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Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News
CONFERENCE IN BRUSSELS
Be sure to read Derick Banner's message in the LETTERS TO THE EDITOR section near the end of the newsletter. It was forwarded to me by Jim Nelson.
I used to enjoy these industry get-togethers back when I had a job and an expense account.
Aug 27, 2019, 05:23pm
New Android Warning: 100M+ Users Installed App With Nasty Malware Inside—Uninstall Now
Google's Play Store has come in for serious criticism in recent weeks, with a procession of disclosures of malware-laced apps being installed by millions of users around the world. In the latest such disclosure, Kaspersky researchers have reported that the CamScanner app, "a phone-based PDF creator that includes OCR (optical character recognition) and has more than 100 million downloads," has been "shipping with an advertising library containing a malicious module."
CamScanner was "a legitimate app," the researchers explained, "with no malicious intentions." At that time, ads were used openly to generate a normal commercial return for the apps developers and there were in-app purchases to generate additional revenue. "However, at some point, that changed."
According to the researchers, the malicious module is a "Trojan Dropper," this means it's malware designed as a delivery mechanism for other malware with a specific purpose. So a dropper might be used to install malware that steals banking credentials or generates fake advertising clicks or signs up for fake subscriptions.
This particular malware — Trojan.Dropper.AndroidOS.Necro.n — has been seen before by the Kaspersky team "in some apps preinstalled on Chinese smartphones." Some users have already reported this behavior to Google, and on finding the malware in a version of the app, the researchers reported it and it was "promptly removed from Google Play."
The researchers also reported that the latest versions of CamScanner have seemingly removed the malware module, although they warn that "versions of the app vary for different devices, and some of them may still contain malicious code."
Google is continually improving its defenses against the abuse of its platform, but developers of such malware are working just as hard to keep a few steps ahead.
Google Play Protect is designed to guard against app vulnerabilities and, in 2018, Google "detected and removed malicious developers faster, and stopped more malicious apps from entering the Google Play Store than ever before. The number of rejected app submissions increased by more than 55%, and we increased app suspensions by more than 66%."
In the last month, we've seen reports of dozens of apps with hundreds of millions of installs being found to contain dangerous modules. We have seen reports of tens of millions of devices shipping with malware inside the preinstalled apps. And we have seen Google Play extend the review time for new apps as it looks to combat the issue.
But, as I've said before, there's no substitute for common sense and treating apps from unknown sources as potential threats. [Source: Forbes]
NO POLITICS HERE
This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.
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.
I spend the whole week searching the Internet for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.
Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.
We need your help. This is the only remaining news source dedicated to information about Paging and Wireless Messaging.
Charlotte County first responders get $2.8 million to fix communication system
by Elizabeth Tyree & Valencia Jones
CHARLOTTE Co., Va. (WSET) — First responders in Charlotte County are thrilled because they're finally seeing a solution to a big problem: a lackluster communications system.
They say it's kept them from getting emergency calls, but the county has just approved a fix.
Firefighters said the pagers and mobile radio units that they currently use barely work because of the poor signal, which keeps them calling for additional units when needed.
Now, the Charlotte County Board of Supervisors approved a $2.8 million communication system they say will fix the problem.
The new system will benefit several agencies, including the sheriff's office, fire and rescue operations, and the school system.
It includes new radios, pagers, and upgraded towers.
The county will use a total of five existing towers, partnering with surrounding counties.
"We are very excited the county is finally moving forward with it, and looking forward to enhanced communications to better serve the citizens of Charlotte County and surrounding areas," said Walt Bailey, the president of the Charlotte County Fire & Rescue Association.
Fire officials say despite the problems, they have procedures in place to make sure the emergency calls are covered until the new system is up and running.
County officials say they have to complete licensing agreements and other logistics, so it could take up to a year before the new system is online. [source]
Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale
(Images are typical units, not actual photos of items offered for sale here.)
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|Passive Audio Amps For Smart Phones|
The rest of the Passive Audio Amps For Smart Phones page has been move to a separate page.
These horns are now on display and for sale at:
Stop in for a demo and a great cup of espresso.
How to Get Verizon to Block Robocalls for You
After endless complaints from customers, service providers are making moves to reduce—and hopefully eliminate—the modern-day nuisance of robocalls. Verizon customers have been able to download a free spam filter that blocks robocalls on iOS and Android, but some Android users are now automatically enrolled in the service (no extra app downloads required).
