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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — December 14, 2018 — Issue No. 836

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

Please don't miss my THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK about Merry Christmas.

Apple plans to resolve China iPhone ban with a software update

Fox News
December 14,208

Apple and Qualcomm are not the best of friends at the moment, and the relationship breakdown is playing out in the courts. Earlier this week, Qualcomm saw some success in the Chinese courts and got most iPhones banned from sale and import into China due to patent infringement. However, Apple believes it can overcome the ban with a software update.

As Reuters reports, Apple intends to release a software update in China early next week that will address "the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case." In so doing, Apple could render the ban void before it even starts to have an impact on iPhone shipments and sales.

The ban as it currently stands means the iPhone X , iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 6s can't be sold in China. The two patents these smartphones infringe cover how users adjust and reformat photos and how apps are managed using a phone's touch screen.

It's important to note that the infringement only applies to handsets running iOS 11 and not the more recent iOS 12. The software update next week will therefore be targeted specifically at iOS 11 users. At the same time, Apple filed a request for reconsideration with the court which invoked the preliminary injunction.




This newsletter has been published almost every Friday for over sixteen years. If you like it, or if you have benefited from any of the news that has been re-published here, a donation or a new advertisement to help cover expenses would be sincerely appreciated.

Please click on the Donate button in the right-hand column and send what you can.

Support has lessened considerably.

Please click on the Donate button in the right-hand column and send what you can.

Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Two-way Radio
  • Technology
  • Telemetry
  • Science
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.

About Us

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

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

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


Let's get together and share ideas. Our competitors are not other paging companies, they are other technologies.

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

We need your help. This is probably the only weekly news source about paging and wireless messaging.

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Editorial Policy

Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.

Prism-IPX Systems is growing and they are looking for more good software developers with communications experience. Additional information is available on their web site. Click here .

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Advertiser Index

Easy Solutions  (Vaughan Bowden)
IWA Technical Services, Inc.  (Ira Wiesenfeld)
Leavitt Communications  (Phil Leavitt)
Prism Paging  (Jim Nelson & John Bishop)
Product Support Services  (PSSI, Robert Cook, et al )
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC  (Ron Mercer)
Wex International Limited

Hong Kong


W8001 (4 Line/8 Line IP67 Alphanumeric Pager)

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W2028 (2 Line/4 Line Alphanumeric Pager)

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Tait to Continue Strong R&D Focus with JVCKENWOOD Investment

By Sandra Wendelken, Editor
MissionCritical Communications
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tait Communications CEO Garry Diack said the company’s focus on research and development (R&D) in convergence technologies and Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) platform helped attract a minority investment from JVCKENWOOD.

Although Diack could not provide financial details around the investment, he said the New Zealand company is still majority owned by a Tait trust. The investment is strictly financial and will allow Tait to continue to invest more than 20 percent of its revenues in R&D as the company has done in the past.

“This investment has allowed us to be able to maintain that level of R&D investment while we grow in markets around the globe as well,” he said. “We would expect our percentage of R&D to remain in the low 20s compared with turnover. While that’s high in corporate standards, we’re not as big as our competitors, so the actual dollar amount isn’t as large as our competitors, but it allows us to remain competitive.”

JVCKENWOOD’s professional mobile radio (PMR) business and future technology view align with Tait’s business, and there are high expectations around DMR Tier 3 in industries such as public transport, rail and utilities. The DMR Tier 3 platform has potential for adding an Internet of things (IoT) platform on top to provide customers, such as the Transport for London bus fleet, with new applications, Diack said.

It is likely that JVCKENWOOD will license some of Tait’s technologies, and Tait will license the Japanese giant’s products in the future. However, the investment will not lead to differences in market presence, Diack said. He said Tait customers and dealers will see more aggressive investment in convergence technologies and more products around the globe. “We’ll have a richer form of products for our dealers,” Diack said. “Our industry is moving away from product sales to more solutions sales.”

Diack said Tait’s master distribution agreement with Harris to distribute Tait products in North America won’t be affected.

“We’re pretty grateful for [JVCKENWOOD’s] interest in us,” Diack said. “We’ve been looking for growth capital for some time, and we’ve looked for a number of sources for that like private equity and debt funding. We’re pretty pleased to have landed them. . . It’s really money we will put into growing our capability set over time.”


MissionCritical Communications


Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz

The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.

  • Commercial Paging systems.
  • Healthcare Paging systems.
  • Public Safety Emergency Services Paging systems.
  • Demand Response Energy Grid Management.

Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.

  • Use as a stand-alone unit or in wide area network.
  • Mix with other transmitter brands in an existing paging network.
  • Adjustable from 20-250 watts.
  • 110/240 VAC or 48VDC.
  • Absolute Delay Correction.
  • Remote Diagnostics.
  • Configurable alarm thresholds.
  • Integrated Isolator.
  • Superb Reliability.
  • Improved amplifier efficiency.
  • Most reliable high-powered paging transmitter available.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 Email:

Back To Paging


Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!

