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AAPC Wireless Messaging News

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FRIDAY - MARCH 5, 2010 - ISSUE NO. 397

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Paging and Wireless Messaging Home Page image Newsletter Archive image Carrier Directory image Recommended Products and Services
Reference Papers Consulting Glossary of Terms Send an e-mail to Brad Dye

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

On Change

outhouse When I was a young boy, I remember hearing the old people talking about new things. There was a lot a resistance against change. It seems really funny now to think that many people resisted the idea of indoor plumbing. But try to think of it in another way: "Why would anyone want to have a toilet inside of their home?"

I was determined that I would not be one of those old people always opposed to anything new. I guess that's one of the reasons that I became an "early adopter." Being an early adopter — for some — this may mean that you always pay more than everyone else for something — just so you can be one of the first to have a new toy. In my case, I think it is just because I just don't like to wait.

If I had heeded the advice to wait a while before buying a computer — because the prices were going to come down — I would be still waiting and wouldn't have a computer at all.

Change is inevitable! Trite but true. Our world of Wireless Messaging is changing! No kidding. And lately, even faster. There are several articles this week about new devices — some available now and others to be available soon. The market will decide which ones are successful, but be forewarned: big changes are coming.

Now on to more news and views.

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Wireless Messaging News
  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Telemetry
  • Paging
  • VoIP
  • Wi-Fi
  • WiMAX
  • Location-Based Services
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This is the AAPC's weekly newsletter about Wireless Messaging. You are receiving this because you have either communicated with me in the past about a wireless topic, or your address was included in another e-mail that I received on the same subject. This is not a SPAM. If you have received this message in error, or you are not interested in these topics, please click here, then click on "send" and you will be promptly removed from the mailing list.

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iland internet sulutions 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.

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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 readers' 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.


Editorial Opinion pieces present the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of AAPC, its publisher, or its sponsors.

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Anyone wanting to help support The Wireless Messaging Newsletter can do so by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above.

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The local newspaper here in Springfield, Illinois costs 75¢ a copy and it NEVER mentions paging. If you receive some benefit from this publication maybe you would like to help support it financially? A donation of $25.00 would represent approximately 50¢ a copy for one year. If you are so inclined, please click on the PayPal Donate button above. No trees were chopped down to produce this electronic newsletter.

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Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, and Vic Jackson are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects. Click here  for a summary of their qualifications and experience. They collaborate on consulting assignments, and share the work according to their individual expertise and their schedules.

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If you would like to have information about advertising in this newsletter, please click here.

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aapc logo American Association of Paging Carriers


Global Paging Convention
June 16 - 18, 2010
Charleston, SC
The Mills House


For pricing information, contact, Linda at or 1-910-632-9442

In the main registration area for the conference, we will have a “shared” table available for you to place either a “freebie” or a promotional piece for the attendees to take at their leisure. In addition to the ability to distribute marketing collateral to the participants, you will also receive 1 complimentary registration.

Table top space is available for your company to display your products and services. This can also serve as a meeting space for you to arrange discussions. Please note this is not a “full booth” display and table tops will be located in the main corridor outside the general session room, therefore you are not required to stay and staff your booth throughout the conference.


  • Six-foot draped table for you to display your wares. You may use a pop-up display instead of the table as long as it does not exceed 10 feet in width
  • Two complimentary conference registrations
  • A 10 minute opportunity for you to present your products to the general audience; this will be scheduled as appropriate in the conference agenda
  • Post-conference participant list, which includes name, company, address, and e-mail
  • Your company information and description in the conference materials and on the web site
  • Opportunity to place a one-page company promotional flyer “freebie” on the literature table for attendees

There are several sponsorships also available and specific packages may be developed. Contact Linda for information.

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Thanks to our Premier Vendor!

prism paging
Prism Paging

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Thanks to our Silver Vendors!

recurrent software
Recurrent Software Solutions, Inc.
Unication USA

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Thanks to our Bronze Vendors!

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AAPC Executive Director
441 N. Crestwood Drive
Wilmington, NC 28405
Tel: 866-301-2272
AAPC Regulatory Affairs Office
Suite 250
2154 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007-2280
Tel: 202-223-3772
Fax: 202-315-3587

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Advertiser Index

AAPC—American Association of Paging Carriers Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC
CVC Paging Preferred Wireless
Daviscomms USA Prism Paging
Easy Solutions Ron Mercer
GTES—Global Technical Engineering Solutions UCOM Paging
Hark Technologies Unication USA
HMCE, Inc. United Communications Corp.
Northeast Paging WiPath Communications

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Cancer Risk of Cell Phones at Issue in Legislative Hearing

03/02/2010 Reported By: A.J. Higgins

Maine would become the first state to require warning labels on cell phones, under a bill before state lawmakers. Supporters say consumers should be warned that cell phones can cause brain cancer, but opponents argue that there is no proof of such a link.

The bill before the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee would require warning labels on cell phones, and cell phone packaging sold in Maine.

"People need to know the risk they are incurring when they hold cell phones to their heads and give them to their children — they are radiation emitting devices," said state Rep. Andrea Boland of Sanford, who sponsored the bill.

Boland says the messaging would alert users to the risks of electromagnetic radiation and advise that children and pregnant women should keep the devices away from their heads and bodies. "We have about 940,000 cell phone customers in Maine, and approximately 14,000 live births a year," she said. "The average cost of brain tumor surgery is $250,000."

For others who testified at the committee hearing, the costs are immeasurable. "The summer before last I was diagnosed with a brain tumor," said San Francisco businessman Alan Marx. "I had a craniotomy, my skull was cut open, and a golf-ball sized tumor was removed from my brain. It was malignant, and it was my death sentence."

Marx has dedicated what remains of his life to warning people against the dangers posed by cell phone use. He and other supporters of Boland's bill were influenced by a 2006 study by the Swedish National Institute for Working Life that shows a correlation between brain tumors and heavy cellphone use.

Marx says he has paid dearly for his reliance on a cell phone as part of his daily routine. "My profession is real estate development and sales," he said. "I used the cell phone for over 20 years for about 10,000 lifetime hours, I always held my phone to my right ear, and my tumor is on the right side of my head. It's ironic that the very thing that aided me to do my business ruined my ability to do business, and will kill me."

But some public health officials, including Dr. Dora Anne Mills of the Maine Center for Disease Control and prevention, say the evidence of a link between cell phone use and brain cancer is lacking. "At this point in time we believe the preponderance of evidence does not suggest a defined brain cancer or other cancer risk associated with use of cell phones," Mills said.

The bill is also opposed by the cell phone industry. "Impartial experts, as we've heard, say that the body of scientific evidence does not include a public health risk caused by the low level of RF energy emitted by cell phones and mobile devices," said Eric Ebenstein of TechAmerica, which represents about 1,200 firms in communications-related industries.

Ebenstein says the federal government has already set mandatory safety limits on RF energy emissions from wireless devices sold the U.S. "Based on the expertise and credibility of some of our most valued and respected standard-setting bodies requiring companies to add confusing warning labels is unnecessary and misleading," he said.

But sponsor Andrea Boland says Maine should learn from the painful history of tobacco. "Decades ago, I know that people stood where I stand today, asking for warning labels on cigarettes. The tobacco industry made all the same arguments, and was able to delay enactment, to the grief and economic costs of our people," she said.

The legislative panel is expected to continue work on the cell phone bill next week.

