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CMA newsletter logo

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FRIDAY — NOVEMBER 25, 2011 - ISSUE NO. 483

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

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

I received several favorable comments about the open letter last week from Roy Pottle, President, of the Critical Messaging Association, to Judit Sharon, CEO at Onset Technology. This is one of the reasons that we have a strong trade association. If you are involved in the Wireless Messaging industry, you should be a member. Roy's letter is repeated this week below.

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In the LETTERS TO THE EDITOR section this week, Vic Jackson points out that the debate and controversy concerning Onset Technology's "inaccurate and disparaging remarks about the paging industry" has been going on for several years. I guess every time they send a new group of managers over here from Israel, it starts anew. Surely this is making my friend Froike Biegun turn over in his grave.

Ephraim (Froike) Biegun, the former head of the Technical Department of Mossad, and the founder of Beeper Communications Israel
1932 — 2007
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Ron Mercer's computer got infected by a virus and when it was repaired all of his e-mail addresses were gone. Would anyone who communicates with Ron by e-mail please send him a short message so that he may restore his address book?

Just click on this link:

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Now on to more news and views.

CMA logo
Wireless Messaging News
  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Telemetry
  • Paging
  • VoIP
  • Wi-Fi
  • WiMAX
  • Location-Based Services
wireless logo medium

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This is the CMA'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.

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Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the Critical Messaging Association, or its sponsors.

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Please help support the CMA 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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If you would like to have information about advertising in this newsletter, please click here . Your support is needed to keep the newsletter going .


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cma logo Critical Messaging Association

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November 17, 2011

Ms. Judit Sharon
Chief Executive Officer
Onset Technology, Inc.
460 Totten Pond Rd.
Waltham, MA 02451

Dear Judit,

I am writing on behalf of the Critical Messaging Association (formerly the “American Association of Paging Carriers”) to address a statement made in your October 18th press release announcing Onset Technology’s collaboration with Agility Recovery Systems. The statement in question reads:

“Traditional pager technology is becoming less reliable as narrow banding mandates are forcing some transmission towers to be decommissioned, leaving paging customers without service.”

To be candid, this statement is factually incorrect. The FCC’s narrow banding requirements pertain to licensees providing private land mobile radio services operating in the 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz bands, not to Radio Common Carriers or paging companies using licenses or channels authorized exclusively for paging. Specifically, as of January 1, 2013, licensees subject to the narrow banding requirements must operate on 12.5 kHz (11.25 kHz) or narrower channels, or employ a technology that achieves the narrowband equivalent of one channel per 12.5 kHz of channel bandwidth (voice) or 4800 bits per second per 6.25 kHz (data). [Most] Paging carriers already operate using one channel per 12.5 kHz of channel bandwidth and in any event the narrow banding requirements do not relate at all to the decommissioning of tower sites. Rather, it is actually providing new opportunities for paging carriers as many private land mobile radio licensees are hospitals that are now turning to paging carriers to build new private systems or to provide paging services using their existing commercial networks.

As discussed in the past smartphone applications using broadband networks can be suitable for non-critical messaging. However, these applications are not appropriate for critical, time-sensitive messaging as broadband networks deliver messages sequentially using a point-to-point messaging protocol. On the other hand, paging networks deliver messages simultaneously using a point-to-multipoint messaging protocol, thereby providing increased speed and reliability.

The Critical Messaging Association represents the majority of paging carriers in the United States and we view smartphone applications as complementary to paging services, adding another layer of messaging capability. However, we do not consider them a suitable replacement for paging services. While you may not share our view we respectfully request that in the future you not misconstrue or distort facts in a misleading manner.


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J. Roy Pottle,
President, Critical Messaging Association

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CMA Executive Director
441 N. Crestwood Drive
Wilmington, NC 28405
Tel: 866-301-2272
CMA 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

CMA — Critical Messaging Association
Daviscomms USA
Hark Technologies
Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates
Leavitt Communications
Preferred Wireless
Prism Paging
Ron Mercer — Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC
PSSI — Product Support Services
TPL Systèmes
Critical Alert Systems d/b/a Northeast, UCOM & Teletouch Paging
VCP International
WiPath Communications

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FCC finds AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile not in the public interest

by Grant Gross, IDG News Service Nov 22, 2011 4:30 pm

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s staff has found AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of rival T-Mobile USA to be contrary to the public interest, with officials there saying the deal would result in the largest single concentration in the U.S. mobile market in history.

The FCC, in a draft order released Tuesday, found the merger to be anticompetitive, echoing a similar conclusion in August by the U.S. Department of Justice. The FCC is now required to send the merger request to a hearing before an administrative law judge, where AT&T and T-Mobile USA will have the opportunity to argue against the FCC’s conclusion, FCC officials said.

The merger would result in unprecedented concentration of market power in the mobile market, FCC officials said in a press briefing in which they spoke under the condition they not be named.

At the same time, the FCC approved, with conditions, AT&T’s application to purchase $1.9 billion worth of spectrum in the lower 700MHz band from Qualcomm. The 12MHz of Qualcomm spectrum would cover 300 million U.S. residents, including 70 million people in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

AT&T said it was disappointed with the FCC’s decision. “It is yet another example of a government agency acting to prevent billions in new investment and the creation of many thousands of new jobs at a time when the U.S. economy desperately needs both,” Larry Solomon, AT&T’s senior vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement. “At this time, we are reviewing all options.”

FCC officials said they found no evidence that AT&T would roll out its 4G mobile broadband service faster if it was allowed to buy T-Mobile, as the company has suggested. The FCC’s staff also rejected AT&T promises saying the merger would lead to tens of thousands of new jobs. FCC officials instead said it would be likely to lead to “massive” layoffs as the two companies cut duplicative jobs.

Public Knowledge, a digital rights group opposed to the merger, praised the FCC’s decision. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski “is to be applauded for standing up to AT&T’s lobbying machine and moving forward to a hearing designation,” said Gigi Sohn, Public Knowledge’s president.

An administrative hearing will allow AT&T to present additional evidence showing how it believes the merger will create jobs, Sohn said. That result “would run contrary to every other takeover AT&T has engineered,” she said. “There is ample evidence in the record that this deal would destroy jobs.”

The FCC’s decision to refer the merger to a hearing means that the agency has “substantial and material” questions about the deal, added Andrew Jay Schwartzman, senior vice president and policy director of Media Access Project, a nonprofit law firm focused on digital rights.

The hearing “means the FCC has found merit in our arguments that a combined AT&T/T-Mobile will create a duopoly in the wireless market which will increase prices for service and for handsets,” he said.

Source: IDG News Service via Macworld

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advertise here

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Silent Call Communications has an Alerting Device for People who are Deaf/Blind to Feel Good About

Silent Call Communications is offering an updated alerting device for people who are deaf/blind. This device can be connected to a Silent Call Doorbell, Sound Monitor, Smoke Detector (fire safety), Carbon Monoxide Detector, Weather Alerting System with radio, and a telephone. When one of these transmitters is going off or the phone is ringing, the receiver will produce a predetermined vibration output, making the person wearing it aware of an alert.

Waterford, Michigan (PRWEB) November 21, 2011

Vibra-Call Receiver
“The Vibra-Call Receiver provides more independence and freedom for people who are Deaf/Blind.”

Silent Call Communications has a special body worn alerting device that can make a world of difference for people who are Deaf/Blind. The updated Vibra-Call Receiver looks much like a pager and can clip to a person’s waistband or be put in their pocket. This receiver has a much better vibration output than an average pager. The receiver can be connected to a Silent Call Doorbell, Sound Monitor, Smoke Detector (fire safety), Carbon Monoxide Detector, Weather Alerting System with radio, and a telephone. When one of these transmitters is going off or the phone is ringing, the receiver will produce a predetermined vibration output, making the person wearing it aware of an alert.

The Vibra-Call Receiver is a wonderful product that can really help someone who is Deaf/Blind. It provides more independence with the capability of predetermined vibration outputs for each type of alert. A person can easily know which transmitter is sending an alert and be aware of where their attention is needed. A person can have the comfort in knowing that although they are Deaf/Blind, they can still be aware if a fire alarm is going off in their home, bad weather, someone at their door, their child awake or crying, and if their phone ringing. Silent Call Communications provides a variety of life enhancing systems to be beneficial and helpful to others. The products are designed to provide a convenient way for someone to be alert without missing out on life.

Silent Call Communications is a Waterford, Michigan based company that provides tactile and alerting devices to organizations, companies and individuals alike. Since 1985, the Silent Call Communications Corporation has taken a simple philosophy of personal communications by means of electronic devices and developed an exciting product line. These products have revolutionized the means by which people who are seniors, hard of hearing, deaf or deaf/blind may lead more convenient, safe lives. For more information about Silent Call Communications and products, please visit or call (800) 572-5227 (Voice or TTY).