Newsletter Advertising


If you are reading this, your potential customers are reading it as well. Please click here to find out about our advertising options.

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Easy Solutions

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Providing Expert Support and Service Contracts for all Glenayre Paging Systems.

The GL3000 is the most prolific paging system in the world and Easy Solutions gladly welcomes you to join us in providing reliable support to the paging industry for many more decades in the future.

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

  • We treat our customers like family. We don’t just fix problems . . . We recommend and implement better cost-effective solutions.
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Experts in Paging Infrastructure

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

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119
Telephone: 214 785-8255

Easy Solutions

Ajit Pai's FCC gives carriers the option to block text messages

The agency approves new rules to help phone companies combat spam texts. But opponents have censorship concerns.

DECEMBER 12, 2018 10:35 AM PST

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai speaks to members of the media after a commission meeting Wednesday. Alex Wong / Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission said it's getting tough on text message spam by clarifying that phone companies can block unwanted texts.

At its monthly meeting Wednesday, the Republican-led agency voted 3-1 to classify SMS text messages as a so-called Title I information service under the Telecom Act. The three Republicans on the FCC, which voted to adopt the classification, said this would allow phone companies to block spam text messages.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the new classification would empower wireless providers to stop unwanted text messages.

"The FCC shouldn't make it easier for spammers and scammers to bombard consumers with unwanted texts," he said during the meeting. "And we shouldn't allow unwanted messages to plague wireless messaging services in the same way that unwanted robocalls flood voice services."

But he said that's what would happen if the FCC were to classify text messages as a Title II telecommunications service under the law.

The one Democrat on the FCC, Jessica Rosenworcel disagrees. She warned that the FCC is misleading the public about what the new classification will actually do.

"Today's decision offers consumers no new ability to prevent robotexts," she said."It simply provides that carriers can block our text messages and censor the very content of those messages themselves."

She said the FCC did the same thing to the Internet last year when it repealed Obama-era net neutrality rules.

"That means on the one-year anniversary of the FCC's misguided net neutrality decision — which gave your broadband provider the power to block websites and censor online content — this agency is celebrating by expanding those powers to also include your text messages," she added.

The new classification is bad news for cloud-based phone service Twilio, which asked the FCC in 2015 to adopt stricter rules to prevent phone companies from blocking its service. That petition has now been denied. Twilio said the decision was not unexpected and the company will remain "laser focused on making sure that consumers receive all the text messages — and indeed, all the communications — they want to receive, while being shielded from unwanted communications."

Several lawmakers oppose Wednesday's reclassification. In a letter sent to the FCC on Friday, nine Democratic US senators and Vermont's Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, said that the reclassification would allow phone companies to "block any text message they wish" and would allow these companies to hike rates to competing businesses trying to reach customers.

The wireless industry's lobbying group CTIA applauded the move.

"We commend Chairman Pai and the FCC for protecting consumers from an avalanche of messaging spam and allowing them to continue to benefit from a flourishing and competitive messaging ecosystem," Scott Bergmann, senior vice president for regulatory affairs at CTIA, said in a statement.

But opponents of the measure said it's another example of Pai putting companies ahead of consumers.

"No one should mistake today's action as an effort to help consumers limit spam and robotexts," said Harold Feld, senior vice president at Public Knowledge. "There is a reason why carriers are applauding while more than 20 consumer protection advocates — along with 10 senators — have cried foul."

The FCC voted on several other items at Wednesday's meeting.

New reassigned number database

The FCC voted to create a single, comprehensive database of reassigned phone numbers to help companies avoid making robocalls to consumers who don't want the receive those calls and to ensure that customers who do sign up for automated calls get them.

The database will help insulate companies from liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when they inadvertently call reassigned numbers.

Faster speeds for rural broadband

The agency also voted to raise the minimum rural broadband speed standard to 25 Mbps, which is more than double the current rate requirement. This will ensure that broadband providers receiving federal subsidies build networks that meet this standard for download speeds. The increased standard will only apply to new networks. However, the FCC plans to provide different incentives to ISPs to increase speeds of existing networks.

Rules set for next spectrum auction for 5G

The FCC set rules for the next auction of wireless spectrum that can be used for 5G services. The auction of millimeter wave spectrum in the 37 GHz, 39 GHz and 47 GHz bands is scheduled for 2019.

The FCC is currently auctioning spectrum in the 28 GHz band that will be used for 5G. This auction kicked off on Nov. 14 and by Dec. 6 it had raised around $600 million. Once that auction concludes, the FCC will begin auctioning licenses in the 24 GHz spectrum band.

Verizon and AT&T are each using high-frequency millimeter spectrum to build 5G networks. Verizon has already launched a fixed wireless home broadband service that's live in four markets. It will launch a mobile offer early next year. AT&T said it will launch mobile 5G in 12 markets by the end of 2018 and will expand this network throughout 2019.

