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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — September 29, 2017 — Issue No. 774

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

General Who Turned Around Katrina Response Criticizes Puerto Rico Efforts

By Christopher Flavelle
September 28, 2017, 3:00 AM CDT

  • Government hasn’t learned lessons of past storms, Honore says
  • U.S. ‘has to be prepared to handle three Category 4 storms’

General Who Led Katrina Response Criticizes Trump

The general credited with turning around the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 said the Trump administration is bungling its efforts in Puerto Rico.

Russel Honore, a lieutenant general named to oversee Katrina operations by then-President George W. Bush, joined a growing chorus of criticism from Congress about the response to Hurricane Maria.

"It’s kind of like Katrina: We got it. We got it. Oh, s--t, send in the cavalry," Honore, now retired from the military, said in an interview Wednesday. "This is a hit on White House decision making."

He said more people and equipment should have been sent to the island in advance of the storm, and the Department of Defense should be given far greater authority over the response.

Only the military has the ability to move supplies quickly onto the island as many ports remain closed, he said — what he called "expeditionary logistics," a mix of specialized ships, aircraft and other equipment that the National Guard can’t match. Before the storm hit, the federal government should have positioned more personnel in Puerto Rico, he said.

A week after Maria slammed into the U.S. commonwealth, most of the island’s 3.4 million residents still lack electricity, and just 11 of 69 hospitals have fuel or power. That’s increasingly putting the administration on the defensive as the humanitarian crisis grows.

Much of a Senate hearing Wednesday called to discuss “worldwide threats” — including Islamic State, domestic terrorism and cybersecurity — was taken up instead by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers questioning Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke about the adequacy of the response.

“There is food and water on the island, there is gasoline on the island,” Duke said in response to questions. “The challenge for us is getting it distributed.”

The Pentagon announced Wednesday that Brigadier General Rich Kim was being sent to the island to establish a joint forces headquarters to support the response.

The U.S. government has thousands of staff, including 600 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to FEMA. It has provided 4.4 million meals, 6.5 million liters of water, 70,000 tarps and 15,000 rolls of roof sheeting to the islands. The release said FEMA and the Defense Logistics Agency are moving more than 300 generators, and the Navy and Marine Corps are trying to get generator fuel to hospitals. FEMA’s search and rescue teams report having rescued 557 people and five pets.

After Democratic lawmakers said Trump was slow to respond to the crisis, the president told reporters Tuesday that Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have “been devastated, absolutely devastated, by Hurricane Maria, and we’re doing everything in our power to help the hard-hit people of both places.”

An e-mail to the White House press office asking for comment about Honore’s criticism wasn’t immediately returned.

"It’s wholly inadequate," said Representative Debbie Wasserman Shultz, a Florida Democrat. "Why we don’t have a Katrina level response mobilizing and gearing up is absolutely beyond me. This is as dire at that was."

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello has both praised the federal response and insisted it needs to do better. "I am very pleased with the consideration the president has given to Puerto Rico," Rossello told The New York Times. "However, we still need more, and the president understands that."

A Louisiana native, Honore won national acclaim when he took over the Bush administration’s flailing response to Katrina. He didn’t hesitate to criticize what he viewed as a bad idea, often in colorful language. Ray Nagin, mayor of New Orleans at the time, called him "one John Wayne dude."

Honore now runs a consulting business, helping organizations "develop a culture of preparedness and problem solving."

He said the administration wasn’t adequately prepared before Maria hit.

"The model you want is what was done in Florida" before Hurricane Irma, he said, where "every town had National Guard in it" — opening shelters, helping direct traffic and doing similar tasks.

Trump should direct the military’s Northern Command, created after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 to respond to major disasters in the U.S., to take charge of the response, Honore said.

A spokesman for Northern Command, Lieutenant Commander Joe Nawrocki, said it can’t take over the response without either a request from the governor of Puerto Rico or an order from the president. And he said that having the military in charge of a recovery operation can scare people.

"The power of the uniform can be both positive and negative," Nawrocki said in a phone interview.

"Me standing on the sidewalk with a gun," he said, "can send the wrong message."

Craig Fugate, who ran FEMA for eight years under President Barack Obama, agreed with Honore that the U.S. has yet to learn the lessons of past storms. But he said the solution wasn’t to bring in the Army.

"Too many people seem to think the military’s the solution to every problem," Fugate said Wednesday. "You’re writing everybody’s disaster novel of militarization and authoritarian regimes."

The better solution, according to Fugate, is not building in a way that leaves homes and infrastructure so vulnerable to hurricanes in the first place.

On this point, Honore agreed: The U.S. needs to stop assuming that hurricane seasons like this one will be the exception.

"The government has to be prepared now to handle three Category 4 storms a year," Honore said. "The government cannot depend that next year will be a slow year." [source]

Check out the VIDEO OF THE WEEK near the end of this issue. “Island Style” is from Hawaii, and it is my new favorite. I made a small donation to and received a digital copy of the video that I will use to entertain guests in my home theater. When I need to relax and “unwind” in a healthy way, nothing works better than a good music video with happy music.

Now on to more news and views.

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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.

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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.

Still Looking For 2 Glenayre Power Supplies

A reader needs two Glenayre power supplies for UHF transmitters.

Power supply is a Quintron/Glenayre QT5700 or QT6700. (Thanks to Harvey Coffman of Ayrewave Electronics for help in identification.)

Can you help? E-mail me here. left arrow

Many individuals have loved ones in Puerto Rico, and they are understandably hopeful that Amateur Radio operators can relay messages to them. As a result, some are contacting amateurs with requests to pass message traffic to the island.

At the same time, individual amateurs and clubs have reported that local media representatives have contacted them to request information about Amateur Radio involvement in Puerto Rico. This likely will increase as word spreads in the national media about our activities.

For inquiries from the public, ARRL advises that these individuals be informed that amateurs traveling to Puerto Rico to support the American Red Cross effort will be tasked with handling outbound traffic only. Members of the public concerned about family and friends in Puerto Rico should access the American Red Cross Safe and Well Website. Status information from friends and relatives in Puerto Rico will be entered into the system as it arrives from amateurs stationed there.

For media inquiries, please ask reporters to contact ARRL directly. A system has been established at ARRL Headquarters to respond to media inquiries in a timely and accurate manner.

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WaveWare Technologies

Is BlackBerry making a comeback?

by Paul R. La Monica
September 28, 2017: 11:14 AM ET

Blackberry CEO: The smartphone market is saturated

BlackBerry lives!

The company reported a profit (yes, a profit) that topped Wall Street's forecasts. The news sent the stock soaring.

Shares of BlackBerry (BBRY, Tech30)rose nearly 15% Thursday after the company posted strong gains in sales of its software and services. Its upbeat outlook helps. The stock has now gained more than 50% this year.

To put that into perspective, BlackBerry stock has done better than Apple and the FANG of four that rule tech — Facebook, (FB, Tech30) Amazon, (AMZN, Tech30) Netflix (NFLX, Tech30) and Google (GOOG) — so far in 2017.

BlackBerry is still probably most well-known for its QWERTY keyboard phones that used to be extremely popular on Wall Street and with many business consumers, governments and celebrities. Barack Obama and Kim Kardashian West were known fans.

But BlackBerry struggled to adapt to the smartphone revolution. It lost market share to Apple (AAPL, Tech30)following the introduction of the iPhone as well as companies that make phones running on Google owner Alphabet (GOOGL, Tech30)'s Android operating system, such as Samsung.

Losses piled up and the stock plummeted as a result. However, BlackBerry has made a stunning comeback under the leadership of CEO John Chen, who took over the top spot in November 2013.

Chen inherited a company in turmoil amid rampant speculation it would not survive.

Investors worried about the company's declining market share in the smartphone world, plunging sales, an anemic stock price and a rising debt load.

But BlackBerry has cleaned up its balance sheet under Chen. The company now has $2.5 billion in cash and investments and just $739 million in long-term debt.

Chen also pushed BlackBerry out of the hardware business.

It no longer makes its own phones. Blackberry outsources manufacturing.

It also has embraced Android. The BlackBerry Priv, DTEK60 and KeyOne all run on a BlackBerry version of the Android OS. The KeyOne, as the name implies, even has an old-school physical keyboard.

Licensing deals are increasingly important for BlackBerry. They now account for more than 20% of the company's total revenue. But Chen has also pushed BlackBerry into other areas outside of smartphones, such as security products and software for connected cars.