Ubetcha Marketing, 9007 Crowne Springs Circle, Ste. 106, Louisville, KY 40241

Source: PR Web

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Product Support Services, Inc.

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Based in Coppell, Texas, a suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth, and located just five minutes north of the DFW Airport, PSSI receives, repairs and ships approximately 4,000 discrete units each day.

  • PSSI is ISO certified and has comprehensively integrated robust lean manufacturing processes and systems that enable us to deliver timely and benchmark quality results.
  • PSSI is certified for Levels III and IV repair by a wide variety of OEMs including, for example, Motorola, Nokia, Sony/Ericsson, Samsung, Stanley and LG.
  • PSSI ’s service center is a state-of-the-art facility, complete with multiple wireless test environments and board-level repair capabilities.
  • PSSI ’s state-of-the-art and proprietary Work-In-Process (WIP) systems, and its Material Planning and Warehouse Management systems, enable PSSI to track discrete units by employee, work center, lot, model, work order, location and process through the entire reverse logistics process. Access to this information can be provided to our customers so that they can track the real-time movement of their products.

Pager and Electronics Repair

Product Support Services, Inc.



Product Support Services, Inc.
511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
877-777-8798 (Toll Free)
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American Tower Signals It's Still Best in Class

Its structure is changing, but its asset base, debt load, and operational execution keep it tops.

By Imari Love
06:00 AM

For years, American Tower (AMT) has been the best of the publicly traded tower companies because of its superior asset base, strong economic efficiency, international diversification, and low leverage relative to peers Crown Castle International (CCI) and SBA Communications (SBAC). As this wireless and broadcast communications tower firm approaches its conversion to a real estate investment trust, the investment community will begin to look at it through a slightly different lens. But even though its peer group might be changing, from an investment perspective we think American Tower remains at the head of its class.

In the tower sector, American Tower offers the best combination of growth and economic efficiency. It has the best margins in the group and industry-leading cash flow growth.

Geography, sourcing, and tenancy are all critical factors in gauging the quality of a tower portfolio. Location is important, but population density is not the only factor. Capacity, ground space restrictions, and revenue sharing can be equally important when determining portfolio quality. When taking these other factors into account, a tower outside a top 100 market could easily generate more income than one in a major center like New York or Los Angeles.

American Tower has the best tower portfolio quality because virtually all of its domestic sites came from tower companies and legacy wireless carriers, which tend to have fewer revenue-sharing deals with landowners, better ground lease situations, and more capacity. AT&T and Verizon already had spectrum before the personal communications service spectrum auctions in 1995, and thus had the time for a measured, methodical tower buildout with long-term considerations and multiple tenants in mind. The newer carriers had to roll out more quickly and tended to build more for their own use, which justified towers with less capacity and weaker ground lease dynamics. When Crown Castle acquired tower operator Global Signal in 2007, its portfolio was diluted with 8,000 towers built by newer carriers and paging companies. That year, its gross margin fell more than 2 percentage points and its operating margin was cut by more than half.

During the past three years, American Tower has surged past Crown Castle in terms of tower expansion; it now owns more towers than the two other operators combined. Nearly 90% of its tower growth in this time has come on the international side, which now represents 44% of the firm's overall portfolio. American Tower's international growth has allowed Crown Castle and SBA to close the gross margin gap a bit because international margins are roughly 13 percentage points lower than domestic margins.

Despite this, American Tower is still the sector's gross margin leader thanks to better tower sourcing and the fact that it has the least revenue exposure to lower-margin site development (only 2% versus 9% and 12% at Crown and SBA, respectively). This, along with its international exposure, has helped American Tower generate the highest returns on invested capital in the sector. Although international gross margins are lower, returns on invested capital are actually higher because of better pass-through of expenses and lower building costs. The REIT conversion will expand American Tower's lead in this metric because of its nonexistent corporate tax bill (for the REIT portion of its business).

American Tower is also cheapest on an enterprise value/tower basis, despite the fact that it's larger, more efficient, and has lower leverage. Crown and SBA will increase cash flow faster during the next few years, but from a much smaller base. While American Tower expects 40,000 sites by the end of the year, we think it has close to 45,000 in its grasp, given its recent moves in South Africa, Ghana, and Colombia. Its asset base's size, quality, and efficiency have allowed American Tower to form the sector's lone economic moat.

Stacking Up Against Its New Peers
American Tower's investment profile relative to its new REIT peers is even more impressive. The firm is converting to a real estate investment trust because this is the optimal cash distribution and tax strategy, given the economics of its business. The structure allows shareholders to avoid being taxed at both the investor and corporate levels.

After the conversion goes through at the turn of the year, American Tower will be one of the biggest REITs in the country. Roughly 98% of its income is generated from income-producing real estate, and virtually all of its customers are investment-grade. Its profile should be attractive to income investors looking for attractive underlying growth to support shareholder returns.

American Tower rates well against its REIT peers in terms of price/funds from operations, growth, and leverage. FFO is the most commonly used metric to gauge cash flow from REIT operations. To calculate FFO for American Tower, we took 85% of the depreciation and amortization expense, because that is what we can attribute to real estate. American Tower is slightly cheaper than the sector average and also growing faster. Better yet, it has less leverage than most of the sector. This, combined with robust, visible cash flow growth, makes American Tower one of the most balanced investments on the grid.

We believe a REIT's economic moat comes from imposing steady rent increases on tenants in supply-constrained markets. These rent increases need to be in excess of the rate of inflation; otherwise, investor returns are not keeping pace with the debasement of the dollar. For American Tower, the annual price escalators embedded into its contracts are usually 3%-4%, slightly higher than the average U.S. inflation rate during the past century. Outside the United States, the vast majority of the leases are tied to the CPI of that country (plus a small sweetener). Zoning restrictions protect the industry from ever generating a supply glut.

For property landlords that depend on short-term leases, geographic location and property quality are the main determinants of a moat. In contrast, for property landlords such as American Tower that engage in longer-dated tenant leases, a well-underwritten lease with contractual rent increases or profit-sharing agreements is more important. In our opinion, these sources of long-term rent growth—location and lease terms—are examples of the network effect and high switching costs, respectively. One of the reasons American Tower is the only tower firm to which we've assigned a narrow moat is that management has been able to consistently generate sector-leading gross margins.

Growth Prospects Remain Intact
The conversion to a REIT structure shouldn't compromise American Tower's growth prospects in any way. Between the cash on the balance sheet and the free cash flow it will generate on a yearly basis, the company should have no problem funding further expansion.

American Tower has always had a very disciplined and well-defined methodology for capital allocation. Its funding responsibilities, in order of priority, have been capital expenditures for existing towers, acquisitions, and share buybacks. Starting in 2012, the mandatory REIT dividend will take top priority, but the rest of the list will remain the same.

After speaking with the firm, we are confident it will continue to buy back shares, albeit at a slower pace. Even after paying out a dividend and repurchasing shares, the firm will have the resources to fund more than $1 billion in annual acquisitions. Years from now, we expect depreciation to decline, but we don't project an extreme jump in dividends/taxable income, as management intends to increase the dividend steadily each year. Also, the firm still has net operating losses it will be able to use in the coming years to shield taxable income.

Our fair value estimate for American Tower is $66 per share, which equates to a price/funds from operations multiple of 17.5 times for 2012. Just as Global Signal did before it was bought out four years ago, we believe American Tower will trade at a premium to the REIT sector, given its emerging-market growth prospects, cash flow visibility, and lower leverage.

Source: Morningstar

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LEAVITT Communications

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its stil here


It's still here — the tried and true Motorola Alphamate 250. Now owned, supported, and available from Leavitt Communications. Call us for new or reconditioned units, parts, manuals, and repairs.

We also offer refurbished Alphamate 250’s, Alphamate IIs, the original Alphamate and new and refurbished pagers, pager repairs, pager parts and accessories. We are FULL SERVICE in Paging!

E-mail Phil Leavitt ( ) for pricing and delivery information or for a list of other available paging and two-way related equipment.

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Phil Leavitt

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7508 N. Red Ledge Dr.
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

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TPL Systèmes

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TPL Systèmes

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Preferred Wireless

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Terminals & Controllers:
1 Motorola ASC1500
2 GL3100 RF Director 
9 Glenayre GLS2164 Satellite Receivers
1 GL3000L Complete w/Spares
1 GL3000ES Terminal
2 Zetron 2200 Terminals
  Unipage — Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
Link Transmitters:
2 Glenayre QT4201 & 6201, 25 & 100W Midband Link TX
2 Glenayre QT6201 Link Repeater and Link Station in Hot Standby
1 Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2 Motorola 30W, Midband Link TX (C42JZB6106AC)
2 Eagle Midband Link Transmitters, 125W
5 Glenayre GL C2100 Link Repeaters
VHF Paging Transmitters
1 Motorola VHF PURC-5000 125W, ACB or TRC
6 Glenayre GLT8411, 250W, VHF TX
1 Motorola Nucleus, 125W, VHF, TX
2 Motorola Nucleus, 350W, VHF, TX
UHF Paging Transmitters:
20 Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
6 Motorola PURC-5000 110 & 225W, TRC & ACB
2 QT-7795, 250W, UHF TX
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
3 Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
2 Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15 Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
35 Glenayre 900 MHz DSP Exciters
25 Glenayre GLT-8500 Final PAs
35 Glenayre GLT-8500 Power Supplies

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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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ivy corp

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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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Android devices are prime target as mobile malware jumps 37 percent in Q3

November 21, 2011
Chikodi Chima

bug Android malware has jumped 37 percent in the third quarter of 2011, according to a new quarterly report released by security provider McAfee. Where our phones go, so too go viruses, especially on the Android platform.

