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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — July 22, 2016 — Issue No. 716

Wishing a safe and happy weekend for all readers of The Wireless Messaging News.

Check out Swissphone's updated ad. When buying products from them (and I hope you are) please mention that you saw their advertisement in The Wireless Messaging News.

Of course, the same goes for all of our advertisers. They, along with the voluntary donations from individuals, make this newsletter possible. It takes a lot of work, but it is the most enjoyable job I have ever had.

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Now on to more news and views.

Wayne County, Illinois

Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Telemetry
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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About Us

A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.

I spend the whole week searching the Internet for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.

Editorial Policy

Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association.



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There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.

Back To Paging

Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!




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The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism Systems International
Kevin D. McFarland, MSCIS
Sr. Application Systems Analyst
Medical Center
Paul Lauttamus
Lauttamus Communications & Security
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Wireless Consultant
Barry Kanne
Paging Industry Veteran
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Allan Angus
Consulting Engineer

The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.

Advertiser Index

Critical Alert
Easy Solutions
Hark Technologies
Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates a/k/a IWA Technical Services
Leavitt Communications
Preferred Wireless
Prism Paging
Product Support Services — (PSSI)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC — (Ron Mercer)
WaveWare Technologies











Be sure your infrastructure is up and running with the ProTek Flex Site Monitor from PageTek.

ProTek Flex—reliable, adaptable, expandable, affordable—and no surprises.




WaveWare Technologies

Enhancing Mobile Alert Response
2630 National Dr., Garland, TX 75041

New Products

OMNI Messaging Server

  • Combines Nurse Call Monitoring and Browser Based Messaging
  • Combines Radio Paging with Smartphone and E-mail Integration
  • Embedded System with 2 RS-232 Ports and Ethernet
  • Browser Based Messaging and Configuration
  • Smartphone Alert Notification Using Low-Latency Communication Protocols
  • TAP, COMP2, Scope, WaveWare, SNPP, PET and SIP Input Protocols
  • PIN Based Routing to Multiple Remote Paging Systems
  • 2W, 5W Radio Paging

MARS (Mobile Alert Response System)

  • Combines Paging Protocol Monitoring and Wireless Sensor Monitoring (Inovonics and Bluetooth LE)
  • Improves Mobile Response Team Productivity using Smartphone App
  • Low-Latency Alerts using Pagers, Smartphones, Corridor Lights, Digital Displays and Annunciation Panels
  • Automated E-mail Based Alert Response and System Status Reports
  • Linux Based Embedded System with Ethernet and USB Ports
  • Browser Based Configuration

STG (SIP to TAP Gateway)

  • Monitors SIP protocol (engineered for Rauland Responder V nurse call)
  • Outputs TAP protocol to Ethernet and Serial Port Paging Systems
  • Linux Based Embedded System
  • Browser Based Configuration

WaveWare Technologies


Easy Solutions

easy solutions

Easy Solutions provides cost effective computer and wireless solutions at affordable prices. We can help in most any situation with your communications systems. We have many years of experience and a vast network of resources to support the industry, your system and an ever changing completive landscape.

  • We treat our customers like family. We don’t just fix problems . . . We recommend and implement better cost-effective solutions.
  • We are not just another vendor . . . We are a part of your team. All the advantages of high priced full time employment without the cost.
  • We are not in the Technical Services business . . . We are in the Customer Satisfaction business.

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

  • Glenayre, Motorola, Unipage, etc.
  • Excellent Service Contracts
  • Full Service—Beyond Factory Support
  • Contracts for Glenayre and other Systems starting at $100
  • Making systems More Reliable and MORE PROFITABLE for over 30 years.

Please see our web site for exciting solutions designed specifically for the Wireless Industry. We also maintain a diagnostic lab and provide important repair and replacement parts services for Motorola and Glenayre equipment. Call or e-mail us for more information.

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119

Easy Solutions

Facebook Connectivity Lab’s Aquila Aircraft Takes Flight

By David Cohen on Jul. 22, 2016 - 9:00 AM

Nearly one year ago, Facebook announced that its Aquila high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft was ready for flight testing , and the social network took the next step Thursday.

Global head of engineering and infrastructure Jay Parikh announced in a Newsroom post that the first full-scale test flight of Aquila was a success.

Aquila is one of the projects spearheaded by Facebook Connectivity Lab to further ’s mission of connecting everyone in the world to the Internet. Parikh described it as follows:

Aquila is a solar-powered airplane that can be used to bring affordable internet to hundreds of millions of people in the hardest-to-reach places. When complete, Aquila will be able to circle a region up to 60 miles in diameter, beaming connectivity down from an altitude of more than 60,000 feet using laser communications and millimeter wave systems. Aquila is designed to be hyper-efficient, so it can fly for up to three months at a time. The aircraft has the wingspan of an airliner, but at cruising speed it will consume only 5,000 watts—the same amount as three hair dryers, or a high-end microwave.

He also detailed the steps leading up to Thursday’s successful test flight:

We’ve been flying a one-fifth scale version of Aquila for several months, but this was the first time we’ve flown the full-scale aircraft. This test flight was designed to verify our operational models and overall aircraft design. To prove out the full capacity of the design, we will push Aquila to the limits in a lengthy series of tests in the coming months and years. Failures are expected and sometimes even planned; we learn more when we push the plane to the brink.

This first functional check was a low-altitude flight, and it was so successful that we ended up flying Aquila for more than 90 minutes—three times longer than originally planned. We were able to verify several performance models and components, including aerodynamics, batteries, control systems and crew training. In our next tests, we will fly Aquila faster, higher and longer, eventually taking it above 60,000 feet. Each test will help us learn and move faster toward our goal.

