|FRIDAY - JUNE 15, 2007 - ISSUE NO. 265|
Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,
We have tried to disguise it, repackage it, camouflage it, re-name it, sugar coat it, and re-define it—but it's still PAGING and it's still the best way to communicate quickly and efficiently with one person, or a million people at a time. For a review of why, click here.
Let's get the message out to those who need to hear it. This is a public forum for your ideas and suggestions. I hope to hear from you.
Dr. Bernie Dahl, the Keynote Speaker at the AAPC Wireless Forum, wrote with an apology for “too much data” in his presentation and an offer for a free book to any attendee. Please see the Letters to the Editor section at the end of the newsletter for more information. I enjoyed his talk very much and didn't think any apology was needed. Dr. Dahl and I had a chance to talk the night before his session and we found that we share a common faith. If you enjoyed his talk as well, I am sure he would appreciate hearing from you. There is a clickable link in the Letters to the Editor section to send him an e-mail.
Sad News From the Family of Froike Biegun
Former Motorola area manager, Harold Eddy is seriously ill and in a hospice program. Close friends may wish to call: 954-725-3348 (Florida).
Now on to more news . . .
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.)
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Opinion: Whatever happened to paging?
June 13, 2007 (Computerworld) Just as is the case with wire, we've seen a steady advance in both the throughput and the price/performance of wireless networks of all forms. As I've noted before, there is of necessity an inverse relationship between range and throughput in terrestrial wireless systems. In brief, the farther you go, the slower you go.
This is an essential result of what's known as the inverse power law, which states that the power of a radio transmission fades with the square of distance, or exponentially. This also explains -- along with other forms of radio-wave fading and regulatory bandwidth restrictions — the highly variable throughput we're always likely to see in wireless, and why the range and throughput numbers for any given wireless product or service must be evaluated separately. Maximum range never applies to maximum throughput, and vice versa.
In the early days of wireless, however, the laws of physics and expensive base-station equipment demanding large coverage areas, coupled with inherently low-performance radios (we just didn't have the technology for wireless broadband 15 years ago), meant that the whole model of wireless data in the wide area was oriented around low throughput and thus the requirement for a high tolerance of latency. One of the most important technologies in these days was paging, a service allocated its own set of frequencies by the Federal Communications Commission and originally designed around the concept of a beeper — call a number, enter the beeper's ID, and the device carried by the user would literally beep. That person would then find a pay phone and call in for the message. This was back in the days when equipment was expensive and people were cheap.
Well, it didn't take too long for paging service to be significantly enhanced, first with numeric paging, which displayed the phone number to be called right on the beeper, and then alphanumeric paging, which was a form of one-way text messaging. Then this was extended with what was called "one-and-a-half-way paging," more accurately described as "acknowledgement paging," where a pager could transmit an acknowledgement that the message had been received. And then we had true two-way paging with two-way short message service.
Many cellular carriers eventually offered messaging services as well, and when cell phones began to catch on in the mid-1990s, paging quickly saw the handwriting on the wall. It was possible for a while to make such claims as significant cost savings when using both a pager and a cell phone, and this was true until cellular rates fell dramatically. The low bandwidth and relatively high latency of paging networks also weren't suited to those staples of modern messaging, multimedia data objects and sending digital photos around. Cellular services usually include Short Messaging Service or Multimedia Messaging Service with no additional hardware required. It looked, as of the late '90s, like paging's time had finally passed.
Sure enough, there's been a massive consolidation in paging, and we're down to one big national operator, USA Mobility, a couple of smaller national operators, American Messaging and SkyTel, and a whole bunch of regional and smaller operators.
According to USA Mobility, paging subscribers peaked in 1998 at 45 million and sit at a bit below 7 million today. Paging is still popular in the health care and government markets, and remains such because of reliability. Paging signals have good in-building penetration and range because they're usually broadcast at 3,000 to 4,000 watts, compared with less than 1,000 watts (and usually only a hundred watts or so) for cellular.
