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FRIDAY - JULY 21, 2006 - ISSUE NO. 221

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brad dye
Wireless Messaging Newsletter
  • VoIP
  • Wi-Fi
  • Paging
  • Wi-MAX
  • Telemetry
  • Location Services
  • Wireless Messaging
WIRELESS
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MESSAGING

EUROPEAN MOBILE MESSAGING ASSOCIATION

A Global Wireless Messaging Association

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From: derek.banner@wirelessmessaging.org
Subject: EMMA Prague Meeting for October
Date: July 19, 2006 6:13:27 AM CDT

Dear All,

Due to some unforeseen circumstances the EMMA board has decided to reschedule and relocate the EMMA conference that was planned for Prague in October.

The conference will now take place in Budapest on 15 to 17 November 2006. Details will follow shortly.

We apologise for any inconvenience.

Regards,

Derek Banner,
Chairman,
European Mobile Messaging Association


Please read the new EMMA whitepaper Radiopaging for Alerting First Responders and Informing the Public during Emergencies.

You can contact Mr. Banner by calling him on +44 1895 473 551 or e-mailing him at: derek.banner@wirelessmessaging.org.  left arrow CLICK HERE


EUROPEAN MOBILE MESSAGING ASSOCIATION

FEATURED ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER

Advertiser Index

AAPC—American Association of Paging Carriers  InfoRad, Inc.
Advanced RF Communications  Ira Wiesenfeld
Advantra—INILEX  Minilec Service, Inc.
Aquis Communications, Inc.  Nighthawk Systems, Inc.
Ayrewave Corporation   Northeast Paging
   NotePage Inc.
    Outr.net
CONTEL Costa Rica  ParkMagic
    Preferred Wireless
CVC Paging   Prism Paging
Daniels Electronics   Product Support Services
Daviscomms USA   Ron Mercer
EMMA—European Mobile Messaging Association   Texas Association of Paging Services
   TH Communications
Global Fax Network Services   UCOM Paging
GTES LLC   Unication USA
Hark Systems   USA Mobility, Systems Application Division
Heartland Communications  WiPath Communications
HMCE, Inc.  Zetron Inc.

FEATURED ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER

daviscomms usa

www.daviscommsusa.com

  • Contract Design, Engineering, & Manufacturing
  • Telemetry Devices
  • Bravo Pagers—Numeric/Alphanumeric
  • ISO9001-2000 Certified Facility
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ReFLEX Testing Station

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Traffic Monitoring Device

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ReFLEX Utility Module

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PDA Accessories

Daviscomms—Product Examples

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


Daviscomms USA

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CUSTOM APPLICATIONS

outrnet custom apps If you see someone in the field (like salespeople, technicians, and delivery people) using paper forms, their company could probably save a pile of money, and get much better timeliness, accuracy and efficiency, by using converting to Outr.Net's Wireless Forms. Custom applications for as little as $995, delivered in just a few days.Outr.Net has a web page on Wireless Forms for Timeports at: http://www.outr.net/overnight_pw.htm left arrow Their latest newsletter is: "Business Development in Mobile Data" left arrow

Please call me so we can discuss your need or your idea. Or contact me by e-mail for more information left arrow

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
Zetron Inc.


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WIRELESS MESSAGING NEWS

Tiny New Chip Holds Big Promise

By Jay Wrolstad
July 17, 2006 9:00AM

Among the potential applications for the new Memory Spot technology are adding audio-visual supplements to postcards and photos, as well as improving security on identity cards and passports.

Researchers at Hewlett-Packard have created a chip so tiny that it could almost invisibly store information on ID cards, hospital wristbands, or digital postcards.

The Memory Spot device, roughly the size of a grain of rice, is based on CMOS low-power circuit technology and has a built-in antenna. The chips could be embedded in a sheet of paper or stuck to any surface, and could eventually be available as self-adhesive dots.

Data on the Go

The chip delivers data at 10 Mbps, or some 10 times faster than Bluetooth short-range wireless technology and comparable to fast Wi-Fi transmission speeds. With a storage capacity ranging from 256 kilobits to 4 megabits in working models, it could store a short video clip, several digital images or dozens of pages of text.

Information stored on the processor can be accessed by devices such as cell phones, PDAs, cameras, or printers. When a receiving device is placed next to the chip, its antenna is powered up and instantly transfers the stored data that device.

