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FRIDAY - FEBRUARY 24, 2006 - ISSUE NO. 201

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Wireless Messaging Newsletter
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February 20, 2006
Contact: Joe Farren

Largent Hails 28% Drop in Wireless Complaints
FCC Report Shows Complaints Falling in Every Category

WASHINGTON, DC—The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported late yesterday that consumer complaints about wireless service had tumbled by 28%. The FCC report revealed that wireless complaints fell from 6,873 in third quarter 2005, to 4,956 in the fourth quarter.

"Increasing customer satisfaction is the top priority of the wireless industry," said CTIA—The Wireless Association® President and CEO Steve Largent. "In just the two plus years that I have been at CTIA, carriers have invested more than $40 billion into the wireless network.

"This investment has not only brought consumers newer and more innovative wireless services, but it also made the network more robust and the overall wireless experience even more enjoyable than before. This is just one of the many consumer benefits that flow from free and open competition. Competition continues to show that it is the consumers' most loyal ally."

Largent noted that the FCC's report showed wireless complaints falling in every single measured category—Billing and Rates, Carrier Marketing & Advertising, Contract—Early Termination, Equipment, and Service Quality—over the last three months of 2005. Wireless related inquiries also fell slightly from 9,446 to 9,246.

The percent of wireless subscribers who complained about their service in fourth quarter 2005 was 0.0024%, or 24 subscribers per million.

"What is abundantly clear is that the overwhelming majority of wireless consumers are satisfied with their service," continued Largent. "However, we will not rest on these results, but will instead take steps necessary to bring these figures down even more."

# # #
CTIA is the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry, representing carriers, manufacturers and wireless Internet providers.

Source: Virtual Press Office


Subject: Your story on Cellphones VS Pagers is misleading.
Date: February 23, 2006 12:40:15 AM CST

Hospital cellphone use

By Michael Schwanke
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
Wednesday, February 22, 2006

You've probably seen the signs. . .
They can be found in hospitals, clinics, and dental offices telling you "No cell phones allowed". But, a new study finds using them doesn't affect the equipment, and can actually reduce the number of medical errors. The findings are nothing new to Via Christi. “You try to base it on the evidence and the evidence is overwhelming that this isn't an important issue anymore,” says Dr. Hewitt Goodpasture with Wichita’s Via Christi Hospital. Dr. Goodpasture did his own research and found cellphones do more good than harm. He says pages take too long in many instances. When the hospital needs to find a doctor or if a doctor needs information cellphones are much faster.

In response to your news story:

Dear Mr. Schwanke,

I caught the middle (?) of your news story aired tonight (Wednesday, February 22, 2006, 10:00 PM News) where you showed a wireless pager taking over a minute to deliver a test message from your facility. The story line message you delivered was that pagers take longer to contact doctors when compared to cellular phones, especially in emergency situations. While I am not familiar with Dr. Goodpasture and his study, I would be surprised if he was a communications expert capable of demonstrating the value of one wireless communications product or service over another. My expectation is that like all Doctors he is a experienced “user” of wireless phones and pagers. However, if it was his studies opinion that Cellular phones should be allowed in Medical facilities, then this wasn't the point made in your news story. I also failed to observe a part of your news story that showed these same signs restricting the use of phones also restricted most all wireless devices including pagers because of a concern by the medical facility that such devices could interfere with critical medical care equipment. This precaution is much like that of the commercial aircraft rules, presently in place for flyers safety, that you can NOT use a wireless transmitting device on board while in flight. I believe cellular phones and many other wireless devices have a place in medical facilities as long as they are shown to not affect critical medical equipment or systems. I didn't get this message from your story and expect your viewers didn't either. The point of your story as I understood it was that pagers are inefficient for use in emergency medical situations. I believe your story’s message, and if this is the point of Dr. Goodpasture’s study, is actually flawed in it’s presentation and conclusions for several reasons.

First, not all cellular phone companies have complete wireless coverage in medical facilities in Wichita, Kansas or any other major city in the USA. Thus, Hospitals and Medical facilities have installed and rely on their own private wireless paging, wireless phone, and two-way radio systems designed to provide coverage in their facility. Many of these systems have been in place for nearly fifty years and undergone periodic upgrades. This is because they can NOT rely on any of several wireless phone providers to be totally effective in their facility.