In a separate blog post , Martin Luis Gomez and director of engineering, telecommunications infrastructure

offered far more details on the preparations that led up to Thursday’s test flight, as well as an outline of the challenges to come: ensuring that Aquila is able to collect enough solar energy; increasing battery power while keeping size to a minimum; working with an unprecedented combination of size and speed for an aircraft; and keeping the project economically viable.

They added:

Over the course of the next several months, we’ll continue to study the data we obtained from this initial flight. As we conduct more test flights, we will add more aircraft to the test fleet, fly to higher altitudes and explore both the high-speed regime, where the airframe’s flexibility becomes limiting, and the low-speed loiter regime, where the aircraft will eventually provide connectivity to the ground. We will add instrumentation to the aircraft to help us learn about the structural dynamics, stability and control derivatives and the all-important aerodynamic efficiency. We’ll also experiment with different aircraft form factors, sizes and weights as we learn more.

AquilaTestFlight from SocialTimes on Vimeo .

Source: SocialTimes  

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Prism Paging

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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, Voice-mail, 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

Product Support Services, Inc.

Repair and Refurbishment Services

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Product Support Services, Inc.

511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
(972) 462-3970 Ext. 261 left arrow left arrow

PSSI is the industry leader in reverse logistics, our services include depot repair, product returns management, RMA and RTV management, product audit, test, refurbishment, re-kitting and value recovery.

Knox County, Tenn., Upgrades Emergency Communication Network

The county has renegotiated with Motorola to install a new digital 911 system and replace the analog system from 1985.


(TNS) — Three years after beginning the process to obtain a new digital radio system, the Knox County E-911 Board of Directors on Tuesday unanimously approved an $8.7 million contract with Motorola Solutions.

Ironically, Motorola's December 2013 proposal to provide Knox County's E-911 Center with a radio system was deemed non-responsive to the needs of emergency agencies. An evaluation committee found Motorola's proposal as the weakest of three submissions.

The E-911 board of directors is meeting at the E-911 Center on Bernard Avenue and approved a contract produced after negotiations by Knox County Director of Purchasing Hugh Holt.

"Through Hugh Holt's efforts, we've saved several million dollars," Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said Monday before today's board meeting.

"He's an expert at these things," said Burchett, who serves on the board.

Motorola critics repeatedly have referenced potential hidden costs and change orders that boost the price of a system significantly beyond the original contract. Burchett, however, said he was confident Holt "and his staff have carefully reviewed the contract for that."

"The safety of our emergency workers is the main thing," he said.

If approved by the 11-member board of directors, Knox County moves closer to joining the Tennessee Valley Regional Communications System based in Chattanooga. The board earlier this month approved joining the regional system, which operates on Motorola equipment.

Holt said Motorola honored discounts on equipment purchases even though the company's June 30 deadline to sign a contract to get the price reductions had passed.

"We got all the discounts," Holt said Monday. "We got close to $7 million in reductions off the state contract. It's an average of 25 percent in cost reductions."

Motorola, as well as other radio providers, has contracts with the state offering discounts on radios, programming and system equipment.

Holt said if he bought Knox County's new system under the state contract, the cost would have been $13,051,459, with another $3.7 million required for equipment and programming to partner with the regional system.

Under discounts negotiated by Holt and Jay Garrison, procurement coordinator, the radio system costs will total $7.3 million. The seven-year maintenance contract, which includes system upgrades and assures daily operation of the system, added $1.4 million to the contract, Holt said.

Holt said installation of the digital system will take 14 to 15 months. Each of Knox County's five radio sites will be examined to assure towers are capable of holding new equipment.

There are no monetary damages in the contract for missed deadlines, but Holt said no payments will be made to Motorola until installation milestones are reached. In addition, Holt structured the payment schedule to withhold money until the system is completed.

"I'm holding back 25 percent of the contract until the system is online and accepted," he said.

Alan Bull, interim executive director of the E-911 Center, said questions about the Motorola system's ability to meet the needs of emergency agencies have been answered. The User's Committee had submitted questions to Motorola and requested clarification on some items before approving the system.

"They have signed off on the system and it meets all their needs," Bull said.

Joining the regional radio system will be an incremental process, Bull said.

"It's not just a matter of flipping a switch," he said.

As Knox County radios join the regional system, emergency agencies will pay $42.80 annually to Chattanooga for each radio. Chattanooga oversees operation of the regional system that also is governed by a five-member executive committee. Knox County has about 4,800 radios on its system.

The new digital system will replace the analog system installed in 1985 by Motorola. That system is outdated and hard to repair because of a lack of replacement parts.

Holt in 2013 oversaw a transparent procurement process in which the E-911 Center solicited bids for a new radio system. That process resulted in Harris Corp. selected as the best proposal for Knox County emergency workers.

Holt negotiated with Harris to settle upon an $8.9 million radio system.

But some board members — especially Knox County Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones and Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch — privately worked to thwart awarding the contract to Harris.

Jones especially expressed a preference for Motorola radios and equipment. It was Jones who suggested Knox County partner with the Tennessee Valley Regional Communications System, which is equipped with Motorola equipment, radios and programs.

©2016 the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Leavitt Communications


Specialists in sales and service of equipment from these leading manufacturers, as well as other two-way radio and paging products:

UNICATIONbendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

COMmotorola red Motorola MOBILITY spacer
Philip C. Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Web Site:
Mobile phone:847-494-0000
Skype ID:pcleavitt


Disaster-Proven Paging for Public Safety

Paging system designs in the United States typically use a voice radio-style infrastructure. These systems are primarily designed for outdoor mobile coverage with modest indoor coverage. Before Narrowbanding, coverage wasn’t good, but what they have now is not acceptable! The high power, high tower approach also makes the system vulnerable. If one base station fails, a large area loses their paging service immediately!

