|FRIDAY - JUNE 22, 2007 - ISSUE NO. 266|
Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,
When I first read the news about Bell Industries selling SkyTel assets, I thought it meant that SkyTel's wireless messaging operation was being sold. After a more careful reading and some further investigation, it turns out that Bell only sold off some of the shares that SkyTel owned in wireless companies operating Multipoint Distribution Services (MDS), Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Services (MMDS) formerly called "Wireless Cable" — now known as the Broadband Radio Service (BRS). We know that Sprint Nextel is "hungry" for more radio spectrum and these licenses near their other 2 GHz operations will help them expand into the exciting new world of Wi-MAX (802.16e-2005 Mobile WiMAX).
So, not-to-worry, Bell's commitment to SkyTel's future is real—further evidenced by the announcement this week that they have hired the distinguished John Palmer, former US Ambassador to Portugal and founder of SkyTel Communications as a consultant to: "maximize the potential of our SkyTel business," according to John Felllows, Bell's CEO.
SkyTel, under Palmer's leadership, invented two-way paging (advanced messaging). The first two-way protocol — ReFLEX50 — was developed jointly by SkyTel engineers and Motorola. We all knew that one-way paging use would eventually decline. I remember seeing graphs showing one-way paging declining only to be replaced by even more growth in the future by two-way paging. Why it didn't happen that way will be the topic of a future article. I can see all the mistakes clearly now since hindsight is always 20-20.
Never-the-less, Ron Mercer and many others of us believe that there is still hope to revitalize our industry using the ReFLEX oasis concept that he presented recently at the AAPC Wireless Forum in Myrtle Beach. Maybe not back to the "glory days" of 1999, but certainly enough to keep things interesting for a while. His ideas do not leave one-way paging operators out of the picture. We will be presenting more info on this topic in future issues. I recorded Ron's presentation and plan to release it as an enhanced podcast in the near future. (An enhanced podcast allows you to view the slides and hear the spoken presentation on your computer or iPod.)
This week, I contacted everyone who helps produce the newsletter by providing content or advertising — thanking them for their help and asking if they would like to continue. Several decided not to continue their ads, so I am asking everyone who is planning new or expanded advertising to please get in touch with me so I can help them make it happen. I have a page here that describes the various advertising packages that are available along with sample ads. There are no hard-and-fast rules — just send money and I will do anything you want.
Which reminds me of the joke about the farmer who went to the city and met this nice lady on the street who told him that she would do anything he wanted for $500 dollars. So he asked her to paint his barn.
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.)
Anyone wanting to help support The Wireless Messaging Newsletter can do so by clicking on the PayPal DONATE button above.
|AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PAGING CARRIERS|
Join AAPC and receive these excellent benefits:
Vendor members receive these additional benefits:
Join AAPC Now! Click here for an application.
|FEATURED ADVERTISERS SUPPORTING THE NEWSLETTER|
Bell Industries Sells Certain Assets to Sprint Nextel
INDIANAPOLIS, June 21, 2007 — Bell Industries, Inc. (AMEX:BI) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement with Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) under which Sprint Nextel will acquire certain Bell assets for approximately $13.5 million in cash.
Bell said the assets represent stock ownership interests in entities that hold Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licenses to operate wireless communications in certain bandwidths and were originally acquired by Bell as part of its purchase of SkyTel Corp. The agreement is subject to FCC approval and transfer of the licenses and is expected to close in approximately 45 to 90 days.
"We are extremely pleased at the speed in which we've begun to monetize certain non-core assets within SkyTel. This transaction will not have any impact on the services we provide to our SkyTel customers," said John A. Fellows, Bell's president and chief executive officer. "This transaction further solidifies our balance sheet, representing $1.56 per share of cash based upon the current number of shares outstanding, as we continue our focus on enhancing shareholder value by becoming a market leader in each of our strategic business units."
Fellows said the assets being sold, which were not integral to SkyTel's current business operations, had been expected to generate total revenues of less than $15,000 in 2007. He said the company will receive an initial payment of $12.5 million upon the close of the transaction, with the remainder becoming payable 18 months after closing, subject to certain conditions. Bell purchased SkyTel in January 2007 for approximately $23 million, plus a post closing adjustment of approximately $7 million.