“Nearly all new mobile malware was targeted at Android,” according to a summary of the The McAfee Threats Report Q3 2011, which says that Android is the primary mobile operating system for malware developers. Nearly 75 million samples of malware were detected, exceeding earlier estimates of 70 million unique samples.

“This has been a very steady quarter in terms of threats, as both general and mobile malware are more prevalent than ever,” said Vincent Weafer, senior vice president of McAfee Labs, in a release. “So far this year, we’ve seen many interesting yet challenging trends that are affecting the threat landscape, including heightened levels of sophistication and high-profile hacktivist [sic] attacks.”

The report said the most common form of mobile malware was an SMS-sending Trojan that, once installed would send out personal information and steal money. Another form of mobile malware would record phone conversations and forward them, in the hopes of extracting valuable personal information.

The Q3 report cites hacker collective Anonymous as the prime originator of so-called “hacktivist” attacks. Though high profile hacking attacks were launched against targets such as Bay Area Rapid Transit and the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police, the report defines these campaigns as scattered and incoherent, in comparison to previous attacks.

McAfee was bought by Intel for nearly $8 billion in August of 2010, and provides antivirus as well as other security software for consumers and enterprise clients.

Source: VentureBeat

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PAGERS & Telemetry Devices

(12.5 KHz or 25 KHz - POCSAG)

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Br502 Numeric

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Contract Manufacturing Services
Board Level to complete “Turn-Key”

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Bob Popow
Scottsdale, AZ

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Daviscomms (S) Pte Ltd-Bronze Member-CMA


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Newsletter Supporter

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CANYON RIDGE Communications

canyon ridge

Premium Newsletter Supporter

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ProPage Inc.


Newsletter Supporter

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page one wyoming

Newsletter Supporter

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Cook Paging

cook paging

Newsletter Supporter

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Newsletter Supporter

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communication specialists

Newsletter Supporter

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UCOM Paging

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satellite dish ucom logo

Satellite Uplink
As Low As
$500 /month

  • 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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Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

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Complete Technical Services For The Communications and Electronics Industries

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

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

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

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Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

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2-Way 4-Button Pager

  • ReFLEX™ v 2.7.5
  • DSP Technology
  • Industrial Grade



Telephone: 011-82-31-735-7592


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Paging & Wireless Network Planners

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

Cell Phone: 631-786-9359

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Paging & Wireless Network Planners

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  • 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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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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welcom wipath

  • 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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Hark Technologies

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hark logo

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
Web: left arrow CLICK

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David George and Bill Noyes
of Hark Technologies.

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Hark Technologies

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

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M1501 Acknowledgent Pager

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BloostonLaw Telecom Update

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

[Reproduced here with the firm's permission.]


Vol. 14, No. 44 November 23, 2011

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FCC Releases Order On Broadband/Intercarrier Compensation Reform

(Last Friday, November 18, 2011, the FCC released its long awaited Report And Order And Further Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (“Order” or “FNPRM” as appropriate) which runs to 489 pages of text, with almost 300 additional pages of appendices.

We have previously written that the FCC’s actions constitute a watershed event for many of our rural ILEC clients and that some aspects of the FCC’s Order may be vulnerable to appellate review.

Today, we feature a summary of the major changes to USF and intercarrier compensation (“ICC”) that will affect rate of return carriers almost immediately, in the new year. A further analysis of these changes and others will be provided in future issues of this newsletter, including an analysis of the FNPRM referred to earlier.

Please note that this summary is provided at a high level. In the interest of time, there are reports and tariff filings, and specific financial calculations required, that are not detailed here. More focused analysis will follow on notable aspects of the Order, as mentioned, in addition to Calls For Action or other communications from our office, as indicated.)

USF Reforms for Rate-of-Return Carriers: Under the order, rate of return carriers remain under the legacy universal service system, as modified, in the near-term. The FCC contends that based on 2010 support levels, nearly 9 out of 10 ROR carriers will see reductions in high cost universal service support of less than 20% annually, and 7 out of 10 will see reductions of less than 10% annually. The FCC states that almost 34% will see no reductions and more than 12% will see an increase in high cost support. The FCC intends to transition to more incentive-based regulation in the near future.

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  • CAF/ICC Further Notice seeks ways to implement high-cost phase-out.
  • Blooston Rural Carriers seek relief from outage reports.
  • Gloomy prospects for AT&T/ST-Mobile merger.
  • FCC continues EEO audits.
  • FCC releases “Small Biz Cyber Planner.”
  • House panel passes FCC process reform bills.

The modifications to universal service are as follows:

  • 1/1/12- the limit on COE is extended to ICLS.
    • The COE formula applicable to HCLS is updated and also applied to ICLS.
    • For study areas with 6,000 or fewer total working loops, the monthly amount per loop shall be $42.337 - (.00328 x number of total working loops) or $63,000/number of total working loops, whichever is greater.
    • For study areas with more than 6,000 but fewer than 17, 887 total working loops, the monthly amount per loop shall be $3.007 +(117,990/number of total working loops).
    • For study areas with 17,887 or more working loops, the monthly amount per loop shall be $9.56.
    • Beginning 1/1/2013, the monthly per-loop limit shall be adjusted each year to reflect the annual percentage change in GDP-CPI.
  • 2 1/1/12- The HCLS cap is reduced downward to reflect the fact that support for price-cap companies (including their ROR study areas) will be distributed through CAF.
  • 1/1/2012- Parent trap rule, section 54.305, is revised. Any incumbent LEC subject to the provisions of section 54.305, that would otherwise receive no support or lesser support based on the actual costs of the study area, will receive the lesser of the support pursuant to section 54.305 or the support based on its own costs.
  • 7/1/12- high-cost loop support will be reduced to the extent a carrier's local rates for voice services are below a specified urban local rate floor.
    • This rule will be phased in, with full implementation in 2014.
    • The rate floor is $10 for the period July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 and $14 for the period July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.
    • Beginning July 1, 2014, the rate floor will be established after the Wireline Competition Bureau completes an annual survey of voice rates. The FCC anticipates that the rate floor for the third year will be close to the sum of $15.62 plus state regulated fees (state SLCs, state universal service fees and mandatory extended area service charges).
    • HCLS and CAF Phase I support will be reduced dollar-for-dollar to the extent a carrier's local rates plus state regulated fees do not meet the urban rate floor.
    • The calculation of the urban rate floor does not include federal SLCs.
  • 7/1/12- local switching support will be eliminated as a separate support mechanism.
    • Limited recovery of the costs covered by LSS will be available through the ICC recovery mechanism.
    • To simplify the transition of LSS, beginning January 1, 2012 until June 30, 2012, LSS payments shall be frozen at 2011 support levels subject to true-up based on 2011 operating results.
  • 7/1/12- adopt a rule that support in excess of $250 per line per month will no longer be provided.
    • For carriers above the cap, support reductions will be phased in over three years beginning 7/1/12.
    • From July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013, carriers shall receive no more than $250 per-line monthly plus two-thirds of the difference between their uncapped per-line amount and $250.
    • o From July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, carrier shall receive no more than
    • $250 per line monthly plus one-third of the difference between their uncapped per-line amount and $250.
    • July 1, 2014, carriers shall receive no more than $250 per line monthly. Affected carriers may file a petition for waiver or adjustment of the cap.
  • 7/1/12- ROR carriers that continue to receive HCLS or ICLS or begin receiving new CAF funding in conjunction with ICC reform, must provide broadband service at speeds of at least 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream with latency suitable for real-time applications (like VoIP) and with usage capacity reasonably comparable to that available in residential terrestrial fixed broadband services in urban areas, upon reasonable request.
  • Anticipated no later than 7/1/12, after FNPRM-limit reimbursable capital and operations expenses for purposes of determining HCLS support.
    • FNPRM Appendix H sets forth a specific methodology for capping recovery for capital expenses and operating expenses using quantile regression techniques and publicly available cost, geographic and demographic data.
    • The effect will be to limit high cost loop support amounts to reasonable amounts relative to other carriers with similar characteristics.
  • 2012- Safety net additive support received for line loss will be phased out during 2012. No new carriers will receive safety net additive support.
    • Carriers receiving safety net additive whose total TPIS increased by more than 14% over the prior year at the time of their initial qualification will continue to receive support for the remainder of their eligibility period.
    • For the others, support will be reduced by 50% in 2012 and eliminated in 2013.
      No new safety net support will be provided for costs incurred after 2009.
  • Rule adopted to eliminate support for ROR companies in any study area that is completely overlapped by an unsubsidized competitor or a combination of unsubsidized competitors (defined as a facilities-based provider of residential terrestrial fixed voice and broadband service that meet CAF speed, capacity, and latency minimums).
    • The FCC seeks comment on a process to reduce support where an unsubsidized competitor offers voice and broadband service to a substantial majority, but not 100% of the study area.
    • All high-cost support will be phased out over 3 years in study areas where an unsubsidized competitor or combination of competitors offer voice and broadband service at speeds of at least 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream, and with latency and usage limits that meet the broadband performance requirements for 100% of the residential and business locations in the incumbent's study area.
    • The FNPRM seeks comment on the methodology and data for determining overlap.
    • The WCB will publish a finalized methodology for determining overlap and publish a list of companies for which there is a 100% overlap. In these areas, the incumbent's high cost support will be frozen at its total 2010 support or an amount equal to $3,000 times the number of reported lines as of year end 2010, whichever is lower and support will be reduced over three years (33% each year).
    • The FNPRM also seeks comment on a process for determining support in study areas with less than 100% overlap.
  • Waiver request possible if a company can demonstrate that it needs relief from reforms in order for its customers to continue receiving voice service in areas where there is no terrestrial alternative.
    • Any company seeking additional funding will be subject to a total company earnings review.