Software now makes up more than 40% of BlackBerry's sales. Big malware attacks like the WannaCry bug from earlier this year have helped boost BlackBerry's profile, for example, as more people became interested in their security products.

And the company continues to announce deals in the automotive world for its QNX unit, which makes so-called infotainment software for cars.

Ford (F)is a big customer, and BlackBerry also announced a partnership earlier this month with auto parts maker Delphi (DLPH) to build software for self-driving cars.

Chen said in a telephone call with reporters Thursday that QNX would continue to be a very important part of BlackBerry's future, adding that software for connected cars could be a meaningful part of revenue going forward.

In other words, it's time to get the image of people in the late '90s frantically typing on their CrackBerries out of your head. That's BlackBerry's past. Software and services that BlackBerry makes for other companies is its future. And it looks like a bright one.

CNNMoney (New York)
First published September 28, 2017: 11:14 AM ET


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united for puerto ricoheart island

United for Puerto Rico: Together Changing Paths

United for Puerto Rico is an initiative brought forth by the First lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló in collaboration with the private sector, with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by the passage of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane María.

Puerto Rico needs your support. Join us and help Puerto Rico recover!

Unidos por Puerto Rico es una iniciativa creada por la oficina de la Primera Dama, Beatriz Rosselló y un grupo del sector privado que se unieron con el propósito de brindar ayudar a aquellos que perdieron sus pertenencias durante el paso de los huracanes Irma y María por Puerto Rico. Como parte de este esfuerzo, se estará llevando a cabo un concierto tipo Teletón que se celebrará el próximo 1 de octubre a beneficio de las víctimas de los huracanes que arrasaron con nuestra Isla.

Puerto Rico nos necesita. ¡Únete y ayúdanos a reconstruir a Puerto Rico!

  Also a church in Puerto Rico needs help to buy an electric generator.





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“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

  • Click here for English.
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Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.


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Pitbull Sent His Private Plane to Bring Puerto Rican Cancer Patients to the Mainland

Sarah Begley
Sep 27, 2017

Puerto Ricans face a wide range of challenges in the wake of Hurricane Maria, including a mass power outage and shortages of food and water. As mainland Americans with extra resources think of ways they can help, they might look to Pitbull for inspiration: The rapper sent his private plane to the island to bring cancer patients to the mainland U.S. for chemotherapy treatments.

The news came by way of a tweet from Jenniffer González, the a representative of the U.S. territory in Congress, who wrote in Spanish, “Thank you @pitbull for lending your private plane to move cancer patients from PR to USA so that they can get chemo."

In a statement to the Daily News on Tuesday, Pitbull, who is Cuban, said, “Thank God we’re blessed to help. Just doing my part.”

Pitbull is one of more than 30 artists who've joined forces with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony for the initiative “Somos Una Voz,” a coalition of “artists working together to rush food, shelter, medicine, power and communications to those in need from the effects of recent natural disasters,” according to NBC News. Lopez has reportedly donated $1 million to relief efforts, and Despacito singer Daddy Yankee donated $100,000 to Feeding America and another $100,000 to the Red Cross.


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Members of the Amateur Radio community have volunteered to assist in the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and Dominica and, to a lesser extent, the US Virgin Islands. This week, 50 of the most accomplished US radio amateurs responded within 24 hours to a call from the American Red Cross (ARC) to deploy to Puerto Rico and provide emergency communications assistance there. At the ARC's request, ARRL rallied the US Amateur Radio community to provide up to 25 two-person teams of highly qualified hams. ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, said that more than 350 answered the call, from nearly every state.

"This generous outpouring of response represents the finest qualities of the Amateur Radio community," he said. "These individuals are dropping whatever they are doing now, heading off to an extended hardship-duty assignment, and offering their special talents to Americans who have been cut off from their families, living amid widespread destruction and without electrical power since Hurricane Maria struck the Caribbean region last week."

The group's principal mission will be to move health-and-welfare information from the island back to the US mainland, where that data will be entered in the Red Cross Safe and Well system. The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) has been asked to assist these operators when they check in with tactical, health-and-welfare (H&W), and Safe and Well messages.

SATERN and other active nets are not accepting incoming H&W inquiries. The Caribbean Emergency and Weather Net (CEWN) is taking incoming H&W inquiries via e-mail for Dominica. The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) is taking inquiries (only one per sender) via e-mail for Puerto Rico. Inquiries should include the full name and location of both the sender and the individual(s) being sought and the sender's e-mail address.

Denis Santiago, WP4KJJ (right), and Raul Gonzalez, KP4RGD, organized the communication network in Puerto Rico and operate the station at American Red Cross's temporary San Juan headquarters, "with a great number of hams who left their families to help Puerto Rico to recover," ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, told ARRL.

The group will be in Puerto Rico for up to 3 weeks. ARRL has equipped each team with an HF transceiver, software, a dipole antenna, a power supply and all connecting cables, fitted in a rugged waterproof container. In an unprecedented and crucial move, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agreed to help get the Ham Aid gear to Puerto Rico.

The League also is sending two VHF repeaters, a dozen hand-held transceivers, five mobile radios, what Gallagher described as "5 cubic feet of batteries," a number of small 2-kW portable generators, and solar-powered battery chargers. The hams and their equipment will be sent to Red Cross shelters extending from San Juan to the western end of the island.

In addition, ARRL has committed to purchasing up to $50,000 worth of new Ham Aid gear for this and for future emergencies.

Ham Aid kits are packed and ready for shipping at ARRL Headquarters.

ARRL's Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, said this was the first time in the nearly 75-year relationship between ARRL and the ARC that such a request for assistance had been made. "Hurricane Maria has devastated the island's communications infrastructure," Corey said. "Without electricity and telephone, and with most of the cell sites out of service, millions of Americans are cut off from communicating. Shelters are unable to reach local emergency services. And, people cannot check on the welfare of their loved ones. The situation is dire."

The Yasme Foundation announced this week that it has made a grant to ARRL's Ham Aid fund, in support of the Amateur Radio response to the recent hurricanes in the US and Caribbean. The Ham Aid fund was created in 2005 in response to the need for equipment and resources to support the Amateur Radio response to hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.

A September 27 CNN report documented the personal impact of the storm on Puerto Rico and Amateur Radio's role in the recovery.

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, has asked for contributions to ARRL's Ham Aid fund. "Equipment has been flying out the door since Hurricane Harvey struck the US mainland," he emphasized. "From meeting requirements in aid of Hurricane Irma victims in the US Virgin Islands and Florida, our store of Ham Aid kits has been depleted."

ARRL's Ham Aid program loans Amateur Radio equipment kits to established Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) groups and partner agencies during disaster responses, in order to establish Amateur Radio communication support. Ham Aid is supported by donations from individuals and corporations, including many of our ham radio industry partners.

ARRL has previously staged Ham Aid equipment in Texas as well as supplied kits to Florida, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. With the Ham Aid inventory depleted, donations are needed now. Contributions to Ham Aid are 100% tax deductible. To donate online, select "Ham Aid" from the ARRL donation form. To donate by mail, print a donation form, and mail it with your check payable to ARRL, noting "Ham Aid" on the memo line of your check. Mail to ARRL, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111 USA.

Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands both suffered substantial damage from Hurricane Maria, although Puerto Rico took the bigger hit, and it is there that Amateur Radio has been filling a huge telecommunications gap. The FCC said at mid-week that 91% of cell telephone sites were still out in Puerto Rico. In the US Virgin Islands, the figure is about 60%.

ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, with an unidentified ARC volunteer. [Photo courtesy of Oscar Resto, KP4RF]

"The situation in Puerto Rico is very devastating across all the island," Puerto Rico SM Oscar Resto, KP4RF, said over the weekend. "Communications via land phone or mobiles are almost nil." Repeaters are down, he said, and hams have been using the 2-meter simplex frequency of 146.52 MHz, although he hoped to see some repeaters come back on line (the 448.225 repeater in Bayamon has been online, handling health-and-welfare traffic).

With police repeaters also down, law enforcement has been using 2 meters as well.

American Red Cross Headquarters suffered the loss of its emergency generator due to flooding. A temporary ARC headquarters has internet and cell service, he said.