Almost every technology went from analog to digital except fire paging. So it’s time to think about digital paging! The Disaster-Proven Paging Solution (DiCal) from Swissphone offers improved coverage, higher reliability and flexibility beyond anything that traditional analog or digital paging systems can provide. 

Swissphone is the No. 1 supplier for digital paging solutions worldwide. The Swiss company has built paging networks for public safety organizations all over the world. Swissphone has more than 1 million pagers in the field running for years and years due to their renowned high quality.

DiCal is the digital paging system developed and manufactured by Swissphone. It is designed to meet the specific needs of public safety organizations. Fire and EMS rely on these types of networks to improve incident response time. DiCal systems are designed and engineered to provide maximum indoor paging coverage across an entire county. In a disaster situation, when one or several connections in a simulcast solution are disrupted or interrupted, the radio network automatically switches to fall back operating mode. Full functionality is preserved at all times. This new system is the next level of what we know as “Simulcast Paging” here in the U.S.

Swissphone offers high-quality pagers, very robust and waterproof. Swissphone offers the best sensitivity in the industry, and battery autonomy of up to three months. First responder may choose between a smart s.QUAD pager, which is able to connect with a smartphone and the Hurricane DUO pager, the only digital pager who offers text-to-voice functionality.

Bluetooth technology makes it possible to connect the s.QUAD with a compatible smartphone, and ultimately with various s.ONE software solutions from Swissphone. Thanks to Bluetooth pairing, the s.QUAD combines the reliability of an independent paging system with the benefits of commercial cellular network. Dispatched team members can respond back to the call, directly from the pager. The alert message is sent to the pager via paging and cellular at the same time. This hybrid solution makes the alert faster and more secure. Paging ensures alerting even if the commercial network fails or is overloaded.

Swissphone sets new standards in paging:

Paging Network

  • It’s much faster to send individual and stacked pages digitally than with analog voice.
  • If you want better indoor coverage, you put sites closer together at lower heights.
  • A self-healing system that also remains reliable in various disaster situations.
  • Place base station where you need them, without the usage of an expensive backhaul network.
  • Protect victim confidentiality and prevent unauthorized use of public safety communications, with integrated encryption service.


  • Reliable message reception, thanks to the best sensitivity in the industry.
  • Ruggedized and waterproof, IP67 and 6 1/2-feet drop test-certified products.
  • Battery autonomy of up to three months, with a standard AA battery.
  • Bluetooth enables the new s.QUAD pager to respond back to the dispatch center or fire chief.


  • Two-way CAD interfaces will make dispatching much easier.
  • The new s.ONE solution enables the dispatcher or fire chiefs to view the availability of relief forces.
  • A graphical screen shows how many of the dispatched team members have responded to the call.

Swissphone provides a proven solution at an affordable cost. Do you want to learn more?
Visit: or call 800-596-1914.


The High Cost Of Secrecy—A WHKP Station Editorial

July 18 2016

There is every indication that Henderson County emergency officials are moving ahead with taking from you and all of us in the general public a long-standing fundamental cornerstone of freedom…and that is access to public information broadcast over the air waves. And after the last City Council meeting, the City of Hendersonville appears to have signed on to this as well.

The “encryption” of all police, sheriff’s, fire department, Rescue Squad, and Emergency Medical Service radio transmissions is now, without any public hearings or citizen input and obviously without any expression of concern or opposition from our local elected commissioners and city council members, a done deal. Encryption has already begun, and local scanners are going silent.

North Carolina law says very clearly and simply: “communication between or among employees of public law enforcement agencies that are broadcast over the public airwaves” are public record. In other words, it’s public property, not to be denied to the public by any local government or government official.

We’re told now by the county attorney and others that this is true, but the public is not entitled to these transmissions in “real time”, not as it happens. We’ve been at the meeting on this, where as far as we can tell, if you, as a tax-paying member of the general public, want what was said in a specific transmission, you’d have to request a transcript. There’s no telling what all that would involve, how long it would take, and there is no guarantee at all that what you’d get is REALLY what was transmitted. This claim that you are not entitled to it in “real time”, frankly, is “lawyer talk”, to borrow a better description from the late Carl Sandburg, it’s “gobbledegook”…and we don’t see it in the law anywhere.

Folks, what your local governments are doing here is nothing more than an “end run” around the public’s right to know, to clearly and legally defined PUBLIC INFORNATION.

We were first told the reason for all this encrypted secrecy is to protect the victim’s identity and right to privacy. Now, according to an article in the Times-News, the argument seems to be that encryption will keep law enforcement officers from being vulnerable to the “bad guys” who are monitoring their transmissions. But we have not seen, nor have we been given, any examples where a victim’s identity or right to privacy has been violated or a local officer endangered by open, legal radio communications

As far as we can tell, the actual dollar cost to the taxpayers of all this secrecy, for far, is $1.7 million. Plus another $126,000 for city police and fire department to “join up”. And the article in the paper adds to that a “maintenance” cost of $10,000 . . . which in the future will be “divved up” among the departments, i.e. the taxpayers.

But the dollar amount is miniscule when compared to the loss of the public’s right to public information, transmitted over public airwaves, and communicated by public employees, who are paid with the taxpayer’s money.