It's likely that the glory days of paging are over, but paging network operators are talking about some exciting new directions — telemetry, telematics, advertising, meter reading and more.
And paging networks are already in use for "machine-to-machine" applications. Here's an example in the residential energy management space. Owning spectrum — every little tiny chunk of it — is always a door to opportunity. So, while paging isn't coming back as a personal communications technology, it is likely that it will be around well into the future in a broad range of unexciting — but still important — applications.
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SkyTel Partners With VMS to Expand U.S. Distribution of SkyGuard Vehicle Safety Technology
June 11, 2007: 08:42 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS, June 11, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) — Bell Industries, Inc. (AMEX:BI) today announced that its SkyTel division entered into a strategic alliance with Vehicle Manufacturers' Services (VMS) to distribute SkyGuard, advanced Vehicle Safety Technology (tm) to the consumer market. Under this 20-year agreement, VMS will serve as SkyTel's sole U.S. sales representative with the exclusive right to market and sell SkyGuard to third parties within the automotive industry. VMS will receive a fee based upon a percentage of SkyTel's net profits from the sales of the SkyGuard products and service agreements.
SkyGuard uniquely offers consumers the ability to find their vehicle, ensure drivers are secure and safe, manage vehicle maintenance, and help new drivers. Combining GPS technology and a nationwide wireless network, SkyGuard records and transmits a vehicle's location and speed, providing users access to a wealth of tracking, monitoring, control and reporting features via SkyGuard's easy-to-use, secure website. SkyGuard also offers remote features such as the ability to disable a vehicle's starter system, and lock and unlock capabilities.
"SkyGuard is the leader in vehicle safety technology, and we are very excited about our prospects under this alliance," said John A. Fellows, president and chief executive officer. "Leveraging our leadership in wireless technology, we believe SkyTel is particularly well positioned to capitalize on the rapidly growing vehicle reassurance and mobile resource management markets."
Fellows noted that a Federal Bureau of Investigation report stated that a vehicle is stolen every 25.5 seconds in the United States and 1.2 million vehicles, at an estimated total value of $7.6 billion, were reportedly stolen in 2005.
George J. Wafer, founder and chief executive officer of VMS, has more than three decades of experience delivering products, services and solutions to the automotive industry. He is credited with developing the first lock-out radio to resolve theft problems, orchestrating the first outsourced original equipment manufacturer (OEM) radio sold through distributors to auto dealers, and integrating the industry's first paperless program for an OEM.
"This long-term strategic alliance underscores the value that we believe this partnership will create for SkyTel," Fellows said. "George and his team bring product development and distribution expertise that can only come from an organization with significant experience successfully selling products to most major car manufacturers and major automotive distributors in the United States and Canada. We are more than confident that VMS's expertise and extensive network of contacts in the automotive industry will be instrumental in establishing a formidable distribution channel for SkyGuard, to sell it directly to consumers at the point of purchase for a vehicle. In addition to consumers, we believe that SkyGuard has significant value to insurance companies and lending institutions, as it is a key part of protecting their investment."
Fellows said, "This partnership is yet another critical step in creating additional growth initiatives for Bell Industries, and we look forward to continued progress in this exciting phase of expansion."
About Bell Industries, Inc.
Bell Industries, Inc.
Source: CNN Money.com
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Release date: May 22, 2007
Aeris Announces eCallDirect: A Breakthrough Communications Solution for Telematics
Enables Rapid & Reliable Voice Call Set Up, Simultaneous With Life-Critical Data With No Additional Hardware or Software Costs
SAN JOSE, Calif., May 22 — Aeris® (http://www.aeris.net/), the leading network services provider for wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) fixed and mobile communications services, today announced Aeris® eCallDirect™, an innovative communications solution providing simultaneous, real-time, wireless voice and data connectivity for use in emergency situations. eCallDirect enables fast, accurate and automatic call routing with data, reducing the time needed to engage an emergency responder and the processing time at the call center. Additionally, the solution meets European eCall (in-vehicle emergency call system) requirements.