Red Cross volunteers have been busy assisting those affected by Hurricane Maria. [ARC photo]

Resto said radio amateurs have also been assisting Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority (Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica) using 146.52 MHz to dispatch line crews and coordinate fuel deliveries for the authority's offices at the Monacillo Control Center and at several power plants. "The power system is fully shut down for all the island," he said. Drinking water and proper sanitation facilities are also in very short supply. Resto said Puerto Rico needs "everything . . . solar panels, repeaters, and most important, transmission lines and antennas. Some base or mobile VHF/UHF radios, a 1- to 2-kW power generator." Fuel for generators as well as vehicles is still in short supply on Puerto Rico.

Radio amateurs in Puerto Rico have been operating brisk and busy ad hoc health-and-welfare traffic nets on 7.175 and 14.270 MHz, as has the Salvation Army Team Emergency Network (SATERN) on 14.265 MHz. Gerry Hull, W1VE, reported that the net on 14.270 MHz has handled thousands of messages in the past week. Hull has also been active on the SATERN net. Today will mark Day 11 of the Hurricane Maria activation for SATERN, surpassing the 8-day SATERN operation for Hurricane Irma and making it the longest activation since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"Calls to family are very emotional," he told ARRL. "I am getting all kinds of calls day and night for people desperate to hear about family in Puerto Rico, but hams cannot provide inbound traffic." He directs them to the Red Cross website. "Lots of contesters are helping with their big stations," he said.

ARRL USVI Section Manager Fred Kleber, K9VV.

US Virgin Islands Section Manager Fred Kleber, K9VV, said the USVI are in much better shape than Puerto Rico. "They really got slammed hard," he said. Kleber said he still has antennas that were not destroyed by the storm and that he can hit Puerto Rico on 2 meters from his location. He also plans to deploy some 20 mesh wireless network nodes to provide connectivity between key USVI government locations. "We have used every trick in our comms bag of tricks to make stuff work," he said.

Kleber said pictures in the news and social media don't do justice to the wholesale devastation in parts of the Caribbean. In the USVI, he said, trees, power poles, transformers, and telephone lines were downed all over, and debris blocking roadways is making travel slow or altogether impossible. He and others have been staffing the emergency communications center 24/7.

The Caribbean Emergency and Weather Net (CEWN) on 7.188 and 3.815 MHz has focused its attention on the situation on Dominica.

"Truly I think that the regional agencies were not ready for a calamity of this magnitude," Kumar Persaud, J85K, one of the CEWN net controllers said last weekend. "The CEWN operators have ended up filling the communications gap for the agencies, without any prior briefing."

Some of the hurricane damage on Dominica.
[Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency photo]

The net has been dealing with a tremendous volume of traffic for Dominica and Puerto Rico, with a handful of stations handling emergency and priority communications for a million or more people.

ARRL Santa Barbara Section Technical Advisor Ben Kuo, AI6YR -- who has been keeping a close ear on the situation in the Caribbean — said hams on St. Lucia and Dominica and from outside the region coordinated the landing of emergency relief vessels from Barbuda and advised rescue groups on logistics. Amateur Radio also has provided a path for government communication on Dominica, where conditions are starting to improve.

There's more information on the Amateur Radio response on the Hurricane Maria-Dominica Amateur Radio Communications (DARCI) Facebook page. National Public Radio (NPR) highlighted the role of Amateur Radio in the Dominica response in a September 21 story.

Articles on the National Geographic and websites last weekend cited Amateur Radio reports that Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory came through Hurricane Maria largely intact but "with some significant damage." Universities Space Research Association (USRA), which helps to operate the Observatory, said it learned via "short wave radio contact" that staff and family members sheltering at Arecibo are safe.

The famous Arecibo Observatory dish.

"The major structures, including the 300-meter telescope, are intact, though suffered some damage when the atmospheric radar line feed broke off, and falling debris from it punctured the dish in several places," USRA reported on its website. "Also, a separate 12-meter dish used as a phase reference for Very Long Baseline Interferometry was lost."

Observatory officials are still assessing the damage, but Jim Breakall, WA3FET, of Penn State University, told ARRL that the 96-foot line feed antenna at 430 MHz is "historically the key piece to the observatory." It's also the antenna that he and others have used for Amateur Radio moon-bounce activities from Arecibo. The Observatory is home to KP4AO.

"To hear that this 10,000-pound key piece to the Observatory fell and hit the 1,000-meter dish is just a huge shock," Breakall said last Saturday. "This antenna was connected to the 2.5 million W 430-MHz radar transmitter that was a key to ionospheric experiments. It is a great loss for sure."

Angel Vazquez, WP3R, who manages radio telescope operations at the Observatory, was one of the only radio amateurs able to pass along any information; among those he contacted was Princeton University professor and Nobel Laureate Joe Taylor, K1JT. Vazquez was using a generator that, Breakall told ARRL, was not working very well. "Many others have heard about all of this and have come to help relay messages to loved ones and friends to let people know they are okay," Breakall added.

The line feed antenna can be seen pointing downward from the overhead array of equipment.

Breakall said he's less concerned to learn that his own Amateur Radio contest station, on a hill not far from the Observatory, was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. "While this is sad for me and others, my concern is with the safety and health of many friends and the people of Puerto Rico in General," he said. This is my second home, and many of the people there I treat as my brothers and sisters."

USRA reported last weekend that the access road to the Observatory was covered with debris and impassable.

Breakall told ARRL that he's worried about what might happen in the weeks and months ahead. "I just hope that desperation does not set in, and things get out of hand there," he said. "It is going to be very tough."

Source: The ARRL Letter for September 28, 2017  


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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.

Toshiba Reaches Deal With Bain-Apple Group to Sell Chip Business

SEPT. 28, 2017

Toshiba headquarters in Tokyo. The money raised from the sale of part of its microchip business will help it repair the financial damage from a failed foray into nuclear power in the United States.
Credit Behrouz Mehri/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

TOKYO — Toshiba, the huge but struggling Japanese conglomerate, traded some of its size for financial security on Thursday by selling off most of its profitable microchip business.

It was not the way the company, which has long been accused of being bloated and directionless, had hoped to slim down.

Toshiba said it had signed a deal to sell 60 percent of the microchip unit, Toshiba Memory Corporation, to a group of international investors that includes Bain Capital and Apple. The deal, which followed months of tumultuous negotiations, will net Toshiba about $14 billion.

Toshiba has staked its future on the sale, with the proceeds earmarked to help repair the financial damage from a disastrous foray into nuclear power in the United States. The episode threatened to bankrupt the company, one of Japan’s biggest and proudest.

Toshiba traces its roots to the 1870s, when its founders helped further Japan’s industrial emergence, building the country’s telegraph system and installing its first domestically made electric lights. If the company had collapsed, Japan would have lost a pillar of its economy and its tens of thousands of workers. It also would have lost the main contractor cleaning up the ruined Fukushima nuclear plant, which Toshiba helped build decades ago.

While Toshiba’s history in many ways embodied Japan’s blazing economic rise, some people say the stumbles that led the company to sell chip unit reflected the country’s more recent problems.

In an era when the global technology industry is dominated by nimble specialists selling cutting-edge design and software, Toshiba has been defined by a stultifying management hierarchy, a dogged focus on hardware and a scattered portfolio of businesses.

“Toshiba is one of Japan’s last zombies,” said Jesper Koll, the chief executive of WisdomTree Japan, an investment firm. “It’s the last of the big conglomerates that does not have a defined strategy.”

Similar problems have hampered other Japanese groups, but Mr. Koll said that Toshiba had been particularly slow to address them. Others, like Hitachi, another refrigerators-to-power-plants conglomerate, he said, “made hard decisions” to restructure and become more accountable to shareholders, while Toshiba delayed.

The inaction helped Toshiba executives save face, at least for a while.

But then came an accounting scandal in 2015, in which Toshiba admitted overstating its earnings by $1.2 billion over seven years. Top company leaders resigned, and investigators hired by the company blamed “a corporate culture where it is impossible to go against one’s bosses’ wishes.”

Toshiba had been covering up cost overruns at its American nuclear subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, which it bought amid an ill-timed expansion in 2006. Those losses later ballooned further: Westinghouse sought bankruptcy protection in March, after costing Toshiba $6 billion in write-offs. Toshiba said it would stop building new nuclear power plants and focus instead on maintaining older ones.

Now, with the sale of a majority of the microchip unit, Toshiba is shrinking further.

The company had been negotiating the sale for months, with a shifting roster of potential investors. The final list of buyers, disclosed in a statement on Thursday, had some surprising omissions.