The severity of the secrecy that’s coming with all this encrypted radio traffic is secondary, we believe, to the secret way this whole thing developed, in our own community, literally right under our own noses. Maybe we in the media weren’t paying close enough attention. Maybe the public doesn’t care. Maybe in this day and age of terrorism and mass murders, we’ve all become so terrified that we’re willing to give up freedom for the sake of protection and security. In any case, we believe the only ones who benefit from secrecy, including secret radio transmissions over the public airwaves . . . in clear violation of state law and public policy . . . are those with something to hide.

As we said in an earlier editorial, this “train may well have already left the station”…and some local officials will claim that it’s too late and too costly to turn back now. But folks…if we let this stand, if we give in to this loss of this one aspect of our freedom, we’ll all be left a little less free . . . and waiting for the next shoe to drop on the liberty that 25,000 patriots gave their lives for in 1776 and that millions more have died for since then. The loss of freedom always starts somewhere, and it usually starts quietly, even secretly, and sometimes with good intentions. But when it’s gone, it’s gone.

We urge you to let your elected officials know…if you’re concerned about these secret, encrypted radio transmissions that you pay for, and under the law are entitled to . . . in “real time”. They are the only ones who can stop it, if they will.

This has been a WHKP station editorial. As always, we invite your comments . . . on our comments.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman

Source: .

Leavitt Communications

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 250s, 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.

black line

Phil Leavitt

leavitt logo

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Hark Technologies

hark logo

Wireless Communication Solutions

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)

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

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

Hark Technologies

Preferred Wireless

preferred logo

Terminals & Controllers:
4ASC1500 Complete, w/Spares
3CNET Platinum Controllers
2GL3100 RF Director
1GL3000 ES — 2 Chassis — Configurable
1GL3000 L — 2 Cabinets, complete working, w/spares
35SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1Unipage — Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
10Zetron M66 Transmitter Controllers
15Glenayre Complete GPS Kits
1Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
3Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
Link Transmitters:
6Glenayre QT4201 25W Midband Link TX
3Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
1Motorola Q2630A, 30W, UHF Link TX
VHF Paging Transmitters:
19Motorola Nucleus 125W CNET
6Motorola Nucleus 350W CNET
11Motorola Nucleus 350W NAC
14Motorola Nucleus 125W NAC
1Glenayre QT7505
1Glenayre QT8505
3Glenayre QT-100C
UHF Paging Transmitters:
16Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
2Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
4Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
 Nucleus Power Supplies
 Nucleus NIU, Matched Pairs
 Nucleus GPS Reference Modules
 Nucleus GPS Receivers
 Nucleus Chassis
 Glenayre 8500, PAs, PSs, DSP Exciters
 Glenayre VHF DSP Exciters


Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail

Rick McMichael
Preferred Wireless, Inc.
Telephone: 888-429-4171
(If you are calling from outside of the USA, please use: 314-575-8425) left arrow

Preferred Wireless


Critical Alert

spacer cas logo

Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

Formed in 2010, CAS brought together the resources and capabilities of two leading critical messaging solutions providers, UCOM™ and Teletouch™ Paging, along with lntego Systems™, a pioneer in next-generation nurse call systems. The result was an organization that represented more than 40 years of combined experience serving hospitals and healthcare providers.

CAS was created to be a single-source provider for hospitals and healthcare facilities in need of advanced nurse call and communications technologies.

Unlike our competitors, our product development process embraced the power of software from its inception. This enables us to design hardware-agnostic solutions focused on built-in integration, flexibility and advanced performance.


Nurse Call Solutions

Innovative, software-based nurse call solutions for acute and long-term care organizations.


Paging Solutions

To this day, for critical messaging, nothing beats paging. It’s simply the best way to deliver a critical message.



© Copyright 2015 - Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

BloostonLaw Newsletter

Selected portions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section with the firm’s permission.

BloostonLaw Telecom UpdateVol. 19, No. 29July 20, 2016

Typographical Error in Incentive Auction Materials

The FCC’s Auction System sent out a notification yesterday highlighting a typographical error in the auction materials sent to individual authorized bidders for the upcoming Auction 1002. Specifically, Auction 1002 qualified bidders need to use the following web address to access the Auction System: .


FCC Issues Technology Transitions and Access Charges Order

On July 25, 2016, the FCC released a Declaratory Ruling, Second Report and Order, and Order on Reconsideration which materially reshapes the provision of interstate access charges through tariffing, and the way that local exchange companies must meet FCC requirements when transitioning TDM-based voice service to another technology. Although the tariffs and technology transition matters were handled in separate dockets, they were combined in the Order here. For ease of reference, each subject is discussed separately in this article.

Access Service Is Non-Dominant

US Telecom (USTA) had earlier filed a petition with the FCC seeking a declaration that all interstate access service is “non-dominant” in nature. This regulatory classification is used by the FCC to indicate that a particular service (e.g., long distance) is subject to enough competition to warrant a lighter regulatory touch. The FCC reviewed the sources and extent of local competition, and hence whether incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”) remain dominant in the provision of interstate switched access services. After considering statistics provided by USTA, the Commission decided that a change to non-dominant classification is warranted. The result of this ruling is that ILECs are now relieved of tariffing obligations, with some exceptions, otherwise arising from dominant classification. This means that ILECs are relieved from mandatory tariffing obligations. Thus, offering interstate access on a detariffed basis is permissive, but not mandatory.

However, one exception is that carriers who participate in the Connect America Fund support mechanisms must continue to file interstate tariffs. Additionally, the Order leaves in place requirements governing NECA pooling. We presume, without certainty, that if an ILEC were to de-pool from NECA and to offer access service pursuant to contract, its own NECA pooling obligations would terminate. This subject is not addressed by the Order , but we will shortly seek clarification on this.

