of Sections 24.132(c) and (d) of the Commission’s rules.40 Therefore, we conclude that Richmond’s operation on NPCS Channel 16 is technically feasible and will not cause harmful interference to protected spectrum users.
12. Public safety use of the unassigned frequencies is consistent with public safety spectrum allocations in the geographic area. Richmond states that the purpose of this criterion is to ensure that “interoperability of public safety services is not retarded.”41 Richmond believes that the system will enhance interoperability as it will serve every fire, EMS, and police department within the service area and augment the region’s interoperable voice communications system.42 Further, Richmond’s proposed system, based on ReFLEX technology, has the ability to roam, and it affords a level of interoperability with other two-way paging systems, such as commercial paging systems.43 Section 337(c)(1)(C) requires that the spectrum sought is or will be used for other public safety operations in the geographic area.44 Because the proposed two-way paging system would serve all fire, EMS and police department operations in the area, and augment the region’s interoperable voice communications systems, we find the proposed system to be consistent with the Commission’s public safety spectrum designation in the subject geographic area.45
13. The unassigned frequencies have been allocated for non-public safety use for more than two years. In 1994, the Commission allocated spectrum for the operation of Narrowband PCS in three one-megahertz blocks in the 900 MHz band.46 As Richmond notes, the regional license for channel 16 was offered in Auction 51 more than two years ago, and no bids on the license for Channel 16 were received.47 Because Channel 16 was allocated for its present use not less than two years prior to the date on which the application will be granted, we conclude that Richmond has met this criterion.
14. Grant of the application is consistent with the public interest We believe that Richmond’s filings demonstrate that access to additional spectrum is needed in order to promote effective public safety communications. We agree with Richmond that grant of the application and waiver request would be in the public interest as it will allow otherwise vacant spectrum to be used by Richmond to preserve and promote critical communications that protect the safety of life, health, and property.48 We therefore find that granting the application is consistent with the public interest.
15. Our decision to grant Richmond’s waiver request, however, is limited only to those frequencies for NPCS Channel 16 at the sites specified in its application; that is, the twenty-three sites in the City of Richmond and in Henrico, Hanover, and Chesterfield Counties. Although Richmond requests authorization for the entire Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia Economic Area (EA 015), which covers thirty-eight counties beyond its initial deployment of Richmond, it neither identifies nor provides details about the specific sites or its implementation schedule. We thus lack sufficient information to evaluate Richmond’s request under the applicable waiver criteria and find that a grant of the application with respect to the entire Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia Economic Area (EA 015) is not warranted. Accordingly, we grant Richmond’s request for authorization only for those frequencies for NPCS Channel 16 at the twenty-three sites specified in its application and deny its request with respect to a geographic license covering the entire Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia Economic Area (EA 015). In reaching this decision, we also decline to impose any conditions on the grant of Richmond’s waiver request as suggested by USA Mobility. Neither the Commission’s rules nor Section 337(c) of the Act requires applicants seeking to deploy a private paging network either to exhaust commercially available means of providing communications or interconnect to a national paging network.
16. We conclude based on the record before us that Richmond’s waiver request satisfies the criteria set forth under Section 337(c) of the Act to permit it to operate a public safety, two-way paging system on NPCS Channel 16 at twenty-three sites in the City of Richmond and the Counties of Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover. We also conclude, however, that an authorization for the sites associated with the Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia Economic Area (EA 015) is unwarranted. Accordingly, we grant in part and deny in part Richmond’s waiver request.
V. ORDERING CLAUSES
17. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.925 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.925, and Sections 4(i) and 337(c) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 337(c), the request for waiver associated with the captioned application filed by the City of Richmond on June 22, 2006, as amended, IS GRANTED IN PART and otherwise DENIED IN PART, and File No. 0002660203 SHALL BE PROCESSED consistent with this Order and the Commission’s rules.
18. This action is taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections 0.191 and 0.392 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.191, 0.392.
1 See FCC File No. 0002660203 (filed June 22, 2006, amended July 12, 2006, July 20, 2006, and Nov. 21, 2006), and accompanying Request for Waiver (Waiver Request).
2 47 U.S.C. § 337(c).
3 47 C.F.R. § 1.925.