Possible changes to media ownership rules

The FCC also voted to open its congressionally mandated "quadrennial" review of broadcast ownership rules. The agency is required to review rules and eliminate or modify them if it concludes they aren't in the public interest.

The rules that will be reviewed include the local radio ownership limits, local TV ownership limits and the dual-network rule that prevents one company from owning two of the major broadcast networks.

This means the FCC could decide to amend rules that bar one company from owning two or more TV stations in the same local market. And it also means it could allow mergers among the big four broadcast networks, such as NBC, ABC, CBS or Fox.





“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

  • Click here for English.
  • Click here for German. (Berlin Revision: November 8, 2016)
  • Click here for French.

Here is an English PDF edit of this paper formatted with page breaks and suitable for printing.

Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.


I would like to recommend Easy Solutions for Support of all Glenayre Paging Equipment. This Texas company is owned and operated by Vaughan Bowden. I have known Vaughan for over 35 years. Without going into a long list of his experience and qualifications, let me just say that he was the V.P. of Engineering at PageNet which was—at that time—the largest paging company in the world. So Vaughan knows Paging.

GTES is no longer offering support contracts. GTES was the original group from Vancouver that was setup to offer support to customers that wanted to continue with the legacy Glenayre support. Many U.S. customers chose not to use this service because of the price and the original requirement to upgrade to version 8.0 software (which required expensive hardware upgrades, etc.). Most contracts ended as of February 2018.

If you are at all concerned about future support of Glenayre products, especially the “king of the hill” the GL3000 paging control terminal, I encourage you to talk to Vaughan about a service contract and please tell him about my recommendation.


Board of Advisors

The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

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

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


Can You Help The Newsletter?

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You can help support The Wireless Messaging News by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above. It is not necessary to be a member of PayPal to use this service.

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Newspapers generally cost 75¢ $1.50 a copy and they hardly ever mention paging or wireless messaging, unless in a negative way. If you receive some benefit from this publication maybe you would like to help support it financially?

A donation of $50.00 would certainly help cover a one-year period. If you are wiling and able, please click on the PayPal Donate button above.

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Prism-IPX Systems

prism-ipx systems
Critical Messaging that works
Secure . . . Dependable . . .
and Encrypted

Who We Are

Prism-IPX is a leader in providing reliable communications systems using modern designs to meet today’s demands for critical message alerting and delivery. Prism-IPX designs versatile and robust Critical Message Management systems using paging and other wireless technologies for high performance and dependable communications.

What We Make

Prism-IPX Systems products include full-featured radio paging systems with VoIP input, IP based transmitter control systems and paging message encryption. Other options include e-mail messaging, remote switch controllers, Off-The-Air paging message decoders and logging systems.

Contact Us   left arrow

Product Support Services, Inc.

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Repair and Refurbishment Services

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PSSI Repair Pricing
Repair Turn-Around Time 5-10 Business Days
1.1 Messaging Device - Repair Fees (parts additional change, 90-day warranty)
  Model Name PSSI Model Code Model Type Pricing (USD$)
  AE-Advisor Elite AE-Advisor Elite Alphanumeric $14.25
  AG-Advisor Gold AG-Advisor Gold Alphanumeric $13.12
  ALPE-UniElite (All New Parts) ALPE-UniElite Alphanumeric $34.83
  ALPE-UniElite (Used Parts) ALPE-UniElite Alphanumeric $14.94
  ALPG-Alpha Gold ALPG-Alpha Gold Alphanumeric $14.51
  Apollo Apollo Numeric $13.37
  Bravo 850 B8-BR850 Numeric $17.02
  BF-Bravo FLX BF-Bravo FLX Numeric $11.44
  T900 T9-T900 2Way $18.56
  BP-Bravo Plus BP-Bravo Plus Numeric $11.44
  BR-Bravo LX BR-Bravo LX Numeric $11.44
  GS-Coaster Coaster Numeric $26.97
  M90-UNI Messenger M90-UNI Messenger 2Way $18.56
  NP88-UNI-NP88 NP88-UNI-NP88 Numeric $9.68
  Pronto PL-Pronto LX Numeric $9.68
  Unication Elegant EL-Elegant Numeric $14.51
  RA-Ranger RA-Ranger Numeric $12.02
  ST800 ST800 Numeric $12.02
  ST800-P ST800-P Numeric $12.02
  T3-Titan Sun Telecom T3-Titan Sun Telecom Alphanumeric $13.37
  Z4-Z400 Sun Telecom Z4-Z400 Sun Telecom Alphanumeric $12.06
1.2 Messaging Device - Miscellaneous Service Fees
  Damaged Beyond Repair Inspection Fee $1.15
  Frequency Change - Synthesized Models $3.45
  Frequency Change - Non-Synthesized Models (parts not included) $4.03
1.3 Infrastructure Network Equip. - Repair Fees (parts additional charge, 6-mth. warranty)
  Model Name PSSI Model Code  
  Motorola Amplifier MO-AMP $581.20
  Motorola SCM/Exciter MO-SCM-EXC $561.25
  Motorola External NIU MO-NIU-EXT $511.92
  Glenayre Tx Controller GL-C2000 $128.34
  Glenayre Exciter Narrow Band GL-EXC-NB $128.34
  Glenayre Exciter Wide Band GL-EXC-WB $128.34
  Glenayre </=300W Amplifier GL-T8500 $303.60
  Glenayre </=300W Amplifier GL-T8600 $303.60
1.4 Infrastructure Network Equipment - Miscellaneous Service Fees
  Inventory Receiving Processing Fee $18.40
  Pick, Pack, and Order Fulfillment Fee $29.90
  Damaged Beyond Repair Inspection Fee $80.50