About Sprint Nextel Corp.
About Bell Industries, Inc.
Recreational Products Group is a wholesale distributor of aftermarket parts and accessories for the recreational vehicles and other leisure-related vehicle market, including marine, snowmobile, cycle and ATV.
Source: Inside Indiana Business
Wireless Messaging Software
Newsletter repair prices—starting at:
**Special pricing on cellular and pager refurbishment**
Ask for Special Newsletter Pricing.
Please call: (800) 222-6075 ext. 306 for pricing.
The Best in Paging Is Also the Biggest!
Zetron’s Model 2700:
Contact Zetron today to discuss your paging needs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org CLICK TO E-MAIL
For information call 480-515-2344 or visit our website
|NRG™ batteries by Motorola*|
Sprint Nextel to acquire broadband licenses from Bell for $13.5M
By Phil Carson
Bell Industries Inc. said it would sell an undisclosed chunk of what appears to be 2.5 GHz spectrum to Sprint Nextel Corp. for $13.5 million, pending approval by the Federal Communication Commission. FCC approval is expected prior to the deal’s closing in 45 to 90 days, according to Bell.
The two parties to the deal are not disclosing details on the spectrum’s frequency or geographic location, but Bell’s 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission cited “licenses for the operation of Broadband Radio Service channels.” BRS typically refers to spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band.
Specific details would be “more appropriate” coming from Sprint Nextel, said Kevin Thimjon, Bell’s CFO.
Sprint Nextel did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
The licenses “in certain bandwidths” were originally acquired by Bell in its purchase of SkyTel Corp.—a paging, telemetry, two-way messaging and e-mail subsidiary—from Verizon Communications Inc. late last year. The spectrum licenses were not producing revenue for Bell, according to the company.
Because Sprint Nextel’s roadmap focuses heavily on deployment of a WiMAX network in the 2.5 GHz range, that is certain to be the focus of speculation until the nature of the deal is fully disclosed.
Bell operates three units: technology solutions (from CRM to mobile solutions), SkyTel (e-mail, telemetry, text and numeric paging) and a recreational products group (after-market parts and accessories for recreational vehicles such as snowmobiles and ATVs).
Source: RCR Wireless News
NEWS FLASH — SATELLITE FAILURES
DON’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT SATELLITE OUTAGE
Allow us to uplink your paging data to two separate satellites for complete redundancy! CVC owns and operates two separate earth stations and specializes in uplink services for paging carriers. Join our list of satisfied uplink customers.
For inquires please call or e-mail Stephan Suker at 800-696-6474 or email@example.com
New ReFLEX Telemetry Module
Download the complete specification here.
Want to help the newsletter?
Become a SPONSOR
Promote your company's image with one of these posters.
For more details, and pricing on the various advertising options please click here CLICK HERE
Intelligent Solutions for Paging & Wireless Data
Wipath develops and manufactures a wide range if highly unique and innovative hardware and software solutions in paging and mobile data. Talk to us about your special project. If we haven’t already done it we probably can.
I am an authorized Manufacturer Representative for WiPath Communications. Please contact me directly for any additional information. CLICK
SEE WEB FOR COMPLETE LIST:
Bell Industries Engages SkyTel Founder as Consultant
June 20, 2007: 04:15 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS, June 20, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) — Bell Industries, Inc. (AMEX:BI) today announced that it has entered into a consulting agreement with Lake Ventures LLC, Jackson, Mississippi, to provide consulting services through its affiliate, John N. Palmer, former US Ambassador to Portugal and founder of SkyTel Communications. Bell recently acquired the assets of the SkyTel business from Verizon Communications, Inc.
Ambassador Palmer began his career in telecommunications in 1965 with the purchase of a local radio common carrier. He then developed a series of regional paging companies throughout the South to form Mobile Communications Corporation of America (MCCA) in 1973. Ambassador Palmer sold MCCA to BellSouth in 1989, but retained certain businesses that became SkyTel Communications. SkyTel became a leader in advanced wireless messaging and deployed the first nationwide two-way wireless messaging network. Ambassador Palmer served as chairman of SkyTel until its sale to MCI WorldCom in 1999. MCI WorldCom, including the SkyTel business, was subsequently acquired by Verizon.