"Quick, accurate and reliable communications are vital in crisis situations," said Chris Purpura, senior vice president of marketing at Aeris. "eCallDirect is all digital — providing precise details to call center operators faster and cheaper than antiquated, dead-end modem solutions. As a network operator, Aeris ensures the vehicle data is always accurate and delivered to the emergency services call center correctly every time."
Aeris manages its specialized network infrastructure from a fully redundant network switching center, purpose-built to eliminate latency and deliver real-time, simultaneous data and voice communications. eCallDirect uses standard digital cellular protocols and services, requiring no proprietary modem hardware nor additional software license fees.
"eCallDirect perfectly suits the requirements of the European eCall initiative, making it a global solution for vehicle manufacturers," said Paul Drysch, vice president of telematics at Aeris.
eCall provides vehicle identification, direction, location and the severity of an accident to emergency responders in the initial data communication. Response organizations, telecom providers, services providers and vehicle manufacturers are urged to undertake the necessary actions and investments to make eCall a global standard in the next few years.
"We are in formal evaluations and live field trials with a number of major automotive OEMs and telematics service providers in both North America and Europe and are pushing the envelope to help make eCall a standard safety feature," said Drysch.
eCallDirect technology is commercially available in the Aeris CDMA footprint in North America today, and a European launch is being planned with Aeris's carrier partners.
Aeris® is the leading machine-to-machine (M2M) wireless network operator in North America. Through its unique AerFrame™ M2M platform, and in partnership with more than 30 wireless carriers, Aeris delivers rugged, real-time managed data delivery for mission critical applications such as life-safety and security, high-value asset tracking, and numerous other fixed and mobile wireless applications. Recognized by CTIA with a Wireless Emerging Technology Award in 2006, AerFrame provides customers with wireless connectivity tailored to their specific application requirements — virtually any protocol, including specialized enhancements available only from Aeris — all delivered through configurable web services designed for the requirements of each application. Today, Aeris provides service to over one million customer devices. For more information, please visit http://www.aeris.net/ or call 1-888-GO-AERIS.
Messaging & Cellular
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GTES has recently made the strategic decision to expanding its development activities to include wireless location technologies; a market that researchers forecast could reach $3.6 billion by 2010. In support of this new strategic direction, GTES has developed SHERLOC™ a complete one-stop wireless location service, providing the flexibility of being protocol neutral and network agnostic. Targeted at business customers who need to track their high-value shipments or better manage their service or delivery fleets, SHERLOC™ is a hosted application that combines configuration flexibility with ease of use.
GTES is offering SHERLOC™ services both directly and through authorized resellers. If your company has an interest in finding out how location services can enhance your revenue stream, and has the contacts and expertise to make you successful in the location marketplace, please contact us for further information at www.sherlocgps.com and select “Reseller Opportunities,” or call us at 770-754-1666 for more information.
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BloostonLaw Telecom Update
FCC’s CPNI Rules To Thwart “Pretexting” Published In Federal Register; Comment Dates Set For Further Notice
Previously adopted pretexting rules effective December 8 or subsequent OMB approval; FNPRM Comments due July 9, Replies August 7
The FCC has published in the Federal Register its April 2 customer proprietary network information (CPNI) order responding to “pretexting”—the “data broker” practice of pretending to be a particular customer or other authorized person in order to obtain access to that customer’s call detail or other private communications records. However, the majority of the new rules will not become effective until the FCC’s order receives Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for new information requirements or until six months after the order’s June 8 effective date, whichever is later. This means the earliest the new rules can become effective is approximately December 8.
The item in the June 8 Federal Register specified that certain definitions in certain paragraphs in Section 64.2003 of the new rules became effective on that date. All other substantive rules are subject to OMB approval. The deadline for public comment on the information requirements regarding the new rules is August 7. After OMB approval is received, the Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the actual effective date of the rules.
