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AAPC Wireless Messaging News

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FRIDAY — FEBRUARY 25, 2011 - ISSUE NO. 446

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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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Greetings Loyal Readers, and Friends of Wireless Messaging,

ARRL Asks Members to Write in Opposition to HR 607

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The ARRL is asking its members to contact their US representatives in opposition to the sections of HR 607 that could affect the Amateur Radio Service allocation at 420-440 MHz. HR 607 — The Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011 — would address certain spectrum management issues, including the creation and maintenance of a nationwide Public Safety broadband network. It was introduced into the US House of Representatives February 10.

ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, clarified that the League opposes HR 607 in its present form. "We do not oppose the concept of dedicated spectrum for the development of a Public Safety infrastructure and wireless network. We object to the bill because of the inclusion of 420-440 MHz as part of the spectrum to be swapped and auctioned to commercial users." You can find a sample letter, "How to Find your Representative" and the contact information for ARRL's legislative consultant, Chwat & Co, here.

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 I believe you have requested it. This is not a SPAM. If you have received this message in error, or you are no longer 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 is 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 web. 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 Messaging 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 Messaging 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 only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of AAPC, its publisher, or its sponsors.

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Please help support the AAPC Wireless Messaging News by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above.

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Newspapers generally cost 75¢ a copy and they hardly ever mention 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 willing and able, please click on the PayPal Donate button above.

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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. Your support is needed.

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aapc logo American Association of Paging Carriers

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Global Paging Symposium
March 15 – 17, 2011
Hayfield Manor
Cork, Ireland

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, March 15


9:00 am – 5:00 pm


10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Operators/Carriers Meeting

12:00 pm

Lunch (on own)

1:30 pm – 1:45 pm


Derek Banner, EMMA Chairman
Roy Pottle, AAPC President

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Keynote Session

Pat Kelly, CEO, Tetra Ireland
Tetra Ireland operates an integrated and dedicated communications network to Ireland’s Emergency Services and Public Safety. Our management of the National Digital Radio Service provides a uniquely resilient communications platform to the Emergency Services and non-commercial public bodies.

Donald Black, Enterprise Ireland
Donald Black, Head of Services Prospecting, Enterprise Ireland, is currently responsible for rolling out new supports for service sector companies. He was previously Enterprise Ireland’s Director for France. Prior to that he was a Principal Associate in Coopers and Lybrand's (now PWC) UK consulting practice. Donald has also held export sales and marketing roles in the aerospace and electronics industries.

3:40 pm – 5:00 pm

Infrastructure Update

Jim Nelson, Prism-IPX Systems, LLC
This session will provide a follow-up discussion on current infrastructure and future requirements for replacement and system expansion.

Wednesday, March 16 

9:00 am – 10:30 am

Integrating Smartphone Messaging Applications with Paging—Competition or Complementary

Mike Lyons, Indiana Paging Network
Stephen Oshinsky, Critical Alert Systems
This interactive session will review the benefits of offering Smartphone applications to your customers as well as highlight potential competition to paging that need to be recognized, in order to truly maximize the integration process.

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Building Strategic Partnerships

Dan Kiely, VoxPro Communications
Delegates will be given the opportunity to give a brief introduction to their company and to discuss any strategic partnerships they are interested in forming with other members.

12:00 pm


2:00 pm

Bus Tour of Cork

6:00 pm

Jameson Irish Distillery tour with dinner and entertainment (Dress: Smart Casual) Sponsored by: Daniel’s Electronics; Prism–IPX; Unication USA; VoxPro Communications

Thursday, March 17


9:00 am – 10:00 am

Selling Solutions for Two-Way Paging

Chris Jones, PageOne
Selling pagers to businesses and utilities is not just sending an alert with a short message. Nowadays, people want solutions, not just parts of solutions. Chris will discuss this and discuss the ways in which his company has been successful in selling two-way paging systems, their uses and value to the customer.

10:00 am – 10:30 am

TETRA Paging a Reality?

Rob Bronckers, and André Hoek, TetraNed
TETRA systems now cover most of western Europe, much of eastern Europe, and indeed much of the world. The advent of the TETRA pager brings up the question whether this device can be used for alerting public safety workers instead of the conventional paging systems. In this presentation we will discuss the measured performance of this TETRA device and come to conclusions regarding possible markets for the TETRA pager.

10:40 am – 11:20 am


Simon Green, Sedgewall Communications Group Limited
Many organisations traditionally using POCSAG have a requirement for two-way messaging. Sedgewall has advanced POCSAG to handle much higher baud rates and enabled two-way communication. During this session we will demonstrate the equipment and discuss potential markets worldwide

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Santiago Cantú, SkyTel Mexico

12:00 pm

Summit Conclusion

Thanks to our Premier Vendor!

prism paging
Prism Paging

Thanks to our Silver Vendors!

Method Link, LLC
Unication USA

Thanks to our Bronze Vendors!

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 Northeast Paging
CVC Paging Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC
Daviscomms USA Preferred Wireless
Hahntech-USA Prism Paging
Hark Technologies Ron Mercer
HMCE, Inc. TC Promotion GmbH
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E. UCOM Paging
 Unication USA
Ivycorp United Communications Corp.
Leavitt Communications WiPath Communications

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• With Standard Two-year Warranty

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Will Motorola’s Atrix and Xoom change the mobile landscape?

by Kevin Fitchard
Connected Planet
February 22nd, 2011

atrixEvery week, some operator is launching some supposedly game-changing device—a smartphone with new hardware bells or application whistles that will move mobile data services light years forward. I’m usually skeptical about such claims, but this week we might actually see the real things with two much anticipated device launches. Motorola’s Atrix 4G smartphone debuts on the AT&T high-speed packet access plus (HSPA+) network today and the same vendor’s Xoom tablet will appear on Verizon Wireless’ 3G network next week.

You’ve probably read plenty about the Atrix already, but just to summarize, it represents the first attempt to build a device that bridges — through hardware docks — the various computing gadgets in the market. Rather than trying to squeeze laptop functionality into a handset or create a synchronization bridge between fully fledged smartphones, tablets and PCs (a strategy HP is adopting), Motorola is using the Atrix as the heart of device ecosystem. It acts as the CPU for a laptop or as the media hub for a home entertainment system. Rather than just blow up the smartphone screen on whatever peripheral its docked to, the Atrix sports an optimized user interface and applications for each form factor.

The concept is incredibly appealing. The question is the execution. Reviews of the Atrix at CES and afterwards have all been generous, but Moto’s closed peripheral ecosystem might hamper its ultimate adoption. For what is essentially a dumb hardware client, the Atrix laptop dock is pricey, selling for $500. The multimedia dock that allows you to hook up your own keyboard, mouse and HD display will run you $190. Meanwhile, AT&T is selling the Atrix smartphone itself—which actually contains the Nvidia dual-core Tegra 2 processor, memory and Webtop software to run these peripherals–for $200 with subsidy (though reports are coming in that the Atrix can be gotten for far cheaper). Perhaps Moto is taking the razor approach to its new multi-device platform: sell the razor chassis for cheap and then rake in money on the razor blades–$500, though, is an awfully expensive razor blade.

The Xoom isn’t as unique as the Atrix platform. Dozens of devices bearing the new Android tablet-optimized Honeycomb OS were announced in January at CES and last week at Mobile World Congress, but Moto’s will be the first to arrive and it will be the only with long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity—eventually. LTE will come to the Xoom as an upgrade to the radio module, which VZW and Motorola will offer at some future date. But given the combination of a powerful computing device with a powerful low-latency mobile broadband connection, the Xoom could be the platform off of which a whole new batch of powerful mobile data services will be built. Think HD video conferencing and real-time multi-player first-person shooter gaming.

What’s more, Honeycomb could prove to be the OS we’ve been waiting for to fully define the tablet category. The Apple iPad is a beautiful creation and endlessly functional device, but it’s hard not to get the impression at times that you’re playing with a gigantic iPhone. Google, however, seems to have put in the leg work into making Honeycomb a distinct OS optimized for the tablet’s unique form factor. We’ve heard about the virtual and holographic user interface. We’ve seen demos on video editing and sketch pad like drawing capabilities. What we really haven’t seen yet is a commercial Honeycomb device. At $600 with contract and $800 unsubsidized, not many people are likely to get their hands on one anytime soon.

Though Atrix and Xoom will be this week’s show stealers, VZW announced another interesting device that looks almost to be a throwback to the 90s. It’s introducing a new two-way pager. That’s right, you read correctly. Drug dealers moved to cellphones long ago [Editor: Apparently Kevin didn't watch The Wire, whose "entrepreneurs" were using smartphones with multimedia messaging well before their time], but paging never died out completely. It’s still used in the health care industry and other emergency services industry as a mission critical platform for reaching doctors and first responders. Those paging networks have become a bit outdated to say the least, so Verizon is relocating paging onto its IP data networks. Called the ZipIt Enterprise Critical Messaging Solution, the pager is backed by a cloud-based messaging platform, which can confirm whether a message was received and even whether it’s been read.

Verizon Wireless this week also announced that it is extending its V Cast Music store to its Android devices. The service has functioned primarily on VZW’s feature phones, but VZW is taking advantage of a lack of dedicated music service for the Android platform to extend its own carrier-branded service to smartphones. Customers can get their music from anywhere, side-loading from a PC or from the cloud, but without a dedicated music store button like the iPhones iTunes icon, Android phones present a good opportunity for operators to insert their services front and center.