"I am very excited to announce that our association with John Palmer will provide us with the benefit of his many years of experience in the telco industry and help us maximize the potential of our SkyTel business," said John Fellows, chief executive officer of Bell. "We look forward to working with John in the coming years."
In October 2001, Ambassador Palmer was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Ambassador to Portugal. His term ended in September 2004. Ambassador Palmer currently serves as chairman of GulfSouth Capital, Inc., a private investment firm based in Jackson, Mississippi, which he founded in 1999. He is also currently a director of Internet America, Inc.
About Bell Industries, Inc.
Bell Industries, Inc.
Source: CNN Money.com
Messaging & Cellular
Call Or E-mail For More Information
Council to discuss purchase of downtown WiFi network
By Scott Sloan
The Urban County Council today will consider whether to purchase a downtown Wi-Fi network installed in late 2005 but that was turned off last month by its owner.
SkyTel Corp. is instead focusing on its core business of wireless messaging, the city said, and has offered the network for a flat $10.
"We got a good deal and we're grateful," said Charlie Boland, acting chief administrative officer for the city.
The city plans to coordinate with the University of Kentucky, which offers a wireless Internet network on its campus, to see whether the two could operate the networks as partners. It makes sense, Boland said, because the two networks abut each other.
The SkyTel network is roughly bounded by the area between Newtown Pike and Midland Avenue and from Third Street to Maxwell Street.
The sale to the city was a natural move, as SkyTel had leased some of the city's traffic-signal poles, on which it placed its Wi-Fi equipment, or nodes.
The move comes after SkyTel was recently acquired by Bell Industries Inc. for $23 million.
Boland said the city might consider whether to offer the Wi-Fi for free downtown, a move made by some cities globally.
When SkyTel launched the system in November 2005, an hour of access cost $5.99. Daily access could be bought for $9.99, while monthly access cost $24.99.
The city could have the system back up as early as later this year, Boland said. It will remain offline until that time.
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.
GTES is the only Glenayre authorized software support provider in the Paging industry. With over 200 years of combined experience in Glenayre hardware and software support, GTES offers the industry the most professional support and engineering development staff available.
Continued Support Programs
CALL US TODAY FOR YOUR SUPPORT NEEDS
Prism Message Gateway Systems
Your Choice of Options
Popular Choice for Domestic and International
Go ahead . . . be choosy . . . choose Prism Systems International
Streaming Video from the
We at Unication have listened and delivered.
About Unication Co., Ltd.
|BLOOSTON, MORDKOFSKY, DICKENS, DUFFY & PRENDERGAST, LLP|
BloostonLaw Telecom Update
FCC PROPOSES 11.3% USF CONTRIBUTION FACTOR FOR THIRD QUARTER 2007: The FCC has proposed setting the Universal Service Fund (USF) contribution factor at 0.113 or 11.3% for the third quarter of 2007. This is down slightly from the 11.7% figure for the second quarter. But it is up from 9.7% in the first quarter, and 9.1% in the fourth quarter of 2006. It is also up from the 10.5% figure for the third quarter and the 10.9% and the 10.2% figures proposed for the second and first quarters of last year, respectively. The 11.3% contribution factor will be used to calculate the line item charge on the customer’s bill (i.e., to calculate the charges on revenues that a carrier receives). The FCC’s USF Interim Contribution Methodology order prohibits carriers from marking up the USF line item higher than the contribution factor. If the FCC takes no action by June 28, the contribution factor will become effective. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
FCC DECLINES TO EXTEND ANALOG CELLULAR SUNSET DEADLINE: The FCC has denied a petition by the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC) and ADT Security Services, Inc. (ADT), seeking an extension of the requirement that all cellular licensees provide analog (or AMPS) cellular service. This requirement will sunset on February 18, 2008. While cellular licensees may continue to provide AMPS compatible service after that date, the two largest cellular carriers have already announced that they will shut down their AMPS service shortly after the sunset. The FCC said the record demonstrates that the five-year sunset of the requirement has achieved the Commission’s goals of facilitating the migration of deaf and hard of hearing and emergency-only users from analog to digital handsets and that, on balance, the public interest would not be served by extending the requirement beyond February 18, 2008. The alarm industry requested an extension last fall because approximately a million alarm customers had AMPS alarm radio devices installed in their premises, and the industry has determined that it will not be able to upgrade all of these customers to digital by February 2008. Newspaper reports have also indicated that hundreds of thousands of GM Onstar customers will be left with vehicles that have built-in AMPS radios that cannot be upgraded. The alarm industry had proposed to exempt rural carriers from any extension. The FCC indicated that alarm companies should not provide digital radios to new customers until all analog radios are replaced, even though many new customers require a radio link due to the use of VoIP or cellular as their primary phone service. The FCC also indicated that the alarm industry can meet the AMPS sunset deadline by replacing only those alarm radios that serve as the customer's sole link to the alarm central station. The alarm industry had provided information indicating that this approach was not workable, because telephone lines can be cut or damaged at the time when it is most urgent to send the alarm signal — during a break-in, fire or other emergency. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain all AMPS alarm radios until they can be replaced. However, the FCC focused only on “primary” AMPS radios.
The FCC took the opportunity to remind cellular carriers that they must maintain the viability of their current AMPS service and coverage until the sunset date, at the risk of enforcement action for failing to do so. The FCC also took related actions to ensure the continuity of wireless cove rage to affected consumers following sunset of the analog service requirement and to ensure that interested parties are fully informed of next year’s sunset. The FCC is requiring all cellular licensees to notify any remaining analog service subscribers of the analog sunset. At a minimum, licensees must notify each analog-only subscriber of their intention to discontinue analog service at least twice before such discontinuance (by a billing insert, for example). In addition, the FCC seeks to reduce the financial, administrative, and technical burdens that would be associated with filing a revised Cellular Geographic Service Area (CGSA) determination when a carrier decommissions analog service, while also ensuring that consumers will be afforded comparable digital service. Accordingly, the FCC will permit licensees, in lieu of making a revised CGSA showing, to certify that the discontinuance of AMPS service will not result in any loss of wireless coverage throughout the carrier’s CGSA. If a licensee cannot so certify, it must file a revised determination, and any area no longer covered by a CGSA would be forfeited and available for immediate reassignment by the Commission under its cellular unserved area rules. The FCC also seeks to ensure that the public is well prepared for the analog sunset, and directed the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, in conjunction with the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, to commence a public outreach campaign to ensure that consumers, public safety groups, and other interested parties are prepared for the analog sunset. BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, John Prendergast, and Cary Mitchell.
DINGELL COMMENTS ON RECHARTERING OF FCC’s CONSUMER ADVISORY PANEL: U.S. Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, last week issued a statement in response to the FCC’s announcement on the re-chartering of its consumer advisory committee: “The Federal Communications Commission has re-chartered its long-standing consumer advisory committee to focus on the digital television transition. It is most curious, however, that there is no representative from the broadcasting industry on a committee that is supposed to advise on policy affecting the digital television transition. I hope the Commission will consider correcting this omission as it proceeds, and I look forward to receiving its full consumer education plan shortly.” The FCC this week announced the appointment of John L. Sander of the National Association of Broadcaster to the consumer advisory panel. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.
NASCAR, AT&T SUE EACH OTHER OVER SPONSORSHIP ISSUES: Earlier this year, AT&T sued NASCAR so that it could replace the Cingular logo with AT&T on Jeff Burton’s race car. With its acquisition of Bell-South, AT&T, of course, phased out the Cingular brand name in favor of its own. A U.S. district judge granted AT&T a preliminary injunction last month, and Burton has been racing under AT&T’s logo since May 19, according to the Associated Press. Last Sunday, however, NASCAR filed a $100 million countersuit, accusing AT&T of interfering with its exclusive sponsorship agreement with Nextel. Filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, the suit asks that NASCAR be allowed to ban all telecommunications companies, except Nextel, from next year’s Nextel Cup Series. According to AP, the suit charges AT&T with unsavory conduct such as breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation, and conspiracy to aid and abet wrongful interference with Nextel. NASCAR claims that Nextel has exclusivity through its 10-year, $700 million investment in the cup series. And NASCAR is seeking a ruling that it “may take certain action for the 2008 season in order to protect NASCAR and all participants in the sport by placing NASCAR into full compliance with the terms and conditions of the Nextel Sponsorship Agreement.” Burton drives the No. 31 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, which recently signed a contract extension with AT&T.