4 Waiver Request at 2.
7 Id. at 2-3.
8 Id. at 4.
11 47 C.F.R. §§ 24.11, 24.103. Section 24.11(b) states that blanket licenses are granted for each market and frequency block, and applications for individual sites will not be accepted. Section 24.103 sets forth construction requirements so that a certain area or percentage of the population is served by a PCS system within a certain time after the initial license grant date.
12 See FCC File No. 0002660203, Exhibit 1, “Site Information.”
13 Waiver Request at 1.
14 See 47 U.S.C. § 337(c).
15 47 C.F.R. § 1.925.
16 See Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Seeks Comment on City of Richmond, Virginia Request for Waiver to Operate Public Safety Paging System on 900 MHz Narrowband PCS Frequencies, Public Notice, 21 FCC Rcd 8527 (WTB PSCID 2006). Pursuant to a Commission reorganization effective September 25, 2006, the relevant duties of the Public Safety and Critical Infrastructure Division of the Wireless Telecommunication Bureau were assumed by the Policy Division of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. See Establishment of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Order, 21 FCC Rcd 10867 (2006).
17 Comments of USA Mobility, Inc., filed Aug. 28, 2006 (USA Mobility Comments).
18 Reply Comments of Monroe County, New York, filed Sept. 11, 2006 (Monroe Reply Comments).
19 Reply to Comments, filed by the City of Richmond, Virginia, filed Sept. 11, 2006 (Richmond Reply Comments).
20 Reply Comments of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council, filed Sept. 12, 2006 (NPSTC Reply Comments).
21 USA Mobility Comments at 2.
22 Id. at 2-3. USA Mobility lists several benefits of commercial paging systems, including cost effectiveness, broad coverage, interconnectivity among many communications platforms, secure message delivery within approximately one minute, high-power simulcast coverage, satellite backhaul, portable generators, mobile transmitters, and the ability to leverage an existing network and supplement it if there is a need to fill coverage holes. Id. at 4-8. USA Mobility states that private paging systems must be built from scratch and risk inadequate performance during emergencies due to lack of extensive infrastructure, operational track record, and experienced personnel. Id. at 9.
23 Monroe Reply Comments at 2. Monroe states that while older versions of the ReFLEX protocol have latency of about one minute, the current version can deliver messages in about five seconds. Id. Richmond asserts that one minute latency is unacceptable, and that emergency services require messages to be delivered within five seconds or less. Richmond Reply Comments at 3.
24 Monroe Reply Comments at 2-3.
26 USA Mobility Comments at 10.
28 Id. at 11.
29 NPSTC Reply Comments at 4, Richmond Reply Comments at 5. NPSTC and Richmond argue that the Commission has long entitled users of radio service to license and operate their own private systems without regard to whether common carrier systems are available or arguably would serve the user’s needs. NPSTC Reply Comments at 4, Richmond Reply Comments at 2-3 (citing Allocation of Frequencies in the Bands Above 890 Mc., Docket No. 11866, Report and Order, 27 F.C.C. 359 (1959) and Allocation of Frequencies in the Bands Above 890 Mc., Docket No. 11866, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 29 F.C.C. 825 (1960)). Richmond states that it examined commercial two-way paging as an alternative approach to a private system, but determined that commercial paging operations in the region would not meet the mission critical communication requirements of its public safety agencies. Waiver Request at 3.
30 NPSTC Reply Comments at 4-5.
31 Richmond Reply Comments at 5.
32 See 47 U.S.C. § 337(c).
33 See 47 U.S.C. § 337(f). Section 337(f) defines the term “public safety services” as “services—
35 Waiver Request at 12.
36 Waiver Request at 7.
38 See Implementation of Sections 309(j) and 337 of the Communications Act of 1934 as Amended, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, WT Docket No. 99-87, 15 FCC Rcd 22709, 22769 ¶ 132 (2000) (the statutory requirement is satisfied if there is “no unassigned public safety spectrum, or not enough for the proposed public safety use, in any band in the geographic area in which the Section 337 applicant seeks to provide public safety services”).
39 Waiver Request at 7.
40 47 C.F.R. §§ 24.132(c), (d).
41 Waiver Request at 8 & n.5, citing H.R. Rep. No. 103-111, at 580 (1997).
42 Id. at 8.
43 Richmond Reply Comments at 5. See also USA Mobility Comments at 3 (indicating that commercial paging services continue to play a critical role for emergency first responders), 6-7 (indicating that its commercial paging network uses the ReFLEX protocol).