Only certain Android devices are eligible for the automatic blocking so far, a list you can check here. If you’re on any of Verizon’s unlimited plans on an eligible device, you are now automatically enrolled in Call Filter, and many Android phones purchased directly from Verizon will come with the Call Filter app preloaded (which you can use to auto-enroll yourself, if you haven’t been enrolled anyway.) It’s unclear if you’ll still want or need to have the app installed in that case, but it doesn’t hurt.
Android devices on a prepaid plan, and all iOS users regardless of their plan, will need to manually download Verizon’s Call Filter app for access to the spam service.
Once Verizon’s Call Filter is active for your account, your phone will send suspected robocalls and other spam straight to voicemail, and any numbers that have been filtered will be listed as “potential spam.” Users can adjust how strict the call filter is from within the Call Filter app’s settings. There is also a premium version of the app that requires a $2.99 monthly subscription, which grants access to other privacy tools like creating a customized block list.
Verizon isn’t the only company with robocall-blocking services—AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile all have their own tools. Similarly, there are several third-party apps available, and both Android and iOS users have a few spam-reducing options included on their devices as well.
Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz
The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.
Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
I would like to recommend Easy Solutions for Support of all Glenayre Paging Equipment. This Texas company is owned and operated by Vaughan Bowden. I have known Vaughan for over 35 years. Without going into a long list of his experience and qualifications, let me just say that he was the V.P. of Engineering at PageNet which was—at that time—the largest paging company in the world. So Vaughan knows Paging.
GTES is no longer offering support contracts. GTES was the original group from Vancouver that was setup to offer support to customers that wanted to continue with the legacy Glenayre support. Many U.S. customers chose not to use this service because of the price and the original requirement to upgrade to version 8.0 software (which required expensive hardware upgrades, etc.). Most contracts ended as of February 2018.
If you are at all concerned about future support of Glenayre products, especially the “king of the hill” the GL3000 paging control terminal, I encourage you to talk to Vaughan about a service contract and please tell him about my recommendation.
The Wireless Messaging News
The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.
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Google Maps will make the beginning and end of your road trips a little easier with this new feature
Google has announced a new feature for Google Maps that will help you deal with multiple modes of transportation on your trips. Right now it’s pretty tough to coordinate some complex trips, especially if you have to mix ride sharing or biking or something with a regular bus ride or driving. The beginning and end of your trip can be a much bigger pain than they need to be.
So to make that just a little bit easier, you’ll now be able to attach those different modes of transport to the start and finale of your trips. Take a bus to get close to your destination, then throw in an Uber trip at the end to get where you need to go.
There’s very little you’ll need to do to make it happen, too. Just type in your destination, and in the Transit tab of your trip you’ll be able to select routes that combine everything you need to get you to your destination. It’s all fairly seamless, and doesn’t take much extra work compared to regular travel. The ETA will update appropriately, too.
Expect this new feature to roll out to Android and iOS in 30 countries soon, with more to follow.
Click on the image above for more info about advertising here.
Internet Protocol Terminal
The IPT accepts Internet or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.
An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Paging Data Receiver PDR-4
The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.
Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Wireless Network Planners
Secure-erasing your Mac’s disks is no longer secure, Apple says
BY CHARLIE SORREL • 1:00 PM, AUGUST 28, 2019
In the olden days, when you wanted to replace your hard drive with a bigger one, you’d run a “secure erase” on it to completely remove any personal data. This would write zeros to the entire disk, overwriting anything already there.
But now, thanks to advances in storage tech, this no longer does the trick. (Not that you can change your own Mac SSDs now anyway.) The new secure-erase, says Apple, is to just encrypt your disk.
What’s wrong with just putting everything in the trash?
Computers don’t actually delete much when you move your files to the trash. They just pretend that those files are no longer there, marking the space they occupy as free. Then, at some time in the future, those bits may be overwritten with new bits, from a new file. This is how recovery software works. It lets you find your deleted photos, as long as nothing has been written over them since you “deleted” them.