COMMENT DATES SET FOR FCC’s NPRM ON E911 LOCATION ACCURACY, RELIABILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR WIRELESS & VoIP PROVIDERS: The FCC has established comment dates for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on tentative conclusions and issues related to Enhanced 911 (E911) location accuracy and reliability requirements for wireless carriers and providers of interconnected voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, June 6). The Commission tentatively concluded that, as proposed by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials-International, Inc. (APCO), wireless carriers would be required to meet Phase II location accuracy and reliability standards under Section 20.18(h) of the FCC’s rules at the service area level of public safety answering points (PSAPs). Comments on this aspect (Section III-A of the PS Docket No. 07-114 NPRM) are due July 5, and replies are due July 11. The Commission also seeks comment on whether to defer enforcement of Section 20.18(h) to allow time for wireless carriers to come into compliance with this standard, as well as the other questions regarding enforcing any rule that may be adopted on the geographic area for compliance. Comments on this aspect (Section III-B) and all other questions raised in the NPRM are due August 20, and replies are due September 18. The Commission also seeks comment on whether: (1) a single, technology-neutral location accuracy requirement for wireless E911 service should be used, rather than the separate accuracy requirements for network-based and handset-based location technologies that are currently in place; (2) wireless carriers should comply with a mandatory schedule for accuracy testing and automatically provide accuracy data to PSAPs; and (3) providers of interconnected VoIP services that can be used at more than one location must employ an automatic location technology that meets the same accuracy standards which apply to providers of commercial mobile radio services (CMRS). Finally, the Commission found that there are at least two areas that warrant additional evaluation by Commission engineers and staff: (a) methods for carriers to improve in-building location accuracy; and (b) the use of hybrid technology solutions to increase location accuracy and address shortcomings of current technologies. Clients interested in participating in comments on these issues should contact us ASAP. BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell, and Bob Jackson.
Source: Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy and Prendergast, LLP
For additional information, contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|EUROPEAN MOBILE MESSAGING ASSOCIATION|
|EUROPEAN MOBILE MESSAGING ASSOCIATION|
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 Their latest newsletter is: "Business Development in Mobile Data"
Please call me so we can discuss your need or your idea. Or contact me by e-mail for more information
• FIREHOUSES • SCHOOLS • PUBLIC FACILITIES • GOVERNMENT FACILITIES • EMERGENCY ROOMS •
WHAT DO FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES, WISPS, HAVE IN COMMON?
THEY ALL USE NIGHTHAWK.
Nighthawk Systems Inc. manufactures low cost and reliable remote control products for fire house alerting, volunteer alerting, activation of warning signs and sirens, and a number of applications for public safety. The Company manufactures the EA1 and the FAS-8 which have been designed specifically for these applications. Both products are paging based and will work with any public or private paging network. They are available in all VHF, UHF, and 900 MHz paging frequencies. The products can serve as the primary notification system or an excellent, low-cost backup to existing systems.
The EA1 is the solution for remotely activating public warning signage. Examples include tornado sirens, flash flood warnings, fire danger, Amber Alert, icy roads, etc. The EA1 can also send text messages to scrolling signs. This can occur in conjunction with the activation of audible alarms and visual strobes. This is ideal for public notification in buildings, schools, hotels, factories, etc. The group call feature allows for any number of signs or flashing lights to be activated at the same time over a wide geographic area. In addition, the EA1 Emergency Alert is the perfect solution for low cost yet highly effective alerting of volunteer fire fighters in their home. When activated the EA1 will emit an audible alarm and activate the power outlet on the units faceplate. A common setup is to simply place the EA1 on a table and plug a lamp into the faceplate. When paged from dispatch or any touch tone phone the EA1 will awaken the fire fighter to a lit room. As an option the EA1 can be ordered with a serial cable, allowing for attachment of a serial printer. When paged the alphanumeric message will be printed out at the same time the alarm sounds and the outlet is activated. The EA1 is an ideal complement to alphanumeric belt pagers common to volunteers.