Two financial institutions controlled by the Japanese government that Toshiba had previously identified as major potential investors will not contribute money initially, the company said. The institutions, the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and the Development Bank of Japan, may invest at a later date.

The investors were instead drawn entirely from the private sector.

In addition to Apple, they include three other American businesses: Seagate Technology and Kingston Technology, two data storage companies, and a venture capital arm of Dell, the computer maker. The South Korean semiconductor maker SK Hynix, and Hoya, a Japanese manufacturer of optical equipment, were also named as investors.

Toshiba itself will retain just over 40 percent of the unit, one of the world’s largest producers of the flash memory chips used to store data in smartphones and other digital devices.

In negotiating the deal, Toshiba struggled to balance its need for cash and its desire to retain control of the microchip unit, which has been described as the crown jewel in its vast portfolio of businesses.

Toshiba pioneered its core technology, NAND flash memory, and although it has fallen to second in global production, behind Samsung Electronics of South Korea, the business has generated the largest share of Toshiba’s profits in recent years. Among the company’s concerns was that its technology could fall into the hands of investors, like SK Hynix and Kingston, that are also its competitors.

Although Japan dominated the global microchip market in the 1980s and 1990s, it has lost ground more recently. Tsugio Makimoto, a retired semiconductor engineer at Hitachi, said that in the past, big conglomerates were good at nurturing microchip businesses, because they had the money to finance research and build factories.

Now, as the pace of technological change has quickened, “management speed and specialization are more important,” he said.

While Toshiba will retain only a minority of the chip unit’s shares, it will still exercise significant control.

The American investors, whose precise financial contributions were not disclosed, will receive preferred shares that do not carry voting rights, Toshiba said. SK Hynix would be limited to an ownership stake of no more than 15 percent for 10 years.

Hoya is buying 10 percent. In a line that reflected nationalistic concerns about the sale, Toshiba made a point of noting that, “With Toshiba and Hoya’s investments, Japan-based companies will hold more than 50 percent of the common stock.” It added that Japanese owners would “continue to hold a majority” in the future.

In proceeding with the deal, Toshiba brushed aside objections by one of its business partners, Western Digital, the American storage company. Western Digital could still move to block the sale’s completion.

A Western Digital subsidiary, SanDisk, shares ownership with Toshiba of a flash memory production operation in Japan. Because of that, the American company contends that its approval is necessary for Toshiba to sell the chip unit. Western Digital said this week that it would seek an injunction against the deal.

If the legal battle is settled in Toshiba’s favor, or if the two sides reach a settlement, it could make it easier for risk-averse government institutions like the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and the Development Bank of Japan to join the buyout conglomerate. That would take pressure off other investors and Toshiba’s banks, which Toshiba said had agreed to provide 600 billion yen in fresh loans.

Regardless of the legal outcome, Toshiba’s relationship with Western Digital and SanDisk has been badly damaged, presenting a challenge for the chip unit’s new owners.

“Toshiba’s flash memory success has a lot to do with its relationship with SanDisk,” said Mr. Makimoto. “There are still a lot of issues to address before Toshiba can breathe easy.”

Source: The New York Times  

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

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Philip C. Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Web Site:
Mobile phone: 847-494-0000
Telephone: 847-955-0511
Fax: 270-447-1909
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.

Leavitt Communications

We can supply alphanumeric display, numeric display, and voice pagers.

We also offer NEW and refurbished Alphamate 250s, refurbished Alphamate IIs, the original Alphamate refurbished, and new and refurbished pagers, pager repairs, pager parts, and accessories. We are FULL SERVICE in Paging! Outstanding service is our goal.

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

Phil Leavitt

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Friday, September 29, 2017

Volume 5 | Issue 191

CTIA: Wireless Industry Stepped Up to Historic Hurricanes

In what can be described as an historic hurricane season, the wireless industry is on the ground, working around the clock to keep mobile networks up and running—and restore them as quickly as possible. Before Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria made landfall, providers topped off fuel for generators and pre-positioned fuel trucks for impacted areas, according to CTIA SVP Communications Nick Ludlum.

“Carriers tested cell site batteries and brought in portable cells to extend networks. They prepared emergency command centers and installed new in-building network systems at critical places like hospitals and emergency centers,” he blogged. These efforts, along with CTIA’s Wireless Network Resiliency Framework, an agreement between CTIA, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon to help each other during disasters, mean wireless networks are more prepared when disaster occurs and can recover faster.

Noting that each hurricane is unique, Ludlum points out, “Electricity outages rolled across Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, for example — in Florida at one point, more than two-thirds of the state lost power, and in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Irma and Maria knocked energy grids offline entirely. Combined with unrelenting winds and flooding that made many roads impassable, that meant wireless networks in those areas faced significant challenges.”

After the storms ended, wireless carriers flew in more portable generators and cell equipment and used new technologies to speed repairs. They used drones to assess tower damage and deployed microwave technologies to bridge service gaps from damaged fiber lines, according to Ludlum. The wireless industry learns from every storm, and he predicts 5G technology will further improve resiliency, since it depends on a denser network architecture, with multiple small cells deployed throughout service areas.

Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.

Hark Technologies

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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








A Problem

The Motorola Nucleus II Paging Base Station is a great paging transmitter. The Nucleus I, however, had some problems.

One of the best features of this product was its modular construction. Most of the Nucleus' component parts were in plug-in modules that were field replaceable making maintenance much easier.

One issue was (and still is) that two of the modules had to always be kept together. They are called the “matched pair.”

Motorola used some tricks to keep people in the field from trying to match unmatched pairs, and force them to send SCM and Exciter modules back to the factory for calibrating them with precision laboratory equipment.

The serial numbers have to match in the Nucleus programing software or you can't transmit . Specifically the 4-level alignment ID parameter contained in the SCM has to match the Exciter ID parameter.

Even if someone could modify the programing software to “fudge” these parameters, that would not let them use unmatched modules effectively without recalibrating them to exact factory specifications.

So now that there is no longer a Motorola factory laboratory to send them to, what do we do?

I hope someone can help us resolve this serious problem for users of the Nucleus paging transmitter.

Please let me know if you can help. [ click here ]

[Thanks to Tom Harger Chief Engineer at Contact Wireless for the correction above in ]


BloostonLaw Newsletter

Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less] of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section of The Wireless Messaging News with kind permission from the firm. The firm's contact information is included at the end of this section of the newsletter.

 BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 20, No. 40 September 27, 2017 

Final Reminder: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM DUE SEPT. 30. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the FCC 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.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.


USAC Quietly Announces Plan to Transfer USF Fund to US Treasury

Back on August 8, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) posted a notice on its website that it is “formulating the plan to transfer the funds of the Universal Service Fund (USF) to the U.S. Department of Treasury.” According to the post, the transfer is anticipated to be completed during 2018, with “detailed transition information” being provided beginning in November 2017.

Transferring funds from the bank account used by USAC to collect and distribute USF dollars into the Treasury was one of the recommendations in the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO’s) report on the Lifeline program released back in May, addressing the “Significant Risks in the FCC’s Lifeline Program.” Specifically, GAO stated:

FCC maintains the Universal Service Fund (USF)—with net assets exceeding $9 billion, as of September 2016—outside the Department of the Treasury in a private bank account. In 2005, GAO reported that FCC should reconsider this arrangement given the USF consists of federal funds. In addition to addressing any risks associated with having the funds outside the Treasury, where they do not enjoy the same rigorous management practices and regulatory safeguards as other federal programs, FCC identified potential benefits of moving the funds. For example, by having the funds in the Treasury, USF payments could be used to offset other federal debts, and would provide USAC with better tools for fiscal management of the funds. [Emphasis added]

It appears at this time that the transfer of USF moneys to the Treasury is being spearheaded by Chairman Pai’s office and the FCC’s Managing Director, and that a formal FCC proceeding and order may not be contemplated. The plan has many potential drawbacks. On a very elementary operational basis, it is not yet clear how depositing collected USF dollars into the Treasury between USAC’s billing and collection function and its disbursement function would work. It appears unlikely that dividing the present integrated billing, collection and disbursement functions between USAC and the Treasury will improve the oversight, efficiency or effectiveness of any of the USF mechanisms. In addition to foregoing substantial amounts of interest currently earned for the USF in USAC’s private bank account, the transfer raises serious questions as to how much and how often Treasury would use the “additional cash on hand” from the USF to pay other obligations and reduce its general borrowing and interest costs – an “option” which GAO trumpets as a reason for the transfer. Even if the FCC and Treasury agree to put “fences” or other restrictions around the USF dollars, there is no certainty that future FCC and Treasury officials would continue to honor such limits. Finally, moving USF dollars to the Treasury will make it easier and more likely that USF support will ultimately be subjected to the annual appropriations process at some point in the future.