General USF Reforms
The Commission continues to require all USF recipients to offer voice service. In addition, USF recipients must offer broadband service, as a condition of receiving support.

  • Supported services are defined as “voice telephony service”
  • Section 54.101 is amended to specify that the functionalities of eligible voice telephony services include voice grade access to the public switched network or its functional equivalent; minutes of use for local service provided at no additional charge to end users; toll limitation to qualifying low-income consumers; and access to the emergency services 911 and enhanced 911 services
  • ETCs must offer voice telephony as a standalone service throughout their designated service area at rates that are reasonably comparable to urban rates
  • No preemption of state COLR obligations, at this time
  • Rural rate for voice service will be considered reasonably comparable if it falls within two standard deviations above the national average. The WCB and WTB will conduct an annual survey of voice rates in order to compare urban and rural rates
  • All ETCs must offer broadband services that meet basic performance requirements in their supported area as a condition of receiving federal high-cost support at rates that are reasonably comparable to those in urban areas.
  • Broadband performance requirements are
    • actual download speed of 4 Mbps and upload speed of 1 Mbps
    • sufficiently low latency to enable use of real-time applications (latency of less than 100 milliseconds) and
    • capacity reasonably comparable to urban offerings (the FCC states that a 250 GB monthly data limit would likely be adequate at this time)
  • ETC can seek a waiver of the 1 Mbps upload speed if it can demonstrate that support is insufficient to enable 1 Mbps upstream for all locations
  • Broadband performance requirements are relaxed for carriers providing fixed broadband that are compelled to use satellite backhaul facilities because there are no terrestrial backhaul facilities.

Intercarrier Compensation Reforms For Toll Carriers Including ROR Carriers

  • Bill and Keep “Default” Methodology (carriers may contract on particular terms) for terminating access and reciprocal compensation.
    • 9 year transition for Rate of Return ILECs.
    • 9 year transition for CLECs who are benchmarked to rural ILECs.
    • 6 year transition for price cap LECs and other CLECs.
    • 6 year transition for CMRS carriers with reciprocal compensation rates inconsistent with FCC’s Broadband Order.
    • Interstate, intrastate access rates and reciprocal compensation rates to be reduced on prescribed glide path.
    • FCC Notice of Proposed Further Rulemaking for Originating access, other access charge elements.
  • Bill and Keep to Apply to ILEC-CMRS traffic as default to interconnection agreement (ICA).
  • Phantom Traffic addressed by requiring call information, including from transit providers.
  • VoIP–ILEC toll traffic subject to intercarrier compensation mechanism; traffic can be subject to tariffs; FCC prefers ICA arrangement.
  • VoIP–ILEC non-toll traffic subject to applicable reciprocal compensation rate during transition.
    • Intercarrier compensation for both toll and non-toll VOIP traffic transitions to Bill and Keep.
    • Jurisdictional issues to be addressed by tariffs, similar to P.I.U. tariff provisions today.
  • Clarification For Wireless Issues.
    • FCC clarifies that wireless calls do not “originate” with CMRS carriers acting as transiting carriers to third parties, similar to issues in Halo Wireless proceedings.
    • FCC clarifies that all CMRS-ILEC intra-MTA traffic subject to reciprocal compensation and to Bill and Keep, as default mechanism.
    • FCC limits ILEC transport responsibility for CMRs-ILEC non-access traffic
  • Revenue Recovery For LECs,.
    • To replace some lost access revenues, the FCC has adopted an incentive regulation mechanism based upon 2011 RLEC revenue requirements and revenues. Essentially, each RLEC will receive from a new Connect America Fund mechanism:
      • (1) an ADJUSTED ELIGIBLE RECOVERY AMOUNT consisting of:
        • (a) its 2011 interstate switching access revenue requirement;
        • (b) its 2011 intrastate switched access revenues; and
        • (c) its 2011 net reciprocal compensation,
        • (d) reduced by five percent each year ; from which will be SUBTRACTED:
      • (2) the remaining intercarrier compensation revenues (intrastate access, interstate access and reciprocal compensation) collected by the RLEC; and
      • (3) the Access Recovery Charges (ARCs)(for residential and single-line business customers: beginning at $0.50/line/month and increasing to $3.00/line/month over six years; for multi-line business customers: beginning at $1.00/line/month and increasing to $6.00/line/month over six years, but capped at $3.00/line/month if business already paying $9.20/line/month SLC). Any additional revenues generated by phantom traffic and VoIP revenue recovery will not increase the ADJUSTED ELIGIBLE RECOVERY AMOUNT that each RLEC will receive. Rather, the impact of any and all such increased intercarrier compensation revenues will be solely to reduce the amount of CAF support provided by the FCC to get the RLEC to its ADJUSTED ELIGIBLE RECOVERY AMOUNT.
    • ROR carriers must deploy broadband “upon reasonable request” as conditions for receiving FCC replacement CAF.
    • CLECs ineligible for CAF.
    • All ILECs eligible for revenue mechanism; FCC declines “revenue neutral” approach.
    • Safety Valve Opportunity allegedly available to show that recovery mechanism is “legally insufficient.” Heavy burden of proof imposed on ILECs.

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

CAF/ICC Further Notice Seeks Ways to Implement High-Cost Phase-Out

In its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) accompanying its Connect America Fund (CAF)-Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) Report & Order, the FCC sought comment on issues related to its decision to phase out all high-cost support received by incumbent rate-of-return (RoR) carriers over three years in study areas where an unsubsidized competitor, or combination of unsubsidized competitors, offering voice and broadband service that meets its performance obligations serves 100 percent of the residential and business locations in the incumbent’s study area. The FCC seeks comment on a proposed methodology for determining the extent of overlap, a process for preliminary determinations of such overlap, a process for the affected eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) to challenge the accuracy of the purported overlap, with input from the relevant state commission and the public, and how to adjust support levels in situations with less than 100 percent overlap. The FCC intends to publish a final methodology on these issues in the future.