44 Cf. Borough of Sayreville, New Jersey, Order, 14 FCC Rcd 19393, 19396 ¶ 8 (WTB 1999) (dismissing waiver for failure to demonstrate the spectrum will be used for other public safety operations in the geographic area).
45 See Monroe County, New York, Order, 17 FCC Rcd 21535, 21540-41 ¶ 12 (WTB PSPWD 2002).
46 See Amendment of the Commission’s Rules To Establish New Personal Communications Services, Gen Docket No. 90-314, ET Docket No. 92-100, First Report and Order, 8 FCC Rcd 7162 (1993).
47 Waiver Request at 8, citing Regional Narrowband PCS Spectrum Auction, Public Notice, 18 FCC Rcd 18570 (2003) (announcing qualified bidders and auction start date).
48 Waiver Request at 8-9. Section 1 of the Act defines one of the Commission’s over-arching purposes as “promoting safety of life and property through the use of … radio communication.” 47 U.S.C. § 151.
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December 11, 2006
Largent Applauds Congress for Supporting Key
WASHINGTON, DC – Prior to the adjournment of the 109th Congress, Members considered and passed a number of important wireless initiatives that will; protect consumer privacy, aid military personnel overseas, enhance interoperable telecommunications systems for law enforcement personnel and first responders on the home front, and extend important tax credits for research and development of next generation wireless services.
Chief among the wireless bills was HR 4709, The Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act, which is a measure designed to make the act of "pre-texting" a federal crime. Pre-texting is a term used to describe how individuals fraudulently obtain a phone user's call records through elaborate impersonation schemes and then make the records available for sale. CTIA – The Wireless Association® made outlawing pre-texting on the federal level one of its top priorities for 2006.
"The wireless industry jealously guards their customers' privacy," said CTIA – The Wireless Association® President and CEO Steve Largent. "Pre-texting is fraud - pure and simple - and I applaud Congress for moving to put a strong federal law on the books which expressly makes this form of identity theft illegal. While wireless carriers will continue to take aggressive steps to protect themselves and their customers from this illegal activity, passage of this bill will serve as a significant and meaningful deterrent," continued Largent.
Congress also passed S 2653, known as the Call Home Act of 2006. The legislation would not only direct the Federal Communications Commission to take efforts to reduce telephone rates for Armed Forces personnel overseas, but would also direct the Department of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, to award no less than $1 billion for public safety interoperable communications grants no later than September 30, 2007.
"The Call Home Act will assist our best and bravest as they stay in-touch with their families, friends and loved ones while serving our country overseas," said Largent. "And on the home front, the legislation ensures that needed resources are deployed so that law enforcement and first responders are equipped with the interoperable telecommunications services and systems they need to keep our nation safe and secure."
Finally, Congress passed HR 6111, The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, which includes an extension of the Research and Development tax credit through 2007. This initiative has a demonstrated track record of encouraging industry to devote resources to the development of innovative, next-generation wireless services here in the United States.
"This is an important piece of legislation because it will help keep America on the forefront of wireless innovation," said Largent. "This bill is a winner for the American economy, for the American worker and for the American consumer, who today relies so heavily upon advanced wireless services."
Source: CTIA News Release
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ROBERT SMALL APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF DANIELS ELECTRONICS LTD.
Victoria, B.C. Canada – December 13, 2006 – The Board of Directors at Daniels Electronics Ltd., a supplier of high reliability Land Mobile Radio (LMR) radio equipment, today announced the promotion of Robert Small to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) effective January 1, 2007.
Mr. Small has over 25 years of experience with Daniels, delivering high quality custom-radio communications products to international markets. Through a steady progression of management roles, encompassing Manufacturing, Purchasing, Engineering and Sales, he has achieved impressive revenue growth, groundbreaking product development and significant US product distribution networks.
This success is due, in part, to his fostering of integral customer relationships with government and private industry, including the US Department of Homeland Security. He is an active technical committee member with TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association), co-chairs the Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Centre (VIATeC) CEO organization, and serves the community in various advisory/industry liaison positions with Camosun College and the University of Victoria.
In his new role as President and Chief Operations Officer he will direct the day-to-day operations of Daniels Electronics Ltd., as well as provide strategic direction to all departments in support of the objectives of the Board.