Source: Connected Planet Online

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

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Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

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Joshua's Mission left arrow Helping Wounded Marines Homepage
Joshua's Mission left arrow Joshua's Mission Press Release

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R.H. (Ron) Mercer
217 First Street South
East Northport, NY 11731
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Cell Phone: 631-786-9359

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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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The iPad competition is almost here from RIM, H-P and Motorola

Feb 21, 2011 12:48PM

The RIM PlayBook

Despite the iPad’s ungodly dominance of a market that Apple pretty much created, the scramble for the biggest piece of that pie is still very much on. All Apple has really done done so far, really, is prove that tablet computing can actually be great – despite what anyone whose ever used a Windows Tablet Edition machine will tell you.

But before anybody can declare that the iPad is truly the greatest tablet on the market, other tablets will actually need to exist. And they’ll need to bring some serious game.

The companies who are developing The Next Great iPad have two advantages that the iPad’s designers lacked: they have the iPad to copy from, and they have more than a year’s worth of iPad user data to draw upon for additional guidance. Suffice to say that the next year of hardware releases could make the tablet market a verrrrrry interesting place.

So far, RIM, Motorola, and HP have stepped forward to either challenge the Black Knight to a chivalric duel to the death for market supremacy ... or maybe just get their hands in the till. They had their sample hardware out in the open during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week and I spent my first hands-on playtime with each of them.

It’s still way too early for a substantive review (none of these functional samples were the final, shipping product; many were still in a wobbly state of flux). But it’s never too early in the day to walk around the paddock and eye the horses before they’re lined up at the starting gate.

The RIM PlayBook

If we forget about the Samsung Galaxy Tab — and God, yes, that’s just plain good advice — then RIM was the first major, established company to formally respond to the iPad with an actual product. The company has been slowly teasing its features in a series of YouTube videos that had left me a little confused about its role. Was it just an extension of a Blackberry? And they’re releasing a new, vaguely-defined machine running an OS that nobody’s ever heard of. It made me wonder if maybe RIM lost a bar bet with somebody.

Hands-on playtime with the PlayBook turned me around. It’s a slim, compact tablet that has the clean lines of an ebook reader instead of a tablet device. It’s too big to fit in an inside jacket pocket, but it’ll fit into other pockets with ease and thus it serves to remind even the most strident iPad fan of every time that they didn’t really want to carry a bag to a meeting, but had to.

Product managers prepare their industry-event sample devices with the same ruthlessness as moms getting their 6-year-olds ready for a beauty pageant. So when I say that the sub-HD display was crisp, detailed and had even, punchy color ... think of all of the spray-tanning that went on backstage before it put on that kind of show.

Still, the fact that the PlayBook can look that good under optimal conditions is a positive sign.

I’m more interested in operational matters, anyway. I was pleased to see just how clean and uncluttered the PlayBook OS is. It gives the impression that its purpose is to simply (a) help you manage tasks and apps and (b) to stay out of your way.

Those are key Wins in a tablet. During my year of using an iPad, I’ve come to appreciate that you’re always swapping and switching apps on a tablet. My iPad might have been an email device when I dropped it into my bag but the next time I take it out, it’ll be an e-reader. Or a word processor.

I liked the PlayBooks’ mechanism for task management. The touch sensors actually extend slightly beyond the dimensions of the screen. Swipe from the frame upwards, and you’re looking at your library of apps and data; tap what you want to launch or switch. If you’re just looking to move from the web browser to your calendar, just swipe across from one of the side edges.

I also had a conversation that clarified one or two things. Naturally, the PlayBook works intimately with a Blackberry (when it’s paired with a RIM phone, it becomes an extension of that device’s content and network connections) but it’s a standalone computer. Good.

Hewlett-Packard TouchPad

I have decided that inside the marbled walls of IhnatCorp Advanced Thought Propulsion’s world headquarters, Hewlett-Packard’s WebOS-based tablet will be known as the HammerPad.

All throughout my demo, the MC Hammer song kept going through my head: “Can’t touch this!”

No, I couldn't play with it. No, I couldn't try the keyboard. Could I at least just pick it up, simply to get a sense of the weight? Surely I jest.

Clearly, HP was unaware that I have older sisters. This sort thing was triggering long-buried Little Brother responses. It was all I could do not to hold my finger a quarter of an inch from the screen and say “I’m not touching it. Does this bug you? I’m not touching it. I’m not touchinnnng ittttt!”

Amusingly enough, the actual name of their tablet is the TouchPad.

My demo left me feeling ambivalent. Overall, the HammerPad — no, sorry, I really shouldn't use that in print — the TouchPad seemed like a Stepford Wives edition of the iPad. It’s an exact copy, only ... pleasanter. Maybe creepily pleasanter.

(For the sake of my metaphor, please take it that I agree that bumping off your spouse and replacing him or her with a robot is an indefensibly immoral act, unless you want to become a superhero crime-fighting team.)

What I mean is: the TouchPad is the same shape and size as the iPad. The iPad has an Apple logo on the back, dead-center? Cool. That’s where HP put their own logo, in a circle, in the same spot at the same size.

Even the WebOS interface looks eerily like iOS in places. The virtual keyboard has the same “close the keyboard drawer” button in the same place.

What would I want a Stepford Pad to do better than the iPad? OK, well, the iPad’s mechanism for sending alerts and notifications to the user is modal and annoying. The TouchBook won’t annoy me that way. I also wish the iPad had an open file system, so loading up data on it were simpler. Stepford Pad says: “Oh, sweetie. I’m sorry if I caused you any trouble. Here: part of my storage is a virtual flash drive that any computer can open via USB. Can I pour you another gimlet?”

Still, I don’t know how to react to the TouchPad. My ambivalence is the result of two separately-sound concepts that are in conflict:

1) Why shouldn't I be happy that the TouchPad reminds me so much of the iPad? I think the iPad is awesome. It was practically designed to influence everything that came after it. What, HP is going to steal from companies that don’t know how to build a decent tablet? WebOS gives the TouchPad a very pretty, uncluttered, and task-focused appearance that appeals to me.

2) Er ... I don’t need something that’s “just like an iPad.” This iPad I’ve got already is already more like an iPad than anything else that’s not precisely an iPad.

There’s also the nagging worry that if these snap-impressions are correct and the TouchPad is primarily “an iPad, with some improvements made” then will this thing still look good when Apple takes the wraps off of the iPad 2, and the next edition of iOS?

But none of these thoughts are particularly relevant because this column here isn’t a review. On the surface, yes, one thing is clear: in swashbuckling times, the iPad would be the king of France and the TouchPad would be plotting revenge, locked in a remote castle tower with his head encased in an iron mask. But the true character of WebOS and the TouchPad won’t reveal itself until I’ve had a full day of hands-on.

And remember: those no-good Skeezixes at HP wouldn't even let me handle the thing.

(I’m sure I’ll be completely over it after I’ve been stewing about it for another 8 hours on the plane ride home.)

Motorola Xoom

It would appear that Motorola’s Xoom will be the first of these serious competitors to have actual tablets in actual stores. It’s the flagship device of Android 3.0, the first edition of Google’s mobile OS that was built with tablets in mind.

Which means that while the Xoom looks an awful lot like the iPad — down to the aluminum-ey back topped with a black plastic stripe shrouding the radio antennas — the similarities end the moment you fire it up.

RIM’s PlayBook showed me that smaller tablets could come across as tablet computers and not like phones with undiagnosed thyroid problems. The Xoom showed me that the widescreen aspect ratio could certainly work in a tablet.

I’ve been skeptical. The iPad’s screen size — shared by the TouchPad, of course — is soothing and functional because it’s familiar. It’s a shape that can be filled efficiency by content and user interfaces, and it works well in a device that’s meant to be held in a hand or dropped in a lap. A wider screen just seemed sort of…wider.

I got over that immediately. It’s a non-issue.

Overall, the Xoom is a lovely object. Its industrial design isn’t as reassuring as the iPad’s (which looks as though it was released from a crystal in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, on a day when Kal-El was deemed mature enough to use the wisdom contained therein). It feels just a little bit cheaper. But it still feels like a useful, durable tool instead of a media toy.

Motorola has done a fine job in creating a strong first impression with the hardware. Did Google do as well with the OS? I’m not so sure.

When you put the iPad — and the PlayBook and the TouchPad — on the same table with the Xoom (which runs Android 3.0), you’re immediately confronted by a fundamental difference in OS philosophies. The machines that aren't running Android seem to work very hard to not put anything on the screen that the user doesn't really want or need at this exact moment. The Xoom seems to regard the screen as a place to spread out your tools and ponder Destiny.

I’m looking at the screen of the Xoom right now and I'm counting up all of the Stuff. I see application icons, toolbar tools, widgets, two clocks, a search box ...

My concern is that it implies that Android 3.0’s engineers didn’t spend a whole lot of time in drum circles praying and meditating on What It Means to design an OS for a tablet. If this screen measured 24” diagonally, were mounted on a big metal foot, and stood on a desk at the intersection point between a mouse and a keyboard, it wouldn't look the slightest bit out of place.

Again, we’re strictly talking about first impressions here. I can see that my first days with the Xoom will be spent doing some of my own praying and meditating.

The others

And then there were a couple of also-rans. LG showed off their G-Slate tablet. It’s another Android 3 tablet but with a major difference: armed with a stereoscopic camera and can shoot 3D images and video. It can display 3D as well, provided you’ve got a pair of those ultra-sexy 3D glasses on you.

This provoked a “That’s nice, dear,” response from your correspondent. I’m keen to see what they do with this basic tablet design once they strip away the gimmick.

Intel was also on hand and had samples of various MeeGo devices. MeeGo isn't really a consumer product. It’s a set of hardware and software and infrastructure ingredients that a manufacturer or a mobile carrier can combine to produce their own devices. As such, it can be an incubator for practically anything and if you ever wind up owning a MeeGo netbook or tablet, you’ll probably never know it.