Section 214 Oversight

The Order also addresses the impact of non-dominant status for ILECs discontinuing switched access service and in transfers of control. While in both cases ILECs are still required to comply with Section 214 prior authorization, the Order authorizes streamlined treatment depending on a particular carrier’s circumstances relative to current FCC Rule requirements. Finally, the Order makes clear that the FCC regulation of End User Access charges (subscriber line charges) continues, and that ILEC obligations under Section 251(c) of the Communications Act remain unaffected.

Technology Transition

The Order also contains new rules applicable to technology transition discontinuance applications. The Order concludes that “…applications seeking to discontinue a legacy TDM-based voice service or part of a new technology, whether IP or wireless, or another type, indicate that a technology transition is indicated.” The Order adopts eligibility requirements to meet automatic grant status for discontinuance applications involving technology transitions for voice services only.

The basis for streamlined treatment is referred to in the Order , and its new rules, as the “adequate replacement test” which requires a showing across three basic elements in order to qualify for automatic grant. Failure to meet any of these factors will subject the applicant to non-streamlined Section 214 processing for any legacy voice discontinuance. Please note that rural ILECs are not exempt from the adequate replacement showing if they desire automatic grant processing. However, as a small bone to the industry, the FCC has exempted “small businesses, including rural LECs who satisfy the standard [small business] for this designation” from network testing requirements part of the test. The Order further prescribes consumer education and notification requirements, including preferred notice methods (e-mail) and specific company contact information in the case of copper retirements.

In sum, the referenced Order represents a potential sea change in the way interstate access service is offered by ILECs. We believe that aspects of the Order will need clarification and we will report on any developments. The Order’s focus on technology transition likewise impacts the ILEC industry. For instance, the Order makes clear that legacy TDM voice discontinuance as part of a technology transition implicates Section 214’s prior consent requirement under the Communications Act. And, although an automatic grant path is now available as a result of the Order , the necessary elements of the related new requirements are not simple.

The firm will be glad to address any questions our clients may have on either of the two subjects addressed by the Order .

FCC Issues Incentive Auction Schedule and Qualified Bidders Notice

The FCC has issued the Auction 1002 Schedule, and the Qualified Bidders list. The Public Notice issued today, and related lists of qualified and unqualified bidders, are here and should be reviewed by anyone that may be involved in a bidding effort. In the end, 62 bidders submitted an upfront payment and are now qualified to bid. 42 applicants were found to be unqualified based on application problems or failure to submit an upfront payment.

The key dates are:

  • July 20: Applicants should receive their registration materials and bidding tokens
  • July 25: Practice Auction starts. Scenario 1 (forward auction bidding) will take place July 25-27, followed by a simulated Extended Round July 28-29.
  • August 11-12: Mock Auction (5 rounds)
  • August 16: Forward auction bidding begins with one round on the first day, two rounds the second day, and increasing numbers of rounds at FCC’s discretion thereafter.

An online tutorial regarding procedures for bidding in the clock phase of the forward auction has been made available to bidders. Applicants should use the practice auction and mock auction to dry run some of the likely scenarios for their auction participation.

FCC Adopts 5G “Spectrum Frontiers” Rules, Impacting LMDS and 39 GHz Licensees

At the July 14 meeting the FCC voted to adopt rules designed to identify and open up the high frequency airwaves known as millimeter wave spectrum. Specifically, the new rules open up almost 11 GHz of spectrum for flexible use wireless broadband – 3.85 GHz of licensed spectrum and 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum, for a total of 10.85 GHz. The primary goal of this allocation is to provide spectrum necessary for 5G operations, which will help to clear the way for the Internet of Things (IoT). However, as discussed below, the new rules appear to carve up existing LMDS and 39 GHz licenses, and may force the licensees to meet additional buildout obligations or lose part of their spectrum and/or geographic areas.

The full text of the Order is not available at this time. However, according to an FCC’s Fact Sheet issued last week, it creates a new Upper Microwave Flexible Use service in the 28 GHz (27.5-28.35 GHz), 37 GHz (37-38.6 GHz), and 39 GHz (38.6-40 GHz) bands, and an unlicensed band at 64-71 GHz, with the following specifications:

  • Licensed use in the 28 GHz, 37 GHz and 39 GHz bands: Makes available 3.85 GHz of licensed, flexible use spectrum, which is more than four times the amount of flexible use spectrum the FCC has licensed to date.
    • Provides consistent block sizes (200 MHz), license areas (Partial Economic Areas), technical rules, and operability across the exclusively licensed portion of the 37 GHz band and the 39 GHz band to make 2.4 GHz of spectrum available.
    • Provides two 425 MHz blocks for the 28 GHz band on a county basis and operability across the band.
  • Unlicensed use in the 64-71 GHz band: Makes available 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum which, when combined with the existing high-band unlicensed spectrum (57-64 GHz), doubles the amount of high-band unlicensed spectrum to 14 GHz of contiguous unlicensed spectrum (57-71 GHz). These 14 GHz will be 15 times as much as all unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum in lower bands.
  • Shared access in the 37-37.6 GHz band: Makes available 600 MHz of spectrum for dynamic shared access between different commercial users, and commercial and federal users.

Impact on existing LMDS and 39 GHz licensees: Included in the spectrum reallocated for 5G is an 850 megahertz wide swath of spectrum between 27.5 to 28.35 GHz that is currently part of A-Block LMDS licenses. The FCC is splitting the 28 GHz band into two channel blocks of 425 megahertz each, and geographically splitting BTA licenses into separate county-sized service areas. Therefore, if an existing LMDS licensee holds an A-Block license consisting of three counties, it will be turned into a total of 6 county-sized licenses, each with 425 megahertz of spectrum. The licensee will also presumably also retain BTA rights to the other 300 megahertz of 29 GHz and 31 GHz spectrum associated with the A-Block license.