“Robert has been a vital part of Daniels for many years and has been instrumental in the growth of the company,” says Terry Daniels, Chairman of the Board and CEO. “I am delighted to see him take on this new responsibility and have full confidence that the future of Daniels Electronics is in very capable hands as we embark on a new phase of growth.
About Daniels Electronics Ltd.
Daniels Electronics Ltd. is a North American leader in the design and manufacture of customized radio communications systems for specialized applications. For the past 50 years Daniels has provided our customers in North America and internationally with highly reliable base stations, repeaters and paging equipment that is environmentally robust and operates in rugged and extreme temperature conditions where low current consumption is a key requirement. For more information about Daniels Electronics, visit www.danelec.com.
Source: Daniels News Release
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GTES is offering SHERLOC™ services both directly and through authorized resellers. If your company has an interest in finding out how location services can enhance your revenue stream, and has the contacts and expertise to make you successful in the location marketplace, please contact us for further information at www.sherlocgps.com and select “Reseller Opportunities,” or call us at 770-754-1666 for more information.
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ZIGBEE 2006 AND FOUR NEW GOLDEN UNIT PLATFORMS NOW PUBLICLY AVAILABLE
Rapidly Expanding Supply Chain Offers OEMs 34 Compliant Platforms for Product Design
San Ramon, Calif. – December 12, 2006 – The ZigBee® Alliance, a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in residential, commercial and industrial applications, today announced the public availability of the ZigBee 2006 specification released to the Alliance membership last September and the availability of the first four platforms supporting that specification. The Alliance now offers original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) the latest enhancements to build new products that leverage the numerous strengths and features of ZigBee technology.
The first platforms to implement the latest version of the ZigBee standard and to pass independent testing by one of two ZigBee qualified testing labs, receive Golden Unit status. These new platforms are from Ember, Freescale Semiconductor, Integration Associates and Texas Instruments. The Alliance requires a minimum of three independent implementations to prove a specification revision and demonstrate interoperability to insure the quality of future ZigBee products. Golden Units are then established as reference points for future ZigBee Compliant Platform (ZCP) testing.
“Awarding Golden Unit status to ZigBee platforms represents an important step in providing a solid networking foundation for OEMs to develop a variety of products that offer more control for consumers and businesses around the world,” said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. “With certification of these four new ZigBee Compliant Platforms, it made perfect sense for us to post the latest version of ZigBee earlier than our original Q1 2007 date. It is now available on www.zigbee.org for free download – just in time for the Holiday’s.”
The ZigBee Alliance will host a Developers Conference on April 3-5, 2007 in San Jose, Calif. to train attendees on the latest features and updates found in ZigBee. To register, please visit http://zigbee.org/en/events/index.asp#devconf2007.
The newly qualified Golden Unit platforms supporting the latest update of the ZigBee specification are:
Ember – EmberZNet™:
Freescale – BeeStack™:
Integration Associates – IA OEM-DAUB1 USB Dongle:
Texas Instruments - Z-Stack:
ZigBee 2006 is optimized for use in products typically used by consumers and offers improvements and new features, simplifying application development, network management and maintenance. ZigBee 2006 uses mesh networking to communicate over the globally available 2.4 GHz frequency and 868/915 MHz technology in select countries. With digital spread spectrum technology, and the most number of channels, ZigBee networks offer superb immunity to interference. This simplicity of design and operation ensures consumers of all backgrounds can install products and maintain their network in minutes. Thanks to unique technology, a typical low-power ZigBee device runs on universally available batteries for years, eliminating the need for wiring to a power source and providing unparalleled convenience and flexibility.
ZigBee: Wireless Control That Simply Works
ll company, brand, and product names may be trademarks that are the sole property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
# # #
We at Unication have listened and delivered.
About Unication Co., Ltd.
|BLOOSTON, MORDKOFSKY, DICKENS, DUFFY & PRENDERGAST, LLP|
BloostonLaw Telecom Update
FCC General Counsel Clears McDowell To Vote On AT&T-BellSouth Deal
FCC General Counsel Samuel Feder has cleared Commissioner McDowell to participate in the agency’s decision on the AT&T-BellSouth merger proceeding, if he so chooses to do so. McDowell had recused himself because, prior to his appointment to the Commission, he had worked for CompTel, which had lobbied against the merger.