It’s relevant to my Tablet Hunt because they had a 12” WeTab (based on Intel’s Atom mobile processor). This was probably the third or fourth 12” tablet I’ve sampled in the past couple of years and I’ve now given up on seeing the charm in this particular form factor. You can make a tablet that’s ebook-sized. You can make one that’s widescreen. You can punch a hole in the corner of one and wear it as a replacement for a misplaced eyebrow ring. It’ll still function (the tablet; your eye socket is a goner). But when you scale a tablet up beyond 10”, something about the basic concept breaks and can’t be fixed.

Final thoughts

One matter of note: all of these tablets I’ve written about, and all of the others I saw at Mobile World Congress, had glossy screens. Just like the iPad. Of all of the complaints about the iPad that have been lodged over the past year, that’s the one that no manufacturer has chosen to fix ... which would imply that it was actually the right idea in the first place.

So what have I concluded from all of this? I sure haven’t made any judgments. I only really felt like I had a handle on what made the iPad special after two or three days of testing ... and only when the thing was released, and I was finally free to use my pre-release hardware in public, did I fully get it.

In the coming months, the PlayBook, the TouchPad, and the Xoom will pass through my office and I’ll finally have something substantial to say about them. I’m certainly taking the PlayBook a lot more seriously than I was last week. I’m intrigued by the TouchPad and I wonder if it’s possible for an outside company to produce a credible iPad 2 (I doubt it, but I’m open to the possibility).

I’m most eager to get my hands on the Xoom because it’s different from the others. The iPad has urged me to define “the right approach for tablets” along its lines. The PlayBook and TouchPad seem to be following the iPad’s lead. The Xoom works like an Android tablet, for good or for ill.

I think it’ll prove once and for all whether or not the iPad has earned its success, or if it was simple the right tablet at the right time…with a year’s headstart on all of the competition.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

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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


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Investor Relations - Press Release

USA Mobility Reports Fourth Quarter and 2010 Operating Results; Announces Regular Quarterly Dividend

Subscriber and Revenue Trends Improve; Operating Expenses Decline; $44.2 Million in Capital Returned to Stockholders in 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Va., Feb 23, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — USA Mobility, Inc. (Nasdaq: USMO), a leading provider of wireless messaging and communications services, today announced operating results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2010.

In addition, the Company's Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend distribution of $0.25 per share. The dividend distribution will be paid on March 31, 2011 to stockholders of record on March 17, 2011.

For the fourth quarter, total revenues were $54.6 million, compared to $56.7 million in the third quarter of 2010 and $65.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and accretion) was $16.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to $21.0 million in the year-earlier quarter. Fourth quarter operating income was $12.7 million, compared to $12.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Fourth quarter results were negatively impacted by a one-time litigation settlement expense of $2.1 million in connection with breach of contract claims and by $1.7 million in severance expenses for planned headcount reductions in 2011. Absent the one-time litigation settlement and severance expenses, operating income would have been $16.5 million and EBITDA $20.7 million.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $40.5 million, or $1.82 per fully diluted share, compared to $3.6 million, or $0.16 per fully diluted share, in the year-earlier quarter. The significant increase in net income in the fourth quarter was largely the result of a $32.9 million decrease in the deferred income tax asset valuation allowance, which adjusted the balance of deferred income tax assets to their estimated realizable amounts. This resulted in an offsetting benefit to income tax expense. Excluding the income tax benefit, the one-time litigation settlement and severance expenses, net income in the fourth quarter would have been $10.0 million, or $0.45 per fully diluted share.

For the full-year 2010, revenues totaled $233.3 million, compared to $289.7 million in 2009, while EBITDA was $81.3 million, or 34.9 percent of revenue, compared to $99.3 million, or 34.3 percent of revenue, in the prior year. The Company reported net income for 2010 of $77.9 million, or $3.45 per fully diluted share, compared to a net income of $67.6 million, or $2.90 per fully diluted share, for 2009.

Key results and highlights for the fourth quarter and 2010 included:

  • Net unit losses were 61,000 in the fourth quarter, compared to 77,000 in the third quarter and 115,000 in the year-earlier quarter, while the quarterly rate of unit erosion improved to 3.2 percent from 3.8 percent in the third quarter and 5.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009. The annual rate of unit erosion was 13.4 percent in 2010, compared to 22.5 percent in 2009. Net unit losses were 293,000 in 2010 versus 633,000 in 2009. Units in service at year-end 2010 totaled 1,889,000, compared to 2,182,000 a year earlier.
  • The quarterly rate of revenue erosion improved to 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter from 4.1 percent in the third quarter. The annual rate of revenue erosion was 16.4 percent, compared to 18.4 percent in the third quarter and 22.4 percent in the year-earlier quarter. The year-over-year rate of revenue decline was 19.5 percent in 2010 compared to 19.4 percent in 2009.
  • Operating expenses (excluding depreciation, amortization and accretion) were $37.8 million for the fourth quarter, a reduction of 14.9 percent from $44.4 million in the year-earlier quarter. Fourth quarter 2010 operating expenses included a one-time litigation settlement expense of $2.1 million and severance expenses of $1.7 million. For 2010, operating expenses declined 20.2 percent to $151.9 million from $190.4 million in 2009. Expense reduction during the year was largely the result of continued network rationalization, staff reductions and implementation of other company-wide cost efficiencies.
  • Average revenue per unit (ARPU) was $8.74 for the fourth quarter, compared to $8.85 in the third quarter and $8.88 in the fourth quarter of 2009. For the year, ARPU totaled $8.84, compared to $8.77 in 2009.
  • EBITDA as a percentage of revenue (EBITDA margin) was 30.9 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to 32.2 percent the year-earlier quarter. Absent the severance and litigation settlement expenses, EBITDA margin would have been 37.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.
  • Capital expenses were $4.7 million in the fourth quarter versus $5.0 million in the year-earlier quarter. For 2010, capital expenses totaled $8.7 million, compared to $17.2 million in 2009.
  • The Company generated $72.8 million in cash during the year from operating and investing activities and had an ending cash balance of $129.2 million at December 31, 2010.
  • The number of full-time equivalent employees declined from 672 at the beginning of the year to 540 at year-end as a result of various consolidation and expense control initiatives.

"Despite a still recovering economy, we made excellent progress in the fourth quarter and throughout 2010," said Vincent D. Kelly, president and chief executive officer. "We continued to operate the Company profitably while meeting our primary performance goals, including improved rates of subscriber and revenue erosion, significant expense reduction, solid ARPU, strong operating margins and enhanced organizational efficiencies. We also continued to focus sales and marketing initiatives around our core market segments, especially Healthcare. In addition, we again met our goal of generating sufficient cash flow to return significant capital to stockholders."

Kelly said subscriber and revenue trends, after deteriorating for much of 2008 and 2009, began to improve in the fourth quarter of 2009 and improved steadily throughout 2010 as the overall economy stabilized. "We were pleased to see marked improvement in the pace of subscriber and revenue erosion over the past year as our net loss rates reached their lowest level in more than five years. Healthcare continued to be our best performing market segment, contributing 73.8 percent of our direct gross placements in the fourth quarter, while a net churn of 1.1 percent among Healthcare accounts remained significantly lower than all other subscriber segments." He added that the Healthcare market segment represented 62.9 percent of the Company's direct subscriber base at year-end as well as 57.0 percent of direct paging revenue in the fourth quarter.

Kelly said USA Mobility paid cash distributions to stockholders totaling $2.00 per share during 2010, including regular quarterly cash distributions of $0.25 per share and a special cash distribution of $1.00 per share in the fourth quarter. The distributions represented a return of capital to stockholders of $1.90 per share, and cash dividends of $0.10 per share. "We were delighted to be able to return capital to stockholders during the year, consistent with our capital allocation strategy, as well as distribute a portion of cash as dividends. Over the past six years we have now returned $366.6 million to our stockholders. In addition," he noted, "we repurchased $8.9 million of our common stock during 2010, and have now repurchased a total of $51.7 million since the inception of our stock buy-back program in 2008."

Shawn E. Endsley, chief financial officer, said: "Overall, we were pleased with our 2010 operating results, which met or exceeded our expectations. Although we continued to operate in a challenging environment, we were able to again reduce operating expenses at a faster pace than our revenue decline and thus maintain strong EBITDA margins throughout the year. At the same time, ARPU remained strong and capital expenses declined, allowing us to generate net operating cash flow after investing activities of $72.8 million."

Endsley added: "For the year, operating expenses (excluding depreciation, amortization and accretion) declined 20.2 percent from 2009, outpacing the 19.5 percent year-over-year decline in revenues. In fact, our costs declined faster than revenues in 2010 for the fifth straight year. Expense savings were largely the result of significant progress in our network rationalization program, including lower site rents, combined with staff reductions and various cost savings efforts made throughout the Company."

Endsley said the non-recurring expense items in the fourth quarter included a reduction to the deferred income tax asset valuation allowance of $32.9 million which resulted in a benefit to income tax expense, partially offset by $2.1 million in litigation settlement expense involving breach of contract claims and by $1.7 million in severance expenses for our 2011 headcount reduction plans. He added: "Excluding the one-time items, fourth quarter net income would have been $10.0 million, or $0.45 per fully diluted share."

Commenting on the Company's financial guidance, Endsley said: "We are pleased that once again our annual results were either within or better than the financial guidance we provided. Total revenue of $233.3 million was within our guidance range of $230 million to $235 million; operating expenses (excluding depreciation, amortization and accretion) of $151.9 million were below the guidance range of $156 million to $159 million; and capital expenses of $8.7 million were within the guidance range of $7 million to $9 million. With respect to wireless company guidance for 2011, the Company expects revenue to be in a range from $182 million to $192 million, operating expenses (excluding depreciation, amortization and accretion) to be in a range from $132 million to $136 million, and capital expenses in a range from $5 million to $7 million."