Printing, Imaging Applications

"What we have created is wireless, battery-free chip storage that can transmit multimedia content," said Howard Taub, HP vice president and associate director of HP Labs.

Unlike an RFID tag, which is primarily used to store bar codes and supply chain information, the Memory Spot can hold both audio and video, enabling a parent to capture a child and his or first words for posterity. "Essentially, we have bridged the digital and physical worlds," Taub concluded.

But the new technology is not ready today. Taub suggested that will be at least two years until the Memory Spot becomes commercially available.

Among the potential applications for the new Memory Spot technology are adding audio-visual supplements to postcards and photos, improving security on identity cards and passports, and supplying additional information on printed documents. A Memory Spot chip attached to the cover sheet of a document, for example, lets you feed a perfect digital version into a photocopier for sharp copies.

HP also notes that the chips, when added to a drug container, can ensure the authenticity of pharmaceuticals, or be used in other specialized industries in addition to consumer electronics.

Source: CIO TODAY


FEATURED ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER

nighthawk logo

EMERGENCY AUTOMATION & NOTIFICATION

• FIREHOUSES SCHOOLS PUBLIC FACILITIESGOVERNMENT 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.

Public Emergency Notification & Volunteer Alerting

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.

nighthawk sign

Firehouse Automation

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.

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FAS8

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.
10715 Gulfdale, Suite 200
San Antonio, TX 78216

Phone: 877-764-4484
Fax: 210-341-2011
E-mail: sales@nighthawksystems.com
Web: www.nighthawksystems.com


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Paging Seminar

Specially designed course for sales, marketing, and administration personnel. Engineers will only be admitted with a note signed by their mothers, promising that they will just listen and not disrupt the class. (This is supposed to be funny!)

This is a one-day training course on Paging that can be conducted at your place of business. Please take a look at the course outline to see if you think this might be beneficial in your employees: Paging Seminar outline. I would be happy to customize the content to meet your specific requirements.

Although it touches on several "technical" topics, it is definitely not a technical course. I used to teach the sales and marketing people at Motorola Paging and they appreciated an atmosphere where they could ask technical questions without being made to feel like a dummy and without getting a long convoluted overly-technical answer that left them more confused than before. A good learning environment is one that is non-threatening.

Let me know if you would like to receive a quotation, or if you would like to have any additional information. left arrow CLICK HERE

 

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Location Devices & ReFLEX Modems

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Developer Kit

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ron mercer global

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

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Communications and Electronics Industries
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Registered Professional Engineer

Tel/Fax: 972-960-9336
Cell: 214-707-7711
7711 Scotia Dr.
Dallas, TX 75248-3112
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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.

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

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Please click here to e-mail Ayrewave.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

From: steves@cvcpaging.com
Subject: Apollo 942 Alphanumeric Pagers
Date: July 17, 2006 11:28:13 AM CDT
To: brad@braddye.com

Brad,

We are looking for some new or used Apollo 924 Alphanumeric pagers on VHF. I was wondering if you could put the word out to your readership. Any one who has can call or e-mail me at steves@cvcpaging.com or 802-775-6726

Thanks

Stephan J. Suker
General Manager
CVC Paging & Advanced Answering Center


From: waynem@handypage.net
Subject: National Alert system ??
Date: July 17, 2006 12:00:52 PM CDT
To: brad@braddye.com
Reply-To: waynem@handypage.net

Is it just me or do I detect a bias in the government agencies that are setting up the EAS and National Alert system ?? Paging is the ONLY technology that is currently available that can do this NOW, but the government seems to be deliberately ignoring the Industry ??

Then again, the Paging Industry seems to just want to sit back and wait for the next customer to call and cancel their service. Why is the Paging Industry not jumping up and taking this bull by the horns and running with it ??

Reasons for your Paging system to want to do EAS !!! (Even if it is a small system)

1. Free Advertising — YOUR paging system is going to get FREE advertising by the media about the fact that you will be doing Emergency Alerting.

2. Acceptance — Government has designated YOUR Paging system as an important part of the Emergency Alerting system, and a pager unit now has more value in the eyes of the General Public !

3. Exposure — If you get people to carry a pager unit, even if it is for just for Emergency Alerts, They will get used to having a Paging unit again, and hopefully want to go back on the service for regular paging.

4. Survival — If you just sit around with your head in the sand and don't do anything on this, Cellular will take the huge grants of money the Government is offering, and construct a "Multicast/Simulcast Cellular Paging" system at all their cell sites. Then somebody will bring out the "Cellular Paging" unit, and we can all watch our Paging companies lose what is left of our customers and die !!! I figure we have between 6 months to a year (window of time) to get something working on this, a lot less if there is any major hurricane damage this year.