Source: The Maine Public Broadcasting Network

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Complete Technical Services For The Communications and Electronics Industries

Design • Installation • Maintenance • Training • Engineering • Licensing • Technical Assistance

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Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Registered Professional Engineer

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

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pat merkel ad left arrow Click to e-mail left arrow Paging Web Site
Joshua's Mission left arrow Helping Wounded Marines Homepage
Joshua's Mission left arrow Joshua's Mission Press Release

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Paging & Wireless Network Planners

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R.H. (Ron) Mercer
217 First Street South
East Northport, NY 11731
ron mercer

Cell Phone: 631-786-9359

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Paging & Wireless Network Planners

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Publishers make way for the iPad

by Serenity Caldwell,
Mar 1, 2010 4:47 pm

ipad As we creep on toward the iPad launch, developers are scurrying about getting their apps ship-shape, consumers are twiddling their thumbs waiting for pre-orders to be announced, and print publishers are making preparations. Apple, of course, announced that its iBookstore would cater to books, but it seems that periodicals are going to have to make their own arrangements.

On Monday, a leaked memo revealed publisher Condé Nast's plans for a slow rollout of its magazines in iPad app form. The company already has an iPhone app and development team for GQ , its men's magazine, and it seems likely that the same basic format (articles and photos from the magazine plus extra, app-only content) will translate over to the iPad.

Condé Nast's planned release matrix has its iPad app for GQ coming out sometime in April, Vanity Fair and Wired in June, and Glamour and The New Yorker in late summer/fall. (Wired already showed off a potential prototype, constructed using Adobe's Flash.) Pricing will be variable at first, depending on advertisers and e-subscription count; the success of these initial offerings will determine whether the company follows suit with the other magazines in its catalogue.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press announced the construction of a new business unit called "AP Gateway," for the marketing and creation of digital products. AP, which currently has an iPhone app available, is using this new division to expand applications for smartphones and other devices as well as create and manage new content for specific events (like the Winter Olympics). An iPad app is already in the works and although no firm pricing is available as of yet, senior vice president and AP chief revenue officer Jane Seagrave mentions that the program may start out as a free service.

This is a new step for the Associated Press in terms of revenue generation; in the past it has relied almost entirely on fees paid for its stories by newspapers, broadcasters, and the like. With an expected 6 percent revenue decline in that area for its 2009 financial statement, the AP is toying with creative new ways of drumming up revenue—and for the first time, helping smaller newspapers deliver content instead of the other way around.

No doubt, this is only the first wave of iPad related publishing, but the AP and Condé Nast are making a fine start.

Source: Macworld

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  • VoIP telephone access — eliminate interconnect expense
  • Call from anywhere — Prism SIP Gateway allows calls from PSTN and PBX
  • All the Features for Paging, Voicemail, Text-to-Pager, Wireless and DECT phones
  • Prism Inet, the new IP interface for TAP, TNPP, SNPP, SMTP — Industry standard message input
  • Direct Connect to NurseCall, Assisted Living, Aged Care, Remote Monitoring, Access Control Systems

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Sony Readies Gadgets to Rival Apple

MARCH 4, 2010, 3:30 P.M. ET


Getty Images

The Sony booth at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Threatened by Apple Inc.'s growing stable of portable devices, Sony Corp. is developing a new lineup of handheld products, including a smart phone capable of downloading and playing PlayStation games, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Japanese electronics giant also has a project under way to develop a portable device that blurs distinctions among a netbook, an e-reader and a PlayStation Portable, or PSP. The device is designed to compete against multifunction products such as Apple's coming iPad tablet, these people said.

The new smart phone and other coming portable devices are critical elements of Chief Executive Howard Stringer's turnaround plan. Sony has made progress in cutting costs and streamlining its production, but it has yet to deliver a game-changing product that embodies Mr. Stringer's emphasis on creating devices that access an online network offering movies, games and music.

"That's the vision, but it's still not quite clear what specific steps Sony will take to achieve that, especially when iPad and other highly capable mobile devices are crowding the market," said Nobuo Kurahashi, a consumer-electronics analyst at Japanese brokerage Mizuho Investors Securities.

The new devices are meant to counter Apple and its wide range of products that connect to its iTunes media platform. Apple's iPod Touch and iPhone are pushing into the portable-gaming market inhabited by Sony's PSP, while the iPad tablet is expected to disrupt the nascent e-reader market where the Sony Reader has already sold one million units.

Sony is working with Sony Ericsson on the new handset, the people familiar with the matter said. While the capital structure of the 50-50 joint venture hasn't changed, Sony is taking a more active role in developing handsets for the partnership because of how central smart phones are becoming to the company's overall strategy.

At last month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mr. Stringer said Sony Ericsson phones will connect to Sony's online service in the future. He didn't specify what content would be available for mobile-phone users.


Sony's PlayStation Portable Go

Sony Ericsson, which was formed in 2001 by Sony and L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. of Sweden, has lagged behind other handset makers in developing smart phones. It plans to introduce its first smart phone, Xperia X10, built on Google Inc.'s Android operating system in April.

The main responsibility for delivering Sony's gadget of the future has fallen to Senior Vice President Kunimasa Suzuki, who was promoted as part of a management shuffle a year ago. He is in charge of Sony's Vaio computer business and the new Network Mobile Center. He also serves as PlayStation chief Kazuo Hirai's deputy at both the videogame unit and the Network Products & Services division.

Mr. Suzuki's various roles within the company represent the blending of business divisions inside Sony, placing him at the center of Mr. Stringer longstanding ambition to bring down the "silos" separating the company's various operations.

Sony has said that Mr. Suzuki is leading product planning for new mobile devices, without offering details about the projects. In early February, at a news conference to announce earnings, Chief Financial Officer Nobuyuki Oneda said Sony was interested in devices such as the iPad that don't necessarily fit any single product category.

Sony's next wave of portable devices comes at a time when the PSP, a gadget once hailed by Sony executives as the "Walkman for the 21st century," is slumping. While it has sold more than 55 million units since its launch in late 2004, the PSP hasn't quite lived up to Sony's own hype. Nintendo Co. has sold twice as many DS handhelds during that period and new games for the platform have slowed to a trickle.

Sony was forced in February to slash its full-year PSP shipment targets by a third. Sales of the PSP Go—the latest version of its handheld, which doesn't use packaged discs and only plays downloaded games—have been slow, hurt by the PSP Go's hefty price tag. It costs $250, or $80 more than the PSP model that uses game discs.

While PSP Go sales have been disappointing, the handheld has taught Sony a lot about how it should approach future gadgets that will be entirely reliant on downloaded content, according to people familiar with Sony's thinking.

—Juro Osawa contributed to this article.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Critical Response Systems

Over 70% of first responders are volunteers
Without an alert, interoperability means nothing.

Get the Alert.

M1501 Acknowledgent Pager

With the M1501 Acknowledgement Pager and a SPARKGAP wireless data system, you know when your volunteers have been alerted, when they’ve read the message, and how they’re going to respond – all in the first minutes of an event. Only the M1501 delivers what agencies need – reliable, rugged, secure alerting with acknowledgement.