Put simply, the contemplated transfer of USF dollars to Treasury appears to be a way to make USF support even more unpredictable than did the former Quantile Regression Analysis and the current budget control mechanism “haircuts.” This is especially true if GAO’s comment about using USF payments to pay other federal debts comes to fruition. Whereas the current Treasury transfer train appears to have left the station, it has not yet reached its destination and hopefully can still be stopped.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

FCC Issues Instructions for Mandatory Collection of 4G LTE Coverage Data for MF-II Challenge

Phase II of the Mobility Fund will make available $4.53 billion over a term of ten years to provide ongoing support for the provision of service in areas that lack adequate mobile voice and broadband coverage. In preparation for Phase II, the FCC on Friday issued a Public Notice with instructions for a one-time collection 4G LTE coverage data to determine areas presumptively eligibility for MF-II support (i.e., rural areas that lack unsubsidized 4G LTE service). Pursuant to these instructions, all companies that previously reported LTE coverage on FCC Form 477, and that have “qualified” 4G LTE coverage, are required to provide the FCC with coverage maps in shapefile format, as well as other information discussed below.

Entities that previously reported LTE coverage on FCC Form 477 but who do not have qualified 4G LTE coverage must also respond and certify that their coverage does not qualify. “Qualified” 4G LTE coverage as specified by the FCC has download speeds of at least 5 Mbps at the cell edge with 80 percent probability and a 30 percent cell loading factor.

The submission of this 4G LTE coverage data remains subject to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review, but must be completed no later than 90 days after the FCC publishes notice of OMB’s approval in the Federal Register. We therefore believe responses will be due sometime in early January. The FCC will announce the Federal Register publication in a future Public Notice. As established in the MF-II Challenge Process Order, the provider specific information submitted as part of the data collection will be treated as confidential.

While the preparation and filing of LTE coverage maps will no-doubt impose some costs and burdens on our clients, it is very important that mobile 4G LTE service providers submit accurate maps to ensure that areas where they provide coverage are not mistakenly included as areas where a competitor may obtain MF Phase II support.

Our law firm will be available to assist clients with their mandatory 4G LTE data submissions. Procedures for filers to submit their LTE coverage maps and related information are described on the FCC’s web site at These involve (1) the provision of contact information to the FCC within 15 days of the OMB approval notice (a specific date that will be announced later) via the LTE Data Collection Contact Info Form (which is not yet available; (2) accessing a unique, secure, password-protected folder on that the FCC will create for each filer; and (3) uploading the required data files to the secure folder.

The data must be provided using the formats specified in attached instructions provided in Public Notice DA 17-926 that was released last Friday (the “LTE Data Collection Public Notice”).

  1. LTE Coverage Maps (shapefile maps that show areas where they provide “qualified” 4G LTE service)
  2. Clutter Data (an Excel file identifying the source of clutter data used in engineering study)
  3. Handset List (a list of at least three readily-available handsets that challengers can use to conduct speed tests)
  4. Engineering Certification (certification under penalty of perjury by a qualified engineer).

We are available for review and submission of the LTE coverage data once it is complete, and to work with consulting engineers to help ensure that the required information is generated. Because of the level of detail required, and complexity of the coverage data (which is not unlike a 700 MHz geographic construction notification), we strongly urge our law firm’s clients to line up qualified RF engineering support as soon as possible.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell and John Prendergast.

FCC Proposes to Eliminate HAC Reporting for Smaller Wireless Carriers

The FCC is seeking comment on a proposal to exempt smaller (i.e., Non-Tier I) wireless carriers from having to file annual Hearing Aid Compatibility (or “HAC”) reports, or otherwise to modify these requirements. We strongly believe that elimination of the annual reporting requirement would reduce regulatory compliance costs and administrative burdens, and should be supported by our law firm’s clients. Comments on the Commission’s will be due 30 days after the HAC Reporting NPRM (FCC 17-123) is published in the Federal Register. We will prepare circulate suggested comments for our clients to review in the coming weeks.

Since 2003, the FCC has required covered device manufacturers and wireless service providers to submit reports with details about the wireless handset models they offer to customers and the hearing aid compatibility ratings of the devices (if any) under ANSI C63.19. HAC Reports also include information about the month-to-month retail availability of these devices, as well as the status of product labeling and public outreach efforts, and details confirming that required consumer education information is provided if the carrier maintains a public website.

More recently, the Blooston Rural Carriers and others have filed comments in the FCC’s regulatory review proceedings arguing that the obligation for these entities to prepare annual HAC reports had become unduly burdensome, and increasingly unnecessary as HAC capability has become more ubiquitous in the marketplace. The Commission has finally acknowledged these concerns, and the NPRM acknowledges that “status reports in recent years have reflected near universal compliance” with HAC requirements.

We are encouraged by the FCC’s proposal to reduce regulatory burdens on small service providers, and urge all CMRS service providers to participate in comments to help ensure a positive outcome.

We should note that Commission’s proposed elimination of the annual HAC reporting requirement would not eliminate the obligation for smaller service providers to maintain compliance with the substantive requirements of the HAC rules, including the obligation to offer a minimum number or percentage of compliant devices for each air interface, or to comply with in-store testing and web site posting requirements. The Commission has asked for comment on whether it should rely on its informal compliant process to help ensure non-Tier I service providers continue to meet deployment benchmarks and other requirements.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell and John Prendergast.

EAS Test Deadline Extended to November for Participants Affected by Hurricanes

On September 22, the FCC issued a Public Notice indicating that for those EAS Participants affected by the 2017 Hurricanes, the September 27 deadline for filing corrections to Form One is extended to November 13, the date that Form Three is due. Affected EAS Participants taking advantage of this extension should describe their particular circumstances in Form Three. For unaffected EAS Participants, the previously announced deadlines remain in effect.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on September 27 at 2:20 PM EDT. All EAS Participants are required to participate and to report test results in the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS). Specifically, on or before 11:59 p.m., September 27, EAS Participants must submit corrections to ETRS Form One, which was due in August, and must file “day of test” information in ETRS Form Two. By November 13, EAS Participants must file detailed test results in ETRS Form Three regarding whether they received and/or retransmitted the EAS message.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

Law & Regulation

Comments on ICC Reform Due October 28

On September 26, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Public Notice seeking comment on further reform to intercarrier compensation (ICC) regimes, as initiated in the 2011 USF Transformation Order. Comments are due October 28, and reply comments are due November 13.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC issued a Public Notice inviting interested parties to update the record on (1) the network edge for traffic that interconnects with the Public Switched Telephone Network, (2) tandem switching and transport, and (3) transit (the non-access traffic functional equivalent of tandem switching and transport). Questions regarding the network edge include how to define it and whether it should be established by the states. Questions on tandem switching and transport focus on what steps the FCC should take to transition the remaining elements associated with tandem switching and transport to bill-and-keep beyond the current capped status. Questions regarding transit include whether the FCC should adopt regulations governing the rates for transit services. Carriers interested in participating in this proceeding should contact the firm for more information.

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

Comments on Streamlining Complaint Process Due October 26

On September 26, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on “creating a uniform set of procedural rules for certain formal complaint proceedings delegated to the Enforcement Bureau and currently handled by its Market Disputes Resolution Division (MDRD) and Telecommunications Consumers Division (TCD).” Comments are due October 28, and reply comments are due November 13.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the NPRM proposes to streamline and consolidate the procedural rules governing formal complaints filed under Section 208; pole attachment complaints filed under Section 224; and formal advanced communications services and equipment complaints filed under Sections 255, 716, and 718 (Disability Access complaints).

Carriers interested in participating in this proceeding should contact the firm for more information.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

FCC Clarifies Form 477 Comment Deadline – Comments Due October 10

On September 22, the Wireline Competition Bureau, the Wireless Bureau and the International Bureau released a Public Notice clarifying that the extended comment deadline in the FCC’s Form 477 Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proceeding should be October 10 by operation of the Commission’s rules. As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC issued an Order extending the deadlines for filing initial comments in the NPRM proceeding to October 9. However, October 9 is a federal holiday. Under the FCC’s rules, the filing is therefore due on the next business day.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

FCC Activates DIRS for Hurricane Maria

On September 20, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) announced the activation of the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) in response to Hurricane Maria. Communications providers that provide service to any areas listed below are requested to expeditiously submit and update information through DIRS regarding, inter alia, the status of their communications equipment, restoration efforts, and power (i.e., whether they are using commercial power or back-up power).