This is why our company has contacted all our local and regional Public Safety agencies. We have offered FREE Emergency Alerts to them on our Paging system. YES, "FREE" Alerts !! We will send the Emergency Alert on our system for FREE and not charge anybody to receive it!! But the public has to either buy, rent, or provide their own pager unit, at their cost. The Public Service agencies will provide the dispatch for us, and we will provide the "Alpha Mate" entry units.

We have also signed up on the local "Amber Alert" system and our receiving these Alerts, which are available for "Free".

As soon as we finish getting these agencies together and have most of this system running, we will be calling all the media, and providing "Press Releases" about this system. We have already received lots of positive comments about us doing this, both from Public Safety and the General Public. And our system is within a State that does not really have a lot of MAJOR emergencies !!!!

If the Paging Industry can take this bull by the horns, it can "REVITALIZE" the entire Paging Industry again. That is what the Cellular Industry is afraid of, and the Government is helping to re-pay the Cellular industry that has given them the most money. They are ignoring the immediate needs of the General Public. It is time the Paging Industry wakes up and let's the General Public know that Paging can provide them Emergency Alerting RIGHT NOW ! The Government will then have no choice but to except the fact that Paging is here and is not going away !!

The choice is yours, you can either work to bring back your "Livelihood" or you can continue to watch your customers slowly keep going out the door ???

Wayne Markis
Interstate Wireless, Inc.
Handy Page
Tempe, AZ.


From: Scott Tollefsen
Subject: Vince's testimony yesterday on Capitol Hill
Date: July 21, 2006 12:35:59 PM CDT
To: Brad Dye
Cc: Vince Kelly

Brad,

The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet held a hearing yesterday on the Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act (WARN Act), H.R. 5785. This legislation would establish a national alert system, which would carry emergency messages via as many forms of communications media as possible. The Subcommittee invited USA Mobility, Inc. to testify at the hearing.

Vince gave our testimony, and he also responded to questions from the Members of Congress.

In addition to commenting on the proposed legislation, Vince addressed the key attributes of our paging network, the performance of paging during events such as September 11 and Hurricane Katrina, and the value of leveraging the strengths of USA Mobility's paging network and its broadcast capabilities by integrating our paging technology into mobile voice handsets.

A copy of Vince's testimony is attached.

The entire hearing can be viewed at the archived webcast found at the Subcommittee's website.

Feel free to include this in the Wireless Messaging Newsletter.

Best wishes,
Scott

Scott B. Tollefsen
General Counsel & Secretary
USA Mobility, Inc.
6677 Richmond Highway
Alexandria, VA 22306


Written Statement of
Vincent D. Kelly
President and Chief Executive Officer,
USA Mobility, Inc.

Before the
Committee on Energy and Commerce,
Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet
United States House of Representatives
on

The Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act
July 20, 2006
Summary of Written Statement of Vincent D. Kelly

As the nation’s leading provider of paging services, USA Mobility is eager to play an integral role in the national alert system contemplated by the WARN Act. USA Mobility’s paging services already provide a highly reliable, redundant, and affordable text-messaging solution to mission-critical emergency responders. We also have the capability today to broadcast emergency alerts to all of our text-messaging subscribers, using satellite-controlled transmitters. Moreover, our nationwide network can support alerting capabilities for other service providers, such as wireless voice carriers that cannot provide similar point-to-multipoint messaging.

USA Mobility’s paging network has several key attributes that are ideally suited to emergency communications. Our network relies on satellites rather than the PSTN to link transmitters and switches, and therefore can maintain operations when telephone trunk lines and switches are out of service. In addition, our paging transmitters emit extremely powerful signals in a “simulcast” fashion, maximizing the network’s geographic reach and in-building penetration. Paging devices typically run on a single AA or AAA battery and have a long battery life; unlike cell phones and PDAs, these devices are not affected by a loss of electrical power because there is no need to recharge them. While damage to a transmission tower usually will disrupt mobile telephone service, paging’s use of simulcasting enables the delivery of messages to paging devices from other nearby towers. Paging also is a very affordable technology, which makes it suitable either as a primary communications tool or as a backup.