Secure erase writes data over those orphaned files (from once to 35 times on the Mac) until they can no longer be recovered. But in the manual for Apple’s Disk Utility (available to read in the Mac’s Terminal app by typing man diskutil), you can read why Apple no longer considers this approach secure:
Hard drive security: Encryption vs. secure erase
An encrypted disk can’t be read at all without the key to unlock it. And if you delete that key, all that remains is the encrypted data, which is just unintelligible gibberish.
The storage of your iPhone and iPad is encrypted by default, which is why you can use the Erase All Content and Settings (under General > Reset in the Settings app) to wipe your iOS device instantly. This comes in very handy when taking the iPhone in for repair, for example. It means you can keep using your iPhone until the moment you hand it over, and then erase it in a few moments. (Just make sure you have a current backup to restore from.)
On the Mac, you must enable FileVault to get full-disk encryption. However, if you set up a new Mac since OS X Yosemite, you probably already did that. In Yosemite, Apple checks the box to enable FileVault during the setup process. In order to not use FileVault, you must explicitly opt out. This is good for almost everyone, in most cases. In fact, between that and the T2 security chip, the Mac is almost as impervious to a hands-on attack as the iPhone and iPad.
So, to sum up: Don’t bother with secure-erasing your Mac disk. Instead, make sure to encrypt it from the very beginning.
|Source:||Cult of Mac|
Remote AB Switches
ABX-1 switches are often used at remote transmitter sites to convert from old, outdated and unsupported controllers to the new modern Prism-IPX ipBSC base station controllers. Remotely switch to new controllers with GUI commands.
ABX-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Anyone Order a Category Four Hurricane for the Holiday Weekend?
At deadline, the latest forecast on Hurricane Dorian showed the storm will strengthen over the coming days and has the potential to become a Category 4 as it moves toward the southeastern United States, reported NBC. The National Hurricane Center forecast Thursday that Hurricane Dorian could reach maximum winds of 130 mph, putting it at a Category 4 on Saturday. It’s still too soon to tell exactly where the storm will make landfall along the east coast of Florida and possibly as far north as South Georgia, but the Center added: "there is an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge along portions of the Florida east coast late this weekend or early next week."
Communications infrastructure companies are preparing for the storm. For example, NATE Chairman and President/CEO of MillerCo. Jimmy Miller tweeted that NATE members were, “having meetings/planning with wireless providers to move in after Hurricane Dorian to restore wireless service.”
All the major carriers are monitoring the storm and prepared to move anticipated restoration equipment and personnel to affected areas. Preparations include topping off generators at fixed and portable cell sites. Carriers are also preparing COWS, COLTS, SatCOLTS and other mobile cellular infrastructure for potential deployment to areas where coverage may be needed.
AT&T is monitoring the storm as it heads towards Florida and Georgia. Personnel are protecting physical facilities against flooding by moving electronics essential to network operations above expected flood levels.
“Our local and regional Network support teams and the Network Disaster Recovery team, in partnership with the FirstNet team at AT&T, continue to stage network assets along the Southeast coast for quick deployment if needed,” the carrier said in a statement. T-Mobile said its teams are ready to respond in both locations and it has a range of recovery equipment and supplies on hand including generators, network recovery equipment and community response trucks, should they be needed in the aftermath of the storm.
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter|| Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.
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Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less — sometimes the whole updates] of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section of The Wireless Messaging News with kind permission from the firm. The firm's contact information is included at the end of this section of the newsletter.
REMINDER: Legacy Rate-of-Return Carriers Must Elect Deployment Obligation Calculation
On August 26, the Universal Service Administrative Company issued a notice to rate-of-return carriers that have remained on legacy support that they must directing them to elect one of two methods by which their five-year deployment obligations will be calculated. This election is due by Friday, August 30.
Rate of return carriers that continue to receive legacy support should ensure they received the notice, which was sent by email, and respond appropriately. Carriers with questions should contact the firm for more information. See the full article below for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
Legacy Rate-of-Return Deployment Calculation Election Due August 30
On August 26, USAC sent out a notice reminding carriers remaining on Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support (CAF BLS) that they must select a method for calculating revised five-year broadband deployment obligations. This selection must be made by Friday, August 30.