For 39 GHz licenses, the new rules will have existing EA licenses broken up in to Partial Economic Areas (PEAs), and block sizes of 200 megahertz. The technical rules require that equipment that is interoperable across the licensed portion of the 37 GHz and 39 GHz bands.
In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued last fall, the FCC indicated that it wanted to carve up existing LMDS and 39 GHz licenses into multiple smaller areas, but seemed to suggest that incumbents would have the opportunity to “defend” these new licenses by meeting whatever new buildout requirements that apply to them. The attached fact sheet issued today does not go into detail about what was ultimately decided in that regard.

The Order also creates a dedicated sub-band for federal and non-federal entities to share in the 37-37.6 GHz segment, adopts several mechanisms to provide flexibility to satellite operators and predictability to terrestrial operators, adopts an ex ante spectrum holdings limit of 1250 MHz applied to auctioned spectrum in these bands, and a spectrum threshold of 1250 MHz for case-by-case review of secondary market transactions. The Order also address security issues by requiring licensees to file a statement before deployment that includes, at a high level, certain security-related information, such as a description of participation in standards body security work, a basic description of its intended approach to security, and the implications their security by design approach will have for other parts of the 5G ecosystem. This disclosure is, according to the Fact Sheet, intended to accelerate investments in development and implementation of new devices, systems, and services for the upper bands through early identification of licensees’ approach to security.

The Order establishes a number of technical rules, including power levels as follows:

  • Base Station Power: Adopt transmit power limit of 75 dBm/100 MHz based upon anticipated deployment needs.
  • Mobile Power: Adopt 43dBm EIRP transmit power as proposed in the NPRM.
  • Transportable Power: Maximum power of 55dBm EIRP.

Finally, the document includes a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes additional bands for consideration: 24-25 GHz (24.25-24.45/24.75-25.25 GHz), 32 GHz (31.8-33.4 GHz), 42 GHz (42-42.5 GHz), 48 GHz (47.2-50.2 GHz), 51 GHz (50.4-52.6 GHz), 70 GHz (71-76 GHz), and 80 GHz (81-86 GHz). It also seeks comment on how the FCC can provide access to additional spectrum above 95 GHz.

FCC Reverses Course on Inmate Calling Service Rates

On July 14, the FCC released a Fact Sheet for outlining the details of an item that will be considered at the upcoming August 4 meeting, that will significantly increase the caps imposed by the FCC on rates for inmate calling services (ICS) in an October 2015 Order. The DC Court of Appeals stayed the FCC's rate caps, which ICS providers argued were set below cost and violate the Constitution's Takings clause. The draft Order appears to be an attempt to address the basis for the stay by modifying the proposed rate caps to account for costs facilities incur in offering ICS, particularly the higher costs smaller institutions may face. The FCC's Fact Sheet outlines an increase in ICS rates as follows:

  • 13 cents/minute for debit/prepaid calls, in state or federal prisons (up from 11 cents/minute stayed Oct. 2015 rate)
  • 19 cents/minute for debit/prepaid calls in jails with 1,000 or more inmates (up from 14 cents/minute stayed Oct. 2015 rate)
  • 21 cents/minute for debit/prepaid calls in jails with 350-999 inmates (up from 16 cents/minute stayed Oct. 2015 rate)
  • 31 cents/minute for debit/prepaid calls in jails of up to 349 inmates (up from 22 cents/minute stayed Oct. 2015 rate)

Rates for collect calls are slightly higher in the first year and will be phased down to these caps after a two-year transition period.

Law & Regulation

FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for August Open Meeting

On July 14, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the August Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 4, 2016:

  • a Report and Order that would convert the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program from a pilot to a permanent program. (CG Docket No. 10-210)
  • a Report and Order that would implement changes to the scope of the wireless hearing aid compatibility rules. (WT Docket No. 15-285)
  • an Order on Reconsideration, responding to a petition filed by Michael S. Hamden, that would ensure that the rates for Inmate Calling Services (ICS) are just, reasonable, and fair and explicitly account for facilities’ ICS-related costs. (WC Docket No. 12-375)

The Open Meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. EDT, and will be webcast live at .

FCC Sets September 28 Emergency Alert System Test Date

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (the “Bureau”) announced Monday that the Bureau in collaboration with FEMA will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (or “EAS”) on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, at 2:20 PM EDT. Important compliance dates and recommendations for preparing for the test are listed below.

Entities required under the Commission's rules to comply with EAS rules (“EAS Participants”) include broadcast radio and television stations, and wired and wireless cable television systems, DBS, DTV, SDARS, digital cable and DAB, and wireline video systems.

The secondary test date is scheduled for October 5, 2016, if necessary. All EAS Participants are required to participate in this nationwide test and must be prepared to participate in a test on both the primary and alternate test dates.

