newsletter logo

Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — December 9, 2022 — Issue No. 1,040

Welcome Back To

The Wireless
Messaging News

Wireless Messaging News

  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Two-way Radio
  • Technology
  • Telemetry
  • Science
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
wireless logo medium

This Week's Wireless Headlines:

  • Apple's iMessage is getting a security feature straight out of a spy movie
  • Wow! See Artemis 1 spacecraft's Earth-moon transit view in amazing time-lapse
  • FCC grants first batch of 2.5 GHz licenses – minus T-Mobile
    • U.S. to Spend $1.5B on Domestic Cell Network Gear Production
    • Form 855 HAC Compliance Certification Due Jan. 31
    • FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for November Open Meeting
    • Comments on Protecting Emergency Alerts from Cybersecurity Threats Due Dec. 23
    • CTIA and CCA Seek Additional Time for Carriers to Negotiate Roaming Under Disaster Arrangements
    • Treasury Dept. Announces ARPA Grants
    • FCC Adopts New Prohibitions on Equipment Authorizations for Secure Networks Initiative
    • Comments on Petitions for Rulemaking Proposing Amendments to FM Digital Radio Rules Due Jan. 12
    • FCC Announces Process to Request List of Agencies Participating in NORS/DIRS Information Sharing
    • FCC Establishes Affordable Connectivity Program Transparency Data Collection
    • FCC Grants First 2.5 GHz Auction Licenses
    • Deadlines
    • BloostonLaw Contacts
    • Calendar At-a-Glance
    • Who Is BloostonLaw
    • By Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
    • “I Heard The Bluebirds Sing”


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.

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

Editorial Policy

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


Click on the image above for more info about advertising in this newsletter.



How would you like to help support The Wireless Messaging News? Your support is needed. New advertising and donations have fallen off considerably.
A donation through PayPal is easier than writing and mailing a check and it comes through right away.

There is not a lot of news about Paging these days but when anything significant comes out, you will probably see it here. I also cover text messaging to other devices and various articles about related technology.

Subscribe Here — It's Free

* required field

If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter just fill in the blanks in the form above, and then click on the “Subscribe” bar.

Advertiser Index

Easy Solutions  (Vaughan Bowden)
Frank Moorman
IWA Technical Services, Inc.  (Ira Wiesenfeld)
Leavitt Communications  (Phil Leavitt)
Prism-IPX Systems  (Jim Nelson & John Bishop)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC  (Ron Mercer)

Service Monitors and Frequency Standards for Sale

Motorola Service Monitor

IFR Service Monitor

IFR 500A Service Monitor

(Images are typical units, not actual photos of items offered for sale here.)

Qty Item Notes
2 Late IFR 500As  
1 Motorola R 2001D  
4 Motorola R 2400 and 2410A  
5 Motorola R 2600 and R 2660 late S/Ns  
4 Motorola R 1200  
2 Motorola R 2200  
2 Stand-alone Efratom Rubidium Frequency Standards 10 MHz output
1 Telawave model 44 wattmeter Recently calibrated
1 IFR 1000S  
All sold with 7-day ROR (Right of Refusal), recent calibration, operation manual, and accessories.  
Factory carrying cases for each with calibration certificate.  
Many parts and accessories  

Frank Moorman animated left arrow

(254) 596-1124

Calibration and Repair (NIST 17025)
Upgrades: We can add the FE 5680A 10 MHz rubidium clock to your unit. Small unit fits into the well in the battery compartment — making it a world standard accuracy unit that never needs to be frequency calibrated.
Please inquire by telephone or e-mail.
Most Service Monitor Accessories in stock.

Leavitt Communications


50 years experience providing and supporting radio and paging customers worldwide. Call us anytime we can be useful!






Minitor VI

Leavitt sells and supports most pager brands. We stock Unication G1, G5, Secure and some Elegant pagers. Call or e-mail for price and availability.

Philip C. Leavitt, V.P.
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


Apple's iMessage is getting a security feature straight out of a spy movie

Overkill for many, but super useful for some.

By Adamya Sharma • December 8, 2022

  • Apple has added an advanced security feature to iMessage.
  • It’s called iMessage Contact Key Verification and allows users to verify that they are messaging only the people they intend to chat with.
  • The feature also alerts users if someone starts eavesdropping on their messages.

Apple’s iMessage is perhaps one of the most popular messaging apps out there. Even though it’s restricted to iOS users and hasn’t let in the Android crowd yet, it offers some of the best chat and security features. End-to-end encryption has been a part of iMessage since the launch of the service, but Apple is making it even more secure with a new feature.