Learn More

  • 5-Second Message Delivery
  • Acknowledged Personal Messaging
  • Acknowledged Group Messaging
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  • Network-Synchronized Time Display
  • Simple User Interface
  • Programming/Charging Base
  • Secondary Features Supporting Public Safety and Healthcare

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The Br802 Pager is Directive 94/9/DC [Equipment Explosive Atmospheres (ATEX)] compliant.
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Microsoft's desktop future may look like a phone

March 4, 2010 9:53 AM PST

by Matt Asay

windows phone
The future of the Windows desktop?
(Credit: Flora Graham/CNET UK)

Competition in the personal computer market is heating up, even as it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish just what we mean when we talk about a PC. Airline flight attendants seem to be able to discern the difference between mobile phones and personal computers in their in-flight announcements, but the vendors who make and sell them increasingly can't.

It is precisely this fuzziness that offers Google and Apple a chance to get a leg up on Microsoft, but is also why Microsoft may be able to cement its lead.

Google is clear about its aims: it wants to get users into a browser as fast as possible. Why? Because the more we use the Web, the more likely it is that we'll bump into Google's revenue-generating services.

While this started as a PC initiative for Google with the Chrome OS, the Chrome browser, and other projects, Google has kicked it into hyperdrive with its increasingly popular Android mobile operating system.

Apple, for its part, is equally clear about its aims: it wants to get users into iTunes or its App Store. Why? Because for all the money it makes on hardware like Macs and the iPhone, Internet-scale revenues derive from such services that aggregate and distribute digital goods.

Apple's strategy is bidirectional: its Macs drive adoption of iPhones, and the iPhone drives sales of Macs. But mobile is what makes it hum.

Microsoft, however, has been less clear about its aims, particularly with the traditional desktop. It wants people on Windows...why? Well, because Microsoft earns a license fee for every copy of Windows sold.

This has historically been a home-run strategy, but it may be a decreasingly defensible revenue model in a world conditioned by the Web (and Google) to expect software to be free.

Neither of its primary competitors charges for the OS, which will eventually call into question Microsoft's practice of doing so.

Of course, Apple's OS X can't be easily divorced from Apple's hardware, making it arguably a much more expensive OS than Microsoft ever dreamed of selling. But Google? It's serious about giving away Microsoft's business.

Is Microsoft doomed?

Of course not. Any company with billions in profit each quarter can afford to spend its way into a winning strategy. Microsoft has already sold 90 million copies of Windows 7, suggesting that its demise will be greatly exaggerated for some time to come, especially as its market share is again on the upswing with Windows 7.

Even so, I suspect the future of Microsoft's "desktop" OS business is going the same direction as Apple's and Google's: mobile.

Mobile gives Microsoft a fresh start with lots of room to grow. It also gives it an effective way to extend its brand into others' platforms, as its Bing search growth on Apple's iPhone could signal, while simultaneously letting Microsoft experiment with new business models that don't threaten its traditional licensing-based model (as cloud computing does for its server and "desktop" businesses).

Perhaps most importantly, and this is equally true for both Google and Apple for their respective environments, mobile allows Microsoft to innovate the Windows user experience. Apple has started to extend the iPhone experience with its iPad, and I suspect we'll see Microsoft do the same with Windows Phone 7. Microsoft's consumer and enterprise customers will have little appetite for a radically changed "desktop" experience . . . unless they first grow accustomed to it on their phones.

For each of these three major OS vendors, the nature of the OS, and its associated business models, is changing rapidly. Mobile, however, holds the key to each company's growth, and may signal convergence on a new way of monetizing an OS: app stores, advertising, and other online services.

But all delivered on a mobile device that looks less and less like a phone and more and more like a PC . . . without actually being one.

Source: CNET News

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BloostonLaw Telecom Update

Published by the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP

[Portions reproduced here with the firm's permission.]

   Vol. 13, No. 9 x March 3, 2010   

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FCC Proposes $25K Fines For Failure To File CPNI Certifications

The FCC has issued two separate Omnibus Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, proposing to fine each of 13 companies $25,000 for failing to file their required annual customer proprietary network information (CPNI) certifications for calendar year 2008.

The Commission noted that the forfeiture amount was $20,000 per company for failing to file for calendar year 2007. But the Commission said an upward adjustment to $25,000 is warranted for the 13 companies at issue because of their “repeated failure to comply, even after the companies were explicitly warned of the potential consequences via citations and admonishments.”

BloostonLaw recently noted that the FCC issued a CPNI enforcement advisory, reminding telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers that they must file annual reports certifying their compliance with the Commission’s CPNI rules by March 1 (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, January 20).

And we remind our clients that failure to comply with the CPNI rules, including the annual certification requirement, may subject them to enforcement action, including monetary forfeitures of up to $150,000 for each violation or each day of a continuing violation, up to a maximum of $1,500,000. If you missed the March 1, 2010, deadline for the annual certification, we recommend that you contact us IMMEDIATELY.

BloostonLaw contacts: Gerry Duffy (202-828-5528), and Mary Sisak (202-5554)

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  • FCC Chairman wants to free up 500 MHz of spectrum for wireless, spend up to $18 billion on public safety operations.
  • Proposals for Tribal lands.
  • FCC releases latest report on telephone number utilization.
  • Ad Hoc Coalition seeks to suspend enforcement of USF reporting rules.

FCC Chairman Wants To Free Up To 500 MHz Of Spectrum For Wireless, Spend Up To $18 Billion On Public Safety Operations

FCC Changes Course on D Block Auction

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski last week took to the speech circuit to unveil aspects of the forthcoming National Broadband Plan, including freeing up to 500 megahertz of spectrum for wireless and spending up to $18 billion on public safety. The Commission plans to present the Plan at its March 16 open meeting before delivering it to Congress the next day. The FCC also appears to be changing course on how the private sector will work with public safety: The 700 MHz D Block may now be sold at auction without the requirement that it be constructed as part of a nationwide public safety network, thereby creating a potential auction opportunity for our clients. However, the FCC will instead apparently expect all 700 MHz licensees to grant public safety traffic priority access to their networks. Our clients will want to participate in upcoming rulemakings (and legislative efforts) that will decide the details of the new regime, to ensure that (1) any D Block auction features BTA-sized licenses so that small carriers can bid successfully; and (2) any requirements that 700 MHz licensees give priority access to public safety traffic be fair to smaller carriers.

In a speech to the New America Foundation on February 24, Genachowski said the National Broadband Plan will set a goal of freeing up 500 megahertz of spectrum over the next decade, and that the FCC will work closely with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to do so. To help achieve this, the Plan will propose a “Mobile Future Auction” — an auction permitting existing spectrum licensees, such as television broadcasters in spectrum-starved markets, to voluntarily relinquish spectrum in exchange for a share of auction proceeds, and allow spectrum sharing and other spectrum efficiency measures.

The Chairman emphasized that this would be a voluntary program. He said that the Mobile Future Auction would allow broadcasters to elect to participate in a mechanism that could save costs for broadcasters while also being a major part of the solution to one of our country’s most significant challenges.

“Why look at broadcast spectrum as a major part of our spectrum strategic planning?” he asked.

“First, a broad range of analysts, companies and trade associations participating in our Broadband proceeding agree that a clear candidate for allocation is spectrum in the broadcast TV bands.

“They point to a massive amount of unlocked value in that spectrum, which has characteristics that make it particularly suitable for mobile broadband – one study suggests that as much as $50 billion in value could be unlocked if we adopted policies to convert some of the broadcast spectrum to mobile broadband. This suggests that there are inefficiencies in the current allocation.