Some of the highlights of Sections A-K of the FNPRM include:

  • In its Order, the FCC adopted a rule to use benchmarks for reasonable costs to impose limits on reimbursable capital and operating costs for high-cost loop support received by RoR companies. The FCC included a specific methodology for calculating individual company caps for HCLS in Appendix H of its document. It seeks comment on using this methodology to impose limits on reimbursement from HCLS and proposes to implement this methodology for support calculations beginning July 1, 2012.
  • In the Order, the FCC concluded that it should also limit recovery of excessive capital and operating costs through the interstate common line support mechanism. It seeks comment on how specifically to implement such a limit for interstate common line support (ICLS).
  • Under the new funding mechanisms established in the Order and proposed in the FNPRM, ETCs may receive reduced support in their existing service areas, and ultimately may no longer receive any federal high-cost support. The FCC seeks comment on whether such reductions should be accompanied by relaxation of those carriers’ section 214(e)(1) voice service obligations in some cases.
  • The FCC seeks comment on several measures—in addition to requiring USF/Mobility Fund recipients to meet public interest obligations or provide broadband at reasonable rates—to impose greater accountability on recipients of funding.
  • The first alternative remedy the FCC proposes for non-compliance with its rules is a financial guarantee. The FCC proposes that a recipient of high-cost and CAF support should be required to post financial security as a condition to receiving that support to ensure that it has committed sufficient financial resources to complying with the public interest obligations required under the Commission’s rules and that it does in fact comply with the public interest obligations set forth in Section VI of the Order. In particular, the FCC seeks comment on whether all ETCs should be required to obtain an irrevocable standby letter of credit (LOC) no later than January 1, 2013.
  • In other sections of the FNPRM, the FCC seeks comment on applying post-auction procedures, including performance guarantees, to ETCs that apply for funding after a competitive bidding process. In this section, the FCC seeks comment on adopting financial performance guarantee requirements for ETCs that receive funding through processes other than competitive bidding.
  • The FCC seeks comment on whether revocation of ETC designation, denial of certification resulting in prospective loss of support, or recovery of past support amounts is an appropriate remedy for failure to meet the public interest obligations adopted in the Order.
  • The FCC also seeks comment on what specific triggers might lead to support reductions, how much support should be reduced, how best to implement support reductions, and how the review and appeal process should be revised.
  • The FCC seeks comment on whether there are certain requirements in its new annual reporting rule for ETCs, new section 54.313, that do not reflect basic differences in the nature and purpose of the support provided for mobile services. Specifically, the FCC seeks comment on whether it should revise the section 54.313 reporting requirements or adopt new reporting requirements that would apply to support an ETC receives to provide mobile services. For example, new section 54.313 requires ETCs to include in their annual reports, beginning with their April 1, 2014 report, information regarding their progress on their five-year broadband buildout plan.
  • The Order establishes the Mobility Fund, which is to help ensure the availability of mobile broadband services across America. This addresses specifically the second phase of the Mobility Fund, which provides ongoing support for mobile broadband and high quality voice services. The FCC said it anticipates disbursements from the second phase of the Mobility Fund to occur as early as the third quarter of 2013. The Order establishes an annual budget of $500 million, up to $100 million of which will be reserved to support Tribal lands, including Alaska. The FCC proposes rules to use the Mobility Fund Phase II to ensure 4G mobile wireless services in areas where such service would not otherwise be available, and seeks comment on certain alternative approaches.
  • The FCC proposes to use a reverse auction mechanism to distribute support to providers of mobile broadband services in areas where such services cannot be sustained or extended without ongoing support. The FCC proposes that the reverse auction be designed to support the greatest number of unserved road miles (or other units) within the overall Mobility Fund budget. The FCC seeks comment on alternatives, including the use of a model to determine both the areas that would receive support and the level of support. There are a variety of other issues, including process and procedure, related to the reverse auction proposal.

Sections L-R of the FNPRM deal with intercarrier compensation, and the FCC’s proposal to transition to “bill and keep.”

Comments in this WC Docket No. 10-90, et al. proceeding are broken down as follows:

Comments are due January 18, and replies are due February 17, on Section XVII, Parts A-K (Broadband public interest obligations; CAF for RoR carriers; Interstate RoR prescription; Eliminating support for areas with an unsubsidized competitor; Limiting reimbursable capital and operating costs for RoR carriers; ETC service obligations; accountability; Annual reporting requirements for mobile service providers; Mobility Fund (Phase II); Reverse auctions; and Remote Areas Fund).

Comments are due February 24, and replies are due March 30, on Section XVII, Parts L-R (ICC—transitioning to Bill & Keep; Implementation of Bill & Keep; Reform of end user charges and CAF ICC support; IP-to-IP interconnection; Further call signaling rules for VoIP; New ICC rules).

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

Blooston Rural Carriers Seek Relief From Broadband Outage Reports

BloostonLaw, on behalf of the Blooston Rural Carriers, has filed an Ex Parte letter to the FCC, expressing concern about the Commission’s proposed rules regarding outage reporting requirements in PS Docket No. 11-82. Specifically, the Blooston Rural Carriers said that the FCC’s proposed rule Section 4.9(h)(2)(ii)-(iv), concerning outage reporting requirements for broadband Internet access service providers, should not be applied at this time to small rural carriers. Most smaller carriers currently are unable to meet this requirement, and the requirement is not tailored to meet the FCC’s objective in a cost-effective way.

According to the Blooston Rural Carriers, the proposed rule would require the submission of a notification to the Commission within 120 minutes of the discovery that an outage of at least 30 minutes duration has occurred which potentially affects at least 900,000 user minutes and results in

(i) complete loss of service;
(ii) an average packet loss of 1 percent or more;
(iii) an average round-trip latency of 100ms or more;
(iv) or average jitter of 4 ms or more, with all measurements taken in each of at least 6 consecutive 5-minute intervals.

While the language in Section 4.9(h)(2) regarding “potentially affected minutes” closely tracks the language of the requirements already in place for rural wireline carriers, Subsections 4.9(h)(2)(ii), (iii), and (iv), regarding packet loss, latency, and jitter, are entirely new. Currently, many carriers have no procedures in place to track these metrics and, in some cases, no technological capability to track them. As the record reflects, the Blooston Rural Carriers said, compliance with the Commission’s proposed rules will likely result in substantial additional costs for most carriers.

Thus, the Blooston Rural Carriers urged the FCC not to require additional outage reporting from small, rural carriers at this time. In the alternative, they said, small carriers should have a longer period to comply with any rules the FCC eventually adopts, similar to the extended period granted to small providers for the implementation of the Commission’s Local Number Portability (LNP) “one-day reporting requirement.”

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

Some Now Have Gloomy Prospects For Proposed AT&T/T-Mobile Deal

The Financial Times reports gloomy prospects for AT&T winning approval for its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The Times says that AT&T will have to make significant concessions before the February trial, in which the Department of Justice (DoJ) will present its case for blocking the proposed merger on antirust grounds. Meanwhile. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has asked that an Administrative Law Judge review the deal, following a staff determination that the merger would not be in the public interest.

According to the Financial Times, most analysts now rate the deal's chances as less than 50/50, with some even giving it only a 20 percent chance of approval. Bankers note that for the deal to win approval, AT&T might have to sell significant spectrum—possibly advanced wireless service (AWS) spectrum—to smaller companies like MetroPCS.

AT&T and T-Mobile, however, continue to insist that the merger will win approval. And as the Wall Street Journal reports, Verizon recently broke its silence and said it sees “no problem” with the proposed merger, as long as it doesn't come with additional FCC regulation.”

Earlier this month, AT&T pushed back the closing date for the merger until the first quarter of next year, rather than at the end of this year (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, November 9).

Further, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Sprint Nextel and C Spire (formerly Cellular South) could pursue their lawsuits regarding antitrust implications for the mobile services device market (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, November 9).

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


FCC CONTINUES EEO AUDITS: The FCC has mailed the third set of its Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) audit letters for 2011. This mailing was sent to randomly selected multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). The FCC annually audits the EEO programs of randomly selected broadcast licensees and MVPDs. Each year, approximately 5% of all broadcast stations and MVPDs are selected for these random EEO audits. By Public Notice DA 11-571, released March 31, 2011, and Public Notice DA 11-1330, released August 2, 2011, the Media Bureau announced its mailing of similar audit letters to selected broadcast stations. BloostonLaw contact: Gerry Duffy.

FCC RELEASES “SMALL BIZ CYBER PLANNER”: The FCC has released the Small Biz Cyber Planner, a new online tool to help small businesses customize their own cybersecurity plans. The online tool is available at . The Small Biz Cyber Planner online resource will enable any small business to create a customized guide tailored to its cybersecurity needs by answering a few basic questions. According to the FCC, by using this tool and implementing the planning guide, businesses can protect themselves, their information, and their customers from cyber threats. The new online tool was developed as part of a collaboration with government experts and private IT and security companies, including Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Chertoff Group, Symantec, Sophos, Visa, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard (HP), McAfee, The Identity Theft Council, ADP and others. BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

HOUSE PANEL PASSES FCC PROCESS REFORM BILLS: The House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), today approved the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2011 (H.R. 3309) by a vote of 14 to 9, and the Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2011 (H.R. 3310) by voice vote. These bills aim to improve the way the FCC operates by increasing transparency, predictability, and consistency as part of ongoing efforts to ensure that the Commission’s work encourages job creation, investment, and innovation (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, November 9). BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

OPEN RANGE TO LIQUIDATE ASSETS AFTER SOLE BIDDER BACKS OUT: Open Range Communications' assets will be liquidated by the end of the year, and its wireless-broadband service in 12 states will be discontinued after the sole bankruptcy bidder backed out last week, according to the Denver Post. It said that Colorado-based Open Range had chosen Minnesota-based as its "stalking horse" bidder in last week's auction of its assets. had offered $2 million. But it notified Open Range that it would not be buying the assets as specified in a November 2 asset-purchase agreement, according to the Post. In court filings, Open Range blamed the bankruptcy on the inability to get the broadcast spectrum it needed, problems with network quality and vendors, and the "sporadic" flow of money from a $267 million Rural Utilities Service (RUS) loan. Open Range owes a balance of $73.5 million. The House Energy and Commerce Committee recently launched an investigation into the loan (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, November 16). BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

COMMERCIAL MOBILE SERVICE PROVIDERS MUST HAVE CMAS ELECTION NOTIFICATIONS ON FILE WITH FCC; PARTICIPANTS SHOULD BEGIN READINESS PREPARATIONS: In the wake of hurricane Irene and serious regional flooding, BloostonLaw wishes to once again remind our firm’s commercial mobile wireless clients of the possible need, if they have not done so already, to advise the FCC whether their company intends to participate in the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS). While participation in the CMAS is voluntary, the filing of an election report is not. All Commercial Mobile Service (CMS) providers must file regardless of whether they intend to participate or not to participate. The notification must be filed electronically in the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).