Each carrier can choose to have its deployment obligations calculated by one of two methods: the applicable CAF-BLS amount divided by (1) the average cost of providing 25/3 Mbps service, based on the weighted average cost per loop of carriers that have deployed 25/3 Mbps service to 95 percent or more of the locations in their study area, or 150 percent of the weighted average cost per loop of companies with similar density and level of deployment, whichever is greater, or (2) the A-CAM II calculation of the cost per location of providing 25/3 Mbps service in the unserved census blocks in the carrier’s study area. Please note that some carriers cannot choose the A-CAM II calculation methodology because they do not have any unserved census blocks (reflected as NA in the CAF-BLS revised deployment obligations file). These carriers must choose the deployment obligation derived from the average cost of providing 25/3 Mbps service.
Carriers with questions about the deployment obligation or the election should contact the firm for more information.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.
Enhanced Geo-Targeting, Point-of-Sale Disclosures Required for WEA by November 30
In January of 2018, the FCC adopted an Order designed to improve Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) by increasing the geographic accuracy of these alerts so that they reach the intended communities without disturbing others. In particular, the Order requires participating CMS Providers to deliver WEA alerts to the target area specified by the alert originator with no more than a one-tenth of a mile overshoot. Clients that have elected to provide Wireless Emergency Alerts are reminded that this enhanced geo-targeting requirement will go into effect on November 30, 2019.
By that same date, our firm’s wireless service provider clients that are participating in WEA “in part” must provide point-of-sale notice to consumers that WEA may not be available on all devices or within the entire service area, as well as the extent to which enhanced geo-targeting is available on their network and devices, and the benefits of enhanced geo-targeting. These disclosures will allow consumers to make more informed choices about their ability to receive WEA Alert Messages that are relevant to them. The FCC suggests, but does not require, that participating CMS Providers disclose to consumers at the point of sale that if they have not enabled location services on their devices, they may receive Alert Messages that are not relevant to them.
Our clients that are participating CMS Providers should contact the firm if they have any questions or need assistance in preparing appropriate point-of-sale disclosures.
BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell.
Comment Sought on Wireless Facilities Siting Fees Petition for Declaratory Ruling
On August 26, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a petition for declaratory ruling filed by Verizon on August 8 asking the FCC to declare that the recurring fees charged by Clark County, Nevada (County) for small wireless facilities in public rights-of-way are unlawful. Comments are due September 25, and reply comments are due October 10.
Specifically, Verizon argues that the County’s recurring fees materially inhibit the provision of telecommunications services by wireless providers because: (1) they do not reasonably approximate the County’s actual and direct costs associated with a provider’s use of the public rights-of-way and other assets; (2) they consequently are not limited to the County’s objectively reasonable costs; and (3) they are inherently discriminatory. Verizon asks that the FCC declare that the County may not charge recurring fees to Verizon that exceed the presumptively reasonable annual rate of $270, as set forth in the Small Cell Declaratory Ruling.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.
Law & Regulation
FCC Proposes Fines for FAA Radar Interference in Puerto Rico
On August 22, the FCC announced that it proposed fines and issued a formal industry warning related to devices that apparently caused interference to the Federal Aviation Administration’s terminal doppler weather radar station in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The FCC proposed three separate $25,000 fines against wireless Internet service providers (WISPs) Boom Solutions, Integra Wireless, and WinPR.
The companies used Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure devices for point-to-point wireless broadband communication. In each case, the companies apparently mis-configured the devices by turning off a required feature that would have prevented the devices from causing interference to the FAA terminal doppler weather radar station at San Juan International Airport. Interference to these weather radar stations, which are used to detect wind shear and other dangerous weather conditions, is potentially life threatening.
In addition to the proposed fines, the Bureau’s Enforcement Advisory warned operators, manufacturers, and marketers of Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure devices that these devices must be certified under FCC rules. Such devices that operate in the 5.25 GHz to 5.35 GHz and 5.47 GHz to 5.725 GHz bands risk interfering with radar systems if not properly configured to share the spectrum.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.
Local Franchising Authority Regulations Effective
|BloostonLaw Private Users Update||Vol. 19, No. 8||August 2019|
We want to remind our clients that many types of reorganizations, estate planning and tax savings activities and other transactions require prior FCC approval; and given the frequent need to implement such transactions by the end of the year, companies engaging in such transactions should immediately determine whether they must file an application for FCC approval, and obtain a grant, before closing on a year-end deal. Transactions requiring prior FCC approval include (but are not limited to):
Fortunately, transactions involving many types of licenses can often be approved on an expedited basis. But this is not always the case, especially if bidding credits and/or commercial wireless spectrum licenses are involved. Also, in some instances Section 214 authority may be required, especially in the case of wireline and other telephony services. Clients planning year-end transactions should contact us as soon as possible to determine if FCC approval is needed.