These strengths were clearly demonstrated during recent crises, including Hurricane Katrina and September 11. For example, the FCC’s Independent Panel on the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks praised the exemplary performance of paging services during the storm and even called on federal officials to promote the use of pagers by emergency responders nationwide. During 9/11, the paging network remained operational when wireline and mobile voice networks became overloaded and could not complete calls.

USA Mobility seeks to leverage these strengths as a participant in the expanded national alert system. Our network will continue to serve as a critical tool for first responders, and we are ready, willing, and able to provide emergency alerts to all of our text-messaging subscribers. In addition, our network’s broadcast capabilities might be best utilized in emergencies if the national mobile telephone carriers were to integrate our paging technology into their handsets. This approach seems to offer the fastest and most promising way to roll out a national alert capability to mobile phone subscribers, because mobile voice networks are not set up to broadcast alerts.

USA Mobility applauds the Subcommittee for its work on the national alert system, and in particular we endorse the working group approach taken by the WARN Act. Industry stakeholders and officials at all levels of government should collaborate on the development of technical interfaces, security procedures, and related matters. We also believe that the legislation’s funding provisions are necessary to the deployment of a robust multi-platform system, and Congress should expand its funding of grants to emergency responders. Finally, any legislation should include liability protection for participating service providers.

Statement of Vincent D. Kelly
President and Chief Executive Officer, USA Mobility, Inc.

Chairman Upton and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify on emergency communications and the Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act (“WARN Act”). My name is Vincent Kelly, and I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of USA Mobility, the nation’s largest provider of paging services.

USA Mobility strongly supports the WARN Act and applauds the Subcommittee’s efforts to promote public safety through the broader dissemination of critical, and often life-saving, emergency information. Paging services are ideally suited to this task. Perhaps the most important feature of our network today is the ability to broadcast messages to millions of Americans simultaneously utilizing a “group call” feature with our simulcast technology on a geographic zone-by-zone basis. While my company serves several million customers and is capable of transmitting alerts to our messaging subscribers in an emergency, our network’s broadcast capabilities might be best utilized in emergencies if other service providers—such as the national mobile telephone carriers—were to integrate our paging technology into mobile phones and similar devices, allowing information to be transmitted across multiple platforms simultaneously.

Our paging network also is extremely reliable, inherently redundant through simulcast technology, and very affordable. For these reasons, paging has proven particularly vital to mission-critical personnel such as first responders, doctors and nurses, and government officials. In fact, the FCC’s Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks recently recognized the exemplary performance of paging networks during Hurricane Katrina and recommended that paging carriers play an important role in any expanded alert system.

My testimony today will describe the unique strengths of paging technology, its proven record in emergency situations, and the role we are prepared to play in an expanded national alert system. Before addressing these issues, I will begin with some brief background information on USA Mobility.

Company Background

USA Mobility was formed in late 2004 by the merger of Arch Wireless, Inc. and Metrocall Holdings, Inc., then the nation’s two largest independent paging and wireless messaging companies. I have been with the company and with its predecessor Metrocall for 19 years, and I understand well the communications issues that arise during times of emergency.

USA Mobility provides one-way and advanced two-way text-messaging services, as well as traditional numeric paging services. As of March 31, 2006, USA Mobility provided service to over 4.6 million messaging devices, out of a total of more than 8 million units industry-wide. While the mass market for paging services has declined in recent years as consumers have increasingly relied on mobile phones, our paging services continue to play a critical role for first responders, including police officers, fire fighters, and rescue workers. In addition, hospitals and health clinics, as well as government agencies, rely heavily on paging services. We also serve more than 80 percent of Fortune 1000 companies. Our paging networks, which include approximately 15,000 transmitters, reach more than 90 percent of the U.S. population with one-way service and over 80 percent with two-way service, encompassing the largest 100 markets.

Key Attributes of Paging Networks

USA Mobility’s paging network is ideally suited to emergency communications based on several key attributes, including reliability, redundancy, and affordability. These attributes will strongly further the WARN Act’s goals by ensuring the availability of a text-messaging capability as a primary or back-up system for public alerts and facilitating communications among first responders in emergency situations.

Paging is one of the most reliable communications technologies on the market today. Our network architecture combines digital satellite transmission with an extensive system of terrestrial transmitters and paging switches. Because our narrowband PCS transmitters are controlled by satellites, our transmission network is far less dependent on the public switched telephone network than many other wireless systems—and thus far less vulnerable to outages during natural disasters and other emergencies. Satellite transmission also enables us to direct messages to multiple base-station paging transmitters within a geographic footprint in a “simulcast” fashion. Moreover, paging networks enjoy redundancy due to the benefits of this simulcast technology. Because paging messages are simulcast from multiple towers to each pager, damage to a single tower or even several towers does not necessarily interrupt the delivery of messages, as the pager might be able to receive signals from other towers in the area. Mobile voice networks typically lack this capability.