The FAS-8 is designed for activating one or more relays in a firehouse and if desired, printing the alphanumeric message to a serial printer. For this application the FAS-8 is set to activate upon receiving the proper paging cap code sent from 911 dispatch. Up to eight different devices can be activated all with individual time functions. The most common devices to turn on include the PA amplifier, audible wake up alarm, and house lights. The most common device turned off is the stove. The FAS-8 can accept up to 8 different cap codes and have separate relay and time functions per cap code. This allows for different alerting to be accomplished at the same physical location depending upon which cap code is sent. This can be very helpful when fire crews and medical crews are housed in the same building.
Put the innovative technology of Nighthawk to work for you. For more information on any of our products or services, please contact us.
Nighthawk Systems, Inc.
Please click here to e-mail Ayrewave.
Download Mr. Mercer's resumé. CLICK HERE
Complete Technical Services For The
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
A RESTAURANT WITH ESP
Service at the touch of a button
Call-button system keeps food and drinks moving
NICHOLE MONROE BELL
Ever stewed in a restaurant waiting forever for your server to bring you the bill? Or grumbled about the waiter who kept forgetting to bring your drinks?
One restaurant chain is hoping to make those worries moot with a wireless pager system that allows customers to summon their servers when needed. The gadgets, developed by Charlotte-based ESP Systems LLC, will come to Charlotte this year when Fatz Cafe opens its first restaurant in the city.
Customers at the Rock Hill Fatz Cafe, which about nine months ago became the first restaurant to install the system, say the pagers speed up service by reducing the lag time that occurs when a server is unsure how much time customers need to make decisions. Waiters and waitresses at the restaurant said it results in more tips because they can see more customers per shift.
"It's good because if a waiter has a lot of tables, it's good to know you can call them when you need them," said Great Falls, S.C., resident Brenda Dry, who was dining with her husband, Keith, at Fatz Cafe last week.
Technological devices are becoming more popular at restaurants nationally and are likely to become commonplace over the next several years as the industry becomes more competitive and customers desire more control over their experience, said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research and information services for the National Restaurant Association.
Coaster-shaped pagers have already become commonplace to alert customers when a table is clear for seating. Now some restaurants are looking into devices that allow customers to order and pay at the table.
Devin Green, founder of ESP Systems, said his company tested the product at the Rock Hill Fatz Cafe in 2005 before rolling it in September of last year. He expects it to eventually be in all the chain's restaurants. In addition, about five New Jersey T.G.I. Friday's restaurants are using his system, along with about five Applebee's restaurants in Florida. The company hopes to expand to other chains in other states.
Green wouldn't discuss the cost of the system, but he said it's sold like a subscription, with monthly fees. Restaurants pay nothing up front, but ESP retains ownership of the hardware.
Heather Long, a head server at the Rock Hill restaurant, estimated the system shaves about 5 to 10 minutes off the average visit.
"Overall its very effective for everybody," she said.
Larger restaurants are likely to rely on such devices because good customer service is one of the most difficult skills to teach employees, said Catherine Rabb, an associate instructor of culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University and co-owner of Fenwicks Restaurant in Charlotte.
Customer preferences change quickly and can vary wildly. For example, some customers want to be served quickly, while others prefer their server stay and chat, said Rabb, who also writes a wine column for the Observer.
"It's a huge burden on servers to be all-knowing and meet the needs of everybody when those needs all change and are different," she said.
There can also be downsides to the technology.
Some Fatz Cafe servers said they become so accustomed to feeling the buzz on their wrists that they inadvertently disregard the calls. Others said new servers can become so dependent on them that they don't know how to do their jobs when the system stops working.