USA Mobility plans to host a conference call for investors on its fourth quarter and 2010 results at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, February 24, 2011. Dial-in numbers for the call are 719-325-2105 or 888-539-3686. The pass code for the call is 1716214. A replay of the call will be available from 2:00 p.m. ET on February 24 until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 10. Replay numbers are 719-457-0820 or 888-203-1112.

About USA Mobility

USA Mobility, Inc., headquartered in Springfield, Virginia, is a comprehensive provider of reliable and affordable wireless communications solutions to the healthcare, government, large enterprise and emergency response sectors. As a single-source provider, USA Mobility's focus is on the business-to-business marketplace and supplying wireless connectivity solutions to organizations nationwide. The Company operates the largest one-way paging and advanced two-way paging networks in the United States. In addition, USA Mobility offers mobile voice and data services through Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile, including BlackBerry(R) smartphones and GPS location applications. The Company's product offerings include customized wireless connectivity systems for the healthcare, government and other campus environments. USA Mobility also offers M2M (machine-to-machine) telemetry solutions for numerous applications that include asset tracking, utility meter reading and other remote device monitoring applications on a national scale. For further information visit

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act: Statements contained herein or in prior press releases which are not historical fact, such as statements regarding USA Mobility's future operating and financial performance, are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause USA Mobility's actual results to be materially different from the future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expectations include, but are not limited to, declining demand for paging products and services, the ability to continue to reduce operating expenses, future capital needs, competitive pricing pressures, competition from both traditional paging services and other wireless communications services, government regulation, reliance upon third-party providers for certain equipment and services, as well as other risks described from time to time in periodic reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although USA Mobility believes the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained. USA Mobility disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

Source: USA Mobility Press Release [Financial Tables follow at the source.]

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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. 14, No. 7 February 16, 2011   

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Russian Official Blames Google For “Trouble” In Egypt

According to Reuters, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's deputy has blamed Google Inc. for “stirring up trouble” with the revolution that brought down Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.

"Look what they have done in Egypt, those highly-placed managers of Google, what manipulations of the energy of the people took place there," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin told the Wall Street Journal in an interview, Reuters said.

Reuters said such strong comment from one of Putin's most trusted deputies is a clear signal of growing concern among Russian hardliners about the role of the Internet in the unrest which has swept across the Arab world.

Sechin gave no further details on his concerns, Reuters reported, noting that Google executive Wael Ghonim became an unlikely hero of the uprising in Egypt which led to Mubarak's deposition.

In contrast to state television, Reuters noted, Russia's Internet is remarkably free and the home to often scathing criticism of Putin, President Dmitry Medvedev, and the entire Russian elite. Russia has so far resisted placing restrictions on the Internet, but analysts say there are a group of hardliners close to Putin who would like to impose controls similar to China's.

Chinese President Hu Jintao has called for stricter government management of the Internet and warned top Communist Party leaders that China was facing deepening social conflicts that would test the party's ability to maintain firm control, according to Reuters.

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  • House passes amendment to block funding of FCC’s “Net Neutrality” rules.
  • NTCA adopts resolutions at Dallas annual meeting.
  • FCC asks Verizon to explain 911 call failures in Maryland.
  • FCC directs USAC to respond to high-cost program beneficiary audit errors.
  • FCC asks USAC for information detailing accounting of fixed assets for USF.

House Passes Amendment To Block Funding Of FCC’s “Net Neutrality” Rules

The U.S. House of Representatives last Wednesday passed an amendment, offered by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chair of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, to a Continuing Resolution of Disapproval (H.J. Res. 37) to prohibit the FCC from using funds to implement the Commission’s Net Neutrality Order.

The amendment was crafted with leaders from the Appropriations Committee, including Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), and Tom Graves (R-Ga.), to give time for Congress to permanently overturn the rules.

“We all want an open and thriving Internet. That Internet exists today. Consumers can access anything they want with the click of a mouse thanks to our historical hands-off approach,” said Walden. “I am pleased that my colleagues in the House accepted my amendment to ensure the FCC does not have the funds to implement the controversial Internet regulations.”

“However, the amendment is simply a stop gap measure while we work towards passing a more permanent solution,” Walden said. “I would encourage everybody who cares about keeping the government out of the business of running the internet to cosponsor the Resolution of Disapproval, H.J. Res. 37, which would nullify the rules themselves.”

The House action followed a subcommittee hearing in which all five FCC Commissioners testified on the Net Neutrality rules. Generally, the Net Neutrality rules require all broadband providers to publicly disclose network management practices, restrict broadband providers from blocking Internet content and applications, and bar fixed broadband providers from engaging in unreasonable discrimination in transmitting lawful network traffic (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, December 22, 2010).

At last Wednesday’s subcommittee hearing, according to various press reports, Walden said: “The FCC even confesses in its Order that it has done no market analysis. It just selectively applied the rules to broadband providers, shielding Web companies.”

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) also expressed disappointment that the FCC had not conducted a comprehensive analysis of threats to the open Internet. Lee has written the Commission requesting such a study.

But FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski responded that the Commission did do a market analysis in its Order. Republican lawmakers also argued that the Commission does not have the authority to regulate the Internet, and that the Order will undermine investment in this area.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass) defended the FCC, arguing that the Order should have gone even further. He said regulations are needed to guard against the dangers of monopoly.

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

NTCA Adopts Resolutions At Dallas Annual Meeting

All Three Rural Associations Ask for Member Input in Joint Statement

Members of the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) adopted a series of resolutions at the group’s recent Annual Meeting in Dallas. Highlights included the following:

NTCA and its members will steadfastly pursue working relationships with the new members of Congress in order to ensure that they understand how rural community-based telecommunications providers efficiently utilize government resources and work with federal agencies to provide rural Americans with the same advanced telecommunications services that their urban counterparts receive and therefore the same economic, educational, and health care opportunities.

NTCA will continue to engage with both legislative and regulatory policy-makers to educate them on the importance of robust broadband deployment in rural America, the need to build upon the successes of existing programs, and the need to formulate new strategies that promote and sustain the deployment of broadband infrastructure by rural community-based telecommunications providers in order to avoid a digital divide between rural and urban citizens.

NTCA and its members shall continue to pursue reforms to anticompetitive negotiations that will level the playing field for rural MVPDs and their consumers, and to discourage any discriminatory practices against broadband providers.

NTCA shall continue to encourage Congress and the FCC to work together to pursue federal policies that embody these net neutrality principles and provide certainty for all network operators.

NTCA shall continue working with policymakers to ensure laws and regulations enhance the ability of rural community-based telecommunications providers to compete in the wireless marketplace.

NTCA shall continue to play a leading role in working with the appropriate policy-makers and groups to ensure that the dual goals of ensuring our economic and national security are met while simultaneously ensuring that the means of achieving these objectives do not unduly burden or otherwise tie the hands of rural community-based telecommunications providers in the daily conduct of their operations.

NTCA and its rural community-based telecommunications provider members will systematically gather information on the failure of companies to complete calls to rural customers and will work with Congress and the FCC to ensure that the problem is fixed promptly and does not recur in the future.

In a related development, NTCA, OPASTCO and WTA today issued a joint statement asking their collective memberships to contact the associations with specific questions, ideas and facts that will be helpful in addressing the FCC’s USF/ICC reform proposals. The associations noted that “We are far past the point of simply saying ‘no’ to reform or only launching high-level arguments about why the FCC should not implement a given reform in the NPRM – to preserve the core elements of the cost recovery mechanisms you rely upon and to make sure they meet the needs of you and your customers as reformed, we need to be specific in our points and we need to present realistic and practical alternatives.” The associations are in the final stages of preparing an alternative plan in response to the FCC’s proposed rule changes.

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


FCC ASKS VERIZON TO EXPLAIN 911 CALL FAILURES IN MARYLAND: Jamie Barnett, Rear Admiral (ret.) and Chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, has requested that Verizon provide the Commission with a full assessment of what caused the failure to connect approximately 10,000 wireless emergency calls to 911 call centers in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, Maryland, during the January 26, 2011, snowstorm; identify remedies to help prevent similar occurrences in the future; and implement solutions to quickly restore reliable network operations when there are problems. The Bureau’s preliminary findings show that on January 26 all 14 circuits in the Verizon network that properly route all wireless calls in Montgomery County failed and nine of 10 Verizon circuits in Prince George’s County failed over a five-hour period on the night in question. This resulted in approximately 8,300 blocked 911 calls in Montgomery County and 1,700 blocked 911 calls in Prince George’s County that evening. Barnett said in a letter delivered to Verizon, “… any 911 call which is not connected can have serious consequences, but the large number of missed 911 calls on January 26 is alarming. The public rightly expects that they can use 911 to reach the appropriate first responders in an emergency.” He further stated, “We are particularly concerned that this problem may be widespread across Verizon’s footprint” and that Verizon investigate the extent of the problem across its network. BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