Product Support Services, Inc.
511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
817-527-6322 left arrow left arrow

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Click on the image above for more info about advertising here.

INTERNET Protocol Terminal

The IPT accepts INTERNET or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.

An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.

Input Protocols: Serial and IP
Output Protocols: Serial and IP
FLEX (optional PURC control)   POCSAG (optional PURC control)

Additional/Optional Features

  • Database of up to 5000 subscribers.
  • 4 serial ports on board.
  • Up to 8 phone lines (DID or POTS).
  • Can be configured for auto-fail-over to hot swap standby.
  • 1RU rack mount unit appliance—no moving parts.
  • Easily secure legacy system messages leaving site for HIPAA compliance.
  • Only purchase the protocols/options you need.
  • Add Paging Encryption for HIPAA compliance on site.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 e-mail:

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Leavitt Communications

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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:

UNICATION bendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

COM motorola red Motorola MOBILITY spacer
Philip C. Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Web Site:
Mobile phone: 847-494-0000
Telephone: 847-955-0511
Fax: 270-447-1909
Skype ID: pcleavitt

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Paging Data Receiver PDR-4

The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.

Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.

  • Option—decode capcode list or all messages.
  • Large capcode capacity.
  • Serial, USB and Ethernet output.
  • POCSAG or FLEX page decoding, special SA protocols.
  • Receivers for paging bands in VHF, UHF, 900 MHz.
  • Message activated Alarm Output.
  • 8 programmable relay outputs.
  • Send notifications of a system problem.
  • Synthesized Receiver Tuning.
  • Selectivity better than 60 dB.
  • Frequencies 148-174, 450-470, 929-932 MHz.
  • Image Rejection better than 55 dB.
  • Spurious Rejection better than 55 dB.
  • Channel Spacing 12.5 or 25 kHz.
  • Power 5VDC.
  • Receiving Sensitivity 5µV at 1200 bps.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 e-mail:

Wireless Network Planners

Wireless Network Planners
Wireless Specialists

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

ron mercer
Telephone: 631-786-9359 left arrow left arrow

Wireless Network Planners

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Consulting Alliance

Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, Vic Jackson, and Ira Wiesenfeld are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects.

Click here left arrow for a summary of their qualifications and experience. Each one has unique abilities. We would be happy to help you with a project, and maybe save you some time and money.

Note: We do not like Patent Trolls, i.e. “a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question.” We have helped some prominent law firms defend their clients against this annoyance, and would be happy to do some more of this same kind of work.

Some people use the title “consultant” when they don't have a real job. We actually do consulting work, and help others based on our many years of experience.

“If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.”
— Chinese Proverb

Consulting Alliance

Remote AB Switches

ABX-1 switches are often used at remote transmitter sites to convert from old, outdated and unsupported controllers to the new modern Prism-IPX ipBSC base station controllers. Remotely switch to new controllers with GUI commands.


ABX-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.


Common Features:

  • RJ45 for A, B and Common connectors.
  • Manual push button or use Prism IP commands to switch one or more relays.
  • Single or Dual Port Control card for IP or Serial connection.
  • Form C relay—control local connection.
  • Power Loss Indicator.
  • Rear Panel Connector for controlling the switch externally.
  • Power Source: 5VDC for ABX-1; 12VDC for ABX-3.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 e-mail:

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November 14, 2018

9 Ways to Spot Scam e-mails

Posted by bdmpubs under Tech Blog ways to spot scam e-mails

Every year, in every developed country in the world, thousands of people fall for scams that originate from a single e-mail. Some of these scam e-mails, such as the Nigerian prince e-mails, are well known and have been covered in the press extensively, but even so people are still tricked into sending their hard-earned money off to a stranger. Many people, who might otherwise think they are pretty switched on about these sorts of things, have fallen foul of e-mail scams, which are becoming increasingly more refined.

A checklist to help anyone who is worried about the scammers to spot a suspect e-mail message, both known scams and those that will undoubtedly appear in the future.