The filing requirement applies to all providers of commercial mobile service, including licensees in the following services: Cellular, Broadband PCS, Narrowband PCS, WCS, 700 MHz Guard Band and 700 MHz Commercial,

AWS and Common Carrier Paging. If you have already made the initial filing (and most of our clients have done so), there is no need to make a further filing unless you elected to opt out in the initial filing (as most of our clients did) and now wish to change that election.

Hardware Requirement: Wireless carriers that have elected to participate in CMAS must have necessary network hardware and software installed and ready for operation by April 7, 2012, which is now only four months away.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell, Richard Rubino.

CONFIRMATION HEARING FOR NEW FCC COMMISSIONERS SET FOR NOVEMBER 30: The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has scheduled a November 30 hearing to consider the nominations of Ms. Jessica Rosenworcel and Mr. Ajit Varadaraj Pai, to be FCC Commissioners. BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

OBAMA SIGNS BILL PROVIDING FUNDING FOR RURAL ELECTRIC, TELECOM, AND BROADBAND PROGRAMS: President Obama has signed HR 2112, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012, which provides appropriations through September 30, 2912. The bill is based on a House Conference Report on the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture, Commerce/Justice/Science, and Transportation/Housing appropriations. The conference agreement provides $2.25 billion for rural development programs – $180 million below the fiscal year 2011 level. This funding includes $7.7 billion in loans for the rural electric and telecommunications program, and $212 million in loans for broadband deployment in rural areas. BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

D.C. CIRCUIT UPHOLDS FCC’s DEFINITION OF “REASONABLY COMPARABLE” SERVICE: In Vermont Public Service Board v. FCC, both Vermont and Maine regulators challenged the FCC’s definition of “reasonably comparable” rates for telecommunications service between rural and urban areas, which the Commission must ensure under the Communications Act. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of the FCC. The Court said that the Commission has explained that “reasonable comparability” between rural and urban areas has been largely accomplished and that expansion of the universal service high-cost support fund will “jeopardize other statutory mandates,” such as extending services to schools, hospitals, and libraries, and “ensuring affordable rates in all parts of the country.” Because of this, the Court said, and because the Commission has promised to address state-specific issues, like those presented by Vermont and Maine, through the waiver process, its decision to leave the high-cost support mechanism unchanged is neither arbitrary nor capricious. The D.C. Circuit thus denied the Vermont and Maine petition for review. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

FAILURE OF SUPER COMMITTEE UPs ANTE ON SPECTRUM LEGISLATION: As predicted by most analysts, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (also known as the “Super Committee”) failed to reach a bipartisan agreement before its Thanksgiving deadline, primarily because of the wide gap between Democrats and Republicans on entitlements and spending cuts. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) was particularly disappointed because there was a failure to agree on spectrum legislation. Rockefeller said: “I am troubled by the Super Committee’s failure to make good on their promise to deliver a deficit-reduction plan for America. Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison and I recommended that the super committee include S.911, the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act in their proposal. This bill would not only reduce the federal deficit by at least $6.5 billion but also provide first responders with a life-saving communications network and spur billions of dollars in economic investment. Winning ideas like S.911 cannot keep falling victim to this partisan stubbornness. I will continue to pursue all avenues to get S.911 enacted this year.” S.911 would allocate the 10 MHz “D-block” to a nationwide public safety network, authorize “incentive auctions” for TV broadcasters to voluntarily relinquish their spectrum, and direct surplus auction revenue to reduce the deficit (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, June 15). The House, however, subsequently released a pair of competing discussion drafts. The GOP proposal would auction the D-block and the voluntarily relinquished TV broadcast spectrum to commercial bidders, while the Democratic version would allocate the D-block to public safety (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, July 27). These differences must be worked out before there is a legislative solution. Now with the failure of the Super Committee to act, as BNA reports, many believe there will be more pressure on Congress to pass spectrum legislation this year or early next year. BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, and Cary Mitchell.

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

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

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From: Mark Crosby
Subject: CMA Newsletter
Date: November 18, 2011 2:38:09 PM CST
To: Roy Pottle
Cc: Ted McNaught, Brad Dye

Roy … read your letter to the CEO of Onset Technology in the CMA newsletter and I couldn't agree with you more.  EWA has witnessed absolutely no evidence that the FCC’s narrowbanding regulations are forcing the “decommissioning” of transmitter sites.  Ridiculous. It’s an inaccurate statement at best and I thought you let her off too easy!  EWA experience is just the opposite.  Many private, commercial and public safety licensees are using their obligations to comply with the narrowbanding mandate to upgrade and expand their wireless communication assets.

My best,


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From: Ron Mercer
Subject: Re: CMA Wireless Messaging News
Date: November 15, 2011 10:10:46 AM CST
To: Brad Dye <>

Hi Brad. Hope U R well. When my computer address book was compromised a week or so ago, not only was I embarrassed by a number of bogus emails sent under my name but my address book was wiped clean and I cannot recover it.

In this light, I wonder if you could include a short blurb in this week's Newsletter asking my friends to send me a quick email with their contact info so that I can restore my records.

(BTW, does anybody know how to back-up an email address book?)

Thanks to everyone for their help.

Ron Mercer
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC
217 First Street
East Northport, NY 11731
Tel: (631) 266-2604
Cell Phone: (631) 786-9359

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From: Ron Mercer
Subject: Re: CMA Wireless Messaging News for Ron Mercer
Date: November 19, 2011 3:02:43 PM CST
To: Brad Dye

H ey Brad,

Great article on R.F. Channel definition. Kudos also to Roy for his very appropriate letter to Onset. There is NO connection between base station rationalization and the FCC's narrowband mandate. Moreover, it can be demonstrated that, in some circumstances, subscribers get IMPROVED COVERAGE AFTER channels have been rationalized. Of course, others don't but in any case narrowbanding is unrelated.

One small issue, I did not see my note requesting email messages from my friends to help me recover my e-mail address book.

Maybe you can publish it next week.

Best Regards,

Ron Mercer
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC
217 First Street
East Northport, NY 11731
Tel: (631) 266-2604

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From: Allan Angus
Subject: A couple of things
Date: November 18, 2011 11:35:54 AM CST
To: Brad Dye

So, I received an article from a digital publication called "Edge" lately about an interesting debacle concerning legally authorized "source-side" wiretapping in Germany.

You can find it here and make certain to download and read the English language version of the original article. [These articles follow below translated from German into English.] Your readers may find Command 14 of special interest. This is CALEA at its worst.

On a completely different tack, the law suit between my ex-employer, Gabriel Technologies, aka Trace Technologies, and Qualcomm, Snaptrack, and Norman Krasner, continues to trundle on through the Federal Circuit Court in Southern CA. There is a reasonably active message board on this at on Yahoo Finance. You can also just go to Yahoo Finance and search for GWLK.PK, then select the message board.

I think that this fight might be of some interest to your readers. One of the central points is that Qualcomm, if found guilty of the allegations made in Gabriel's civil suit, actively sought to prevent the deployment of Snaptrack's aGPS technology in the ReFLEX space first by hindering the success of Locate Networks and later that of Trace. There are many components to this story, and as an individual with an interest in the matter, and having sworn certain oaths to the Court, I can't comment on it or provide much detail. Having said that, many of the court filings are available through Media Fire, and a quick review of the Yahoo message board would allow you to dig into these, should you wish to do so. I imagine as well that if you showed up on that Yahoo forum, identified yourself as a member of the press and asked a few questions, you'd find several folks willing to give you directions.



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Anatomy of a digital pest

The Chaos Computer Club received, reverse-engineered – and hacked – the Staatstrojaner surveillance program. The findings are alarming. The trojan can read our thoughts and remote control our computers.

Frank Rieger

On February 27, 2008 the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court of Germany) issued an historical judgment. Concluding the discussion surrounding the Bundestrojaner (or Staatstrojaner, literally "state/federal trojan", colloquial German term for the government malware concept) – known as an "online search" in official German – the highest court in Germany announced a new constitutional right to uphold IT system privacy and integrity. It sets severe restrictions on the secret services and investigation authorities when they seek permission to infiltrate computers in Germany for the purpose of extracting data and surveying core privacy.