Counties of interest for this activation include all of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands:

Puerto Rico: Adjuntas, Aguada, Aguadilla, Aguas Buenas, Aibonito, Anasco, Arecibo, Arroyo, Barceloneta, Barranquitas, Bayamon, Cabo Rojo, Caguas, Camuy, Canovanas, Carolina, Catano, Cayey, Ceiba, Ciales, Cidra, Coamo, Comerio, Corozal, Culebra, Dorado, Fajardo, Florida, Guanica, Guayama, Guayanilla, Guaynabo, Gurabo, Hatillo, Hormigueros, Humacao, Isabela, Jayuya, Juana Diaz, Juncos, Lajas, Lares, Las Marias, Las Piedras, Loiza, Luquillo, Manati, Maricao, Maunabo, Mayaguez, Moca, Morovis, Naguabo, Naranjito, Orocovis, Patillas, Penuelas, Ponce, Quebradillas, Rincon, Rio Grande, Sabana Grande, Salinas, San German, San Juan, San Lorenzo, San Sebastian, Santa Isabel, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Utuado, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Vieques, Villalba, Yabucoa and Yauco

Virgin Islands: St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas DIRS is a voluntary, web-based system but for providers that participate in DIRS, the separate Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) obligations are suspended for the duration of the period in which DIRS is active with respect to outages in the counties where DIRS has been activated. Reports are requested beginning at 10:00 a.m. on September 21, 2017, and every day after that by 10:00 a.m. until DIRS is deactivated.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

Change in Filing Location for Commercial Overnight Documents at FCC

On September 21, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that it is closing its current Warehouse/Mailroom at 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD at the end of September. Effective September 25, all documents, packages, and equipment sent to FCC Headquarters via UPS, FedEx, Freight, or any overnight mail must be sent to:

9050 Junction Drive
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701

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T-Mobile Announces Acquisition of Iowa Wireless

On September 26, T-Mobile announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the remaining interest of Iowa Wireless (“iWireless”) from Aureon. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017 or early 2018.

“We’re taking T-Mobile to every corner of the country and this deal shows our commitment to expanding in the heart of America,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “We’ve been disrupting the wireless industry for the benefit of consumers for the last five years now and customers in Iowa will be able to experience the benefits firsthand.”

Aureon’s CEO, Ron Keller, said “T-Mobile, Aureon and our independent telephone company partners built iWireless over a period of nearly 20 years. Going forward, iWireless will benefit from T-Mobile’s unrelenting focus on growth and continued investments in a high-quality network experience for their customers.”


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 FCC 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.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

OCTOBER 16: 911 RELIABILITY CERTIFICATION. Covered 911 Service Providers, which are defined as entities that “[p]rovide[] 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities such as call routing, automatic location information (ALI), automatic number identification (ANI), or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority,” or that “[o]perate[] one or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP,” are required certify that they have taken reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service with respect to three substantive requirements: (i) 911 circuit diversity; (ii) central office backup power; and (iii) diverse network monitoring by October 15. Certifications must be made through the FCC’s portal.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Mary Sisak and Sal Taillefer.

NOVEMBER 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

Calendar At-A-Glance

Sep. 27 – Nationwide EAS test; deadline for participants to file ETRS Form Two.
Sep. 28 – Reply comments are due on USF Contribution Forbearance Petition.
Sep. 30 – FCC Form 396-C (MVPD EEO Program Annual Report).

Oct. 3 – Comments are due on Mid-Band Spectrum NOI.
Oct. 10 – Comments are due on Form 477 revision.
Oct. 10 – Comments are due on the Competition in Video Programming Report.
Oct. 13 – Reply comments are due on Slamming NPRM.
Oct. 16 – 911 Reliability Certification
Oct. 18 – Reply comments are due on Connect America Phase II auction procedures.
Oct. 28 – Comments are due on Intercarrier Compensation Reform Public Notice.
Oct. 28 – Comments are due on Streamlining Complaint Processes NPRM.
Oct. 24 – Reply comments are due on Form 477 revision.

Nov. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Nov. 1 – Reply comments are due on Mid-Band Spectrum NOI.
Nov. 9 – Reply comments are due on the Competition in Video Programming Report.
Nov. 13 – Extended deadline for EAS test participants in Hurricane areas to file ETRS Form Two.
Nov. 13 – Deadline for EAS test participants to file ETRS Form Three.
Nov. 13 – Reply comments are due on Intercarrier Compensation Reform Public Notice.
Nov. 13 – Reply comments are due on Streamlining Complaint Processes NPRM.

 BloostonLaw Private Users Update Vol. 18, No. 9 September 2017 

REMINDER: New FCC Renewal and Discontinuance Rules Effective Oct. 2

As we have previously reported, the FCC has adopted new rules which define (a) the requirements for renewal of wireless licenses and (b) when a station is deemed to have permanently discontinued operation for the Wireless Radio Services (WRS), which encompass most of our CMRS and private user licensee clients. On September 1, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Second Report and Order governing license renewal and service continuity rules.

The new rules are therefore effective October 2, 2017 for Private User licenses. However, the FCC is delaying the implementation of the new renewal procedures for licenses in the Common Carrier Fixed Point-to-Point Microwave Service (Part 101) until October 1, 2018; and certain commercial geographic auction licenses will have until January 1, 2023 before the new renewal process applies.

As part of the implementation of the new rules, we will be revising the instructions that we provide our clients with their license renewal applications in order to help you better understand the new certification requirements associated with your license renewal application; and we will be adding an exhibit to the application itself, making the required certifications (until such time as the FCC adds them to the form itself).

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Extends Comment Deadline on 900MHz B/ILT Band Rule Changes

The FCC has issued an Order extending the comment deadline on its Notice of Inquiry reviewing the FCC’s rules governing the 896-901/935-940 MHz band (900 MHz band). Comments are now due October 2, and reply comments are now due November 1.

By way of background, the 900 MHz band was designated in 1986 for narrowband private land mobile radio (PLMR) communications by Business/ Industrial/Land Transportation (B/ILT) licensees and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) providers, who still have such systems in place today. In the NOI, the FCC broadly seeks comment on whether the public interest would be served by making changes to the existing regime in the 900 MHz band.

Specifically, the FCC invites commenters to address whether any changes to improve the technical and operational flexibility and efficiency of the 900 MHz band are appropriate; 900 MHz band users’ current and future needs; whether those needs would be adequately fulfilled by alternate spectrum bands that have been allocated to or will be available to B/ILT users; and the financial and non-financial impacts of any changes on existing users’ operations. Comments are sought specifically on competing proposals by EWA and M2M to reconfigure the band to better accommodate certain advanced services. More generally, the FCC seeks comment on how to ensure that the 900 MHz band is put to its best and highest use for the American public. Commenters should discuss current and future needs, narrowband or broadband, of existing or new potential users and suggest how these needs can be met within the 900 MHz band.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

PHI Service Company Seeks Extension of Time and Waiver to Complete Construct ion of Paging Auction Frequencies

PHI Service Company (PHI) has requested a further extension of time and waiver of the Commission’s Rules to extend the construction deadline for its “smart-grid” system. Comments are due October 16, 2017 and Reply Comments are due October 31, 2017.

PHI acquired various Part 22 paging auction licenses in order to support critical smart grid applications and automated distribution requirements for its affiliated energy delivery companies. Unlike typical CMRS carriers, PHI is constructing its smart grid system to meet its internal communications needs. In this regard, PHI noted its “900 MHz system benefits all residences, business and government locations that obtain energy delivery services from its Energy Delivery Affiliates through improved response/restoration times and, overall, more reliable electric and gas service.” As a result, PHI asserts that “virtually all persons residing and working within and traveling through the electric service territories of PHI’s affiliated Energy Utility Companies benefit from [its] 900 MHz systems authorized by the Licenses.”