Under FCC Part 11 Rules, EAS Participants are required to file their “day of test” data within 24 hours of any nationwide EAS test or as otherwise required by the Bureau. We note that the September nationwide EAS test will be the first time that test data will be captured and analyzed using the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS). As a result, all EAS Participants are reminded that they must register with ETRS and must complete the filing of ETRS Form One on or before August 26, 2016. Form One filings may be edited until September 26, 2016. Other compliance dates that EAS Participants should mark on their calendars are as follows:

  • EAS Participants must file the “day of test” information sought by ETRS Form Two at or before 11:59 PM EDT on September 28, 2016.
  • EAS Participants must file the detailed post-test data sought by ETRS Form Three on or before November 14, 2016.
  • We strongly encourage all clients that are EAS Participants to complete their registration in ETRS now. Other steps that their staff should be taking to prepare for the test include:
    • Reviewing and, if necessary, updating state EAS plans;
    • Ensuring that a copy of the EAS Operating Handbook is located at normal duty positions or EAS equipment locations and is immediately available to operators;
    • Reviewing the EAS Operating Handbook for the actions to be taken by operators upon receipt of the test alert and tailoring any actions as necessary that are specific to the EAS Participants’ facilities;
    • Ensuring that their EAS equipment operates in compliance with the Commission rules, such as being capable of receiving and processing the national periodic test code and the “six zeroes” national location code;
    • Upgrading EAS equipment software and firmware to the most recent version;
    • Updating ETRS Form One filings to reflect changes to identifying information;
    • Manually synchronizing EAS equipment clocks to the official time provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, if an EAS Participant’s equipment does not automatically synchronize to an Internet time source.

Clients with any questions or who would like us to assist them in obtaining further information should contact the firm.


Verizon Confirms Shutdown of 2G CDMA Network by 2020

FierceWireless is reporting that Verizon recently confirmed that it is planning to shut down its CDMA 1X network by Dec. 31, 2019, but would work with its current CDMA 1X customers and would consider operating its CDMA 1X network into 2020 if those customers need more time to move onto Verizon's LTE network.

“We will not abandon a single customer," Verizon spokesman Chuck Hamby told FierceWireless. "We will work with each of the customers one-on-one.”

“Should there be stragglers, we will continue to work with them,” Hamby added.

The full FierceWireless article can be found here .


JULY 29: CARRIER IDENTIFICATION CODE (CIC) REPORTS. Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Reports must be filed by the last business day of July (this year, July 29). These reports are required of all carriers who have been assigned a CIC code by NANPA. Failure to file could result in an effort by NANPA to reclaim it, although according to the Guidelines this process is initiated with a letter from NANPA regarding the apparent non-use of the CIC code. The assignee can then respond with an explanation. (Guidelines Section 6.2). The CIC Reporting Requirement is included in the CIC Assignment Guidelines, produced by ATIS. According to section 1.4 of that document: At the direction of the NANPA, the access providers and the entities who are assigned CICs will be requested to provide access and usage information to the NANPA, on a semi-annual basis to ensure effective management of the CIC resource. (Holders of codes may respond to the request at their own election). Access provider and entity reports shall be submitted to NANPA no later than January 31 for the period ending December 31, and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. It is also referenced in the NANPA Technical Requirements Document, which states at 7.18.6: CIC holders shall provide a usage report to the NANPA per the industry CIC guidelines … The NAS shall be capable of accepting CIC usage reports per guideline requirements on January 31 for the period ending December 31 and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. These reports may also be mailed and accepted by the NANPA in paper form. Finally, according to the NANPA website, if no local exchange carrier reports access or usage for a given CIC, NANPA is obliged to reclaim it. The semi-annual utilization and access reporting mechanism is described at length in the guidelines.

AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 507, UNIVERSAL SERVICE QUARTERLY LINE COUNT UPDATE. Line count updates are required to recalculate a carrier's per line universal service support, and is filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This information must be submitted on July 31 each year by all rate-of-return incumbent carriers, and on a quarterly basis if a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area, in order for the incumbent carrier to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). Because July 31 falls on a Sunday this year, the filing will be due August 1. This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31, 2013. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31, 2014); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2014), and March 31, 2015, (for lines served as of September 30, 2014).

SEPTEMBER 1: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. Three types of entities must file this form.

  1. Facilities-based Providers of Broadband Connections to End User Locations: Entities that are facilities-based providers of broadband connections — which are wired “lines” or wireless “channels” that enable the end user to receive information from and/or send information to the Internet at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction — must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which the entity provides one or more such connections to end user locations. For the purposes of Form 477, an entity is a “facilities-based” provider of broadband connections to end user locations if it owns the portion of the physical facility that terminates at the end user location, if it obtains unbundled network elements (UNEs), special access lines, or other leased facilities that terminate at the end user location and provisions/equips them as broadband, or if it provisions/equips a broadband wireless channel to the end user location over licensed or unlicensed spectrum. Such entities include incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers (LECs), cable system operators, fixed wireless service providers (including “wireless ISPs”), terrestrial and satellite mobile wireless service providers, MMDS providers, electric utilities, municipalities, and other entities. (Such entities do not include equipment suppliers unless the equipment supplier uses the equipment to provision a broadband connection that it offers to the public for sale. Such entities also do not include providers of fixed wireless services ( e.g., “Wi-Fi” and other wireless ethernet, or wireless local area network, applications) that only enable local distribution and sharing of a premises broadband facility.)
  2. Providers of Wired or Fixed Wireless Local Telephone Services: Incumbent and competitive LECs must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide local exchange service to one or more end user customers (which may include “dial-up” ISPs).
  3. Providers of Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Service: Interconnected VoIP service is a service that enables real-time, two-way voice communications; requires a broadband connection from the user’s location; requires Internet-protocol compatible customer premises equipment; and permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network. Interconnected VoIP providers must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide interconnected VoIP service to one or more subscribers, with the state determined for reporting purposes by the location of the subscriber’s broadband connection or the subscriber’s “Registered Location” as of the data-collection date. “Registered Location” is the most recent information obtained by an interconnected VoIP service provider that identifies the physical location of an end user.
  4. Providers of Mobile Telephony Services: Facilities-based providers of mobile telephony services must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which they serve one or more mobile telephony subscribers. A mobile telephony service is a real-time, two-way switched voice service that is interconnected with the public switched network using an in-network switching facility that enables the provider to reuse frequencies and accomplish seamless handoff of subscriber calls.