FCC DIRECTS USAC TO RESPOND TO HIGH-COST PROGRAM BENEFICIARY AUDIT ERRORS: The FCC has directed the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to take further action in response to the “December 2010 USAC Final Report and Statistical Analysis of the 2007-08 High Cost Program Beneficiary Audits.” In its report, USAC lists the most frequent issues arising from the 285 high-cost program audits from 2007-2008, including the five issues most frequently identified and the five issues associated with the highest dollar amounts of improper payments. These findings for these two lists overlap and include the following: (1) inadequate/missing documentation; (2) inaccurate line count/loop data; (3) accounting errors; (4) subscriber list errors; (5) revenue reporting errors; (6) eligibility errors; and (7) other reasons. The FCC stated that it recognizes and appreciates USAC’s efforts to reduce improper payments associated with these errors through outreach, oversight, management, audits, and information technology resources. In addition to these efforts, the FCC instructs USAC, for each of the seven findings above, to examine, identify, explain, and categorize the cause(s) of each error. For example, USAC should provide categories under each finding that explain and identify the core cause for the error(s) in each audit, and whether each error was due to a weakness in USAC’s internal controls or beneficiary controls or behavior. In addition, USAC has been directed to provide a recommendation concerning how these errors, by category, can be corrected or eliminated – whether through modifications to USAC business practices and internal controls. Finally, USAC has been directed to review and recommend modifications to USAC’s programmatic instructions based on the above findings. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

FCC ASKS USAC FOR INFORMATION DETAILING ACCOUNTING OF FIXED ASSETS FOR USF: The FCC has requested additional information from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) detailing its accounting of fixed assets for the universal service fund (USF). Specifically, in its 2009 Annual Report, USAC categorized fixed assets (furniture, equipment, leasehold improvements, computer hardware and software), totaling approximately $16.5 million, as assets held for the USF but recorded on the USAC books of account. The FCC has treated property and equipment purchased with USF monies as assets of the USF for purposes of the FCC’s financial statements. In addition, for several years, USF was billed based upon USF profit and loss (P&L) expenses rather than USAC’s actual cash disbursements. According to USAC, this methodology understated USF expenses and resulted in a cumulative adjustment to USAC’s administrative expenses and a reduction in USAC’s Due To/Due From balance. As a result, USAC has proposed modifying its methodology for calculating the invoice between USAC and USF. In order to reconcile the Due To/Due From balance between USAC and USF, USAC has suggested an entry that will correct its invoicing methodology when recording USF fixed assets on the USAC books of account. Given USAC’s past accounting practices for USF fixed assets, and to further consider USAC’s proposal, the FCC is requesting that USAC provide a legal and accounting justification for recording all fixed assets purchased with USF monies on the USAC books of account rather than the USF books of account. In doing so, USAC should explain how the practice of recording USF assets on the USAC books of account complies with section 254 of the Communications Act, Part 54 of the Commission’s rules, Commission orders, and with appropriations law principles. Finally, USAC should describe, in detail, the accounting method used by USAC to record all property purchased by USAC contractors (including intellectual property) for which the USAC contractor is entitled to be reimbursed from USF monies. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

FCC INSTRUCTS USAC TO COMPLY WITH FISMA SECURITY PROCEDURES: The FCC has provided additional instruction to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) concerning compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA). Under FISMA, agencies are responsible for providing information security protections for information systems used or operated by an agency or by a contractor of an agency or other organization on behalf of an agency. Section 3544(b) of FISMA further states that each agency shall develop, document, and implement an agency-wide information security program to provide information security for the information and information systems that support the operations and assets of the agency, including those provided or managed by another agency, contractor, or other source. The FISMA Report (prepared by KPMG) identified a number of instances in which USAC’s security program was not being operated consistent with FISMA requirements. In response to these findings, the FISMA Report recommended that USAC:

  • Perform, at least annually, disaster recovery tests of all its major applications and general support systems used in support of the Commission;
  • Ensure that all systems under USAC control are re-authorized every three years or when a significant change to the information system occurs;
  • Document a security authorization letter for the USAC General Support System (GSS) that includes the authorization decision, terms and conditions for the authorization and the authorization termination date;
  • Document system security plans in detail sufficient to plan system security controls for general support systems and major applications that are identical or equivalent to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-53 Rev. 3 minimum baseline controls;
  • Consider within its risk assessments a full range of significant risks and include system characteristics, the likelihood rating assigned to each vulnerability, the residual risk to agency operations or agency assets, and the calculation of risk levels. Control recommendations from risk assessments should be used to create or update system security plans;
  • Test a representative subset of IT security controls (including management, operational, and technical controls) annually for the USAC GSS and major applications so that all controls are assessed at least once during an information system’s three-year authorization cycle. For future security assessments in support of initial security authorizations USAC should also ensure that all IT security controls are tested; and
  • Revise, finalize and implement procedures for completing a security authorization package, including planning and scoping guidance and procedures for creating a security authorization package in accordance with NIST guidance and for administering USAC’s security authorization program. USAC’s policies and procedures should require that security assessment testing cover a representative subset of management, operational and technical controls in accordance with evaluation criteria from NIST SP 800-53a.

The Commission directed USAC to incorporate the above recommendations into its FISMA compliance procedures and to take the necessary steps to implement these recommendations immediately, including providing the Commission with a corrective action plan in accordance with previous Commission guidance. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

NTIA UNVEILS NATIONAL BROADBAND MAP: The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has unveiled the National Broadband Map – purported to be the first public, searchable nationwide map of broadband Internet availability — and the results of a new nationwide survey on broadband adoption. NTIA said the data will support efforts to expand broadband access and adoption in communities at risk of being left behind in the 21st century economy and help businesses and consumers seeking information on their high-speed Internet options. NTIA met the deadline Congress gave the agency to create and launch the National Broadband Map by February 17, 2011.

“A state-of-the-art communications infrastructure is essential to America’s competitiveness in the global digital economy,” said Acting Commerce Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank. “But as Congress recognized, we need better data on America’s broadband Internet capabilities in order to improve them. The National Broadband Map, along with today’s broadband Internet usage study, will inform efforts to enhance broadband Internet access and adoption — spurring greater innovation, economic opportunities, and advancements in health care, education, and public safety.”

“The National Broadband Map shows there are still too many people and community institutions lacking the level of broadband service needed to fully participate in the Internet economy. We are pleased to see the increase in broadband adoption last year, particularly in light of the difficult economic environment, but a digital divide remains,” said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. “Through NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, digital literacy activities, and other initiatives, including the tools we are releasing, the Obama Administration is working to address these challenges.”

The map shows that between 5 - 10 percent of Americans lack access to broadband at speeds that support a basic set of applications, including downloading Web pages, photos and video, and using simple video conferencing. The FCC last July set a benchmark of 4 Mbps actual speed downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to support these applications. NTIA collected data in ranges between 3 – 6 Mbps and 6 – 10 Mbps maximum advertised download speeds, which are the closest measurements to the speed benchmark for broadband that the FCC set.

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


BloostonLaw Private Users Update

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

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

   Vol. 12, No. 2 February 2011   

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Public Safety Forum On Broadband Interoperability Set For March 4, 2011

The FCC’s Public Safety Homeland Security Bureau’s (PSHSB’s) Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC) will host an Interoperability Forum on Friday, March 4, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The forum will be held in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters, located at 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C305, Washington, DC 20554.

The forum will garner input on the technical framework for the nationwide public safety mobile broadband net-work to ensure nationwide interoperability. This network must be technically compatible and fully interoperable from the first day of network deployment in order to serve as the nationwide broadband network envisioned for America’s first responders. The forum will focus on:

  • Ensuring nationwide interoperability for public safety broadband utilizing 4G technology;
  • Solutions for the deployment of Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment to achieve nationwide operability and interoperability; and
  • Core network, security and services

The agenda includes the following topics:

How to ensure nationwide interoperability for public safety broadband utilizing Long-Term Evolution (LTE) 4G Technology: The FCC has determined that LTE is the technology that will best provide a baseline for required interoperability and operability for public safety broadband communications. This technology enjoys commercial deployments, worldwide 3GPP standards, and a wide ecosystem of devices and network equipment. While the technology builds on a nationwide architecture to deploy the network of networks for public safety, issues impacting interoperability need to be addressed.

Solutions for the deployment of Radio Access Net-work equipment to achieve nationwide Operability and Interoperability: To ensure nationwide Interoperability, a minimum level of Operability must be established. Without a minimum level of Operability, public safety user devices may not be supported and nationwide Interoperability will not be accomplished. This panel addresses the deployment of Radio Access Network in Public Safety Broadband networks nationwide, in order to facilitate interoperability and a minimum level of performance for public safety users.

Core Network, Security and Services: As the nation-wide interoperable broadband network is built for public safety, a set of security features will help to meet public safety expectations for a reliable and secure communication. Additional nationwide core services such as authentication or application support may be considered with various implementation scenarios. Sharing re-sources between the broadband network and the emerging NG911 system may offer opportunities for additional functionality and cost savings.

The workshop will be open to the public; however, registration will be limited to the seating available. Those individuals who are interested in attending the forum may pre-register on-line at Those who pre-register will be asked to provide their name, title, organization affiliation, and contact information. Individuals may also contact Deandrea Wilson at or 202-418-0703 regarding pre-registration. The deadline for pre-registration is Wednesday, March 2, 2011. Interested parties may file comments using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, and Richard Rubino.

WVU Gets I/B Pool Waiver For Morgantown Station

The FCC has granted a request for waiver, and denied an informal objection, with respect to an application filed by West Virginia University (WVU) for a new centralized trunked Industrial/Business Pool station at Morgantown, West Virginia. Last August, WVU filed an application for authority to use fourteen 150-174 MHz frequencies in and around Morgantown. The applications was granted on September 7, 2010.

Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) subsequently re-quested that the Commission restore the application to pending status and return it to the applicant. EWA con-tended that WVU’s proposed use of base frequency 151.6700 MHz did not provide sufficient separation to certain incumbent co-channel stations. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Mobility Division set aside the grant, and returned the application to allow WVU an opportunity to respond to the matters raised by EWA. On October 26, 2010, WVU amended the application to re-quest a waiver of Section 90.35(c)(6). On October 27, 2010, WVU’s frequency coordinator, Manufacturers Radio Frequency Advisory Committee, Inc. (MRFAC), submitted an engineering analysis indicating that WVU’s proposed use of mobile frequency 157.6800 MHz pro-vides sufficient separation.

Sufficient separation. Section 90.187 of the Commission’s Rules specifies the manner in which centralized trunking may be accomplished. Essentially, centralized trunking is not permitted unless the applicant has the consent of any co-channel incumbent whose service con-tour would be overlapped by the applicant’s predicted interference contour. The FCC reviewed the engineering analyses submitted by EWA and MRFAC. In addition, FCC engineering staff conducted an independent analysis, which reached the same conclusion as MRFAC’s study. The FCC therefore agreed with MRFAC that WVU’s predicted interference contour on frequency 157.6800 MHz would not overlap any incumbent’s ser-vice contour.

Waiver of Section 90.35(c)(6). Section 90.35(c)(6) re-quires that certain frequencies be paired with a 5.26 megahertz separation between base and mobile transmit frequencies. WVU sought a waiver of this requirement, and proposed to use the frequencies in non-standard pairings. To obtain a waiver of the Commission's Rules, a petitioner must demonstrate either that (i) the underlying purpose of the rule(s) would not be served or would be frustrated by application to the present case and that grant of the waiver would be in the public interest; or (ii) in view of unique or unusual factual circumstances of the instant case, application of the rule(s) would be inequitable, unduly burdensome, or contrary to the public inter-est, or the applicant has no reasonable alternative. The FCC concluded that WVU has demonstrated that its re-quest should be granted under the first prong.

The frequencies at issue formerly were allotted to the Taxicab Radio Service. When the Commission consolidated the Taxicab Radio Service into the Industrial/Business Pool, it required that these frequencies be paired only with a 5.26 megahertz separation between base and mobile transmit frequencies in order to ensure compatibility with existing two-frequency simplex taxicab operations. It does not appear that WVU’s proposed operations pose an interference threat to any existing taxicab (or other) operations. The FCC therefore agreed with WVU that the underlying purpose of the rule would not be served by application to the present case.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, and Richard Rubino.

FCC Sides With Sprint In Indiana Rebanding Dispute

The FCC has sided with Sprint Nextel in a case referred to it for de novo review from Wave 1, Stage 2 mediation by the 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA) involving a dispute between the State of Indiana and Sprint Nextel regarding a Change Notice submitted by the State. This decision highlights the need for public safety entities to be careful in choosing a contractor to implement any rebanding agreement with Sprint.

Indiana operates a trunked public safety radio system with approximately 145 sites and more than 49,000 mo-bile and portable radios serving over 1,500 agencies. The 800 MHz Report & Order and subsequent orders in the rebanding docket require Sprint to negotiate a Frequency Relocation Agreement (FRA) with each 800 MHz licensee that is subject to rebanding. The FRA must pro-vide for retuning of the licensee’s system to its new channel assignments at Sprint’s expense, including the expense of retuning or replacing the licensee’s radio units as required. Sprint must provide the rebanding licensee with “comparable facilities” on the new channel(s), and must provide for a seamless transition to en-able licensee operations to continue without interruption during the retuning process. If the parties cannot reach agreement on a FRA, the case is referred to mediation, and issues that cannot be resolved in mediation are, in turn, referred to the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau for de novo review.

After a mediation that began in 2006, the Parties executed an FRA which the TA approved on June 16, 2009. The FRA covers the State’s agreed-upon reband-ing costs of approximately $27 million. After the FRA was executed, however, Indiana claimed that Sprint was responsible for paying additional costs, i.e., a $164,907.13 Change Notice for retuning 1,073 new radios that the State deployed without adding replacement frequencies; $100,000 for its vendor to file license applications for the State’s reconfigured system.

The FCC concluded the following:

  • As early as June, 2007, Indiana was aware that newly-deployed radios should be equipped with the post-rebanding frequencies installed.
  • Indiana committed to deploy radios equipped with the post-rebanding channels installed once the FRA was executed.
  • Indiana had ample time before execution of the FRA to plan and arrange for the deployment of radios with the post-rebanding frequencies installed.
  • For 43 days following execution of the FRA the State deployed at least 1,073 radios without the post-rebanding frequencies installed.
  • It was foreseeable at the time that the 1,073 radios would later have to be retrieved from their users and reprogrammed to add the post-rebanding frequencies at a cost of $164,907.13.
  • Sprint was in no way responsible for the State’s failure to deploy radios equipped with the post-rebanding channels.

The FCC said it may be, as Sprint speculates, that Indiana’s failure to supply the radios with the post-rebanding frequencies installed was attributable to EMR, Indiana’s “general contractor” for the rebanding project. The FCC agreed with Sprint, that, because Indiana chose EMR as its vendor, Indiana is responsible for EMR’s action or inaction, in deploying radios without the post-rebanding frequencies installed.

The Commission said the record forces the conclusion that the need to furnish new radios with the post-rebanding channels installed in them was foreseeable by Indiana on more than one occasion, and that Indiana - on clear notice of its obligation to deploy radios programmed with the post-rebanding frequencies - nonetheless failed to do so in the case of 1,073 radios. Accordingly, the FCC found for Sprint on this issue and disallowed the State’s claim for $164.907.13 to provide the radios with a first touch that otherwise would have been unnecessary had the State deployed the radios with the post-rebanding frequencies installed, as it agreed to do.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, and Richard Rubino.

FCC Proposes $20K Fine For “Incorrect Factual Info” About Station Construction

FCC Rejects “Contractor Error” as an Excuse for Early Construction and Inaccurate Construction Reports

The FCC has proposed to fine Cricket Communications, Inc., a Kentucky licensee of fixed point-to-point micro-wave stations, $20,000 for apparent willful violation of section 1.17(a)(2) of the Commission’s rules. The violation involves Cricket’s provision of incorrect material factual information to the Commission regarding the construction of station WQJE535 without a reasonable basis for believing that the information was correct and accurate. The FCC also admonished Cricket for operating stations WQJE535 and WQJF544 for seven months prior to obtaining Commission authority, in violation of section 301 of the Communications Act and section 1.903(a) of the Rules, and directed Cricket to take all necessary and appropriate steps to ensure future compliance.

The FCC said that on August 11, 2008, and August 20, 2008, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) issued to Cricket licenses for two fixed point-to-point microwave radio service stations, call signs WQJE535, Midway, Kentucky, and WQJF544, Frankfort, Kentucky, respectively. The deadline for constructing station WQJE535 was February 11, 2010, and the deadline for constructing station WQJF544 was February 20, 2010. Section 1.946 of the Rules requires licensees commencing service or operations within the construction period to notify the Commission by filing FCC Form 601 within 15 days of the expiration of the construction period. On February 2, 2010, Cricket filed a construction notification stating that station WQJE535 was constructed on October 15, 2008. On March 5, 2010, Cricket filed a modification application for station WQJE535 “to correct the construction date provided in its buildout notification and to seek a limited waiver of 47 C.F.R. §1.903 for its inadvertent failure to file an application prior to the construction and operation of the microwave station.” In the modification application, Cricket reported that since filing the buildout notice, it determined that the facility was constructed and placed into operation more than two years earlier, on January 23, 2008. Similarly, on March 5, 2010, Cricket filed a construction notification for station WQJF544 stat-ing that this station was constructed and placed into operation on January 23, 2008. In its construction notification for station WQJF544, Cricket also requested a waiver of section 1.903 of the Rules for failure to file an application before its construction and operation of station WQJF544.

On May 5, 2010, WTB denied Cricket’s requests for waiver of section 1.903 of the Commission’s rules, granted its modification application to correct the inaccurate construction date provided for station WQJE535, and accepted the construction notification for station WQJF544.

Because Cricket reported an inaccurate construction date and because it appeared that Cricket operated its microwave stations prior to obtaining authority, the WTB referred this case to the Enforcement Bureau for investigation and possible enforcement action. On June 1, 2010, the Enforcement Bureau’s Spectrum Enforcement Division issued a letter of inquiry (LOI) to Cricket.

In its July 6, 2010 response to the LOI, Cricket maintained that in the past, it has relied upon outside contractors to build its microwave sites, obtain the required Commission authorizations to operate the sites, and file the associated construction notices. Cricket stated that after a receiving a notification from the Commission regarding the upcoming deadlines for constructing stations WQJE535 and WQJF544 in November of 2009, it dis-covered that its engineering consultant retained in connection with the installation of both facilities had not filed construction notifications for these sites. Cricket asserted that in collecting information in connection with the preparation of the construction notifications for these two stations, Cricket’s personnel were also gathering information on all of its microwave sites to confirm that notifications had been filed for the other sites. According to Cricket, it believes that the construction date for station WQJE535 was misidentified as a result of a clerical error or miscommunications between the employees who were responsible for gathering information for submission in the construction notification. In preparing the construction notification for station WQJF544, Cricket asserted, it discovered that its engineering consultant failed to obtain the required authorization prior to commencing operations, and that an incorrect construction date had been provided for station WQJE535. Cricket averred that immediately upon this discovery, it filed a modification application for station WQJE535 notifying the Commission of the error, and identifying the correct construction and commencement of operation dates as January 23, 2008.