BloostonLaw contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.
The FCC has entered into a consent decree with Frank Reimer for a fine of up to $20,000 in connection with his illegal operation of a Global Positioning System (GPS) signal jamming device in the vicinity of the Newark International Airport. It appears that he was aiming to block the GPS tracker that his employer had installed in the company-owned truck he was driving. Signal jammers are designed to overpower, jam and/or interfere with authorized communications. In order to protect public safety and preserve immediate access to emergency communications, the FCC’s rules and regulations prohibit the importation, manufacture, marketing, sale or use of any jamming device in the United States or its territories.
This case arose out of a complaint by the Federal Aviation Administration that its Ground-Based Augmentation System at Newark International Airport was experiencing harmful interference. Based upon this complaint, the FCC monitored a stretch of the New Jersey Turnpike that runs adjacent to the airport for passing vehicles operating GPS signal jamming devices. Using direction finding techniques, the FAA determined that Mr. Reimer’s company issued truck was the source of the interference. Mr. Reimer refused to allow the FCC to inspect the vehicle and drove away. At that point, the jamming signal from the truck immediately ceased. Following this incident, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau contacted Mr. Reimer’s employer and received permission to inspect his truck in which it found a GPS tracker that had been installed by the employer. The inspection revealed that the electronic equipment installed in the truck (including the employer’s GPS tracker) was not the source of the interference to the FAA’s systems at Newark International Airport.
As part of the consent decree, Mr. Reimer (a) destroyed the signal jamming equipment and (b) agreed not to use illegal signal jamming equipment. Additionally, Mr. Reimer agreed to pay a $5,000 civil penalty and be liable for an additional $15,000 if in the next 10 years, the Commission finds that he has illegally operated a GPS signal jamming device.
Over the past few years, the FCC has taken enforcement action against users of illegal signal jammers. This case demonstrates that there is no legal use for a signal jammer, to jam GPS or other types of radio signals. When the use of signal jammers is found, the FCC takes strict enforcement action since the use of jamming equipment can have an adverse impact on safety of life communications.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
In its continuing war on robocalls and spoofing of Caller ID information, the Commission adopted new rules which ban malicious caller ID spoofing of text messages and foreign calls. The FCC’s new rules are designed to close a loophole in the law that prevented the Commission from pursuing scammers sending spoofed text messages, and international fraudsters making spoofed calls to the American public.
The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 prohibited anyone from causing a Caller ID service to knowingly transmit misleading or inaccurate Caller ID information (spoofing) with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongly obtain anything of value. Until the passage of the RAY BAUM’S Act in 2019, the Truth in Caller ID Act did not include text messaging or international calls. The Commission’s new rules extend these prohibitions to text messages and calls originating outside of the United States to recipients inside the United States, as well as additional types of voice calls such as one-way VoIP calls. The FCC expects that these new rules will curtail fraudsters who operate call centers outside the United States with the intent of pretending to be “trusted” callers such as the IRS or a major consumer corporation such as Microsoft, so that they can obtain your banking information or otherwise scare you into a financial transaction. The new rules will make these fraudsters subject to enforcement action by the FCC.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Sal Taillefer and Richard Rubino
On August 7, the FCC issued a $39,278 fine against Mr. Ocean Hinson of Surry County, North Carolina, for intentional misuse of a local public safety radio communications network. Mr. Hinson impersonated first responders in unauthorized radio communications on Surry County’s licensed public safety frequency.
Specifically, on October 17, 2017, Surry County officials, responding to a fire alarm triggered at a local residence, transmitted a request for a unit from the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Hinson posing as “Westfield VFD Unit 7331” responded, using the mobile radio in his personal vehicle and stated that he was en-route to the scene of the alarm. Approximately four minutes later, Mr. Hinson, still identifying himself as Westfield VFD Unit 7331, radioed the dispatcher to cancel the call and place responding units in service. As a result of these two transmissions, no real first responder investigated the triggered residential fire alarm. Fortunately, no fire actually occurred at the scene of the alarm.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.