PHI states that it has completed construction of three of the seven sites and has requests a limited extension until December 31, 2017 within which to complete construction and demonstrate substantial service, since its construction to date may not yet satisfy the Commission’s substantial service obligation. In support, PHI notes that it has completed system design, and has purchased the RF equipment and associated facilities for all of its proposed master sites as well as many of its remote sites. With respect to the four remaining sites, PHI states that the process is almost complete – notices to proceed have been received from the site owners and scheduling and completing construction are the remaining steps.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Denies Waivers for use of Airport Terminal Channels

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Mobile Relay Associates have filed applications requesting use of Airport Terminal Use (ATU) channels. Bristol-Myers sought use of these frequencies in New Jersey and Connecticut while Mobile Relay planned to use this spectrum in Colorado, Florida and Nevada. The frequency pairs 460/465.650 and 460/465.89375 MHz are only available to entities providing commercial air transportation services in connection with servicing and supplying aircraft within 16 km of an airport. Between 16 and 80 km of an airport, these frequency pairs are available to Industrial/Business Pool users on a secondary, non-interference basis. In this regard, operations on the 460 MHz side of the frequency pair would be limited to an industrial complex or manufacturing yard.


Bristol-Meyers sought to license a centralized trunking system at four locations in New Jersey and one location in Connecticut, using 10 ATU channels. The FCC returned the application because Bristol-Meyers was not eligible for the ATU spectrum.

The FCC notes that Bristol-Meyers’ proposed transmitter locations are located within 80 km of four of the 25 busiest airports in the US. Bristol-Meyers sought a waiver to utilize these channels for purposes of plant safety, plant operations, security and environmental and human services. In requesting these frequencies, Bristol-Myers stated that no exclusive spectrum was available.


MRA filed applications seeking to establish centralized trunking systems in Colorado, Florida and Nevada. MRA initially sought 12 ATU channels, but substantially reduced the number of channels it was requesting. The FCC noted that each location was within 16 km of a protected airport (including two top-25 airports). MRA is in the business of providing non-interconnected dispatch services on a for-profit basis and states that it cannot meet increasing demands for service due to a lack of available exclusive use frequencies. MRA asserted that if its request was granted, sufficient ATU spectrum would be available for airport operations.

ATU spectrum is intended to ensure that aircraft at designated airports can communicate with air terminal radio systems and that these communications are protected from harmful interference. In establishing the ATU spectrum allocation, the FCC deliberately designated enough spectrum in order to allow air carriers to use the same frequency(ies) at each airport where they operate. The 16 km and 80 km channel separation distances were designed to ensure that there is no interference to ATU operations. Simply put, in establishing these limits, the FCC sought to balance the interference protection needs of ATU users with the spectrum capacity requirements of non-ATU users. Having reviewed the Bristol-Meyers and MRA waiver requests, the FCC concluded that a grant would conflict with the underlying purposes of the ATU spectrum allocation and result in insufficient spectrum being available for future needs.

In order to minimize what it would be an adverse impact on ATU operations, Bristol-Meyers had offered to accept secondary status. However, the FCC concluded that secondary status would not resolve its concerns, since Bristol-Meyers was proposing centralized trunking and would therefore be unaware of co-channel ATU operations. This is because centralized trunking systems do not monitor the channel prior to transmitting.

Finally, the FCC noted that a lack of exclusive use spectrum is not sufficient to justify a waiver where there is no showing that the applicant cannot operate on shared spectrum. Simply put, a preference for exclusive use spectrum over shared channels is insufficient to justify a rule waiver.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Imposes $13K Fine for Failure to Narrowband

The FCC has imposed a $13,000 fine against Global Paratransit, Inc. (Global) for operating its private land mobile radio (PLMR) station in violation of the FCC’s narrowbanding rules, which required all license operating in the 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz band to operate with 12.5 kHz or narrower bandwidth. The narrowband requirement was effective January 1, 2013. Our clients that have not yet installed narrowband equipment as required should do so expeditiously to avoid a similar fine.

The FCC’s field office had received an anonymous tip asserting that Global had not narrowbanded its transmitting equipment, as required by the FCC’s Rules. In response, the FCC inspected the station and confirmed the validity of this tip. Global never responded to the violation notice issued on May 13, 2016 or the Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture.

In addition to the technical rule violations for failing to (a) narrowband its radio equipment and (b) transmit its station identification, the Commission also found that Global violated the FCC’s Rules by ignoring the Enforcement Bureau’s Notice of Violation. While a violation notice can seem daunting, it is important to note that bad news will not get better with time. It is critically important that you contact our office whenever you receive correspondence from the FCC – especially if it is of an enforcement nature or if it specifies a deadline within which to respond. A failure to respond could potentially result in the issuance of a fine and/or the dismissal of an application or cancellation or termination of a license.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

Congress Passes SANDy Act

On September 11, the Senate passed the Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act – or “SANDy Act”. The bill, which now only requires President Trump’s signature to pass into law, amends the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to expand the categories of essential communications service providers that may access a disaster site to restore and repair essential services in an emergency or major disaster without being denied or impeded by a federal agency. Under the bill, services to be considered essential will now include wireline or mobile telephone service, Internet access service, radio or television broadcasting, cable service, or direct broadcast satellite service.

The bill also requires the FCC to investigate and report on the public safety benefits, technical feasibility, and cost of providing the public with emergency access to 9-1-1 services, when mobile service is unavailable during certain federal or state declared emergencies or major disasters, through telecommunications service provider-owned Wi-Fi access points and other communications technologies operating on unlicensed spectrum, without requiring any login credentials; non-telecommunications service provider-owned Wi-Fi access points; and other alternative means.

In a statement, Commissioner Rosenworcel said: “In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, I was pleased to see the United States Senate’s unanimous passage of the SANDy Act of 2017 last night. We know that weather- related emergencies and other disasters can occur anywhere at any time–and this legislation comes not a moment too soon. Among other things, it promises to help speed restoration of essential communications in times of disaster.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

FCC Cites Pirate Radio Operations on Government Spectrum

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued Notices of Unlicensed Operation against Bosch Communications Systems and W&T Offshore for unlicensed operation on the frequencies 406.012 and 122.70 MHz, respectively.

Bosch Communications Systems

Bosch was utilizing the frequency 406.012 MHz at its facility in Lincoln, Nebraska, which was causing interference to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) system. The frequency had been plugged into Bosch’s trunked radio system at its Lincoln facility. Bosch indicated that it did not have a license to operate on the frequency 406.012 MHz.

W&T Offshore

In response to a complaint from an airport alleging interference to their Common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) 122.70 MHz, the FCC determined that the radio signals were coming from W&T Offshore’s plant at Coden, Alabama. A review of the FCC’s records reflected that no licenses had been issued authorizing the construction and operation of any facilities on the frequency 122.70 MHz at W&T Offshore’s plant. While the FCC noted that unlicensed low power operation would be permitted in limited circumstances if the operation complied with Part 15 of the FCC’s Rules, such was not the case here since the station exceeded the maximum allowable power level permitted under Part 15 of the FCC’s Rules for unlicensed devices. As a result, the FCC concluded that W&T was operating a station without a license in violation of the Communications Act of 1934.

As a general rule, radio stations must be licensed by the FCC. If you believe that a particular radio operation is exempt from licensing, it is critically important to ensure that it complies with Part 15 of the FCC’s Rules. Radio operations that run afoul of Part 15 may very well result in a finding of unlicensed operation – which could result in the imposition of substantial fines or monetary forfeitures.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Accepts Late-Filed License Renewal filed by Puerto Rico

On August 31, 2017, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico filed its application and a request for waiver of the FCC’s Rules to permit the late-filing of its application for renewal of its 700 MHz state license. This license, which had previously been constructed, supports Puerto Rico’s interoperability communications among its public safety agencies and serves over one-third of its population and geographic territory.

Despite being reminded of the upcoming license expiration, Puerto Rico failed to file its license renewal application. As a result, the license expired on May 14, 2017 and was cancelled in the FCC’s license database on July 15, 2017.

The FCC’s long standing policy regarding the treatment of late-filed license renewal applications is clear. Renewal applications that are filed up to 30 days after the expiration date of the license will be granted nunc pro tunc* (or as if the application had been timely filed as of the license expiration date) if the application is otherwise sufficient under the FCC’s rules. Applications filed more than 30 days after the license expiration (such as here with the Puerto Rico license) may also request that the license be renewed nunc pro tunc, but such requests will not normally be granted. The FCC has stated that these requests will be subject to stricter review. In making its determination, the FCC will take into account all of the facts and circumstances, including the length of the delay in filing, the reasons for the failure to timely file, the potential consequences to the public if the license should terminate, and the performance record of the licensee.