Section 1.17 of the Rules states that no person may provide, in any written statement of fact, “material factual information that is incorrect or omit material information that is necessary to prevent any material factual statement that is made from being incorrect or misleading without a reasonable basis for believing that any such material factual statement is correct and not misleading.” Any holder of any Commission authorization is subject to the Rule. In expanding the scope of section 1.17 of the Rules in 2003 to include written statements that are made without a reasonable basis for believing the statement is correct and not misleading, the Commission explained that this requirement was intended to more clear-ly articulate the obligations of persons dealing with the Commission, ensure that they exercise due diligence in preparing written submissions, and enhance the effectiveness of the Commission’s enforcement efforts. Thus, even in the absence of an intent to deceive, a false statement provided without a reasonable basis for believing that the statement is correct and not mis-leading constitutes an actionable violation of section 1.17 of the Rules.

As the Commission has stated, parties must “use due diligence in providing information that is correct and not misleading to the Commission, including taking appropriate affirmative steps to determine the truthfulness of what is being submitted. A failure to exercise such reasonable diligence would mean that the party did not have a reasonable basis for believing in the truthfulness of the in-formation.” In the construction notification that Cricket filed on February 2, 2010, it stated that station WQJE535 was constructed on October 15, 2008. As noted above, however, Cricket subsequently filed a modification application correcting the construction date that it had previously provided, and identified the actual construction date as January 23, 2008. The FCC found that, had Cricket exercised even minimal diligence prior to submission of its construction notification, it would not have submitted incorrect and misleading material factual information in its construction notification. Although there is insufficient information to conclude that Cricket’s provision of incorrect material factual information was intentional in violation of section 1.17(a)(1) of the Rules, the FCC found that Cricket apparently willfully violated section 1.17(a)(2) of the Rules by providing material factual information that was incorrect without a reasonable basis for believing that the information was correct and not misleading.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, and Richard Rubino.

Lancaster Gets Conditional Waiver To Use Broadcast Spectrum For Public Safety Interoperability

The FCC has conditionally granted the County of Lan-caster, Pennsylvania, its request for waiver to use certain non-public safety frequencies for public safety communications. Lancaster sought waiver to operate a land mo-bile public safety communications system on frequencies in the television (TV) Channel 15 band (476-482 MHz). In the alternative, Lancaster requested the same waiver relief pursuant to Section 1.925 of the Commission’s rules. The FCC conditionally granted the request under Section 337(c) of the Communications Act, which gives public safety entities the opportunity to obtain non-safety pool spectrum if they can show adequate public safety spectrum is not available and existing licensees will not be harmed.

Lancaster’s current public safety radio system “consists of a mix of low band VHF, high band VHF, UHF, and 800 MHz radio equipment.” Lancaster sought to upgrade its system by building a multi-site, trunked system and consolidating its operations in the UHF band. Lancaster noted that while the existing multi-band system makes “county-wide interoperability nearly impossible,” consolidation in a single band will support interoperability among the various departments and agencies in the county.

The FCC found that Lancaster meets the statutory criteria of Section 337(c) of the Act. Accordingly, it granted Lancaster’s waiver request with the following conditions:

(1) Lancaster County will provide existing licensees Tele, Pennsylvania State University (the University), and WTSD-CA no less than 30 days’ prior written notice of the date on which it intends to commence service on the Facilities.

(2) Lancaster accepts and agrees that all usage of the Facilities shall be within the geographic boundaries of Lancaster County.

(3) Lancaster County’s Facilities are located closer to WFDC and WTSD-CA than would normally be permitted by the FCC Rules and as such its Facilities are secondary to WFDC, WTSD-CA, and WTSD-CA’s future DTV operations and subject to interference from WFDC and WTSD-CA through no fault of the respective TV licensees.

(4) Lancaster County shall eliminate any interference caused by the Facilities to WFDC, WPSU, and WTSD-CA’s viewers located within their protected service con-tours, as they currently are or hereafter may be deter-mined pursuant to the Stations’ authorized facilities and the rules and regulations of the FCC (“Protected Service Contour”). Accordingly, Lancaster County shall make an immediate reduction, suspension or termination of ser-vice by the Facilities to the extent necessary to eliminate interference within the WFDC, WPSU, and WTSD-CA Protected Service Contours.

(5) As indicated in Telefutura and the University’s concurrence letters, Telefutura and the University may modify the technical facilities of WFDC or WPSU, respectively, in any way they deem necessary, including, but not limited to, changes in effective radiated power; antenna height; antenna polarization including elliptical or circular polarization; transmitter location; and including, without limitation, constructing and deploying a distributed transmission system, at any time and without regard to predicted or actual interference to the Facilities, subject only to written notice by Telefutura or the University to Lancaster County at least 30 days prior to activation of any such facilities or system.

(6) Notwithstanding the above conditions, Lancaster County must eliminate any interference caused by the its Facilities to viewers located within the protected service contour of any existing full power or Class A TV or DTV station, including the facilities of File No. BDISDTL-20101203ABC (W36DO-D) in the event that Media Bureau grants the application, consistent with the Commission’s rules. Lancaster County shall make an immediate reduction, suspension or termination of service by the Facilities to the extent necessary to eliminate such interference.

(7) Lancaster’s operations otherwise shall be primary with respect to future TV stations as follows: (a) full pow-er DTV applicants seeking to use TV Channel 15 may not locate transmitters within 170 kilometers of Lancaster’s fixed base station coordinates as indicated on the captioned applications or within 250 km of the New York City center coordinates in accordance with 47 C.F.R. § 73.623(e); (b) full power DTV applicants seeking to use TV Channels 14 or 16 may not locate transmitters within 96 kilometers of Lancaster’s fixed base station coordinates as indicated on the captioned applications or within 250 km of the New York City center coordinates in accordance with the rules; (c) a low power TV or TV translator station application will not be accepted if it specifies Channel 15 and its field strength at the Lancaster County border exceeds 52 dBu; and (d) a low power TV or TV translator station application will not be accepted if it specifies TV Channels 14 or 16 and its field strength at the Lancaster County border exceeds 72 dBu.

(8) Lancaster shall cancel its 800 MHz licenses (call signs WNRU581, WPZC615, WPZI240, WPZL299, WPZR685, WQAC254, WQBH524, WQCC491, WQCC879, and WQEC735) within 45 days after Lancaster files its first construction notification in any of the call signs based on File Nos. 0003458819, 0003458876, and 0003458877.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, and Richard Rubino.

FCC Clamps Down On Sale Of Illegal Cellphone, GPS Jamming Devices

The FCC Enforcement Bureau has announced new efforts to clamp down on the marketing, sale, and use of illegal cellphone and GPS jamming devices. Since virtually all cell jamming devices are prohibited by the FCC’s rules for use in the United States, any company using these devices, even for “legitimate” purposes, are at risk for FCC enforcement action.

The Bureau released two Enforcement Advisories and a downloadable poster on cellphone and GPS jamming that warn consumers, manufacturers, and retailers (including online and Web-only companies) that the market-ing, sale, or use of cell, GPS, and other jamming devices is illegal. These steps highlight a new outreach phase of the Bureau’s continuing effort to halt the distribution and proliferation of illegal jamming devices in the United States. In the last two weeks, the Bureau issued warnings to four well-known online retailers – including the company that markets the TxTStopper™ – directing them to cease marketing jamming devices to customers in the U.S. or face stiff fines.

“Jamming devices create serious safety risks,” said Michele Ellison, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be intensifying our efforts through -partnerships with law enforcement agencies to crack down on those who continue to violate the law. Through education, outreach, and aggressive enforcement, we’re tackling this problem head on.”

Ellison said, “While people who use jammers may think they are only silencing disruptive conversations or disabling unwanted GPS capabilities, they could also be pre-venting a scared teenager from calling 9-1-1, an elderly person from placing an urgent call to a doctor, or a res-cue team from homing in on the location of a severely injured person. The price for one person's moment of peace or privacy, could be the safety and well-being of others.”

Jamming devices are radio frequency transmitters that intentionally block, jam, or interfere with lawful communications, such as cell phone calls, text messages, GPS systems, and Wi-Fi networks. Increasingly, online retail-ers tout small, inexpensive jammers as the solution for noisy classrooms, theaters, restaurants, or business meetings. However, jammers are indiscriminate – they can block critical public safety and other emergency communications along with the targeted transmissions. As such, jammers are illegal to market, sell, or use in the United States. A single violation of the jamming prohibition can result in tens of thousands of dollars in monetary penalties, seizure of the illegal device, and imprisonment.

The FCC is working with private industry on alternative technologies that do not cause interference to legitimate cell phone users, to take the place of illegal jammers.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, and Richard Rubino.

FCC Seeks Comment On Use Of Mutual Aid Channels

On September 24, 2009, and November 25, 2009, respectively, the 800 MHz Regional Planning Committee 55 and the National Regional Planning Council filed petitions for rulemaking seeking amendment of the FCC’s rules to permit continued use of the former NPSPAC Mutual Aid Channels in the 821-824 MHz/866-869 MHz segment of the 800 MHz. band in the Canada/United States border area. Petitioners submit that continued use of the NPSPAC Mutual Aid channels after 800 MHz rebanding is complete will comport with international agreements and is necessary for international public safety mutual aid in the Canada Border Region (CBR). Specifically, Petitioners request that the Commission amend Section 90.619 of its rules to permit the former NPSPAC Mutual Aid channels to be used by public safety eligible entities throughout CBR 1-6 and that Enhanced Mobile Radio System (ESMR) licensees protect the use of these channels in the CBR.