1 Spelling and Grammar

One of the easiest ways of spotting a scam e-mail is by carefully checking the spelling and grammar it contains. There will often be multiple spelling mistakes, even in company names, which would rarely be allowed to remain in official correspondence from, for example, a bank or building society. If you see a single typo, that might be expected, but two, three or four errors in a single e-mail should been seen as a clear sign of a scam.

Perhaps surprisingly, these spelling mistakes are often very much a deliberate tactic by the scammers. By including spelling mistakes, which could easily be weeded out by almost any document creation software (something certainly within the means of the scammers to do) they better target people who are either not as educated or not as careful and suspicious. These are one of the prime targets of a scam, but that doesn’t mean that just because an e-mail is error-free, it is safe.

2 Disguised/Incorrect URL’s

Some scam e-mails want a reply, so that the scammer can begin a conversation and work the scam on you (asking for help or offering a investment opportunity, for example). Other scam or malicious e-mails provide links for you to click. They might ask you to visit a website for further details, or click on a link to your bank’s website to update your password. Any piece of text in an e-mail can be made into a link, so just because the link text in the e-mail says “Natwest Bank” or even “”, that doesn’t mean it connects to the official NatWest website.

Luckily, every e-mail client (the software you use to send, receive and read e-mails) will display the URL of a link if the mouse pointer is rolled over it without clicking on it. This will show you the actual address of the website the link will take you to when clicked. If this URL does not look right, or if it is disguised, you should definitely not click on it.

What do we mean by a disguised URL? The two URL’s below would both take you to exactly the same page of the website, but the second has been put through a URL shortener called Bitly.


This is one way a suspicious link could be disguised. There is usually no reason for a bank, government office, reputable website or other official body to disguise the URL in their links.

3 Low Resolution Images/Logo’s

Another fairly quick and simple way to spot a fake e-mail is to look at the company logo or any other images that have been used. The companies that create e-mails for banks, government offices, insurance companies, etc., have ample resources and skills to make sure the images, and particularly the company logo, is a good quality image. If any of the images in an e-mail look blurred or pixellated, treat the message with caution.

As with many of the other signs of a scam explained here, this on its own may not be conclusive proof. If, however, poor quality images, spelling mistakes and other signs all appear, it should set alarm bells ringing for you.

4 Requests for Personal Information

As a general rule, institutions such as banks, building societies and other financial service providers will not ask you to send personal details via e-mail. Nor will they ask you to click on links in e-mails. If you are being asked to confirm passwords and login names in an e-mail, or if you are asked to click a link to enter those personal details, you should be concerned. This also applies to things like date of birth, mother’s maiden name and any sort of account number.

With something like online banking, it is far safer to open a new browser window, navigate to your bank’s website and log in. Any messages sent via e-mail will also show up in the messages within your account (if they are genuine messages).

5 Does it Seems Too Good to be True?

The old adage “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is” is applied in no better place than to e-mails from strangers offering cash rewards. These could be the famous Nigerian Princes asking for help getting millions out of the country (with you having to pay a comparatively small fee), or perhaps the offer of a unusually lucrative investment opportunity. There is no better target for a conman than someone whose greed outweighs their caution.

With any sort of e-mail offering a cash reward or payout, you should ask yourself three questions:

    1. Why are they asking me for help/offering me this investment? Surely there are better people to ask for help than a middle-aged housewife from Devon.
    2. Are they asking for a payment from me up front (even a seemingly small amount)?
    3. Is it too good to be true? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…

6 Generic Greeting

Almost any institution, financial, commercial or otherwise, that you have had any sort of dealings with in the past will have your details, and will almost certainly begin an e-mail message with your correct name. Any message which starts with “Dear Sir or Madam” or something equally generic like “Dear Shopper”, that is supposedly from a company you have used in the past, is probably worth being suspicious of.

7 Unsolicited Emails

An unsolicited e-mail should also set alarm bells ringing, particularly if it also displays some of the other signs detailed above. Competitions you have not entered, gifts from online stores you have never shopped with, or messages from banks you do not have accounts with can all appear in your e-mail inbox, and all of them should be ignored or treated with caution. It is quite possible for companies you have never used to get hold of your e-mail address and contact in the hope of getting you to visit their website (potentially for very legitimate reasons, even if buying e-mail addresses is something to be frowned upon).

8 Vague Contact/Company Details

Emails from legitimate companies, and especially from banks, should contain a wealth of information, from business address and full contact details, to legal disclaimers and VAT numbers. Look out for PO box addresses, premium rate phone numbers or details missing that you would expect to see. It is also worth keeping an eye open for contact e-mail addresses which don’t match the domain of the company supposedly sending the e-mail. For example an e-mail from NatWest Bank, with a contact e-mail address of

9 Urgency to Act

The scammers want you to act quickly, without thinking too much so pressure tactics or even threats can be used. It can be worrying to see “Act now or your account will be closed” or “Final deadline before further action is taken”, but take a step back and think before you act. A reputable business is unlikely to act in this way, unless of course you have things like credit you have fallen behind on. Even so, it is always better to contact the company through its official website, or using a number on any official documentation you have, rather than clicking a link in an e-mail.