Although McDowell’s past relationship with CompTel may raise some concerns about his impartiality, Feder said, that is mitigated by serving the government interest, as well as other factors. Those factors include the fact that McDowell did not participate in any lobbying efforts regarding the AT&T-BellSouth merger while he worked at CompTel; has no continuing relationship with his former employer; and has no financial interest in the outcome of the merger. Additionally, neither AT&T nor BellSouth, the parties to the proposed merger, is a member of CompTel.
Feder also pointed out that these factors amplify the government’s interest in McDowell’s participation in this proceeding. “[A]s a Commissioner, your decision- making role cannot be delegated to any other employee at the Commission,” Feder wrote in his eight-page memo. “Moreover, given the impasse reached in this proceeding, the Government has a strong interest in having you participate.”
In the end, however, Feder emphasized that his authorization for McDowell to participate in the proceeding in no way compels the Commissioner to do so. That is solely up to McDowell.
Last Friday, McDowell said he was reviewing Feder’s opinion.
Senate Passes Pretexting Bill Before 109th Congress Adjourns And Leaves Town
Before adjourning for the year this past weekend, the U.S. Senate passed the House “pretexting” bill, which makes it a federal crime for the “fraudulent acquisition or unauthorized disclosure of phone records.” This was one of the last measures passed by the Republican-controlled 109th Congress. The Democratic-controlled 110th Congress will convene on January 4. Unfortunately, the new bill appears to lump unauthorized CPNI disclosures by telecom carriers, intentional or unintentional, into the same category as the fraudulent acquisition of CPNI, which may expose legitimate telecom carriers to criminal penalties and steep fines.
The Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act (HR 4709) defines “pretexting” as an illegal practice, whereby a data broker or other person represents that they are an authorized consumer and convinces an agent of a telephone company to release data; or gains unauthorized Internet access to account data by improperly activating a consumer’s account management features on a phone company’s Web page; or contracts with an Internet-based data broker who traffics in such records.
Violators may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years. The bill also provides for penalties in aggravated cases. That is, violators, who also violate any other law of the United States, “or as part of a pattern of any illegal activity involving more than $100,000, or more than 50 customers of a covered entity, in a 12- month period shall, in addition to the penalties provided for” shall be fined twice the amount, and imprisoned for an additional 5 years, or both. Such additional penalties also apply if violators attempt to intimidate, threaten, harass, injure, or kill any federal, state, or local law enforcement official.
HR 4709 includes the following definitions:
(1) CONFIDENTIAL PHONE RECORDS INFORMATION: The term “confidential phone records information” means information that—
(2) COVERED ENTITY: The term “covered entity”—
(3) CUSTOMER: The term “customer” means, with respect to a covered entity, any individual, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation, or authorized representative of such customer, to whom the covered entity provides a product or service.
(4) IP-ENABLED VOICE SERVICE: The term “IP-enabled voice service” means the provision of real-time voice communications offered to the public, or such class of users as to be effectively available to the public, transmitted through customer premises equipment using TCP/IP protocol, or a successor protocol, (whether part of a bundle of services or separately) with interconnection capability such that the service can originate traffic to, or terminate traffic from, the public switched telephone network, or a successor network.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was a cosponsor of the Senate companion legislation (S.2178). In a statement, he said: “Congress has taken an important step to protect our nation’s consumers from unscrupulous companies who sell private telephone records to anyone willing to pay for them. This bill will make it a crime to buy and sell Americans’ private phone records.”
The bill now goes to President Bush, who is expected to sign it.
With criminal penalties now attached to the unauthorized use of customer phone records, we remind our clients that it is important to train staff in the handling of all customer proprietary network information (CPNI). We have completed a CPNI compliance manual that clients may use to train their staffs, and to document that they have taken reasonable measures to “ensure” CPNI compliance as required by the FCC’s rules (see Page 6). The manual includes procedures for the treatment of personal customer information, the permissible uses of CPNI, the duties of the CPNI Compliance Officer, and procedures that company employees should follow regarding CPNI. It also provides opt-in and opt-out forms, a CPNI request form, and an employee certification concerning CPNI training. Please contact us for a copy.
Source: Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy and Prendergast, LLP
For additional information, contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|EUROPEAN MOBILE MESSAGING ASSOCIATION|
|EUROPEAN MOBILE MESSAGING ASSOCIATION|
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CSIRO demonstrates world’s fastest wireless link
6 December 2006
CSIRO researchers will today demonstrate the fastest and most efficient wireless link ever achieved.