“A second reason is that the highly valuable spectrum currently allocated for broadcast television is not being used efficiently – indeed, much is not being used at all.

“About 300 megahertz of spectrum have been set aside for broadcast TV. In markets with less than 1 million people, only 36 megahertz are typically used for broadcasting. In cities with more than 1 million people, on average about 100 megahertz are used. Even in our very largest cities, at most only about 150 megahertz out of 300 megahertz are used.

“This is true even after the recent reallocation for digital television, which freed up some spectrum for mobile broadband. New technologies allow – indeed, they require – new strategic planning to ensure the most efficient use of spectrum, a vital public resource, especially given our broadband needs.

“Because of the billions of dollars of unlocked value in broadcast spectrum, and because of the current inefficient spectrum allocation, the Mobile Future Auction is a win-win proposal: for broadcasters, who win more flexibility to pursue business models to serve their local communities; and for the public, which wins more innovation in mobile broadband services, continued free, over-the-air television, and the benefits of the proceeds of new and substantial auction revenues.”

The Chairman said the National Broadband Plan also proposes resolving longstanding debates about how to maximize the value of spectrum in bands such as the Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) or Wireless Communications Service (WCS) by giving licensees the option of new flexibility to put the spectrum toward mobile broadband use—or the option of voluntarily transferring the license to someone else who will.

In addition, he said the Plan will encourage innovative ways of using spectrum, including what some call “opportunistic” uses, to encourage the development of new technologies and new spectrum policy models.

“Unlicensed spectrum, for example, has been a proven testbed for emerging competition, injecting new investment and innovation into the marketplace, and spawning new services and devices from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi technology, he said. The market for Wi-Fi network equipment alone is about $4 billion a year, and analysts project the market for Wi-Fi-enabled health products will reach $5 billion by 2014. This is what people used to call the “junk band” until the FCC released it for unlicensed use and innovators got to work,” the Chairman said.

(xG Technology Inc. is an example of a company making innovative use of the unlicensed 900 MHz band for its xMax mobile VoIP technology.)

“In addition, new ideas such as databases that dynamically enable—or revoke—access to spectrum in particular times and places promise to change the way we think about spectrum,” Genachowski said.

“For example, entrepreneurs could create new types of devices and ad hoc networks, enabling innovative new uses of spectrum.

“And, spurred by the smart persistence of my colleague Commissioner Michael Copps, the Plan will include a recommendation that we invest a sufficient amount in R&D to ensure that the science underpinning spectrum use continues to advance.

“To close the adoption gap, our Plan would propose the creation of a Mobility Fund, as part of broader reforms of the Universal Service Fund. Without increasing the overall size of universal service funding, the Plan will seek to provide one-time support for deployment of infrastructure enabling robust mobile broadband networks, to bring all states to a minimum level of mobile availability. Bringing all states up to a national standard will help enable Americans in unserved areas participate in the mobile revolution.

“Finally, and critically, to improve mobile communications for our first responders, we will develop the 700 MHz public safety broadband network to achieve long overdue interoperability,” the Chairman said.

Public Safety

In a Public Safety Briefing the next day, February 25, Genachowski said the public safety portion of the National Broadband Plan will address three general areas. It will:

  • Recommend concrete steps for the deployment of a nationwide interoperable wireless broadband network for public safety.
  • Focus on increasing cybersecurity and critical infrastructure survivability of broadband networks.
  • Propose measures to advance Next Generation 9-1-1 services and new public alerting initiatives that leverage broadband technology.

The Chairman said he had asked Admiral James Barnett, Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to lead the effort of taking a fresh and critical look at all options to achieve the goal of deploying a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband wireless network as soon as possible, including the role that the D Block should have with respect to public safety.

The Chairman said that the Plan that the Barnett team has developed is the best and shortest path to a nationwide interoperable broadband network for public safety. The Plan:

  • Ensures that broadband wireless communications for public safety will be fully interoperable across all geographies and jurisdictions.
  • Ensures nationwide coverage.
  • Provides for funding for the construction, operation and evolution of the public safety network.
  • Provides for reserve capacity and needed redundancy and reliability through roaming and priority access on commercial broadband networks.
  • Ensures that public safety will have available to it cutting-edge technology, including handsets, at consumer electronic prices.

“How does the Plan do it?” Genachowski asked.

“First, one of the essential recommendations in the public safety portion of the Plan is for the creation of an Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC) at the FCC to establish a technical framework that will guarantee nationwide interoperability from the start.

“Second, to ensure that we have nationwide coverage and the public safety network is redundant and resilient, there is a need for a significant funding commitment both initially and over time.

“The Plan will recommend that Congress consider significant public funding — $16-18 Billion over 10 years — for the creation of a federal grant program to help support network construction, operation and evolution of the pubic safety broadband network.

“This is important. We have gone too long with little progress to show for it. The private sector simply is not going to build a nationwide, state-of-the-art, interoperable broadband network for public safety on its own dime.

“Local municipalities and states can certainly contribute some amount to sustaining any network that is built. But the bottom line is that if we want to deliver on what our first responders need to protect our communities and loved ones, public money will need to be put toward tackling this national priority,” Genachowski said.

“It is in this context that the Broadband team is recommending that we move forward with a D Block auction, the Chairman said. “And in order to ensure sufficient reserve capacity for the network, as well as redundancy and resiliency, the Plan envisions that public safety will be able to access not just the D Block spectrum, but the entire 700 MHz band through roaming and priority access arrangements. Rather than solely focusing on just the D-Block, through the Plan, public safety isn’t limited to 10 or even 20 megahertz of spectrum, but could have access to as much as 80 megahertz under these arrangements.

“Fourth, we must ensure that the public safety community has access to a competitive environment to ensure the deployment of their network. To that end, our approach does not limit the public safety community to one potential partner. Instead, public safety can select any commercial operator it determines is appropriate or, if it prefers, a systems integrator to partner with.

“Finally, we recognize that in the long run, we will need to identify additional spectrum for broadband as demand increases. The Broadband Plan therefore proposes a medium and long-term strategy to obtain additional spectrum resources for broadband use,” the Chairman said.

Admiral Barnett: In his remarks at the briefing, Admiral Barnett said that public safety will retain its full spectrum allocation in the 700 MHz band, including the 10 MHz that has been licensed to public safety for broadband use. Nothing in the proposed National Broadband Plan changes this essential fact.

“Like any Commission licensee, public safety must abide by FCC rules and technical requirements, but the key point is that this will continue to be public safety’s spectrum for their use,” Barnett said.

“Second, we have devoted much thought in the Plan to how public safety can obtain access not just to the D Block, but to the entire 700 MHz band. This is why we have proposed working recommendations to enable public safety broadband users to roam on commercial networks and obtain priority access on terms that are reasonable and affordable.

“Why is this important? Because if public safety has the ability to roam and obtain priority access on commercial networks, it can roam on commercial networks in areas where public safety’s own network facilities have not yet been built or are otherwise unavailable. And priority access provides a means for public safety to use additional spectrum capacity in addition to its own dedicated spectrum.

“This could be critical in times of emergency, when public safety entities may want to shift non-emergency traffic to other networks in order to reserve their own network and dedicated spectrum for mission-critical communications.

“In the long run, though, we recognize that public safety, like all other broadband users, will need access to more spectrum than is available today. This is because demand for high-bandwidth applications will increase, and we also expect that the public safety broadband network will eventually evolve to support mission-critical voice as well as data.