Another distinctive feature of paging networks is that our transmitter antennas are located on towers high off the ground (over 300 feet) and on the tops of buildings, and emit extremely powerful signals of up to 3,500 watts ERP. In contrast, most mobile phone transmitter antenna arrays typically are located 100 feet above the ground and emit significantly less powerful transmitter signals of 90 watts ERP. As a result of our unique simulcasting and high-power transmissions, paging signals can travel farther and penetrate buildings better than signals used by other wireless technologies. Additionally, many mobile phone outages result from damage to their large antenna arrays, in contrast to the resilience of the smaller antennas utilized by paging systems.

Paging devices are also very reliable. Unlike cell phones and PDAs, pagers typically run on a single AA or AAA battery and have a long battery life relative to other wireless devices. These battery-powered pagers are not affected by a loss of electrical power because there is no need to recharge them.

Moreover, paging devices and service plans are affordable, particularly relative to other wireless services. A typical paging service plan includes the cost of the paging device and still costs less than $10 per month. This low cost continues to make pagers an attractive option for private employers and government agencies that need basic messaging capabilities, either for primary use or to back up their broadband services. The cost savings also benefit low-income consumers who cannot afford more expensive wireless communications services.

Performance During Hurricane Katrina and 9/11

The strengths of our technology were clearly apparent during Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. Hurricane Katrina disabled most communications networks in the Gulf Coast region, but paging services remained operational in many areas while other networks failed. USA Mobility’s network was fully operational within two days in the areas hardest hit by the storm (most wireline and wireless providers required far longer to restore full service). Several of our customers reported that paging services provided their only link to the outside world, as they could not use wireline or wireless telephones. For example, as an employee at Women’s Hospital and Tulane Lakeside Hospital reported:

Pagers were used by Medical Staff for communicating with the doctors and nurses in transporting the Mom’s and Babies from one facility to another. Text messaging was the only way to get critical messages out to the doctors and nurses since phone lines were all down or all circuits busy.

Similarly, Carter C. Blumeyer, a Communication Specialist with FEMA during Hurricane Katrina, reported his experience with paging and the ReFLEX technology protocol we deploy on our two-way network to an industry newsletter:

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

The recent report of the FCC’s Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks validated this anecdotal evidence and commended the exemplary performance of paging services during the crisis. The Panel concluded that paging systems were more reliable than other networks because:

Because of the remarkable reliability of the paging network during Hurricane Katrina, the Panel repeatedly recommended that emergency responders rely on pagers as a primary or back-up communications system in future emergencies. The Panel stated, for example, that the FCC should “[u]rge public safety licensees to familiarize themselves with alternative communications technologies to provide communications when normal public safety networks are down. Such technologies include . . . two-way paging devices, and other technologies less reliant on the PSTN.” (Id. at 37-38) The Panel also called on the FCC to support Department of Homeland Security efforts to make emergency medical providers eligible for funding for emergency communications equipment and to expand the Emergency Alert System, see id. at 40, as the WARN Act seeks to accomplish.

Paging also performed exceptionally well during the tragic events of September 11, 2001. While the wireline and related wireless networks were quickly inundated with high call volumes and thus inaccessible for most people, pagers continued to send and receive data throughout the duration of the emergency. The superior performance of paging systems during 9/11 led industry expert Dr. Peter Kapsales to state that two-way paging “should be considered a primary or backup system to improve real-time communication among emergency personnel during critical periods when voice communication is not practical or fails.”

As this past performance demonstrates, USA Mobility and other paging carriers can leverage the benefits of their networks as participants in the expanded national alert system. There can be no legitimate debate about the value of enabling people to receive alerts over as many communication platforms as possible, as the WARN Act proposes. Nor is there any doubt that wireless technologies in particular should play a key role in the national system. Our society is going wireless. Although it is important to reach the television and radio audiences with emergency information, a growing number of citizens rely on wireless networks to receive information (and, of course, to communicate with others). As of 2005, there were more than 185 million mobile telephones, and more than 8 million paging devices, in service. Sending emergency information to wireless devices is especially important if people are on the move during an emergency, or if televisions and radios are inoperable based on power failures.