Second, these medical paging systems are apparently not the same paging system as you demonstrated on your telecast. In fact Advantage Communications & Paging has operated a totally digital paging system in Wichita and Kansas City Metropolitan areas for over fifteen years. Advantage’s page delivery time is twenty seconds maximum, 99% of the time. This is why several public safety and medical groups rely on our paging system for emergency notifications. Advantage also maintains the Sedgwick County Medical Society Paging system and it’s average page delivery time is less than thirty seconds. We are also aware of both major medical facilities in Wichita maintaining their own in house paging systems which are also faster than your on air example. Which leads one to ask, just what paging system were you demonstrating? With the above examples you can realize that there are many different paging systems to choose from in the Wichita area, just as there are many wireless phone providers in the same area all with different tower locations, coverage, dead spots and system timings. Your example isn't typical and thus provided a false image to viewers of pagers. So why didn't you time a wireless phone call to another user as a comparison?

Third, a major reason that cellular phones will NOT work for most medical emergency notifications is that often times a “Group” of doctors and medical staff must be notified of an emergency situation as fast as possible. The Cellular Phone, with the exception of Nextel Walkie Talkie Group service, is NOT capable of simultaneous “Group” call. So how long would it take to dial up ten doctors and tell them there’s a code blue? Paging systems can send out the emergency message nearly simultaneously to many pagers at once alerting them to a “Code Blue or Trauma Patient” within seconds.

Fourth, Cellular phone text messages can’t compare for timeliness or building penetration like a paging system. In fact, the cellular industry recognizes that their text messaging service is very popular with it’s customers and mimics alpha numeric paging or two-way text paging. This same cellular industry also reports that nearly 15 to 20% of it’s own text messages do not get delivered to the recipients. This statistic is an improvement over previous years. Whereas, Pager user messages are received 99% of the time by the recipient.

Fifth, In times of Disaster situations it’s the pager that continues to alert and notify emergency personnel when wireless phones systems are clogged with traffic and have tower outages that severely limit their range. Hurricane Katrina confirmed this again recently. This is why the American Association of Paging Carriers are bringing attention to the Federal Government Agencies studying the Katrina disaster handling how paging systems were significantly relied upon and efficient for disaster communications and notification.

Sixth, Pagers are smaller, more convenient, and stay powered up a lot longer (a month or so) on simple disposable AA or AAA batteries than a cellular phone. Any user of cellular phones can relate to the times their phone was battery dead, didn't have signal, or you couldn't reach a party because they were talking on the phone and your call went to voice mail or unanswered. How is this wireless phone faster and more reliable as implied in your news story?

Emergency or urgent communications comes down to delivering a message to the appropriate parties that they need to respond or reply to FAST. Then that party can utilize whatever device at their means, wireless phone, land line, two-way radio, wireless or fixed internet computer or in house intercom, or simply RUN to the operating room to respond to a situation. Not all communications need to be two-way voice, which is proven by the extensive use of pagers and phone text messaging. Yes, wireless phones and computers are changing our lives and provide considerably more expedient communications today when compared to just ten years ago. However, the pager is still king of emergency notification systems and your story didn't properly convey it’s benefits in emergency use.

I've been in the wireless communications, paging and phone industry for over thirty years. I've seen significant changes in wireless phones and peoples use of them. That’s also why Advantage Communications & Paging sells and services Alltel, Nextel and T-Mobile phones. In addition we offer wireless paging, two-way radios, wireless Internet, computers and specialty communications systems. So I am considered very knowledgeable (I avoid the term expert) about Wireless communications and especially emergency communications systems.

I still recall the day in 1983 that Motorola representatives introduced their new cellular phone product and proclaimed the end to pagers and two-way radios. It weighed forty pounds, was mounted in the trunk of your car and was able to direct dial and receive phone calls through a floor mounted handset anywhere within it’s one tower coverage. For the next eighteen years Paging use grew faster than cellular phones because people wanted to be in touch and found pagers to be more effective and less cost. There is no question cellular carriers will continue to merge and improve their systems over the next ten or twenty years. Which is why the smaller digital cellular phones are capable of performing so many functions, including video viewing today. New wireless communication systems may eventually replace paging with some type of do all device. However, it isn't today and any news story proclaiming that wireless cellular phone services are the cure for every need isn't being realistic to your viewers.