BDM Publications

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Volume 6 | Issue 243 


Residents Claim a Tower is Making Them Sick

Residents of Petaluma Avenue Homes have voiced their concerns to city council members since August 2018, regarding a perceived health crisis due to the proximity of a Crown Castle cell tower located near their homes.

Resident Connie Vondralee addressed the council, asking for help to get the cell tower moved or removed, reported Sonoma West Times & News. Since the apartment complex sits between at least four towers, Vondralee noted that residents, “are right in the center of all that activity and we are getting it [RF] because we are on the hill. In the ten years I have lived there, five people have died. Their deaths have been from cancer, heart failure, crippling osteoporosis, and diabetes,” she added.

The News reported other residents spoke about their ongoing health issues and the cancer cases that plague their community. Vondralee said 12 residents are facing current health issues, including breast and ovarian cancers. Although public comments are being heard, City Attorney/Manager Larry McLaughlin said the city has no jurisdiction over the cell tower, and only holds jurisdiction over the use permit itself, which was granted in 2017.

Both the tower owner Crown Castle, and AT&T, which leases space on the tower, said the city has no jurisdiction on the matter and the tower is in full compliance with all applicable laws.

The council made a motion to send a letter to the health care district where the tower sits, asking to move the cell tower 1,500 feet away from apartments and raise its height by 150 feet.

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

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BloostonLaw Newsletter

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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. 21, No. 52 December 12, 2018 

In lieu of holiday cards this season, BloostonLaw will be making a donation to Healthcare for the Homeless, a local charity program. We wish our clients a happy and safe holiday season! In observance of the holiday, our next newsletter will not be published until Jan. 2.

Holiday Issue

3.5 GHz Band Revisions Effective January 7

On December 7, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Report and Order in GN Docket No. 17-258, in which it adopts limited changes to the rules governing Priority Access Licenses (PALs) that will be issued in the 3500-3700 MHz Band (3.5 GHz band)—including larger license areas, longer license terms, renewability, and performance requirements—as well as changes to the competitive bidding rules for the issuance of PALs and to the ability to partition and disaggregate areas within PALs. These rule revisions will be effective January 7. However, compliance will not be required for § 96.23(a) (initial PAL application), § 96.25(b)(PAL performance requirements), or § 96.32(b)(PAL portioning or disaggregating rules) until after approval by the Office of Management and Budget.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom update, changes include:

  • Seven County-Sized PAL Licenses. The FCC concluded that increasing the size of the PAL license area from census tracts to counties would be the best way to promote a variety of use cases (such as low-power small cells and wide-area mobile networks) in the 3.5 GHz band.
  • Ten-Year Renewable License Terms. The FCC extended PAL license terms to 10 years and makes such licenses renewable in order to maximize incentives for large scale investments in the 3.5 GHz band. The FCC also concluded that the economics and upgrade cycles of 3.5 GHz band deployments will likely be closer to those in other bands used for mobile broadband, such as those bands addressed in Spectrum Frontiers, for which the FCC also adopted a ten-year renewable license term.
  • End-of-Term Performance Requirements. The new rules require PAL licensees to provide a bona fide communications service that meets a “substantial service” standard of performance, and provide two specific safe harbors to meet this standard, one for mobile or point-to-multipoint services and a second for point-to-point services. A licensee providing a mobile service or point-to-multipoint service is able to demonstrate substantial service by showing that it provides reliable signal coverage and offers service over at least 50 percent of the population in the license area. A licensee deploying a point-to-point service is able to demonstrate substantial service by showing that it has constructed and operates, using Category B CBSDs, at least four links in license areas with 134,000 population or less, and at least one link per 33,500 population (rounded up) in license areas with greater population. Licensees are able to fulfill their performance requirements by showing that they meet at least one of these safe harbors, or they may make an individualized showing of substantial service by relying, for example, on a combination of different services for which there is a safe harbor or on services for which there is no defined safe harbor.

Aside from the main changes summarized above, the FCC ensured that 7 PALs are available for bidding nationwide and allowed the use of bidding credits for small businesses, rural service providers and Tribal entities. The revised 3.5 GHz rules also allow partitioning and disaggregation of PALs on the secondary market. With respect to technical rules, the R&O updates information security requirements to protect sensitive CBRS device registration information while still ensuring that aggregate data on spectrum use is publicly available. The rules also facilitate transmission over wider channels without significant power reductions.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell and John Prendergast.

FCC Seeks Comment on Improving Wireless Network Resiliency

On December 10, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the efficacy of the Wireless Resiliency Cooperative Framework (Framework), a voluntary wireless industry commitment to promote resilient wireless communications and situational awareness during disasters. Comments are due January 9, and reply comments are due January 24.