“That is why we believe that the proposed working recommendations in the National Broadband Plan, devoted to reclaiming additional spectrum for broadband, are just as important for public safety as they are for commercial broadband providers or the public as a whole.

“Reclaiming additional spectrum gives us the long-term option of dedicating some portion of that spectrum for public safety use. But even spectrum that is not dedicated to public safety (and we assume that most reclaimed spectrum would not be) can be accessible and beneficial to public safety,” Barnett said.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, John Prendergast, and Mary Sisak.

Proposals For Tribal Lands

In remarks to the National Congress of American Indians on March 2, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the biggest concern facing Tribal lands is simply getting connected. He noted that the National Broadband Plan will include a “once-in-a-generation” transformation of the $8 billion Universal Service Fund (USF) — converting it over time to broadband support and freeing up more resources to build 21st century communications networks, including on Tribal lands.

In addition, he said the FCC will help more Tribal libraries qualify for E-rate funding and recommend the creation of a Tribal seat on both the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service and the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Board of Directors

Even with these changes to the USF, a sizable funding gap will still exist, he said. To help close this gap, the Plan will also recommend:

  • Creating a separate Tribal Broadband Fund to support sustainable deployment and adoption programs in Indian Country;
  • Providing funding to upgrade connectivity for federal facilities on Tribal lands, including those managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education, and the Indian Health Service; and
  • Allowing more members of the Tribal community to share connectivity funded by the E-rate and Rural Health Care programs.

To help Tribal communities acquire technical broadband skills and expertise, the Plan will recommend that the FCC expand its Indian Telecommunications Initiative. The Commission will also propose allowing Tribal representatives to participate in the FCC University training programs at no cost.

To close the information gap about broadband access and usage in Indian County, the Plan will recommend efforts to improve data collection on Tribal lands, including making Tribes eligible for grants for future broadband mapping and planning projects, and facilitating data sharing between broadband providers and Tribes.

To enhance communications and consulting with Tribal governments, the Plan proposes three new mechanisms.

1) Government-wide, the Plan will recommend the creation of a Federal-Tribal Broadband Initiative consisting of Tribal leaders and officials from across all federal agencies. This Initiative will improve coordination, streamline programs, and reduce redundancies.

2) Within the FCC, the Plan will recommend the creation of an Office of Tribal Affairs with enough staff, resources, and authority to consult regularly with Tribal leaders and coordinate within the FCC.

3) The plan also proposes a separate task force consisting of senior FCC Staff and Tribal leaders that will focus specifically on broadband deployment and adoption on Tribal lands.

In addition to wireline broadband, mobile broadband offers tremendous possibilities for Tribal communities. The FCC will explore ways of improving Tribal access to and use of spectrum, including how to improve the Tribal Land Bidding Credit program, how to help Tribes know what spectrum is available over Tribal lands, and how to create additional flexibility and incentives for building out facilities serving Tribal lands.

Lastly, the Chairman said, the Commission recently adopted rules giving priority to Tribes in getting broadcast radio licenses in Tribal communities. These rules will give precedence to federally-recognized American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages that want to set up new radio stations that serve communities on Tribal lands. The National Broadband Plan will recommend that the Commission look at expanding any Tribal priority policy to include the process for licensing fixed and mobile wireless licenses covering Tribal lands.

BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.


FCC RELEASES LATEST REPORT ON TELEPHONE NUMBER UTILIZATION: The FCC has released its latest report on telephone number utilization in the United States. Telephone number utilization refers to the percentage of telephone numbers assigned to customers compared to the total of telephone numbers assigned to carriers. The Numbering Resource Utilization Report details how those telephone numbers are being used. The report presents numbering resource utilization statistics based on June 2009 data that carriers submitted to the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), as well as other information. Tracking number utilization is one of a number of initiatives taken by the Commission to ensure that limited numbering resources are used efficiently.

Utilization Statistics by Carrier Type – Reporting carriers have nearly 1.4 billion telephone numbers. Of these, about 673 million were assigned to customers, about 629 million were available to be assigned, and about 87 million were used for other purposes, such as for administrative use.

Following are utilization statistics by carrier type as of June 30, 2009:

  • Overall, 48.5% of all telephone numbers were assigned to customers.
  • The overall utilization rate for Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) was 48.8%, down from 49.6% six months earlier.
  • The overall utilization rate for Cellular/PCS carriers was 66.1%, up from 65.6% six months earlier.
  • The overall utilization rate for Competitive LECs was 34.3%, up from 31.1% six months earlier.

Telephone Numbers Saved through Thousands-block Pooling – Through June 30, 2009, thousands-block pooling has made it unnecessary to distribute about 449 million telephone numbers. Thousands-block pooling is available in areas with the most demand for additional numbering resources. This means that telephone numbers can now be distributed in blocks of 1,000 rather than blocks of 10,000. This enables carriers to obtain the telephone numbers they need to serve their customers while allowing unneeded blocks to be made available to other carriers.

Telephone Numbers Returned – As required by the Commission’s Numbering Resource Optimization Orders, carriers are returning large quantities of telephone numbers that they do not need to the NANPA so that those numbers can be assigned to other carriers with more immediate needs.

  • In the second quarter of 2009, carriers returned 1.15 million telephone numbers to the NANPA.
  • In the third quarter of 2009, carriers returned 0.82 million telephone numbers to the NANPA.

Most Utilized Area Codes in the United States – Michigan’s area code 947 is the most utilized, with 86.1% of numbers assigned to customers. New York’s area code 646 (which is coincident with New York City’s area code 212) is the next most utilized, with 81.2% of numbers assigned to customers. (The above statistics exclude area code 684, in which only one carrier is using numbers.)

Customers Moving Millions of Telephone Numbers to New Carriers – Since wireless number portability began on November 24, 2003, wireline customers have moved over 77 million telephone numbers to new wireline carriers. During the same time, wireless customers moved more than 70 million telephone numbers to new wireless carriers.

BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

AD HOC COALITION SEEKS TO SUSPEND ENFORCEMENT OF USF REPORTING RULES: The Ad Hoc Coalition of International Telecommunications Companies filed a petition on February 16, 2010, requesting that the FCC commence a rulemaking to address the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC’s) interpretation and application of the rules and requirements for carriers’ reporting of revenues from the provision of service to other carriers (i.e., wholesale revenues) for purposes of determining universal service contribution obligations. The Coalition asks that “the Commission suspend all pending and future enforcement” of these rules and requirements as currently interpreted until new rules are adopted. Comments in this WC Docket No. 06-122 proceeding are due March 29, and replies are due April 13. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.


The FCC has extended the comment cycle for its Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to amend the Commission’s Part 11 rules governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to provide for national testing of the EAS and collection of data from such tests. Comments in this EB Docket No. 04-296 proceeding are now due March 15, and replies are due April 13.

Comments on the FCC’s WC Docket No. 07-52 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking public comment on draft rules to preserve an open Internet (“net neutrality”) have been extended until April 8, 2010.

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This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm.

Source: Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy and Prendergast, LLP For additional information, contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or

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Will the smartphone replace the PC in three years?

By Joe Wilcox | Published March 4, 2010, 12:10 PM

It's the question to ask after the bold statement made yesterday by Google's John Herlihy. According to Silicon Republic, Herlihy told Digital Landscapes conference attendees that: "In three years time, desktops will be irrelevant. In Japan, most research is done today on smartphones, not PCs."