I hope that you will now be better informed and take the time to research your communications news stories pertaining to wireless products and services and how they compare, or fit a particular use, prior to portraying the opinions of any one’s negative view of such devices or services. Pagers are today the most dependable wireless means of FAST emergency notification for public safety and medical applications. This is a fact that your news story didn't portray.

Perhaps a follow up or more in depth story would benefit your viewers and correct your false implications as to the benefits the pagers do provide your viewers in times of medical emergencies.

Thank you for your time.

Ron Mayes
Advantage Communications & Paging
742 South Washington
Wichita, KS 67211


East TN man falls to death from cell tower

Last updated: 2/10/2006 11:49:34 PM

North Carolina authorities say an East Tennessee man was killed when he fell 20 feet from a cellular phone tower.

The sheriff's office in Thomasville says John David Fridley of Athens fell yesterday as he and his son, John Wesley Fridley, worked on the tower that they own.

John David Fridley was pronounced dead at Thomasville Medical Center. He was 50 years old.

The sheriff's office and the state Labor Department are investigating the death.


David Fridley, KG4FZR, SK

The MCARC (McMinn County Amateur Radio Club—Tennessee) has added a tribute page of pictures and information about David Fridley, KG4FZR, SK.

Please see:

David was a paging operator in East Tennessee and a tower owner, he passed last week.

david fridley John David Fridley, 50, of Niota, went home to be with his Lord, Jesus Christ, on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006, while working in Thomasville, NC.

A native of Madisonville, he was a son of the late Johnie Wesley Fridley. A member of Fairview Baptist Church in Athens, he graduated form the Tennessee Institute of Electronics and was past president and life member of the McMinn County Amateur Radio Club. His FCC call sign was KG4FZR. He was a caring and loving person, greatly devoted to his Lord, his family and his church, and he, along with his wife and son, owned and operated Business Cell Systems and AAA Tower in Athens, TN.

Survivors include his loving wife, Rita Ball Fridley of Niota (KI4MJR); one son, John Fridley of Niota (KF4PVQ); his mother, Minnie Raper Addison of Sweetwater; one sister and brother-in-law, Anjie and Gerald White of Madisonville; one brother and sister-in-law James and Joyce Fridley of Sweetwater; and many other loving relatives.

David's services were held at Fairview Baptist Church in Athens with Dr. Jack Scallions, Evangelist Tim Vermaas, and Rev. Scott Duckworth officiating. His burial was at McMinn Memory Gardens.

David was an ARRL Technical Specialist, a SERA Assistant Coordinator, owned two 2-meter repeaters, and maintained equipment and provided tower space for several other repeaters in McMinn and Monroe Counties. His dedications to both the McMinn County and Monroe County Amateur Radio groups saved them many dollars in maintenance, installation, and rental costs.

David will be greatly missed by his friends and family.

73, our friend, 73 and God Bless!



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White House proposes Katrina fixes

Recommended changes difficult to implement before hurricane season, experts say

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

Feb. 24, 2006, 3:34AM

WASHINGTON—Citing its own failures in planning, communication and leadership in the response to Hurricane Katrina, the White House set out recommendations Thursday for major changes that will be difficult to begin, much less complete, before the next hurricane season begins June 1, some homeland security experts said.

"We are definitely going to have to look at all of the recommendations, find some sort of consensus and do what we can to implement those, but it will probably be a lengthy process," said David McEntire, associate professor of emergency administration and planning at the University of North Texas.

"Emergency management is in such a state of disarray right now that it could take a couple of years," McEntire said.

The White House report called for improved planning and coordination among local, state and federal agencies and the military. It said the Pentagon should work with the Homeland Security Department to determine when the military should take over relief efforts.

Many of the recommended changes that the report said must be made immediately—such as improving coordination among government officials, updating the national Emergency Alert System with new technology and streamlining procedures to ship relief supplies — require substantive reorganization, experts outside the government said.