Even so, the judgment contains a passage that has the aware concerned: It is the paragraph on Quellen-Telekommunikationsüberwachung ("source telecommunication surveillance" or lawful interception at the source). Representatives of the investigation authorities and the government have vehemently argued in the Karlsruhe discussion that they need to capture all encrypted communication on a suspect's PC before they become encrypted. The court does not want to completely obstruct this and have permitted "source telecommunication surveillance" – though only "when the surveillance is limited to data from an ongoing telecommunications process. This is to be enforced through technical and legal means."

How this type of enforcement is supposed to function in practice was already heatedly debated during the Karlsruhe hearing on the Bundestrojaner. In any case, the court recognized the risks and wrote: "If a complex information technology system is technically infiltrated in order to perform telecommunication surveillance (“source telecommunication surveillance”), the infiltration overcomes the critical hurdle to spying on the system as a whole. The endangerment thereby brought about goes far beyond what is entailed by the mere surveillance of ongoing telecommunication."

The concern is that a backdoor which has already been installed on a PC can be easily programmed with functionality (or download functionality over the internet), which surpasses the constitutionally permissible. This backdoor functionality could then infiltrate undetected deep into the protected private core of the infected PC user's life.

More than three years have passed since the judgment, and the German investigation authorities have not been idle. Criminal proceedings all over Germany in recent months show the use of trojans as a means of surveillance: for example, the case file shows evidence that could not have been garnered from mere telephone wiretapping, or screenshots taken from a suspect's PC show up with no traceable origin. These screenshots documenting various (from an investigation viewpoint) incriminating emails or chats were disguised as "source telecommunications surveillance", applied for and legally approved as wiretapping internet telephony.

If suspects seek to defend themselves against this infiltration into their private sphere, the authorities justify their actions by saying the program they implemented originates from an extremely safe and security-screened service provider. And that they were also specifically created in accordance with current wiretap laws. Exceptionally strict quality control is supposed to make sure that none contain functionality above and beyond the surveillance rules set forth by the constitutional court.

Special emphasis is repeatedly placed on the fact that the functionality of "source telecommunications surveillance" completely rules out an "online search", in which all data on a PC is secretly scanned and controlled remotely. Up until the present there has never been an independent inquiry, we are left with nothing but to rely on the reassurances expressed by the authorities.

A few who were subjected to this type of surveillance wanted to know what was actually done to their computers and what was monitored. So in recent weeks a handful of hard drives found their way to the Chaos Computer Club in anonymous plain brown envelopes.

A brief computer forensics check of the data carriers by the CCC group of hackers revealed that some of the hard drives in fact contained a version of the wiretapping program in question. The trojan versions were remarkably similar showing only minor differences. The files that were once scanned by the authorities were deleted in such an amateur way that they were able to be recovered without much effort using common computer forensics tools. The hackers then got to work on a more detailed examination. What they found would render even the hard-boiled cynic speechless.

Analyzing malware can be compared to dissecting an unknown species. The idea is to identify individual functions, like eyes, ears, the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system, the intestines or vocal apparatus. To do this, known structures are used as comparison – for example, that the eyes of vertebrates have a lens, cornea, pupil, iris and retina. From the existence or absence of these known structures one can deduce possible functionality and anatomic relationships. Using similar methods, functionality and cause-and-effect relationships in an unfamiliar malware can be identified in the machine code.

Machine code is difficult for us to read and understand, in contrast with program code, which is written in a program language such as C++ and later translated into machine code. To discover what effect a certain trojan routine will have, you first have to find out which operating system functions it applies.

A PC operating system provides very basic functions that every program needs to run on a computer. For instance, the reading and writing of files, sending and receiving data over the internet, keyboard entry, sound on and off and software activation. Individual components of malware programs do different tasks and apply different operating system functions, allowing their purpose to be deciphered, similar to how a pathologist can assume an optical sensory organ from the presence of a lens.

What aroused particular interest during the analysis was the immediately identified function that would enable remote control over the internet. After a newly-infected PC restarts, the malware integrates all running programs and sends a few data packets to a dedicated server – interestingly enough situated in the United States, outside of Germany's jurisdiction – to signal its readiness.

These packets are AES coding protected. AES is a trusted standard encryption method that uses the same encryption key to both encode and decode. The key is identical in all the trojan versions the CCC received, it therefore appears to have been reused in different surveillance cases.

To decode the communication sent to the server and to analyze it, the hackers only needed to extract the key from one of the trojans and then run the trojan in an isolated network. They discovered that the encryption has design and implementation flaws allowing the ability to identify the trojan's content without even knowing the key.

The trojan sends a string of characters at regular intervals to the server in the United States to prove it is in fact one of the trojans it controls. The transmission function string in this malware is called C3PO-r2d2-POE. The original programmer was obviously a science fiction freak: In the Star Wars saga C3PO and POE are "protocol droids" who translate communication between the different civilizations and outer space peoples of the universe. The droid R2D2 repaired spaceships.

After the trojan signalizes its presence and transmits a few other data (for instance, a type of case number) it waits for a command from the server. The CCC hackers were horrified to see that the malware received commands without any technical safeguards or authorization.

The commands only contain a few numbers from one to 18 and a few parameters. No encryption was used to receive commands; there was no cryptographic authentication or equivalent. Anywhere else on the internet, like for online banking or even in chat rooms, these have long been standard security measures. The only condition for this federal spyware to accept a command was that it should look like it came from the IP address of the forwarding server. Mirroring a false sending address is child's play for any hacker. This governmental spyware has a barn door-sized security hole that allows itself to be easily exploited.

The functions that can be called up over this remote interface are revealing. Their composition and design leaves no room for doubt – these are being implemented by the German investigation authorities for secret surveillance. To listen in on a Skype call or to make screenshots of web browser windows, these are exactly the functions that are again and again insisted upon by investigations authorities to bypass encryption that renders "normal" wiretapping unattainable. "Commercial" trojans, such as those used to capture online banking data, would have implemented more elegant methods. Everyday antivirus programs don't even recognize that trojan.

Shocked, the hackers could not believe their eyes when they discovered the most deplorable function is retrievable via command 14. This allows the authority who holds command over the trojan to load and execute any program over the internet, without the PC owner's knowledge. It was precisely this constitutionally problematic function – which investigation authorities emphatically maintain is in no way contained in a "source telecommunication surveillance” program – that was found in the analysis.

The trojan can load program extensions which violate terms set by the constitutional court, and execute them. They activate PC hardware like microphone or camera for room surveillance – this is nothing other than a malicious digital eavesdropping and wiretapping assault. In the same way it is possible to load extensions and install functionality that can scan the hard drive of the infected PC and download files – the quintessential definition of "online surveillance". An extended program can even covertly write or modify stored files on the PC remotely over the internet.

In technical terms, digital "evidence" can be easily created this way without the PC owner being able to prevent it, or even prove that it had been done. Say the hard drive holds child pornography or some other kind of incriminating material; it could also have been placed there. This type of "evidence" could, for instance, be "discovered" on a confiscated PC later and it could not be identified as fake data, even when using computer forensics.

As soon as a PC has been infiltrated there is no way to protect the evidence, this is simply one of the most serious criticisms aimed at this malware. Now that it has been discovered that the digital spyware falsely declared as "source telecommunications surveillance" contains a program extension function, and this function isn't even protected against third-party misuse, it confirms all worst case scenarios. What we have here amounts to more than a Bundestrojaner, not a program limited to wiretap telecommunications.

All fears, pointed out by those who criticized Bundestrojaner implementation and helped the Bundesverfassungsgericht to set their judgment, have been confirmed – in a program that was supposed to be for telecommunications surveillance only. Downloaded program extensions technically enable the remote control, manipulation and analysis of an infected computer, even though legal authorization only applies to "source telecommunications surveillance".

In their detailed analysis of this program extension loading function, the CCC hackers came upon a further interesting fact. While the rest of the trojan revealed no significant safeguards against the analysis of its machine code and exploration of its functionality, an attempt was made to disguise this most precarious function and hide its effects.

Individual components of the program designed to execute an extension that was downloaded over the internet were strewn like puzzle pieces only to assemble when required. Only the assembled puzzle provided the machine code routine that actually activated the loaded surveillance module. The contractor and programmers of this trojan seemingly knew about the massive constitutional violation and attempted to cover up their actions.

The trojan code itself does not contain any indication as to who actually wrote the program. An internal correspondence was made public by a judicial authority in 2008, in which a German firm proposed a trojan to listen in on Skype calls. Its range of functionality coincides with that of the trojan the CCC hackers analyzed. Even renting forwarding servers on foreign soil in order to mask the IP address of the trojan control station was mentioned in the proposal.