My answer is an easy "Yes" for desktops, assuming Herlihy meant desktop PCs. Mobile PCs will take longer— not much, unless 3G radios come to be standard equipment on most laptops; that's for displacement, not irrelevance. Yesterday I asked Betanews readers: "Has your smartphone changed your life?" The smartphone most certainly will change your life if it displaces the PC. How much more dramatic will be the change whenever PCs should become irrelevant?

No doubt, plenty of Betanews readers will disagree with Herlihy's assertion. Great. Please share your opinions in comments. This is a topic deserving heated discussion, and it's one PC and handset manufacturers had better carefully watch. The winds of change are in the air, but will they blow slowly across the current computing landscape or quickly?

"The digital world is fundamentally different to the traditional business world," Herlihy told Digital Landscape attendees. "Things happen much faster, Websites spring up from nowhere, a video could be a YouTube hit in hours." He is absolutely right, and the social media boom is glaring example of how rapidly things can change in short order.

Before 2005, newspaper revenues remained high, while declining slowly. Fast forward four years and the industry started to rapidly collapse — but, of course, not go away. According to a report released this week by PEW Internet, 94 percent of US Internet users get news online. Only 38 percent of Americans get news offline only — and the numbers skew much higher for the old than the young.

Social media is a large part of the change, as Facebook and Twitter status messages, blogs and other sources augment or even replace traditional news sources — all of it free and some of it supported by Google search keywords and related services. People take Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for granted, but these are all relatively new services released just beyond the time horizon of Herlihy's mobile prediction.

YouTube officially opened in November 2005; Google purchased the service less than a year later. Facebook opened to the public in 2006 and Twitter a few months later (I signed up for Twitter on Dec. 26, 2006). Most of the most popular or growing popular tools for community and self expression launched within the last four years: Disqus, FriendFeed, tumblr, Twine, Qik and USTREAM, among many, many others. New social sharing services seemingly appear every day. Google Buzz and Chatroulette are among the most recent.

Apple's iPhone released in June 2007. The supporting App Store — now with more than 140,000 applications and 3 billion-plus downloads — launched in July 2008. Google purchased Android in 2005, and the first supporting smartphone shipped in late 2008. In Android's first full year (2009), handset manufacturers sold 6.8 million smartphones, according to Gartner. Google released the Chrome Web browser in late 2008 and is already testing version 5. These are changes all occurring within just three years.

These technologies have dramatically reshaped cultures and societies across the planet. All of it happened in less than five years. For people clinging to the PC's importance, look around you at the rapid cloud services-driven social networking changes. The PC could easily be displaced that fast.

The pattern of technological displacement is centuries old and fairly consistent. Something new comes along and slowly erodes the existing technology. But pace picks up until there is a dramatic shift to the new from the old occurring within a short time span. Some older technologies continue for a time and disappear, while many others remain but in new niches. Some recent — and not-too-hard-to-grasp — examples:

  • Horse drawn carriages and trains
  • Trains and automobiles
  • Telegraphs and telephones
  • Mainframes and PCs

There are so many other examples, but I'm trying to make a simple point not give a history lesson. Trains were displaced by autos in the United States but they didn't go away. PCs displaced mainframes, but they're still used as well. Landlines and wireless phones are near their dramatic changing point in many mature markets. Newspapers are in process of being displaced by Web content for PCs and mobile devices, but are likely to co-exist with them for a long time.

Three years — most certainly five — is not an unrealistic time horizon at all. Even if it proves wrong, Google is acting like change will come rapidly. Last month, Google CEO Eric Schmidt asserted the company would put mobile first — yes, before the PC. There is no Windows monopoly on mobile handsets to stop Google, Apple or any other would-be mobile competitor from rapidly advancing. Cloud services, whether delivered by applications or browsers, promise anytime and anywhere access to anything.

I've blogged about this coming change plenty in the past. It's why I've been so hard on Microsoft's stalled handset operating system strategy and why I called Windows Mobile 7 Series a "lost cause." But there it is — a goal for Microsoft from Google. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer seems so obsessed chasing Google, now he has a goal to meet: Three years. He shouldn't dally. The recent social media revolution is clear example of how fast the new thing can push the old aside.

Source: betanews

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CVC Paging

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  • January 11, 1997—Telstar 401 suffers a short in the satellite circuitry—TOTAL LOSS May 19, 1998—Galaxy 4 control processor causes loss of fixed orbit—TOTAL LOSS September 19, 2003—Telstar 4 suffers loss of its primary power bus—TOTAL LOSS March 17, 2004—PAS-6 suffers loss of power—TOTAL LOSS
  • January 14, 2005—Intelsat 804 suffers electrical power system anomaly—TOTAL LOSS


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.

  • Each earth station features hot standby redundancy UPS and Generator back-up Redundant TNPP Gateways On shelf spares for all critical components
  • 24/7 staffing and support

cvc paging cvc antennas For inquires please call or e-mail Stephan Suker at 800-696-6474 or left arrow

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CVC Paging

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GL3000 Paging Terminals - C2000 Controllers
GL3200 Internet Gateways - Transmitter Equipment


GTES is the only Glenayre authorized software support provider in the paging industry. With years of combined experience in Glenayre hardware and software support, GTES offers the industry the most professional support and engineering staff available.


  • GTES Partner Maintenance Program
  • Glenayre Product Sales
  • Software Licenses and Software Upgrades
  • Feature License Codes
  • New & Used Spare Parts and Repairs
  • Customer Phone Support and On-Site Services
  • Product Training


Sales Support - Debbie Schlipman
  Phone: +1-251-445-6826
Customer Service
  Phone: +1-800-663-5996 or +1-972-801-0590
Website -

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WiPath Communications

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Intelligent Solutions for Paging & Wireless Data

WiPath manufactures a wide range of highly unique and innovative hardware and software solutions in paging and mobile data for:

  • Emergency Mass Alert & Messaging Emergency Services Communications Utilities Job Management Telemetry and Remote Switching Fire House Automation
  • Load Shedding and Electrical Services Control

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  • FLEX & POCSAG Built-in POCSAG encoder Huge capcode capacity Parallel, 2 serial ports, 4 relays
  • Message & system monitoring

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  • Variety of sizes Indoor/outdoor
  • Integrated paging receiver

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  • Highly programmable, off-air decoders Message Logging & remote control Multiple I/O combinations and capabilities
  • Network monitoring and alarm reporting

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  • Emergency Mass Alerting Remote telemetry switching & control Fire station automation PC interfacing and message management Paging software and customized solutions Message interception, filtering, redirection, printing & logging Cross band repeating, paging coverage infill, store and forward
  • Alarm interfaces, satellite linking, IP transmitters, on-site systems

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Mobile Data Terminals & Two Way Wireless  Solutions

mobile data terminal

radio interface

  • Fleet tracking, messaging, job processing, and field service management Automatic vehicle location (AVL), GPS
  • CDMA, GPRS, ReFLEX, conventional, and trunked radio interfaces

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WiPath Communications LLC
4845 Dumbbarton Court
Cumming, GA 30040
4845 Dumbbarton Court
Cumming, GA 30040
Web site: left arrow CLICK
E-mail: left arrow CLICK
Phone: 770-844-6218
Fax: 770-844-6574
WiPath Communications