The CSIRO ICT Centre today announced that it has achieved over 6 gigabits per second over a point to point wireless connection with the highest efficiency (2.4bits/s/Hz) ever achieved for such a system.
Multi-gigabit links operate at speeds that leave current wireless networks far behind. For example the entire works of Shakespeare could be transmitted over this 6 gigabit link in under seven thousandths of a second or a full DVD movie in just over 6 seconds.
At the demonstration today, the team will transmit 16 simultaneous streams of DVD quality video over a 250 metre link with no loss of quality or delays. This impressive demonstration nevertheless only utilises one quarter of the capacity of the link.
Dr Jay Guo, Director of the Wireless Technologies Laboratory at CSIRO said that this breakthrough is just a first stage towards direct connections of up to 12 gigabits per second.
"The system is suitable for situations where a high speed link is needed but it is too expensive or logistically difficult to lay fibre, such as in congested urban environments, and across valleys and rivers," said Dr Guo
"The system is also ideal for creating networks to meet short term needs such as emergencies and large events."
Senator the Hon Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information and Technology and the Arts said that this is great news for the future of broadband in Australia.
"What stands out for me is that other technologies have gone faster with lower efficiency or slower with higher efficiency but CSIRO has achieved both speed and efficiency in the one technology," said Senator Coonan.
Dr Geoff Garrett, CSIRO Chief Executive, said that the breakthrough, like many in CSIRO’s proud history of achievement in wireless technologies, is the result of a multi-disciplinary team of over twenty researchers working together to solve major technical challenges.
"Just as with CSIRO’s early work in radar, the Interscan aircraft landing system, its enormous contributions to radio astronomy and antenna design in general, and its pioneering wireless LAN research, this world first is the result of dedication, perseverance and technical excellence," said Dr Garrett.
The system operates at 85GHz in the millimetre-wave part of the electromagnetic spectrum (above 55 GHz) which offers the potential for these enormous speeds and is not yet congested by other uses.
Media are welcome to attend a demonstration of the CSIRO 6 gigabit wireless link:
Thursday 7 December, 10am to 12pm
CSIRO ICT Centre, Corner of Vimiera & Pembroke Roads, Marsfield, NSW.
Please confirm your attendance by contacting Tom McGinness (details below).
Dr Jay Guo (CSIRO ICT Centre)
Ph: 0408 823 116 (mobile)
Tom McGinness (CSIRO ICT Centre)
Ph: +61 2 9325 3227, 0419 419 210 (mobile)
Source: ICT Centre
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Wireless Market Set to More Than Double in Next 6 Years
December 13, 2006
Wireless Telecommunications services competition is increasing. Smaller, standalone wireless providers are transferring licenses to larger, better capitalized and more experienced wireless providers. Resellers buy bulk wholesale service from facilities based carriers for resale. They provide another set of differentiated competitors in the marketplace.
As wireless data proliferates, content has become increasingly significant as a factor in the appeal of services. Content providers participate in the wireless value chain. Opportunities for increased leverage and/or opportunities to compete for wireless data revenues are proliferating.
Ongoing industry consolidation, the development and deployment of new technologies, the introduction of new products and services, new market entrants, the availability of additional spectrum represents market forces. Both licensed and unlicensed spectrums are used, and regulatory changes are market driving forces.
Competitive factors in wireless telecommunications services industry relate to national and multi-national positioning. Wireless communications services providers seek to have a strong national position in countries in which they operate. The ability to keep pace with network capacity needs and offer highly reliable national coverage through the provider network is important. National providers have an extensive national network.
Wireless communications services companies continue to look for expansion opportunities in other countries, through the build-out of existing licenses, acquisitions and/or spectrum leasing.
Coverage capability is a significant competitive factor, “Don’t drop Grandma, with Grandma hanging out on a wall” is the marketing campaign. Large numbers of base stations are needed to provide coverage. Network reliability, capacity and coverage are central. Lower prices, improved service quality, and new service offerings have led to increased minutes of use per customer.
Worldwide wireless communications services markets are growing in response to demand from every person in the world. Everyone wants a cell phone. Markets at $324 billion in 2006 are anticipated to reach $757.6 billion in 2012.
• FIREHOUSES • SCHOOLS • PUBLIC FACILITIES • GOVERNMENT FACILITIES • EMERGENCY ROOMS •
WHAT DO FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES, WISPS, HAVE IN COMMON?