Specifically, the FCC now seeks comment on how to ensure that wireless carriers and backhaul providers better coordinate with each other, as well as with other stakeholders, both before and during an emergency event, and as part of post-event restoration efforts. Topics include:

  • Best Practices and Challenges. This topic covers questions like: what are the existing practices of backhaul providers to prevent outages in their networks (e.g., redundancy)? What steps do backhaul providers take in preparation for natural disasters to ensure resiliency and timely service restoration? To what extent do backhaul providers face unique challenges in maintaining or restoring network integrity during major hurricanes, as well as during lesser, storm-related events?
  • Coordination and Information Sharing. This topic covers questions like: How do backhaul providers coordinate with their customers before, during, and after a natural disaster? What challenges exist in providing this restoration information and how were these challenges addressed? What steps do wireless providers take to coordinate with backhaul providers in the wake of a disaster?
  • Expanding the Scope of the Framework. This topic covers questions like: To what extent could principles described in the Framework be expanded to incorporate backhaul providers? To what extent would formal inclusion of backhaul providers into the Framework improve overall communications response and restoration efforts in times of disaster? If the Framework were modified to include backhaul providers, could all backhaul providers be treated the same?

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

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

Jurisdictional Separations Order Effective January 1

On December 11, the FCC published in the Federal Register its Report and Order in WC Docket No 14-130 and CC Docket No. 80-286, in which it simplified its Part 36 jurisdictional separations rules to allow all carriers to use the simpler jurisdictional separations processes previously reserved for smaller carriers. This Report and Order is effective January 1.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC removed references to Class A accounts because carriers are no longer required to keep such accounts. The FCC also amended section 36.112 to allow former Class A carriers (carriers with revenue equal to or greater than $157 million for calendar year 2016) to select between the legacy Class A and Class B procedures in apportioning their general support facilities costs. Finally, the FCC “correct[ed] certain stylistic and typographical errors in Part 36.”

Carriers with questions about the FCC’s revisions should contact the firm for more information.

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

Chairman Pai Announces Investigation into Potential MF-II Mapping Violations

On December 7, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the agency has launched an investigation into whether one or more major carriers violated the Mobility Fund Phase II (MF-II) reverse auction’s mapping rules and submitted incorrect coverage maps. The investigation comes after a preliminary review of the 20,809,503 speed tests filed with the agency in connection with the MF-II challenge process; the window for initial challenges closed on November 26. The FCC has suspended the next step of the challenge process—the opening of a response window—pending the conclusion of this investigation.

“My top priority is bridging the digital divide and ensuring that Americans have access to digital opportunity regardless of where they live, and the FCC’s Mobility Fund Phase II program can play a key role in extending high-speed Internet access to rural areas across America,” said Chairman Pai. “In order to reach those areas, it’s critical that we know where access is and where it is not. A preliminary review of speed test data submitted through the challenge process suggested significant violations of the Commission’s rules. That’s why I’ve ordered an investigation into these matters. We must ensure that the data is accurate before we can proceed.”

“Chairman Pai’s decision to launch this investigation has my full support,” said Commissioner Carr. “Earlier this year, I said I would monitor how the maps align with consumers’ real-world experiences. Now that the challenge process has closed, the data provided confirm that Chairman Pai has made the right call.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

FCC Opens Office of Economics and Analytics

On December 11, the FCC announced the official opening of the FCC’s Office of Economics and Analytics (OEA). The OEA is intended to strengthen and centralize the role of economic analysis by housing the majority of FCC economists in one office, including the entire staff of the former Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis. The new office includes four divisions:

  • The Economic Analysis Division, which provides analytical and quantitative support for rulemakings, transactions, reviews, adjudications, and other matters.
  • The Industry Analysis Division, which designs and administers significant, economically-relevant data collections.
  • The Auctions Division, which leads auction design and implementation issues, including for spectrum and universal service auctions.
  • The Data Division, which develops and implements best practices, processes, and standards for data management.

“The communications sector is a major part of America’s economy, and our rules can substantially affect incentives of companies and consumers. This makes it essential that we systematically incorporate sound economics in our work,” said Chairman Pai. “This new office will ensure that strong economic analysis and data analytics inform our efforts. I want to thank all the staff involved in the process of establishing this office; your work will have a lasting and positive impact on the Commission’s policies and structure. I also want to specifically thank Wayne Leighton for his leadership during this transition.”

“We are excited to have our new office up and running,” said Giulia McHenry, Acting Chief of OEA. “This will be a single office to bring together the great economic and data work already being done by FCC staff. We look forward to helping the Chairman, Commissioners, and other staff to ensure economics is a central consideration in our work.”

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.


FEBRUARY 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: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

FEBRUARY 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT. Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks—including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks—from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by February 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers are required to include their FCC Registration Number (FRN). Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.