Existing FCC rules require carriers (1) to obtain a customer’s knowing consent before using or disclosing CPNI; (2) to receive opt -out consent before disclosing CPNI to joint venture partners and independent contractors for the purposes of marketing communications- related services to customers; (3) to recognize that a carrier must comply with the express desire of a customer seeking the disclosure of his or her CPNI; (4) to design their customer service records in such a way that the status of a customer’s CPNI approval can be clearly established; (5) to train their personnel as to when they are and are not authorized to use CPNI, and to have an express disciplinary process in place.
The Commission’s existing safeguard rules also require carriers to maintain records that track access to customer CPNI records. Specifically, section 64.2009(c) of the Commission’s rules requires carriers to “maintain a record of all instances where CPNI was disclosed or provided to third parties, or where third parties were allowed access to CPNI,” and to maintain such records for a period of at least one year. The Commission’s safeguard rules also require the establishment of a supervisory review process for outbound marketing campaigns. Finally, the Commission requires each carrier to certify annually regarding its compliance with the carrier’s CPNI requirements and to make this certification publicly available.
In general, the new CPNI rules include:
Carrier Authentication Requirements. Carriers are prohibited from releasing a customer’s phone call records when a customer calls the carrier, except when the customer provides a password. If a customer does not provide a password, carriers may not release the customer’s phone call records except by sending it to an address of record or by the carrier calling the customer at the telephone of record. Carriers are required to provide mandatory password protection for online account access. Carriers are permitted to provide all CPNI, including customer phone call records, to customers based on in-store contact with a valid photo ID.
Notice to Customer of Account Changes. Carriers are required to notify the customer immediately when the following are created or changed: (1) a password; (2) a back-up for forgotten passwords; (3) an online account; or (4) the address of record.
Notice of Unauthorized Disclosure of CPNI. A notification process is established for both law enforcement and customers in the event of a CPNI breach.
Joint Venture and Independent Contractor Use of CPNI. Consent rules are modified to require carriers to obtain explicit consent from a customer before disclosing a customer’s CPNI to a carrier’s joint venture partners or independent contractors for the purposes of marketing communications-related services to that customer.
Annual CPNI Certification. Certification rules are amended to require carriers to file with the Commission an annual certification, including an explanation of any actions taken against data brokers and a summary of all consumer complaints received in the previous year regarding the unauthorized release of CPNI.
CPNI Regulations Applicable to Providers of Interconnected VoIP Service. All CPNI rules are extended to cover providers of interconnected voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.
Business Customers. In limited circumstances, carriers may bind themselves contractually to authentication regimes other than those adopted in this Order for services they provide to their business customers that have a dedicated account representative and contracts that specifically address the carrier’s protection of CPNI.
Enforcement Proceedings. The FCC will require carriers to take reasonable measures to discover and protect against pretexting, and, in enforcement proceedings, will infer from evidence of unauthorized disclosures of CPNI that reasonable precautions were not taken.
Specifically, the FCC said it puts carriers on notice that it henceforth will infer from evidence that a pretexter has obtained unauthorized access to a customer’s CPNI that the carrier did not sufficiently protect that customer’s CPNI. A carrier then must demonstrate that the steps it has taken to protect CPNI from unauthorized disclosure, including the carrier’s policies and procedures, are reasonable in light of the threat posed by pretexting and the sensitivity of the customer information at issue. If the Commission finds at the conclusion of its investigation that the carrier indeed has not taken sufficient steps adequately to protect the privacy of CPNI, the Commission may sanction it for this oversight, including through forfeiture.
Although the FCC declined to impose audit trail obligations on carriers at this time, it said it expects carriers through audits or other measures to take reasonable measures to discover and protect against activity that is indicative of pretexting. Similarly, although the FCC said it does not specifically require carriers to encrypt their customers’ CPNI, it does expect a carrier to encrypt its CPNI databases if doing so would provide significant additional protection against the unauthorized access to CPNI at a cost that is reasonable given the technology a carrier already has implemented. Read another way: You had better encrypt your CPNI if feasible to do so.