While mobile phone providers at this point serve vastly more consumers than paging carriers, the superior point-to-multipoint capabilities of paging networks make paging carriers critical participants in the national alert system. The FCC’s rulemaking on expanding the Emergency Alert System has focused largely on mobile phone providers’ current inability to broadcast alert messages to large numbers of consumers. Mobile phone carriers have proposed short-term solutions based on short-message-services, which are quite limited in terms of message length and the number of subscribers that can be reached promptly. Over the next several years, mobile phone carriers propose to develop more robust broadcast systems capable of transmitting messages to large numbers of subscribers simultaneously.

In contrast, as I have described, paging networks already have this capability today. Broadcasting large numbers of messages does not cause bottlenecks in paging networks because, unlike voice networks, they are designed for this function. We are able to put this capability to use in the national alert system, so that our text-messaging subscribers can receive alert messages from local, state, and national officials. Our systems can be configured to transmit messages to targeted simulcast areas, to specific customer groups (such as emergency responders), or even to our entire base of text-messaging subscribers.

While our services are extremely important to our subscribers—including first responders and health care professionals in particular—a greater public benefit might result if other service providers integrated our paging technology into their own devices to take advantage of our extraordinary alert capabilities. For example, wireless voice providers could direct manufacturers to install paging technology in mobile phones. This relatively low-cost solution would enable wireless carriers to transmit alert messages to a far broader audience as soon as new handsets are introduced into the marketplace. In addition, paging networks can readily support the transmission of alert messages to wall-mounted devices in consumers’ homes, which could emit a tone or light up when an emergency message has been received. Such devices could even be detachable and portable so they would deliver the benefits of mobile devices during a crisis.

Specific Recommendations

USA Mobility believes that the WARN Act will strengthen emergency communications in a number of ways, and we commend the Subcommittee for convening a hearing. I want to highlight three aspects of the legislation that are particularly important and beneficial.

First, we strongly support the working group approach taken by the bill. As I have explained, USA Mobility’s paging network is capable of broadcasting alert messages to a mass audience or to targeted areas and user groups. But the interface between our network and the officials responsible for issuing alerts has yet to be developed. In our view, the most efficient and effective way to establish systems and protocols capable of delivering messages to a wide array of technological platforms is to convene a working group as proposed in the WARN Act. The working group not only can develop appropriate transmission protocols but also can help establish appropriate authentication and validation systems to prevent misuse of the national alert system. As the nation’s leading paging carrier, USA Mobility is prepared to play a significant role in the working group contemplated by the legislation.

Second, the legislation is necessary to provide funding for this initiative. To its credit, FEMA has undertaken an important pilot program, the National Capital Region Digital Emergency Alert System Pilot (DEAS-NCR), in which USA Mobility participated along with public broadcasters and other entities. But the national rollout of an expanded multi-platform alert system necessarily will require additional resources. In addition to the funding proposed by the WARN Act, USA Mobility urges Congress to provide additional funding to the Department of Homeland Security to authorize grants to emergency responders at the state and local levels for the acquisition, implementation, and improvement of reliable communications systems, including paging services.

Finally, USA Mobility believes that any legislation must provide liability protection for communications service providers who participate in the national alert system. The threat of baseless lawsuits would have a chilling effect on participation by service providers, and broad participation is essential to the success of the initiative.

In conclusion, USA Mobility commends the Subcommittee and the sponsors of the WARN Act for their attention to this critical issue and we look forward to assisting in the development of a robust national alert system.


From: lyle@electronauts.com
Subject: Motorola Transmitters
Date: July 18, 2006 3:28:26 PM CDT
To: brad@braddye.com

Brad,

I have a client that wants to buy (3) Transmitters for the Motorola Nucleus paging system.

The specs are:

Output: 125 watts
Trans Freq: 150-174 MHz
Power: 28vdc
Paging Terminal = M-15, CBET
POCSAG 1200

Let me know if you have any idea where I can buy these.

Thank you.

Lyle Schmidt
Electronauts, LLC
400 Homan Drive
Cold Spring, KY 41076
Tel: 859-261-3600
Fax: 859-261-0188

Note: Seller pays 10% commission to help support the Newsletter.


UNTIL NEXT WEEK

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With best regards,
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K9IQY

Brad Dye
Wireless Messaging Consultant

P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

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Skype: braddye  WIRELESS
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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
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