Rabb said the technology could also backfire by making customers more demanding.
"Once you know you can summon your server with a pager, then it becomes an issue of how fast you can get back to the table once the button is pressed," she said. "To the table, 30 seconds is going to feel like five minutes."
Fatz Cafe server Brett Nash said the benefits outweigh any negatives. For him, the system helps cut down on his tendency to hover more than customers need.
"Sometimes I worry they might need something or want something, and I tend to go to tables a little too much and start annoying people," said Nash, 18, of Rock Hill. "But with this you know exactly when to go. Also, I tell them I'll run to them when they buzz, and they like it when I do that."
How ESP Works
Each table gets a pager about the size of an orange that transmits to a watch-like device worn on the server's wrist. When a customer presses the pager, it buzzes the watch, which displays a smiley face and the table number in need of service.
Restaurant employees can also communicate with each other. The bar can buzz a server's watch and display which table's drinks are ready; the host can ring a busser's watch when a table is ready to be cleared.
A display at the host's station monitors each table and indicates whether it is empty, occupied or in need of clearing. Managers wear watches that alert them if a table summons their server multiple times or if a call isn't answered in a timely manner.
Source: The Charlotte Observer
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
Jerry Daugherty of Indiana Paging Network Recovering From Heart Attack
From: "Frank J. Mercurio" <email@example.com>
Date: June 20, 2007 4:31:47 PM CDT
To: Brad Dye <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [Fwd: Re: Jerry Daugherty]
I talked with Jerry of Indiana Paging Network this morning and he is being released from the hospital today! He should be able to attend to e-mail later on! He's in good spirits, and is going to have to take it easy for a month or so! I asked if it was OK to share this info publicly and he said yes!
Subject: Re: Jerry?
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2007 23:13:17 -0500
From: Steve Osborn <email@example.com>
To: Frank J. Mercurio <firstname.lastname@example.org>
He's getting a little stronger each day, last I heard, but he is in a great deal of pain. Last word was they are going to release him on Wednesday. His daughter from Florida is going to stay with him for a while to help take care of him. He will be out about 6 weeks before being able to return to work.
I have not talked with him today, so the info I have is about a day old.
From: "Frank J. Mercurio" <email@example.com>
To: "Steve Osborn" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, 17 June, 2007 9:19 PM
is there any news you can share about Jerry's condition?
Steve Osborn wrote:
Jerry is in the hospital. He had a heart attack this weekend while working on a switch outage with me. He had quintuple bypass surgery today. He has a complication from his blood not clotting due to the thinners he was given, but the outlook is apparently good. Hope to know more tomorrow, perhaps visit with him if he gets out of Heart Recovery.
Jerry Daugherty's e-mail address is: email@example.com
His home page is www.w9fs.com
Subject: Interesting CTIA projections for wireless - circa 1995
Date: June 20, 2007 2:07:01 PM CDT
Hi Brad — trust I find you well.
In my quest for old wireless devices and software, I came across the following CTIA forecasts in the June 1995 issue of the PDA Developer.
Interesting that even with broadband PCS staring us in the face the forecast was for 4 times as many pages in 2005 as PCS phones. WoW! Can you imagine the paging market now if we had a base of over 70 million one way and 21 million 2-way pagers.
Well – it was nice dreaming for awhile anyway.
Cassel & Associates
Office: (519) 634-5139
Cell: (519) 748-7427
|UNTIL NEXT WEEK|
That's all for this week folks.
With best regards,
Brad Dye, Editor
| Skype: braddye|
Wireless Consulting page
Paging Information Home Page
| WIRELESS |
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
|Anyone wanting to help support The Wireless Messaging Newsletter can do so by clicking on the PayPal DONATE button to the left.|
|This newsletter is brought to you by the generous support of our advertisers and the courtesy of iland Internet Solutions Corporation. For more information about the web-hosting services available from iland Internet Solutions Corporation, please click on their logo to the left.|
|THE WIRELESS MESSAGING NEWSLETTER AND THE PAGING INFORMATION RESOURCE|