THEY ALL USE NIGHTHAWK.
Nighthawk Systems Inc. manufactures low cost and reliable remote control products for fire house alerting, volunteer alerting, activation of warning signs and sirens, and a number of applications for public safety. The Company manufactures the EA1 and the FAS-8 which have been designed specifically for these applications. Both products are paging based and will work with any public or private paging network. They are available in all VHF, UHF, and 900 MHz paging frequencies. The products can serve as the primary notification system or an excellent, low-cost backup to existing systems.
The EA1 is the solution for remotely activating public warning signage. Examples include tornado sirens, flash flood warnings, fire danger, Amber Alert, icy roads, etc. The EA1 can also send text messages to scrolling signs. This can occur in conjunction with the activation of audible alarms and visual strobes. This is ideal for public notification in buildings, schools, hotels, factories, etc. The group call feature allows for any number of signs or flashing lights to be activated at the same time over a wide geographic area. In addition, the EA1 Emergency Alert is the perfect solution for low cost yet highly effective alerting of volunteer fire fighters in their home. When activated the EA1 will emit an audible alarm and activate the power outlet on the units faceplate. A common setup is to simply place the EA1 on a table and plug a lamp into the faceplate. When paged from dispatch or any touch tone phone the EA1 will awaken the fire fighter to a lit room. As an option the EA1 can be ordered with a serial cable, allowing for attachment of a serial printer. When paged the alphanumeric message will be printed out at the same time the alarm sounds and the outlet is activated. The EA1 is an ideal complement to alphanumeric belt pagers common to volunteers.
The FAS-8 is designed for activating one or more relays in a firehouse and if desired, printing the alphanumeric message to a serial printer. For this application the FAS-8 is set to activate upon receiving the proper paging cap code sent from 911 dispatch. Up to eight different devices can be activated all with individual time functions. The most common devices to turn on include the PA amplifier, audible wake up alarm, and house lights. The most common device turned off is the stove. The FAS-8 can accept up to 8 different cap codes and have separate relay and time functions per cap code. This allows for different alerting to be accomplished at the same physical location depending upon which cap code is sent. This can be very helpful when fire crews and medical crews are housed in the same building.
Put the innovative technology of Nighthawk to work for you. For more information on any of our products or services, please contact us.
Nighthawk Systems, Inc.
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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 email@example.com CLICK TO E-MAIL
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
Date: December 15, 2006 2:04:21 AM CST
To: Brad Dye
This week the FCC showed significant color regarding policy affecting so-called "private reflex systems," with two very important orders. [...] The first is the Richmond waiver, where the FCC has demonstrated a willingness to tolerate site-based operation on part 24 channels. [...] The second is a grant to allow a new trunked radio build-out on part 90 900MHz business channels. Because of the specific wording of this order, it effectively ends the 2+ year "freeze" on this type of spectrum for private ReFLEX systems. Together, these FCC orders break down a SIGNIFICANT barrier to the "private ReFLEX market."
In fact, this is SO clear that product managers in traditional public safety companies have taken notice. When it's all said and done, one or two new companies will probably enter the "public safety ReFLEX market" during 2007. From the perspective of most members of AAPC, this is VERY GOOD and it is also VERY BAD. [...]
Which brings me to my point. During the Richmond application process, their biggest obstacle was apparently our own industry. USMO filed comments (essentially) in opposition to Richmond's application. I would call this misguided, but not entirely unreasonable. BUT, USMO waited until the last possible second to file their comments, without sending a courtesy copy to the applicant, who was BARELY able to respond in time. Moreover, the USMO comments contained many technical and legal errors. I hate to say it like this, but the end result is that public safety (NPSTC, APCO, and individual agencies) is becoming enamored with our technology just as they are also becoming suspicious of our industry.
At this point, "Private ReFLEX" is going to penetrate into the public safety market. It just solves too many problems. And as this happens, our industry can lead or be marginalized. Sitting on spectrum and technology is NOT leadership. I sincerely hope that the AAPC can take the leadership role in this, with SINCERE backing from carriers and vendors. Otherwise, we will just read about it as [other] companies [...] take over.
—Anonymous (name on file)
|UNTIL NEXT WEEK|
That's all for this week. Please keep in touch.
With best regards,
P.O. Box 13283
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