The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) recently sent a letter to the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau concerning issues in the coordination of centralized trunking systems in the Industrial/Business pool spectrum below 800 MHz. The letter seeks approval of a consensus protocol that was developed by an LMCC sub-committee, relating to engineering practices and methodologies for resolving interference issues regarding interference protection under Rule Section 90.187 and application of the “safe harbor” tables under Rule Section 90.205.
Under the proposed protocol, the Frequency Advisory Committees would
With respect to the safe harbor rule under Rule Section 90.205, LMCC noted that licenses were previously granted on the basis of the actual service area requested, provided that the application otherwise satisfied the FCC’s Rules. However, more recently, the FCC has required applicants to specify a defined operating radius even if that radius was greater than the required operating area. The LMCC committee believes that this change in policy has resulted in a reduction in spectrum efficiency, since protection is being extended past the applicant’s desired area of operation. As a result, the Committee requested that the FCC go back to its prior interpretation of the safe harbor under Rule Section 90.205.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
Each year, the FCC collects annual regulatory fees for the fiscal year that ends on September 30 of each year. While most private radio licenses are not subject to annual regulatory fees because the fee is collected at the time of application for a new license or license renewal, we have some private radio clients who are subject to annual regulatory fees due to their other activities with the FCC.
If you are subject to annual regulatory fees, it is critical that they be paid in a timely manner. A failure to pay the fee will result in the FCC placing the Company into a “red-lighted” status (which means that it will not be able to conduct any business with the FCC – such as filing applications for a new license, license renewal or modification of license) as well as being subjected to other penalties and fees. In this regard, the FCC has recently issued Orders to Pay or Show Cause against three broadcast licensees for failure to pay regulatory fees going back several years. In these orders, the FCC has initiated proceedings to revoke licenses held by the broadcast licensees for failure to pay the delinquent regulatory fees and associated interest, administrative costs and penalties owed to the FCC.
It is important to note that the FCC has a large tool box in order to ensure that collection of all fees due to the FCC. In addition to interest and penalties, the FCC will also take action to revoke licenses for non-payment of regulatory fees.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
The Chicago Tribune has reported that it completed testing of 11 smart phones from four different manufacturers. In particular, the Chicago Tribune noted that measurements from the Apple iPhone 7 exceeded the legal safety limit and was more than double what Apple had previously reported to the FCC in its testing results.
It was noted that when testing a new phone for compliance with FCC RF radiation limits, the phone may be positioned up to 25 millimeters from the body – which is nearly an inch – depending upon how the device will be used (since the testing standards were developed in the 1990s when most people put the devices in belt clips or holsters). Today, phones are often carried closer to the body – frequently in pockets.
The Chicago Tribune performed two series of tests. In the first series, the Chicago Tribune positioned the phones at the same distance from simulated tissue that manufacturers used for their testing – which ranged from five to 15 millimeters. In the second series of testing, the phones were placed two millimeters closer to the tissue (and less than the maximum distance allowed by the FCC). At two millimeters, the RF emissions from the Samsung Galaxy S8 were reportedly more than five times the standard. ZD Net stated that the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy J3 were also implicated.
The Commission is reviewing the Chicago Tribune test results and will conduct independent testing to verify its results. FCC spokesperson Neil Grace stated that “We take seriously any claims on non-compliance with the RF (radio frequency) exposure standards and will be obtaining and testing the subject phones for compliance with FCC rules.” Apple has denied that its phones violate the FCC’s RF exposure limits, claiming that the test methodology did not properly assess the iPhones. In that regard, Apple stated that all of its iPhones were “fully certified” by the Commission. Apple has also told the press that "[a]fter careful review and subsequent validation of all iPhone models tested in the [Tribune] report, we confirmed we are in compliance and meet all applicable … exposure guidelines and limits."