A mobile telephony service provider is considered “facilities-based” if it serves a subscriber using spectrum for which the entity holds a license that it manages, or for which it has obtained the right to use via lease or other arrangement with a Band Manager.

SEPTEMBER 30: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM . Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the Commission an FCC Form 396-C, Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Users must access the FCC’s electronic filing system via the Internet in order to submit the form; it will not be accepted if filed on paper unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Certain MVPDs also will be required to complete portions of the Supplemental Investigation Sheet (“SIS”) located at the end of the Form. These MVPDs are specifically identified in a Public Notice each year by the FCC.

Calendar At-A-Glance

Jul. 20 – Reply comments are due on Proposed Eligible Services List for E-Rate.
Jul. 21 – Comments are due on CAF Phase II FNPRM.
Jul. 22 – Comments are due on Public Inspection File NPRM.
Jul. 25 – Reply Comments are due on RTT Transition NPRM.
Jul. 26 – Reply comments are due on New Special Access Regulation.
Jul. 29 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.
Jul. 31 – Annual International Traffic and Revenue Data are due.

Aug. 1 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Aug. 1 – International Traffic Data Report is due.
Aug. 5 – Reply comments are due on CAF Phase II FNPRM.
Aug. 22 - Reply comments are due on Public Inspection File NPRM.
Aug. 26 – EAS Participants must file Form One of the ETRS.
Aug. 29 - Statement of Account and associated royalty fees are due.

Sep. 1 – FCC Form 477 due (Local Competition and Broadband Report).
Sep. 26 – EAS Participants must have all updates or corrections to Form One of the ETRS filed.
Sep. 30 – FCC Form 396-C (MVPD EEO Program Annual Report).

This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm. For additional information, please contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or .

Edward Snowden to Help Develop a Safer Phone for Journalists

JULY 21, 2016
The New York Times

Edward Snowden, who spoke via a video connection from Russia, said he was working with a computer hacker to see if it would be possible to modify a smartphone to alert journalists working in dangerous environments to electronic surveillance. Credit Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden said Thursday that he planned to help develop a modified version of Apple’s iPhone for journalists who are concerned that they may be the target of government surveillance.

The announcement was made during a one-day conference on “Forbidden Research” held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab.

Mr. Snowden, who spoke via a video connection from Russia, where he is living in exile, said he was working with Andrew Huang, a computer hacker known as Bunnie who studied electrical engineering at M.I.T., to see if it would be possible to modify a smartphone to alert journalists working in dangerous environments to electronic surveillance.

Mr. Snowden, who is a board member of a nonprofit group called the Freedom of the Press Foundation, said he was concerned that cellphones and smartphones serve as tracking devices that automatically create electronic dossiers that give third parties, including governments, detailed information on location.

As an example of the dangers of location data, he cited the mortar attack in 2012 by the Syrian government that killed Marie Colvin, an American journalist who was reporting in Homs, Syria, for The Sunday Times of London.

“The radio frequency emissions of her communications that she used to file those news reports were intercepted by the Syrian Army,” he said.

He said it was increasingly difficult for users to trust their smartphones. They may be tampered with by malware programs, causing them to transmit location information even when the user may believe that the device has been placed into a safe “airplane mode.”

Mr. Huang said the project was still experimental, but he hoped it would provide journalists with modified phones that would come in a special case with a separate display that would provide an alert when the phone was active and transmitting data at improper times.

The conference focused on issues raised by computer hacking, as well as controversial scientific research in areas such as genetic engineering and geo-engineering.

Also at the conference, Reid Hoffman, one of the founders of LinkedIn, which recently agreed to be acquired by Microsoft for $26 billion, announced that he planned to offer a $250,000 “Disobedience Prize” aimed at promoting positive social change and opposing injustice.

“It will go to a person or group engaged in what we believe is excellent disobedience for the benefit of society. The disobedience that we would like to call out is the kind that seeks to change society in a positive way, and is consistent with a set of key principles,” wrote Joichi Ito, director of the M.I.T. Media Lab, in a web posting about the prize. The timing of the award has not yet been determined.

In separate panels, biologists and climate scientists explored the risks and rewards of scientific research that might have unexpected consequences.

Kevin Esvelt, a biologist who is director of the Sculpting Evolution research group at the M.I.T. Media Lab, spoke about new, easily accessible genetic engineering technologies that might be used to preserve species that are at risk of extinction, and alternatively to eradicate pests that threaten human populations by spreading disease.

He described a discussion scientists had on Wednesday with residents of Martha’s Vineyard about the use of advanced genetic engineering techniques to introduce a type of mouse that had been modified to be unable to carry Lyme disease. The idea would be to break the transmission of the disease to ticks and then to humans.

He said that before beginning the experiment, the scientists engaged the community to discuss potential risks.

Scientists on several panels acknowledged that it was impossible to be certain about unforeseen effects from new engineering techniques.

“What we’re worried about is something that we do that could be very attractive in the short term but have some triggering mechanism or some slow events that occur far in the future,” said George Church, a Harvard geneticist who is exploring genetic engineering techniques to revive extinct species.

A version of this article appears in print on July 22, 2016, on page B2 of the New York edition with the headline: Snowden to Help Develop a Safer Phone for Journalists.

Source: The New York Times  

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