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Preferred Wireless

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Terminals & Controllers:
1 Motorola C-Net Platinum Controller
1 Motorola ASC1500 Controller
1 Skydata Model 5090 Uplink Power Control
1 Skydata Model 8360 MSK Modulator
8 Skydata Multi Channel Receivers - NEW
1 Gilat Transmitter
2 Gilat Skyway ODU Controller
2 Rad RSD-10
3 Gilat Satellite Transmitter
2 Gilat Skymux Controller
8 Skymux Expansion
2 Gilat Transmitters
2 GL3100 RF Director
30 Zetron Model 66 Controllers
Link Transmitters:
6 Glenayre GL C2100 Link Repeaters
1 Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
1 Glenayre QT4201, 25W Midband Link TX
3 Glenayre QT-6201, 100W Midband Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2 Motorola 30W, Midband Link TX (C42JZB6106AC)
VHF Paging Transmitters
14 Motorola Nucleus 125W, NAC
3 Motorola Nucleus 350W, NAC
1 Motorola VHF PURC-5000 125W, ACB or TRC
10 Glenayre GLT8411, 250W, VHF TX
UHF Paging Transmitters:
24 Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
2 Quintron QT-7795, 250W UHF, w/TCC & RL70 Rx.
3 Motorola PURC-5000 110W, TRC or ACB
3 Motorola PURC-5000 225W, ACB
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
3 Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
20 Glenayre GLT-8500, 250W, C2000, w/ or w/o I20
4 Motorola PURC 5000, 300W, DRC or ACB
3 Motorola PURC 5000, 150W, DRC or ACB

left arrow CLICK HERE

Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail
Preferred Wireless
Rick McMichael
left arrow CLICK HERE
left arrow OR HERE

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Preferred Wireless

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Prayer pager, thought behind it, inspires, gives hope to recipient

By: Glenda Caudle, Special Features Editor
Posted: Wednesday, March 3, 2010 8:45 pm

“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
—James 5:14-16

In those darkest hours of the night, when pain can seem more intense, fever can rise higher, healing rest can be harder to come by, loneliness can weigh heavier, faith can seem frailer and hope can grow dimmer, we all need help.

Bart White of Union City, a member of Union City First United Methodist Church, knows something about those desperate hours. Diagnosed with multiple myeloma in Sept. 15, 2008, he was a patient at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis for 17 days. It was there that he received a unique “gift” from his church family. It accompanied him to Little Rock, Ark., days later, where he and his wife, Jean Ann, spent weeks at the Multiple Myeloma Institute while he underwent chemotherapy. Over the course of a year of treatment — until they received the news Sept. 15, 2009, that White’s cancer was in remission — the small item was a faith lifeline for the family.

White’s palm-sized link — first of all to God and then to his church family and many more who were concerned for him and took seriously the Biblical admonition to pray for the sick — was a simple piece of technology known as a “prayer pager.”

“I would be lying in bed, especially while taking chemo, and I would be so down. The prayer pager would vibrate and you cannot imagine what it meant to me.”

What it meant was that someone had just prayed for White’s healing and wanted him to be aware of it.

Fellow church member Terry Huffstetler, the first of the congregation to receive a pager in February 2007, began to draw strength from the reminders of prayers for his healing while he was a patient at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. He was diagnosed with microscopic polyangiitis, a life-threatening autoimmune disease, and was in critical condition when Dr. David Russell, pastor of the church, brought the pager and gave it to Huffstetler’s wife, Jane. He explained that the “prayer notifier” would either vibrate or play a couple of bars of a hymn or piece of classical music each time someone prayed for Huffstetler and then dialed the pager number and entered a specific code.

Huffstetler and White and the other church members who have received one of the congregation’s five prayer pagers during times of sickness or injury cannot know precisely who is praying for them, but they know, without doubt, who is hearing the prayers. And the peace that comes from that knowledge is something they consider a part of the healing process.

“I first became aware of it after I came out of a coma that lasted 12 days. I would hear it go off at all times of the day and night. Someone might call at 2 a.m. and I would hear it playing. I never knew when it would be, but I was by myself except during visiting hours and it was a lot of comfort to hear it,” Huffstetler recalls.

He turned his prayer pager back in to the church after drawing strength from the message it conveyed for almost two months. Since he has returned home and has recovered in many ways, he has used the little implement again — but this time to let someone else know he was praying for them.

“It made a huge impression on the staff at the hospital,” Jane Huffstetler recalls. “They had never heard of anything like it before. They were also impressed with the prayer shawl we received. They thought we belonged to the best church.”

Anyone may call the pager. The church publishes the special toll-free number for each recipient of one of the items in the weekly bulletins and in the church newsletter and includes the special code that callers are asked to key in. The caller does not speak directly to the person who is keeping the prayer pager, but once they dial the number and respond to the prompt by punching in the special simple code that is supplied by the church, they know the message will be delivered to the one for whom they have prayed.

Huffstetler says he found out after he returned home that co-workers at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. had found out about the pager and were using it to share their prayer time, as well.

The idea for using the simple technology of a pager to notify someone suffering they have been prayed for came from FUMC members Diane and Dr. Jere Crenshaw. Mrs. Crenshaw first encountered one of the pagers while attending an Emmaus Walk weekend. At the spiritual retreat, participants are asked to set aside all communications devices and other possible items that might interrupt the time they are devoting to strengthening their development as Christians. One participant kept a pager, however, and explained its deep spiritual significance in her life as she dealt with a terrible tragedy that had left her battling deep grief. The simple signal that she was being prayed for was such a comfort and encouragement that Emmaus Walk organizers encouraged her to keep it and use it as a testimony to others in the program.

The Crenshaws purchased two of the simple pagers locally and donated them to the church with instructions for how to set up the program with easy-to-remember calling numbers and simple pager numerical codes that could be easily keyed in. Robin Wood of Wood Communications, who has provided pager service to those awaiting organ transplants at no cost for years, provided the prayer pagers, as well as a discount for the phone service attached to them. Soon a donation to the church allowed for the purchase of three more pagers and a year’s worth of service. Ongoing donations have kept the project going. The pagers are available to anyone who needs them for as long as they need them.

Portis and Cindy Tanner of Union City received one when their daughter, Edie, was born at Vanderbilt Medical Center May 12, 2009. The Tanners knew before their daughter’s birth that she would face treatment for a heart condition and doctors were quick to move in and begin a more detailed evaluation of her condition and treatment as soon as she was born. Edie had her prayer pager all through her first summer of life and into September, when she underwent a second surgical procedure.

“On those long days in the hospital, when we would be aware of the signal, it would make us smile to know others were thinking of Edie and praying for her. It meant the world, knowing we were not alone,” says Mrs. Tanner.

“We never push the pagers on people, but they are always available,” says Russell. “The idea is that with the vibration or the sound, you actually know when someone is praying for you. It’s a kind of 21st-century ‘feel the prayers’ experience. Anytime one is requested, we install fresh batteries and provide a card explaining how to change them in the future and how to set the pager to either a tone or a vibration.”

In addition to the prayer pagers, the congregation at First United Methodist Church established a “prayer shawl” ministry in April 2005. Almost five years later, more than 600 prayer shawls, “baby” prayer shawls and graduating seniors prayer lap robes have been knitted or crocheted and distributed.