ZD Net and Apple Insider are reporting that Apple and Samsung are now subjects of a class action lawsuit based upon the Chicago Tribune report. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for Northern California two days following release of the report.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
The FCC has issued three separate $25,000 fines against wireless Internet Service Providers Boom Solutions, Integra Wireless and WinPR, and a formal industry warning related to devices that caused harmful interference to the FAA’s terminal Doppler weather radar station in San Juan, Puerto Rico. These companies use Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (UNII) devices for point-to-point wireless broadband communications. In each case, the UNII devices were improperly configured by turning off the required feature that would have prevented the devices from causing harmful interference to the FAA’s terminal Doppler radar station the San Juan International Airport. Doppler radar is a critical tool for ensuring safety of air navigation, since it is used to detect wind shear and other dangerous weather conditions. The loss of this tool could have resulted in an aviation accident and a loss of life.
In addition to the fines, the Commission has issued an Enforcement Advisory to warn operators, manufacturers and marketers of UNII devices that they must be certified under the Commission’s rules in order to be legal for importation, marketing and sale in the United States. UNII devices that operate in the 5.25-5.35 GHz and 5.47-5.725 GHz bands are susceptible to causing harmful interference with radar systems if not properly configured to share the spectrum.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino
On August 7, Science Magazine reported that NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are concerned that 5G antennas will emit signals near the frequencies their satellites use to gather water vapor data, to the detriment of forecasts and other scientific pursuits. According to the article, at a certain spectrum band water vapor molecules emit a small amount of radiation, and measuring that radiation is “one of the best ways to remotely sense the atmospheric water content that fuels clouds and storms.” Acting NOAA administrator Neil Jacobs has, on several occasions – including at a hearing by the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment on 16 May – said that US weather forecasting capabilities could be degraded by 5G in certain spectrums, and that NOAA and NASA have concluded that the out-of-band emissions limits set by the FCC will not prevent interference with the ability to detect water vapor.
In June, Ars Technica reported that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai criticized the NASA and NOAA data about interference at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing. Specifically, Pai reportedly said the data is faulty, and that the agencies were late in raising their concerns. Pai said, "For example, it ignores the fact that 5G will involve beam forming, essentially adaptive antenna arrays that will more precisely send 5G signals — sort of a rifle shot, if you will, instead of a shotgun blast of 5G spectrum." Pai also pointed out: “Indeed, the federal government and private sector have deployed nearly 40,000 high powered fixed microwave links in the 21.2—23.6 GHz band, immediately below and actually adjacent to the 23.6—24 GHz passive band, at the same emission limit the FCC adopted for 5G operations. No interference has ever been reported. Moreover, these fixed microwave links are directly adjacent to the passive band, whereas the portion of the 24 GHz band to be used for 5G (24.25—24.45 GHz and 24.75—25.25 GHz) is separated by a 250 MHz guard band.”
The FCC recently completed its auction for 24 GHz spectrum, which will primarily support wireless backhaul for 5G networks.
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell and Richard Rubino
On August 15, the FCC announced that it has sent a report to Congress which recommends that the Commission consider designating 988 as the 3-digit dialing code to be used for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The report, mandated by the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018, finds that such a 3-digit number “would likely make it easier for Americans in crisis to access potentially life-saving resources.”
Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a 10-digit number, 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Calls to the Lifeline are routed from anywhere in the United States to the closest certified crisis center, and in 2018, trained Lifeline counselors answered over 2.2 million calls and over 100,000 online chats. Chairman Pai is planning to launch a rulemaking proceeding in which the Commission would consider designating a 3-digit number — specifically, 988 — for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline. The report examines the feasibility of using various 3-digit numbers and finds that 988 could be implemented more easily and quickly than repurposing an existing 3-digit N11 code like 511 or 611. The rulemaking would collect further public comment from all interested stakeholders on the findings in the report.
“There is a suicide epidemic in this country, and it is disproportionately affecting at-risk populations, including our Veterans and LGBTQ youth,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Crisis call centers have been shown to save lives. This report recommends using a three-digit number to make it easier to access the critical suicide prevention and mental health services these call centers provide. I intend to move forward on this recommendation. In the meantime, my heart goes out to anyone facing a crisis. I hope they will contact 1-800-273-TALK for support today.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Ben Dickens, Richard Rubino
On August 15, the FCC announced that it has reached settlements with a TV broadcaster, cable TV networks, and a radio broadcaster for misusing Emergency Alert System (EAS) or Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) tones. Episodes of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and Discovery’s “Lone Star Law,” as well as promos aired by Meruelo Radio Holdings, LLC’s Los Angeles-area KDAY and KDEY-FM’s morning radio show, all aired actual or simulated alert tones in violation of the Commission’s rules.