"These things don't happen overnight," said Frank Cilluffo, associate vice president for homeland security at George Washington University.

President Bush, who called for the White House study Sept. 6, said Thursday that he "wasn't satisfied with the federal response. I reminded our Cabinet that hurricane season begins in June and that we will be tracking the implementations of the recommendations in this report."

Katrina roared ashore Aug. 29. The storm and subsequent flooding resulted in the deaths of more than 1,300 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

Twenty senior Bush administration officials were appointed to the White House probe, and Frances Townsend, the White House homeland security adviser, led the panel. The study focused on proposals to fix problems without singling out any individuals for blame.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid denounced the report as "understated and oftentimes self-congratulatory."

"This is far from the hard-hitting, independent analysis promised by the president and demanded by Senate Democrats," Reid, a Democrat of Nevada, said in a statement.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, the top Democrat on a Senate committee investigating failures during Katrina, described the White House report as "thoughtful" but criticized it for not assigning enough blame for the problems.

"Only a full understanding of what went wrong and who was responsible will enable us to correct our path for the future," Lieberman said in a statement.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who chairs the Senate panel, said she supports suggestions in the White House study to establish a joint task force to rapidly respond to catastrophic events, to improve emergency communications and to ensure that federal emergency-response officials have expertise.

The real test, however, is whether the report's recommendations are ever enacted, said Robert Tobias, director of American University's Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation.

"This town is filled with reports that gather dust or serve as doorstops," Tobias said.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.



A comparison of a White House investigation into Hurricane Katrina released Thursday and a Feb. 15 House report:


  • House: Mandatory evacuations in Alabama and Mississippi went relatively well. Evacuations in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish were either declared late or not at all, a failure that "led to preventable deaths, great suffering and further delays in relief"
  • White House: Federal performance was weak across the Gulf Coast because of poor planning for evacuation, communications, equipment and evacuee processing. Though fundamentally a state and local responsibility, the federal government must be ready to evacuate people when those authorities cannot.

Levees breach

  • House: Despite reports from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Coast Guard the night Katrina hit, the Homeland Security Operations Center failed to conclude that New Orleans levees were breached. "Perhaps the single most important piece of information during Katrina was confirmation of the levee breaches in New Orleans"
  • White House: Confusion about the difference between levee overtoppings and breaches, or breaks, contributed to delays in responding to flooding in New Orleans.

President Bush's role

  • House: President Bush's remarks shortly after Katrina hit that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" showed he was not being briefed by a disaster specialist as the crisis unfolded. Delays in assigning relief missions "may have been avoided if the president had been advised of the need for early presidential involvement"
  • White House: Bush is not specifically blamed, but the White House should have activated an emergency alert system to be broadcast before Katrina hit. Homeland security adviser Frances Townsend said the White House should have acted faster to cut red tape and settle disputes among relief agencies.

State and local governments

  • House: New Orleans police were ill-prepared, overwhelmed and lost "almost all effectiveness" Despite adequate warning 56 hours before landfall, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin delayed ordering a mandatory evacuation in New Orleans until 19 hours before landfall.
  • White House: Two days before the storm's Aug. 29 landfall, Gulf Coast officials knew tens of thousands of residents would be unable to evacuate. Changes at all levels of government are needed, though the report does not address response reforms by state and local authorities.

Chertoff and Brown

  • House: Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff should have more quickly declared Katrina an "incident of national disaster" for faster relief and additional resources. Michael Brown, then-director of FEMA, should not have headed the disaster response because he had not been trained for it.
  • White House: Chertoff was having trouble coordinating activities of various federal agencies and was not receiving fast, accurate information about the situation. Still, Chertoff is not faulted at length because the report says the government's disaster-response plan is unclear and needs to be rewritten. Brown was still working on a chart to lay out his staffing plan more than three days after the hurricane made landfall.

Associated Press



That's all for this week folks. Please remember that this is a community forum for thoughts and opinions about Wireless Messaging and yours are welcome.

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With best regards,
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Brad Dye
Wireless Messaging Consultant

P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

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