There are about 25 “regulars” in the program, most of whom meet on Wednesday nights at the church at 6:30 to select from the beautiful skeins of yarn, work on their projects and pray as their needles click for the one who will eventually receive it. Once a robe is completed by one of these attendees or one of the other participants who do their needle work and praying entirely at home, the soft coverings are gently folded and placed over the communion rail or in areas around the altar in the church sanctuary. They remain there for some time and are then carefully wrapped and delivered personally by someone in the church or made available for pickup by a friend or family member who has requested one.

A note accompanies each knitted or crocheted gift, explaining its significance. The note says:

“Never Despair, God’s Always There.
In sickness or health,
In suffering and pain,
In storm-laden skies,
In sunshine and rain,
God always is there
To lighten your way
And lead you through darkness
To a much brighter day.”

The simple colored card, attached by a length of yarn, closes with these words: “This shawl has been on the altar of First United Methodist Church in Union City, Tennessee. It has heard the hymns that have been sung, the prayers that have been offered, and the sermon that has been preached. The knitter prayed as she knitted this shawl. Now with their silent message, it comes to you with our prayers and God’s love for you.”

FUMC member Grace Gary received the first prayer shawl, which was delivered by the congregation’s director of programs Paula Chapman and the church’s minister at the time, the Rev. Drew Henry.

One of the prayer shawls, which cradled the arms and shoulders of FUMC member Hattie Barham until it began to wear out and was replaced with a new model, is on display in an area near the sanctuary.

Patsy Garrison and Judy Taylor have headed up the prayer shawl ministry. Mrs. Garrison discovered the project while reading the book “Knitting Into the Mystery,” which was on the reading list for United Methodist Women. She also found out more about the program from the denomination’s “Reporter,” which published a story about a United Methodist Church in Memphis that was involved in the ministry.

The average prayer shawl takes about two skeins of yarn, which Mrs. Taylor purchases in bulk at wholesale prices and makes available to anyone who wants to take part in knitting or crocheting. The prayer lap robes for the congregation’s high school seniors each year are about twice the size of the lap robes and require more yarn; the baby prayer shawls, a little less.

An experienced knitter can complete a prayer shawl in two or three days of fairly constant effort.

Mrs. Garrison said she “keeps a project” going at home and takes it with her everywhere she goes if there is a chance she will encounter some “down” time. “As I knit, people ask me about what I’m doing and that opens the door for ministry. I tell them we not only make them for those who are suffering but we also pray over them.” Mrs. Garrison completes, on average, a prayer shawl a week.

The project’s directors say even those who have never knitted or crocheted before can become involved in the project. All they need do is attend a Wednesday night class, select their yarn and get a pair of needles, which are also provided for them, and learn one simple stitch, which others in the program are only too happy to teach.

The prayer shawls have been wrapped and sent on prayerful journeys as far away as California, Arizona and Washington state.

A prayer shawl journal is kept that tracks each completed project with a recording of the name of both the recipient and the person who delivered the prayer-covered item. Donations to the church make it possible to purchase the supplies needed.

Huffstetler also enjoyed the prayer shawl’s comforting warmth and spiritual blessings during his long recovery, as have many others.

“Doctors and hospitals have done research that shows people who are prayed for improve,” says Mrs. Garrison. “Not long ago, a resident of one of the assisted living homes in Union City was pretty much confined to bed and was in too much pain to get up. She was not a member of our church, but one of our members, Dorothy Calhoun, asked for a prayer shawl for her and took it to her. Now she’s up and around and says the prayers that came with that prayer shawl are responsible.”

Mrs. Garrison has also shared the book that started it all for her with others in the community and encouraged other congregations to begin prayer shawl ministries of their own.

She says the prayer shawls are available for anyone with a need for prayer and a tangible reminder of that spiritual intercession on their behalf.

“You don’t have to be a member of First United Methodist Church or even know anyone here. You just have to want our prayers,” she says.

To request a prayer shawl or to find out more about either of the prayer ministries, call the church at 885-3573. To become involved in the prayer shawl ministry, contact the church office or attend the Wednesday night class in the family life center conference room, just off the parking lot on the north side of the church, at 6:30 p.m.

Published in The Messenger 3.3.10

Source: NW Tennessee Today

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Chilean quake shortened a day by 1.26 microseconds, JPL scientist says

March 3, 2010 | 10:55 am

Map: A representation of the force of the Chilean quake. Credit: NOAA

When an earthquake struck South America last weekend, the ground rumbled in Chile, the sea rose in the Pacific, and a day on Earth got shorter.

Not by much.

Earthlings ended up losing 1.26 millionth of a second of a day. You can’t sense it. Nor can your dog — the one you insist senses approaching earthquakes — feel it.

But while other experts charted the shift of tectonic plates and the swell of ocean waters wrought by the quake, geophysicist Richard Gross mathematically calculated the temblor’s disruption of the day. The thrust quake — in which plates underground move vertically — caused mass to move everywhere, according to Gross, and made the planet slightly denser.

“It got a bit more compact,” Gross said. With the Earth’s mass pulled a bit closer to its center, the planet rotates faster — “just like a spinning skater brings her arms in closer to her body to rotate faster,” he said. When the planet rotates faster, the day shortens. Gross studies the Earth’s rotation and how it is affected by cataclysmic forces of nature.

“Anything that moves mass around on the Earth, I take a look at,” said Gross, who works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. And it takes a mega-earthquake to attract Gross’ attention.

The magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake didn’t even register on the scale of throwing off the Earth’s rotation. “I didn’t look at that earthquake,” Gross said.

“It takes something like the Chilean or Indonesian earthquake before I look at it.”

While the Chilean quake shortened the day by 1.26 microseconds — the unit of time for millionths of a second — the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that triggered the catastrophic Asian tsunami shaved 7 microseconds off the day, according to Gross’ calculations.

Of course, losing just 1.26 microseconds a day would take a couple of millenniums to add up to one single second of lost time. (2,174 years to be more precise.)

Gross suggests that it’s not worth tallying that way. “It takes a lot of these big earthquakes to add up to even a second,” he said. “The bigger changes are in the liquid core within the Earth.” Those changes can throw off a day by a whopping three or four milliseconds, he said. “Those are the things that cause us to have a leap second every year or so.”

Winds and ocean currents are other forces plying the Earth, changing its shape and the length of its day, according to Gross.

Far from evoking that textbook illustration of a smooth round ball of continents and blue oceans, Gross describes Earth as a planet of unevenly distributed mass wobbling as it rotates around its imperfectly balanced axis, its physique woefully pear-shaped. “It’s a bit fatter south of the equator,” he said.

“The Earth is not completely elastic. It’s kind of like putty,” he said. “If you have a sudden shock to it, it will continue to deform later in response to that shock.”

Gross only mathematically calculated these minute changes in day lengths. He is not sure it can be physically observed, even by sophisticated GPS equipment. “We have a network of receivers located globally,” he said. “I don’t think those GPS observations are going to be accurate enough. I’m going to look at the measurements, of course, but I would be surprised if I find anything.”

So why do the math at all? “For the most part, the Earth’s rotation changes all the time and doesn't have much practical consequence except here at JPL,” Gross said. “We need to know this to navigate spacecraft to planets like Mars or Saturn.” Since JPL’s tracking stations for those craft are on Earth, “we need to know how Earth’s orientation is changing.”

— Carla Hall

Source: Los Angeles Times

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