Carrier Safe Harbor. The FCC declined to immunize carriers from possible sanction for disclosing customers’ private information without appropriate authorization. Some carriers supported the adoption of a “safe harbor,” which would immunize carriers from liability for improper disclosure of CPNI if the carrier followed certain security guidelines, such as those comparable to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) guidelines for the financial industry.
The FCC declined to adopt this proposal because it said such a rule would result in less protection of customers’ CPNI than exists under the status quo. It said that the guidelines the carriers propose to trigger immunity do not add meaningful protections beyond carriers’ existing regulatory obligations.
Therefore, if the agency adopted the proposed safe harbor, carriers would receive immunity from liability for meeting the requirements set forth in the safe harbor, even if a carrier acted egregiously and in derogation of its general duty to protect CPNI from unauthorized release. The public interest is better served if the Commission retains the option of taking strong enforcement measures regarding carriers’ duties under Section 222 of the Communications Act and the Commission’s rules, the agency said.
CPNI FURTHER NOTICE
In conjunction with its CPNI Order, the FCC adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) seeking comment on whether the new CPNI rules should be expanded further, and whether they should be expanded to cover mobile communications devices. Comments in this CC Docket No. 96-115 proceeding are due July 9, and replies are due August 7. The Commission seeks comment on the following:
Password Protection. While the FCC limited its rules to password protecting call detail information for customer- initiated telephone contact, it seeks comment on whether to extend these rules to include optional or mandatory password protection for non-call detail CPNI. Should this password protection be for all non-call detail CPNI or should it only include certain account changes? Further, if the Commission were to adopt password protection for certain account changes, what should that include (e.g., changes in the address of record, account plans, or billing methods)? Would requiring these forms of password protection place an undue burden on carriers, customers, or others, including any burdens placed on small carriers? It solicits further comment on any other modifications to its rules that it should adopt in light of pretexting activity, and a carrier’s duty to protect CPNI.
Audit Trails. While the FCC did not adopt rules requiring audit trails at this time, in light of its new rules and the recent enactment of criminal penalties against pretexters, it seeks comment on whether it should adopt rules pertinent to audit trails. Are audit trails generally used by carriers to track customer contact? The FCC asks carriers to assess the benefits and burdens, including the burdens on small carriers, of recording the disclosure of CPNI and customer contact. The FCC asks carriers to assess the benefits and burdens, including the burdens on small carriers, of recording the disclosure of CPNI and customer contact. The FCC says its current record indicates that the broad use of audit trails likely would be of limited value in ending pretexting because such a log would record enormous amounts of data, the vast majority of it being legitimate customer inquiry. Commenters also report that implementing and maintaining audit trails would be costly with little to no corresponding benefit to the consumer. However, would an audit trail assist law enforcement with its criminal investigations against pretexters? Further, in the interim period since the FCC sought comment on this issue, it asks whether carriers’ reactions to audit trails changed or has the technology changed such that audit trails are now an economically feasible option?
Physical Safeguards. The FCC also seeks comment on whether it should adopt rules that govern the physical transfer of CPNI among companies, such as between a carrier and its affiliates, or the transfer of CPNI to any other third party authorized to access or maintain CPNI, including a carrier’s joint venture partners and independent contractors. Specifically, it seeks comment on what physical safeguards carriers currently are using when they transfer, or allow access to, CPNI to ensure that they maintain the security and confidentiality of CPNI? It also seeks comment on whether these safeguards for the physical transfer of, or for access to, CPNI are sufficient? Further, the FCC seeks comment on what steps they should require of a carrier to protect CPNI when CPNI is being transferred or accessed by the carrier, its affiliates, or its third parties (e.g., encryption, audit trails, logs, etc.). Additionally, the FCC seeks comment on the benefits and burdens, including the burdens on small carriers, of requiring carriers to physically safeguard the security and confidentiality of CPNI.