To determine whether Petitioners’ proposals merit issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rule Making, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau seeks public comment on the following:

  • Should use of the former NPSPAC Mutual Aid channels, if allowed, include only mobile/portable use or should use by infrastructure (base stations) be permitted as well?
  • The area in which ESMR licensees could expect objectionable interference from operations on the former NPSPAC Mutual Aid channels in the CBR. Include the standards used to determine objectionable interference.
  • The area, if any, within which users of the former NPSPAC Mutual Aid channels could expect objectionable interference from ESMR licensees operating pursuant to the current rules. Include the standards used to determine objectionable interference.
  • The economic and other effects on ESMR licensees and subscribers if ESMR systems were required to protect users of the former NPSPAC Mutual Aid channels.
  • Whether, if allowed, operations on the former NPSPAC Mutual Aid channels should be permit-ted in the entire CBR 1-6 and, if not, the area in which such operations should be permitted.
  • Whether, if allowed, operations on the former NPSPAC Mutual Aid channels in the CBR should be permitted on all five such channels or some smaller number.
  • Whether, if allowed, operations on the former NPSPAC Mutual Aid channels should be limited to portable units with power output no greater than 4 watts.
  • Whether, if allowed, operations on the former NPSPAC Mutual Aid channels in the CBR should be permitted on a day-to-day basis or limited to international emergencies affecting the safety of life or property. If the latter, which agency or agencies should be authorized to declare such an emergency?
  • Whether there are alternatives to the use of the former NPSPAC Mutual Aid channels in the CBR that would serve the same or essentially the same purpose and, if so, the nature and cost of such alternatives.
  • Whether or not Canadian public safety agencies have expressed interest in using the former NPSPAC Mutual Aid channels to communicate with counterpart agencies in the U.S. within the CBR and, if so, the identity of such public safety agencies and the person at such public safety agencies expressing the interest.

Comments in this WT Docket No. 02-55 proceeding are due March 29.
BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, and Richard Rubino.

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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Colleges Consider Updated Pager Technology for Emergency Alerts

February 16, 2011, 5:59 pm
By Tushar Rae
THE CRONICLE of Higher Education

A key fob that is used as a part of the RavenAlert system.

Colleges have wrestled with emergency-alert systems for years. E-mail is sometimes inaccessible to students and staff on the move, and text-message systems have been slow. The latest fix is based, surprisingly, on one of the oldest wireless communication systems around: the pager.

IntelliGuard Systems, a company that offers wireless “first responder” messaging, has introduced RavenAlert for college campuses. The technology mimics paging systems that are already used at hospitals and fire stations. But in this case, the pagers carried by students are small key fobs that house wireless receivers. The key fobs can display messages in text, emit sounds or words, vibrate, and emit a flash of light. The system also includes wall units for classrooms that display emergency messages in text, and large LED displays in major campus gathering places.

Drexel University was part of a pilot study of the system last year, in which five other colleges were also involved. Joseph Spera, director of operations in Drexel’s department of public safety, said it “worked fantastically.” In a test, “everyone was notified within 11 seconds.” Traditional text-message based systems can be delayed if a wireless carrier has heavy traffic at that moment, and also can become backlogged if multiple messages are sent out in quick succession.

He added that he is not concerned that college students will be put off by the need to carry an additional piece of technology, the key fob, while on campus. “Two of my kids are college students and I would want them to carry it,” Mr. Spera said.

It’s important to note that no single system is good enough for alerts, he said. Drexel has not decided whether to purchase the RavenAlert system, but if the university did, Mr. Spera said, it would simply become part of DrexelAlert, the notification system already in place, which now uses a combination of text messaging and e-mail. “There is no standalone system that makes up DrexelAlert,” he said.

Source: The Chronicle

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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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preferred logo

Terminals & Controllers:
1 Glenayre SYC
1Motorola C-NET Controller
1Motorola ASC1500
2 Zetron 2200 Terminals
2 GL3100 RF Director 
4Glenayre GLS2164 Satellite Receivers
1GL3000L Complete w/Spares
2 GL3000ES Terminals
 Many Unipage Cards, Chassis
Link Transmitters:
2Eagle Midband Link Transmitters, 125W
5 Glenayre GL C2100 Link Repeaters
1 Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
2 Glenayre QT4201, & 6201 25W & 100W Midband Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2 Motorola 30W, Midband Link TX (C42JZB6106AC)
VHF Paging Transmitters
1 Motorola VHF PURC-5000 125W, ACB or TRC
8 Glenayre GLT8411, 250W, VHF TX
UHF Paging Transmitters:
24 Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
6 Motorola PURC-5000 110 & 225W, TRC & ACB
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
3 Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
2 Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15 Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
35Glenayre 900 MHz DSP Exciters
25 Glenayre GLT-8500 Final PAs
35 Glenayre GLT-8500 Power Supplies
Miscellaneous Equipment:
2 Glenayre Hot Standby Panels—New & Old Style
25 Hennessy Outdoor Wall-Mount Enclosures, 24"x30"x12" deep
3 Chatsworth Aluminum Racks


Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail
Rick McMichael
Preferred Wireless, Inc.
10658 St. Charles Rock Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63074
888-429-4171 or 314-429-3000
left arrow CLICK HERE
left arrow OR HERE 

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Preferred Wireless

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EastWest Communications Inc.

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Media 1® live
by EastWest Communications Inc.

Real-time response to live events

spacer The audience may attend or view/listen to an event nationwide and respond in real time without requiring a computer — even respond while attending an event.

spacer Participate in sporting events, concerts, training programs or other programs to allow the producers to change the program based on audience participation.

Ed Lyda
P.O. Box 8488
The Woodlands, Texas 77387
Cell: 832-928-9538


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EastWest Communications Inc.

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Note from Phil Leavitt:

For Sale

I have about 95 new CreataLinks and about 285 DataLinks, all 900 MHz POCSAG.

I have approximately 250 ± J39DNW0050 DataLink II Plus — boards only — new, and approximately 95 CreataLink modules. I also have 2 developer's kits and some CreataLink II units.

Philip C Leavitt, Manager
Leavitt Communications
7508 N Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Tel: 847-955-0511
Fax: 270-447-1909
Mobile: 847-494-0000
Skype ID: pcleavitt


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Hark Technologies

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Wireless Communication Solutions

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USB Paging Encoder

paging encoder

  • Single channel up to eight zones
  • Connects to Linux computer via USB
  • Programmable timeouts and batch sizes
  • Supports 2-tone, 5/6-tone, POCSAG 512/1200/2400, GOLAY
  • Supports Tone Only, Voice, Numeric, and Alphanumeric
  • PURC or direct connect
  • Pictured version mounts in 5.25" drive bay
  • Other mounting options available
  • Available as a daughter board for our embedded Internet Paging Terminal (IPT)

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Paging Data Receiver (PDR)


  • Frequency agile - only one receiver to stock
  • USB or RS-232 interface
  • Two contact closures
  • End-user programmable w/o requiring special hardware
  • 16 capcodes
  • Eight contact closure version also available
  • Product customization available

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Other products

  • Please see our web site for other products including Internet Messaging Gateways, Unified Messaging Servers, test equipment, and Paging Terminals.
Hark Technologies
717 Old Trolley Rd Ste 6 #163
Summerville, SC 29485
Tel: 843-821-6888
Fax: 843-821-6894
E-mail: left arrow CLICK HERE

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Hark Technologies

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UCOM Paging

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satellite dish ucom logo

Satellite Uplink
As Low As

  • Data input speeds up to 38.4 Kbps Dial-in modem access for Admin Extremely reliable & secure
  • Hot standby up link components

Knowledgeable Tech Support 24/7

Contact Alan Carle Now!
1-888-854-2697 x272

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UCOM Paging

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Motorola Warns of Dependence on Verizon

By Maisie Ramsay
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Motorola Mobility has warned investors that more than a quarter of its device revenues come from sales to Verizon Wireless, according an annual report filed with the FCC Tuesday.

About 28 percent of Motorola's net revenues last year stemmed from devices sold to Verizon Wireless, which is heavily invested in Motorola's Droid franchise.

Motorola said its business could take a hit if large customers like Verizon or Sprint Nextel cut their smartphone orders in favor of competing devices from other manufacturers.

"It may be difficult to replace or find new large customers, especially with increasing concentration in the U.S. where there are a limited number of carriers," the company wrote in its 10-K. "If any significant customer, particularly Verizon or Sprint Nextel or other large customers, such as Comcast, stopped doing business with us, or significantly reduced the level of business they do with us, it could impact our ability to service other customers using similar technology and our financial results could be negatively impacted."

Sprint and Verizon have become increasingly important customers to Motorola over the past two years, comprising an increasing share of the company's device sales. Verizon accounted for 17 percent of Motorola's net device revenue in 2009, up from 13 percent in 2008. Sales to Sprint Nextel accounted for 13 percent of Motorola's device revenue in 2009, up from 7 percent in 2008.

Motorola's Android smartphone lineup, which includes the Droid, Droid X and Droid Pro, helped Verizon compete against the iPhone before it began carrying the device this month, putting an end to AT&T's multi-year exclusivity arrangement.

Motorola did not specifically mention the iPhone as a risk factor in its report, but the iPhone has attracted millions of new customers to AT&T since it launched with the carrier in 2007 and some have speculated that demand for Motorola's Droid devices could slacken after the iPhone becomes available at Verizon.

Motorola does not have any long-term exclusivity arrangements or bulk sale commitments with its carrier customers, who can cancel orders with little advance notice. More than half of its total device sales come from its top five carrier customers, including Verizon and Sprint. Motorola shipped 13.7 million Android devices last year.

Motorola Mobility recently separated from Motorola Solutions to become a stand-alone company focused on smartphones and set-top boxes, and the company warned it may be difficult to remain profitable after four years of nearly continuous losses. The company reversed a long string of losses in the fourth quarter of last year, when it posted an $80 million profit on sales of $3.4 billion.

Source: WirelessWEEK

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