Combined, the companies agreed to pay over $600,000 in civil penalties, and each committed to a strict compliance plan to ensure such actions do not recur. The specific settlements include:
Concurrently with the announcement of the settlements, the FCC issued an Enforcement Advisory formally reminding the industry about the existing law as it applies to the misuse of emergency alert tones. The advisory states: “We remain concerned about the misuse of the EAS codes and EAS and WEA Attention Signals, or simulations thereof, to capture audience attention during advertisements; dramatic, entertainment, and educational programs, and at any other time that there is no genuine alert, authorized test, or authorized PSA about the EAS or WEA that is accompanied by an appropriate disclaimer. The FCC may issue sanctions for such violations, including, but not limited to, monetary forfeitures.”
BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast, Ben Dickens, Mary Sisak and Richard Rubino
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
This year’s CMA Autumn meeting will take place in Brussels on 7th November 2019. A conference dinner will be held on the evening of the 6th. Please reserve these dates in your diary. It will take place at the Warwick Brussels Hotel, 5, Rue Duquesnoy, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.
The Warwick Brussels is situated amongst the ancient cobbled streets in the heart of Brussels, the grand, distinguished and historic hotel stands just next to the picturesque and world famous Grand Place. Located one block away from the Central Train Station, this 5 Star luxury hotel is within a short walk of the renowned Antique District of Le Sablon, Mont des Arts, iconic Manneken Pis and the city’s best restaurants and boutiques. Exuding old world charisma and a long tradition of first class service, the Warwick Brussels serves as the ideal focal point to explore the best that this fabulous city has to offer.
The location upon which The Warwick Brussels stands has an interesting and historic past dating back to the early 18th century — when the British Duke of Wellington inspected his troops before departing for the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. You can soak in the history of the capital of Europe in the authentic Belgium Brasserie, Chutney’s, or over champagne in our Bubbles Bar.
This will be the last event that I chair as I will be retiring immediately afterwards, so please make every effort to attend even if it is just to say goodbye. I have worked in this business for well over 40 years (that’s nearly half as long as Jim) and have chaired the Association in one form or other for twenty years. There cannot be many industries where competitors and colleagues become true friends whereby help is often sought and always given. I am very proud to say that paging and critical messaging is one of those businesses and it is truly an honour to have worked with you all.
CMAE will bear the cost of the conference and evening meal but the hotel accommodation will be paid by delegates at a rate of €190.00 (plus €20 for double occupancy). Breakfast, Wi-Fi, spa and gym, etc are included. We will start the meeting at 9:30 on the 7th and then move on to a full and rich agenda, finishing around 4.00 PM.
Hotel reservations can be made HERE. This link is valid until October, 1st 2019. This URL is a bit confusing so please ensure that you reserve for the nights you want to stay. Please be careful not to reserve a room for the 5th unless you purposely want to stay that night. I am working with the hotel to resolve this.
By making a reservation you will be registered for the event but please email me with your date of arrival and departure just so that I can be sure. The conference will be free for one member of CMA member companies, for further company members the cost will be €300. Non-members will be charged €500.
Please do your best to attend as it might be my last opportunity to see you. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in magnificent Brussels in November.
|MUSIC VIDEO OF THE WEEK|
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
“You can never do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Technician note: After much grief trying to get a stable RS-232 link to stay open in Windows 10 using those cheap USB to serial cables with embedded chips, I obtained an opto-isolated, industrial model (made in the USA), that solved the problem. It comes with a special USB cable and via DIP switches can be set for other serial protocols. It also has its own com-port driver. [happy camper]
73 DE K9IQY
Licensed since 1957
|Current member or former member of these organizations.|
| Institute Electrical and
| A Public Library of
Paging and Wireless Messaging
| Critical Messaging
| European Mobile Messaging Association
Former Board Member
Radio Club of Paraguay
| Quarter Century
| Back To Paging
Still The Most Reliable
| American Association
| U.S. Navy
| U.S. Navy
| Boy Scouts of America
National Honor Society
| Creator of the
Paging Wheel of Fortune
| National Skeet
| The National
| The Radio Club
| Life is good!
I am a person in long-term recovery.
CONTACT INFO & LINKS
United States Navy
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