Limiting Data Retention. The FCC also seeks comment on whether it should adopt rules that require carriers to limit data retention. If the Commission did adopt such a rule, what should be the maximum amount of time that a carrier should be able to retain customer records? Additionally, should all customer records be eliminated or is there a subset of customer records that are more susceptible to abuse and should be destroyed? Also, should the Commission define exceptions where a carrier is permitted to retain certain records (e.g., for the length of carrier-carrier or carrier-customer disputes)? The Department of Justice argues that destruction of CPNI after a specified period would hamper law enforcement efforts by destroying data sometimes needed for criminal and other lawful investigations. The FCC also seeks comment on whether there are any state or Commission data retention requirements that might conflict with a carrier’s data limitation. Additionally, does a limitation on data retention enhance protection of CPNI? Alternatively, should the Commission require carriers to de-identify customer records after a certain period? The FCC seeks comment on the benefits and burdens, including the burdens on small carriers, of requiring carriers to limit their data retention or to de-identify customer records.
The FCC seeks comment on what steps it should take, if any, to secure the privacy of customer information stored in mobile communications devices. Specifically, it seeks comment on what methods carriers currently use, if any, for erasing customer information on mobile equipment prior to refurbishing the equipment, and the extent to which carriers enable customers to permanently erase their personal information prior to discarding the device. It also seeks comment on whether it should require carriers to permanently erase, or allow customers to permanently erase, customer information in such circumstances. Should the Commission require manufacturers to configure wireless devices so consumers can easily and permanently delete personal information from those devices? Further, it seeks comment on the burdens, including those placed on small carriers, associated with a Commission rule requiring carriers and manufacturers to fully expunge existing customer data from a mobile device at the customer’s request.
Source: Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy and Prendergast, LLP
For additional information, contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or email@example.com
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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.
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Motorola's new IPR stance for WiMAX
June 6, 2007
Motorola is putting a new stake in the ground when it comes to the transparency of WiMAX intellectual property rights. Jon Meyer, Motorola's senior vice president for intellectual property law, said the vendor is making an unprecedented move in the wireless telecom space by submitting patents the company believes it holds for WiMAX to an independent third party for critical review. The idea is to offer WiMAX stakeholders full disclosure of the types of patents that Motorola holds and how essential they are to the standard by making formal declarations to the IEEE.
We've heard before that holders of WiMAX IPR are pretty well spread out among some 1550 holders, and players believe they can get WiMAX IPR close to zero percent of equipment costs. But there is always that risk that one or more companies will seek to collect royalties at rates that are troubling to the industry while creating uncertainty around the standard. After all, cost is one of the biggest benefits touted about WiMAX, and operators want certainty surrounding cost. Therefore, it would be nice to know how essential any patent companies claim to WiMAX really is.
That is the idea behind Motorola's move, and it's hoping by being more transparent, other companies will follow its lead. Such disclosures have been good for other standards, including the video coding MPEG standards.
Still, the wireless telecom space is dominated by companies that use bilateral licensing agreements to leverage IPR. Licensing is an important business strategy for most companies, and keeping patents secret or at least ambiguous to the public enables companies to get much more for their patents than they would if the patent had much more transparency. Motorola knows that game well. It's new stance, Meyer acknowledges, is like showing all of your cards beforehand in a Poker game.
"This is new and different, and we've never done it before," said Meyer. "We debated whether it was a good thing, and we came down on the side of improved transparency. There is fear, uncertainty and doubt surrounding IP."
Motorola says it has been talking to several WiMAX stakeholders. Many are submitting their patents to the same third party. While this transparency certainly helps to keep costs down, it still doesn't guarantee a low rate for all if the industry continues with bilateral patent agreements in my opinion.