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

Calendar At-a-Glance

Dec. 12 – Comments are due on Citizens Broadband Radio Transition Deadline Waiver.
Dec. 13 – Reply comments are due on Adequate Replacement Test Interoperable Devices.
Dec. 13 – Reply comments are due on Phase I Testing for U-NII-4 (5.9 GHz) Devices
Dec. 14 – Reply comments are due on Cable Franchising FNPRM.
Dec. 24 – Reply comments are due on Sprint Petition on IP Relay Rate-making.
Dec. 24 – Reply comments are due on Citizens Broadband Radio Transition Deadline Waiver.
Dec. 27 – PRA comments are due on Intermediate Provider Registry.

Jan. 9 – Reply comments are due on Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act NPRM.
Jan. 9 – Comments on Wireless Resiliency are due.
Jan. 10 – Comments are due on Cable Rate Regulation Revision FNPRM.
Jan. 24 – Reply comments on Wireless Resiliency are due.
Jan. 31 – FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline ETC Certification Form) is due.

Feb. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Feb. 1 – FCC Form 502 (Number Utilization and Forecast Report) is due.
Feb. 11 – Comments are due on Cable Rate Regulation Revision FNPRM.

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,

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Merry Christmas

As I was preparing this issue of the newsletter and thinking about how I could send a traditional Merry Christmas greeting to my readers, I remembered a phone call that I received several years ago from a friend who was relaying a complaint from another reader (who is not a friend). This person had a major case of heartburn over the fact that I occasionally include inspirational — or what I thought of as helpful — quotations here in THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK. She or he, said that I shouldn't be doing that and that if I must include anything religious, then I should include all religions. So I looked up a table on Wikipedia about all the religions of the world. It is not very up-to-date but nevertheless it is very interesting. Including something of interest to every group is beyond my education and I am sure it would just start big arguments.

I really don't agree with many of these modern beliefs about being “politically correct” like saying Merry Christmas will offend people of other faiths. For many years the first Merry Christmas greeting that I received each year came from a dear friend in Israel, Froike Biegun. left arrow (read about him here)

So you can say Season's Greetings if you want. It won't offend me, but I do have an issue with calling a Christmas Tree a Holiday Bush. I am not offended — I just think it sounds dumb. Just don't try to force me to conform with your ideas and I won't force you to conform with mine. However, I am always happy to explain my beliefs to anyone who wants to listen.

By the way, some members of my family are Christians, some of them are Jewish, and some of them don't know what they are. I have some Muslim friends and one of my best childhood friends is an atheist. I really don't understand why someone else's faith — or lack of faith — should create hatred. So

Adherent estimates in 2012

[Source: Wikipedia] says “Sizes shown are approximate estimates, and are here mainly for the purpose of ordering the groups, not providing a definitive number.”

Religion Adherents Percentage
Christianity 2.4 billion 33%
Islam 1.8 billion 24.1%
Secular[a]/Nonreligious[b]/Agnostic/Atheist 1.2 billion 16%
Hinduism 1.15 billion 15%
Buddhism 521 million 7.0%
Chinese traditional religion[c] 394 million 5.5%
Ethnic religions (excluding some in separate categories) 300 million 4.19%
African traditional religions 100 million 1.40%
Sikhism 30 million 0.32%
Spiritism 15 million 0.21%
Judaism 14.4 million 0.20%
Bahá'í 7.0 million 0.10%
Jainism 4.2 million 0.06%
Shinto 4.0 million 0.06%
Cao Dai 4.0 million 0.06%
Zoroastrianism 2.6 million 0.04%
Tenrikyo 2.0 million 0.02%
Neo-Paganism 1.0 million 0.01%
Unitarian Universalism 0.8 million 0.01%
Rastafari 0.6 million 0.01%
total 7.167 billion 100%


  1. These figures may incorporate populations of secular/nominal adherents as well as syncretist worshipers, although the concept of syncretism is disputed by some.
  2. Nonreligious includes agnostic, atheist, secular humanist, and people answering 'none' or no religious preference. Half of this group is theistic but nonreligious. According to a 2012 study by Gallup International “59% of the world said that they think of themselves as religious person, 23% think of themselves as not religious whereas 13% think of themselves as convinced atheists.”
  3. Chinese traditional religion is described as "the common religion of the majority Chinese culture: a combination of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, as well as the traditional non-scriptural/local practices and beliefs."


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When the Music Comes to Life:
“Ahoulaguine Akaline”

Playing For Change
Published on Dec 14, 2018

Growing up surrounded by war in his home country of Niger, Bombino is an artist who chose to use his guitar and music as his weapon of choice. We took his song, “Ahoulaguine Akaline,” around the world, adding musicians from the U.S. all the way to Japan—showing men and women, all connected and using their talents as weapons for good. “. . . When you feel somebody with talent and it inspires you, opens your heart . . . you look at the world differently,” says PFC co-founder and producer Mark Johnson. Learn more about the inspiration behind this song by watching our final installment of 'When the Music Comes to Life' for our “Listen to the Music” series.

Source: YouTube  

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