* nunc pro tunc (English translation: “now for then”) is a Latin expression in common legal use in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries. In general, a ruling nunc pro tunc applies retroactively to correct an earlier ruling. [source]

It is important to note that the FCC’s acceptance of Puerto Rico’s late filed license renewal application is not necessarily assured. Further, and more importantly, in addition to the likely loss of license, the FCC has made it clear that a failure to timely file a license renewal application can result in enforcement action, including the imposition of fines and monetary forfeitures. This is because any station operations after the license expiration date would be treated as unlicensed operation.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

FCC Amends Rules to Allow Airport Radars in full 76-81 GHz Band The FCC has amended its rules to permit vehicular radars and certain non-vehicular fixed and mobile radars used at airports to operate in the entire 76-81 GHz band on an interference-protected basis. The FCC is providing access to the entire 76-81 GHz band in order to provide sufficient spectrum bandwidth to enable the deployment of wideband high-precision short-range vehicular radar (SRR) applications, such as blind spot detectors, that can enhance the safety of drivers and other road users, while continuing to allow the deployment of proven long-range vehicular radar (LRR) applications, such as adaptive cruise control.

The FCC’s amended rules will also permit the deployment in airport air operations areas of fixed and mobile radars that detect foreign object debris (FOD) on runways, which could harm aircraft on take-off and landing, and aircraft-mounted radars that can help aircraft avoid colliding with equipment, buildings, and other aircraft while moving on airport grounds. In addition, the FCC’s new rules allow for the continued shared use of the 76-81 GHz band by other incumbent users, including amateur radio operators and the scientific research community.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino

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


Harold Mordkofsky, 202-828-5520,
Benjamin H. Dickens, Jr., 202-828-5510,
Gerard J. Duffy, 202-828-5528,
John A. Prendergast, 202-828-5540,
Richard D. Rubino, 202-828-5519,
Mary J. Sisak, 202-828-5554,
D. Cary Mitchell, 202-828-5538,
Salvatore Taillefer, Jr., 202-828-5562,

All the iPhone X’s Face ID secrets were just revealed

Chris Smith @chris_writes
September 28th, 2017 at 2:11 PM

Face ID is one of the two signature features of the iPhone X, with the other one being the all-screen design. The device’s new facial recognition feature is powered by a miniaturized Kinect camera and sensor setup, and should be able to perform the same features as Touch ID. In fact, Apple says it’s an even more secure than the fingerprint reader. On the other hand, the TrueDepth camera is also the component that’s currently holding up iPhone X production, but hopefully it’s worth the wait.

If you still have questions about how Face ID will work compared to Touch ID, then you should know Apple just revealed all its secrets.

Apple explains Face ID Security in a white paper that you should read if you’re concerned about the security of your private data. In what follows, we’ll touch on the highlights from Apple’s document.

How does Face ID scan your face?

The TrueDepth camera projects 30,000 infrared dots to form a depth map of the face along a 2D infrared image. The data is used to create a sequence of 2D images and depth maps which are digitally signed and sent to the Secure Enclave, the same element that also safeguards Touch ID fingerprint data.

The system will rescan your face and update the information every time it considers it necessary to do so without prompting the user, likely when certain facial changes are determined as worthy of a data upgrade.

The system works in all lighting conditions, regardless of whether you’re outdoors or indoors.

Image Source: Apple

Does Face ID let Apple keep any of your pictures?

Face ID doesn’t actually store pictures of you on the iPhone in the Secure Enclave. Instead, the data is turned into a mathematical representation and the images are deleted immediately. For each login, a math representation is compared to the one that’s stored in the Secure Enclave.

The only time pictures will be sent to Apple is when you choose to run Face ID diagnostics to solve a problem. The process isn’t automatic. You have to enroll in it, and then approve which images should be sent to Apple’s team along with other diagnostic data.

Here’s what Face ID data the Secure Enclave will always keep:

  • The infrared images of your face captured during enrollment.
  • The mathematical representations of your face calculated during enrollment.
  • The mathematical representations of your face calculated during some unlock attempts if Face ID deems them useful to augment future matching.

How fast is Face ID?

Apple says Face ID will help you use a more complex password on the iPhone X without having to worry about typing too often. “Face ID doesn’t replace your passcode, but provides easy access to iPhone X within thoughtful boundaries and time constraints,” Apple says, which implies that Face ID functionality should be at least as fast as Touch ID.

What about encryption?

Yes, Face ID will encrypt your phone, just like Touch ID and regular passwords.

When won’t Face ID unlock the iPhone X?

For security reasons, Apple implemented several failsafe mechanisms in Face ID — and Touch ID. That’s why Craig Federighi’s demo failed on stage on the first device he tried it on. Here are all the instances where a Face ID unlock will not work:

  • The device has just been turned on or restarted.
  • The device hasn’t been unlocked for more than 48 hours.
  • The passcode hasn’t been used to unlock the device in the last 156 hours (six and a half days), and Face ID has not unlocked the device in the last 4 hours.
  • The device has received a remote lock command.
  • After five unsuccessful attempts to match a face.
  • After initiating power off/Emergency SOS by pressing and holding either volume button and the side button simultaneously for 2 seconds.

Does Face ID work in apps?

Face ID will work everywhere Touch ID is currently used. You will be able to unlock your device and portions of apps, and you can use it to authenticate secure transactions. The process might be even faster than Touch ID, since you won’t have to do anything else. You’re already looking at the device if you’re using an app, so it’ll just notify you that authentication was successful.

What about Apple Pay?

Apple already explained on stage that Apple Pay works with Face ID. In stores, you have to double-click the side button to authenticate before placing the phone near the contactless payment reader. You can then confirm the preferred payment method before you make the payment. So if you decide to switch cards, you’ll have to Face ID once again.

Image Source: Apple

If you enable the feature for online use, you’ll have to double-click the button to confirm intent and then you have 30 seconds to authenticate the transaction using Face ID. In most cases, it’ll probably be instant.

Face ID can be used to approve store purchases in iTunes Store, App Store, and iBook Store as well.

Can someone take your phone and unlock it using your face?

The white paper doesn’t address this question directly. If you’re thinking about someone using a picture, then the answer is no, because 2D images won’t work.

The paper does say that the probability of a random person in the world being able to unlock your phone with their face is 1 in 1,000,000, which makes Face ID significantly more secure than Touch ID (1 in 50,000). The likelihood of a false match grows for twins and children under 13, Apple says. That probably means a twin will be able to unlock the other twin’s iPhone.

On the other hand, if someone takes the phone away from you and points it to your face, there’s a chance it’ll unlock unless a second failsafe is enabled: attention. The attention feature requires you to look at your phone in order to unlock it, which means your significant other can’t point the phone at your face while you’re asleep to read all your chats. That’s why it’s advisable to have Face ID check your eyes for attention, though you can choose to disable the feature to speed up unlocks.

Also of note, you can disable Face ID at anytime by holding the power button and volume button simultaneously. It’ll require some quick thinking on the user’s part, but it’ll prevent authorities or anyone else from forcibly unlocking an iPhone with Face ID.


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• Island Style — 'Oiwi E •
• Song Across Hawai'i •
• Playing For Change Collaboration •

Playing For Change
Published on Sep 25, 2017

Jack Johnson and dozens of artists joined more than 1,000 Hawai’i keiki (children) in this beautiful medley. Weʻre excited to present our 2nd ʻSong Across Hawaiʻiʻ collaboration with Hawaiian nonprofit @Mana Maoli, filmed across many breathtaking Hawaii locations as part of their #ManaMele project, which features a Music & Multimedia Academy and Solar Mobile Studio with programs in more than a dozen schools.

Turn it up and let the music bring in the light! To learn more about this medley and Mana Mele, follow Mana Maoli on FB & IG, and visit, where you can get a personal copy of this video for a donation of any amount.

Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. Our primary focus is to record and film musicians performing in their natural environments and combine their talents and cultural power in innovative videos we call Songs Around The World. Creating these videos motivated us to form the Playing For Change Band—a tangible, traveling representation of our mission, featuring musicians met along our journey, and establish the Playing For Change Foundation—a separate 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building music and art schools for children around the world. Through these efforts, we aim to create hope and inspiration for the future of our planet.

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