The IEEE, in an effort to make the standards-setting process more transparent, announced a significant change to its patent policy earlier this year, much to the chagrin of some of its largest members. Effective April 30, the IEEE is promoting advance disclosure of ambiguous or restrictive licensing caveats associated with patents that might be included in its standards.
In particular, the voluntary policy permits and encourages the optional and unilateral disclosure of royalty rates and other licensing terms before a patented technology is included in the standard. The disclosed terms may include, for instance, the maximum royalty rate that the patent holder will look to charge. That means a lot to a marketer. If one piece of technology costs $2 versus 1¢ for a slightly less optimal one, the marketer is going to take the 1¢ option. As a result, it's unlikely some large technology companies will want to voluntarily offer up their rates.
At any rate, WiMAX stakeholders have a lot of work cut out for them to ensure that IPR rates are low and still take into account the interest of the WiMAX IPR holders, said Meyer.
"It's acknowledged, and the industry is dealing with it early before the technology gets too far advanced, and we are busy with commercial rollouts," he said.
The last thing Motorola wants to do is slow down its early momentum in the WiMAX market.
DANIELS™ ELECTRONICS LTD.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org CLICK TO E-MAIL
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
Dr, Bernie Dahl, Keynote Speaker at the AAPC Wireless Forum Writes With Free Book Offer to Attendees
Subject: From Bernie Dahl, M.D.
Date: June 11, 2007 12:00:29 PM CDT
To: AAPC@EC.rr.com, email@example.com
Hello Linda and Brad:
Got the returned books and evaluations.
Wow! I thought the Wireless Forum 2007 audience was very attentive and responsive, no one left or fell asleep, as I got overly enthused as I shared my message.
I was surprised to get so few evaluations (usually > 60%) and minimal book sales (usually 30-45%, even at full price).
YES, too much material in my keynote..for which I tried to compensate by mentioning the books being available. I didn't get the message across that they were cheap and that AAPC got 50%.
LESSON: I should have given them away free.
Can Brad give a brief synopsis of my keynote in his next newsletter with my apology for “too much data” and offer a free book to any attendee who e-mails me at DrBDahl@aol.com ?
Anyway, life goes on, and BookExpo of America in NYC was an outstanding success!
Once again I thank you. Linda, for taking the risk of signing me up, your first keynoter outside your industry.
Brad, thanks for the photos and the audio file. I will credit you when I use them.
All the best,
“Everyone needs to be strategic. My friend, Dr. Bernie, makes it easy to understand and do — instantly!”
—Mark Victor Hanson, co-author, Chicken Soup for the Soul series
For info re: books: www.TrionicsUSA.com
For Dr. Dahl's page: www.DrBDahl.com
|UNTIL NEXT WEEK|
That's all for this week folks.
With best regards,
P.O. Box 13283
|Skype:||braddye|| WIRELESS |
|Web:||Consulting page MAY I HELP YOU?|
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK — Some Trivia With a Lesson|
“They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...”
Sedgwick fell at the beginning of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, on May 9, 1864. His corps was probing skirmish lines ahead of the left flank of Confederate defenses and he was directing artillery placements. Confederate sharpshooters were about 1,000 yards away and their shots caused members of his staff and artillerymen to duck for cover. Sedgwick strode around in the open and was quoted as saying, “What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance.” Although ashamed, his men continued to flinch and he repeated, “I'm ashamed of you, dodging that way. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance.” Just seconds later, he fell forward with a bullet hole below his left eye. He was the highest ranking Union casualty (the most senior by date of rank of all major generals killed) of the Civil War. Upon hearing of his death, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant repeatedly asked, “Is he really dead?”
These were among General John Sedgwick's final words. He was serving as a Union commander in the U.S. Civil War, and was hit by sniper fire a few minutes after saying them, at the battle of Spotsylvania, on May 9, 1864. The words have often been portrayed as if they were absolutely his last statement, with the sentence being presented as if he did not even finish it, and altered into the form: “They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...” . Though it may be a slightly more striking version of events, it is unlikely to be true.
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