Two options were listed for infiltrating the computer of a suspect: either physical access of the PC – feasible in a, for instance, covered-up break-in or routine search – or through covert electronic access. The latter occurs, as learned from reports of trojans used by North African dictators, usually via email attachment or by automatic installation via software the targeted person downloads themselves.

The standard trojan "delivery package" – that is, without extension modules – already contains functionality that calls the implementation of governmental spyware into question. The built-in function enables the capture of a filmstrip of screenshots of current web browser, chat and email program contents.

More and more people use web-based cloud services for all their essential tasks. From web-mail service, word processing or spreadsheet calculation with Google Docs, to online photo services, just about everything runs over a browser. And the Staatstrojaner makes a screenshot on command of what's happening in the browser every few seconds. This data capture isn't restricted to pure telecommunications, not by a long shot.

Much like a flip book, the conception of text, calculations, private notes and emails can be observed – one screenshot after the other. Even messages that were deleted and never sent land on the control server. Lots of people have gotten into the habit of storing their thoughts and feelings on their PC without necessarily sending them. It is this private sphere that is without a doubt within the strictly protected core area of private life that the Bundesverfassungsgericht sought to maintain. Now they end up in investigator's and secret services' files via authorization of simple telecommunications surveillance.

To avoid revealing ongoing investigations, the CCC informed the Federal Ministry of the Interior long before releasing details about the Staatstrojaner. The trojan in question resembles a parasite that infects the brain of its victim, accesses the victim's sensory organs and sends signals to its lord and master. The authorities had obviously misused the trust placed in them and covertly did exactly what the Bundesverfassungsgericht disallows. The German investigation authorities' malware has become a tool designed to secretly extract data from the privacy sphere of a targeted PC and at the click of a mouse to enter into malicious eavesdropping and wiretapping.

The crucial question of how far should we entrust the investigation authorities in their use of this type of surveillance, has become more urgent through the CCC analysis. It is certainly not the first time the police has applied the use of technology "creatively". But it is the first time the term "surveillance" was systematically stretched to include measures contrary to the explicit Karlsruhe judgment. It is also the first time the public has been led astray.

It will no longer be believed that new surveillance methods – as well as the power German politicians like to invoke – are being applied with restraint. And constitutional judgment has once again proven ineffectual and inadequate in its protection of the basic rights of the spied upon. The digital sphere of privacy, which must remain protected, must be redefined immediately.

A catalogue of permissible investigation methods must be precisely defined and made mandatory; after all, technological grey zones lead time and again to basic rights violations. The time has come for the legislative body to place a ban on the use of unlawfully-gained evidence and to demand sanctions and compensation standards. The "fruit of the poisonous tree" (legal metaphor: evidence obtained by illegal means) has obviously become too appealing.

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state trojan

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Code is law

Von Frank Schirrmacher

The Staatstrojaner (literally "state trojan", colloquial German term for the government malware), whose self-destruct function obviously failed, was discovered, reverse-engineered and analyzed by Chaos Computer Club hackers. The findings, if the CCC's analysis is correct, are conclusive and alarming: The government surveillance software not only contains illegal functionality, it also appears to be so significantly flawed, that anyone who can encrypt the key can also hack all similar versions and control them remotely. Should evidence captured this way have any legitimacy in a court of law? And, first and foremost: What does it mean when, as demonstrated by the CCC, anyone that knows the IP address of the infected computer can install fake "evidence" without leaving so much as a trace or little chance of acquittal? The HSH Nordbank case, where child pornography was planted on a work computer by private detectives, is an omen of a new type of reputation-destroying strategy.

But there's more: Computers are not only instruments of communication, they are instruments of thought. A series of screenshots taken every second (forwarded to the United States and from there back to Germany) of someone creating a text – never emails or digital monologues – shadows the thought process itself. What is happening here makes your hair stand on end. The CCC analysis could change the political world forever in an era that prompted the success of the Pirate Party.

For, in view of our current state of knowledge, this can not be trivialized. There is only one reason why it isn't completely unsettling; it is, ironically, our trust in the government. Germany is not a country known for rule-bending judges and prosecutors. Sometimes they know as little as anyone else does on the subject of complex software. Just about everybody, the Bundesverfassungsgericht (German constitutional court) and the CCC hackers alike, agree that digital surveillance can be used to prevent or detect the worst criminal activities – as long as legal provisions are enforced.

This, however, is no appeasement. Quite the contrary. Apparently this trojan is allowed to do absolutely anything. It is only a matter of which parts are activated, or disabled. But the function that enables this is disguised – meaning the programmers knew that what they were doing was wrong. But who else knew this? And who else can understand the machine code that discloses this fact?

It is not a question of how moral and constitutional are our institutions, but who has the power over digital society now. This question arises wherever digital systems have become instruments for control, from financial markets and social networks to the government. Years ago the American doctor of law Lawrence Lessig introduced the phrase: "Code is law." What he meant was that those who code relegate conduct in modern society. While the digital age brings with it perhaps the greatest emancipation of humanity since the discovery of the printed book, at the same time it dramatically threatens the concept of freedom. Who determines ethical values in a digital society? The citizen, or the coders and their contractors? This is the newest power struggle in democracy, and it is, as shown in the case at hand, in the process of being decided in favor of code.

We should not delude ourselves into thinking that those who have the power use it. Internet surveillance technology available to the secret services has acquired a whole new level of relevance with the German police and law authorities. Here the police apparatus itself is at risk of becoming shadowed by secret services with one vital difference – they would have to present their findings as evidence before a court of law.

Who has the power over the programmer? Who contracts the coding job? Is it really enough to trust the state's loyalty to the constitution when the code, which only the contractor and programmers understand, has already betrayed constitutional rights? All these questions remain unanswered. The internet is not revolutionizing the citizenry and industry architecture; we are now seeing it happening to the state as well. The freedom of the individual depends entirely on bringing code and law into balance.

Now, since the success of the Pirate Party, there may be a chance that this will become a real [political] task. We need to realize that the new world is not only bright and shiny, but that it also has the potential to create a monster.

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Source and graphic sketch: Frank Rieger/Photos: Dorling Kindersley; Fujitsu-Siemens; ZB; heu./F.A.Z. graphic Heumann. Translations by Helen E. Carter.

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From: Vic Jackson
Subject: CMA Letter to Onset Technology
Date: November 21, 2011 7:26:31 AM CST
To: Brad Dye


The letter last week from Roy Pottle to Judit Sharon, CEO of Onset Technology reminded me that this is not the first time Onset Technology has made inaccurate and disparaging remarks about the paging industry.

Recall my e-mail exchange in the February 2009 Newsletter (now CMA Wireless Messaging News) with Zack Silbinger VP of Business Development at Onset Technology, which involved a "discussion" of Onset's outlandish, misleading view of the paging business. Obviously, as evidenced by their recent statements, Onset is only interested in "solutions", not the reliability, viability and capability of their customers telecommunications networks. Too bad Onset did not mention how well their "solution" worked in some of the more dramatic disasters the last couple of years.

Hurrah! to Roy Pottle for his excellent defense of the paging industry!


Vic Jackson
Interconnection Services, Inc.
2377 Seminole Dr.
Okemos MI 48864
OFC: 517 381 0744


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CMA Protocol Working Group

WCTP Modification
(RFC # 001-20111020)

1. Person requesting the change:

Brian Claise
Critical Response Systems, Inc.
1670 Oakbrook Drive, Suite 370
Norcross, GA 30093-1849

2. Identify the protocol that may be impacted (including current version number):

WCTP™ Version 1.3 Update1

3. State the purpose of the change request: a brief statement of the new requirement, feature, problem, or defect addressed in this request.

This RFC proposes changing the behavior of the wctp-Payload element to include wctp-LocationData.

4. Describe in detail the requirement, feature, problem or defect. Use the following statements as guidelines in preparing your description:

With the advent of new two-way pagers that include GPS coordination, the ability to include location data to a message response has appeared. This change provides the ability for a 2nd response packet to be sent from the device which includes location data.

Section 7.2 “Payload” should be revised to specify that “The four types of payload include wctp-Alphanumeric, wctp-Transparent, wctp-MCR, and wctp-LocationData”.

There are no backward or forward compatibility issues arising from this change.

5. Identify any network elements that may be impacted by the change request:


6. Identify any other protocols that may be impacted (including current version number):

7. Severity of the issue: Low/Medium/High and if applicable request resolution date.


8. Risk of the issue: Low/Medium/High


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Brad Dye
With best regards,

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Newsletter Editor


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Wireless Messaging News
Brad Dye, Editor
P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

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Skype: braddye
Telephone: 618-599-7869

Wireless Consulting page
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I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving day.

If you wern't feeling very "thankful" yesterday, some people find it helpful to actually write down on paper a "gratitude list." They carry it with them and any time they are feeling a little "blue" they just take it out and read it. I hear it works wonders.

—Brad Dye

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left arrow 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 to the left.

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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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