Called iMessage Contact Key Verification, the security feature for Apple’s chat app will allow users to verify that they are messaging only with the people they intend to talk to.

Users who have enabled iMessage Contact Key Verification will receive automatic alerts if an “exceptionally advanced adversary,” such as a state-sponsored attacker, were ever to succeed in breaching cloud servers and eavesdropping on encrypted iMessage conversations.

We know what you’re thinking — “This stuff will never happen to me.” You’re probably right. The advanced iMessage security feature may be overkill for regular folks like us, but Apple says it’s meant for “users who face extraordinary digital threats — such as journalists, human rights activists, and members of government.” If you belong to those groups, this might be a crucial feature for you.

Apple didn’t go into a lot of detail about how Contact Key Verification will work when it launches in 2023. However, the company said that users who enable it will be able to compare a Contact Verification Code in person, over FaceTime (which is also end-to-end encrypted), and through another secure call.

Source: Android Authority  

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:

IMPORTANT left arrow

“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.

Board of Advisors

The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism IPX 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?

animated left arrow

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.

Reader Support

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 .


PRISM IPX Systems Critical Messaging Solutions


Thousands of Users Worldwide Depend on Prism IPX

Our Customers Trust Us To Make Sure That Their Messages Get Delivered

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 email messaging, remote switch controllers, Off-The-Air paging message decoders and logging systems.

How Can We Help You With Your Critical Messaging Solutions?


MORE INFO HERE left arrow


Easy Solutions

easy solutions

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.
  • We are not just another vendor . . . We are a part of your team. All the advantages of high priced full-time employment without the cost.
  • We are not in the Technical Services business . . . We are in the Customer Satisfaction business.

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

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

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

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023
Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119
Telephone: 214-785-8255

Readers of the Newsletter who are Ham Radio Operators

Pete Oesterle VE3HOH/W3
John Nagel W5EXJ
Anthony Hedge KD9BKH
Jerry Daugherty W9FS
Marshall Sherard KE4ZNR
Barry Kanne W4TGA
Steve Siegel K3SLS
Loren Anderson KEØHZ
Dan Ruhe KE3UC
Bill Woods N9SVU
Paul Sadowski AH6LS & DH6LS
Larry Gabriel K4BZY
Gary Blinckmann WA2IQC
Peter Moncure W4PWM
James Petera N8IXP
Ed Lyda WA4OEI
Brad Dye K9IQY
Bill Waugaman WA3OJG
Paul DeLong KF4LNB
Albert Erdmann KJ4BWW
Ken Pearce N4KCD
Tim Jones K4MSP / W4FWD (Repeater)
Brent Finster K6BEF
Charles Tindall KF5VPB
Frank Moorman KE5CSP
Graham Jones W5AAG
Denis Gignac VE2EAM
Ira Wiesenfeld WA5GXP
John Linko N3RTS
Miguel Gonzalez YY5OGU
Philip Leavitt N9CPO
Chris Baldwin KF6AJM (KB3PX Repeater)
Joe Delio KE8BGH
Ken Countess KN2D (ex-WA2MSF)

Source: Amateur Radio callsigns of readers. Please click here to add yours.


Service Contracts

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.

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:

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

Telephone: 631-786-9359 left arrow

Wow! See Artemis 1 spacecraft's Earth-moon transit view in amazing time-lapse

Dec 7, 2022
On the 13th day of the Artemis 1 mission, the Orion spacecraft captured Earth slip behind the moon. The footage and has been time-lapsed and looped here.

Credit: NASA | edited by Steve Spaleta (

Source: YouTube  

Consulting Alliance

Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, 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

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:


FCC grants first batch of 2.5 GHz licenses – minus T-Mobile

By Monica Alleven Dec 2, 2022 12:26 pm

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel noted in her statement that it’s important spectrum, especially for rural America. (Pixabay)

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau on Thursday granted the first batch of county-based overlay licenses from the 2.5 GHz auction, but T-Mobile was not among them.

The FCC said it granted 51 of the 68 total long-form applications received from winning bidders in Auction 108, following what it called a “thorough review of the applications and a period of public comment.”

Of the 51 applications granted, 15 applicants obtained small business bidding credits and 23 obtained rural service provider bidding credits. “Staff review of the remaining Auction 108 long-form applications remains ongoing,” the FCC said in a statement.

That’s notable because T-Mobile won the vast majority of the licenses in the 2.5 GHz auction, and it’s nowhere to be found in Thursday’s Public Notice. T-Mobile spent about $304 million to buy 7,156 licenses in the auction.

Asked for comment, the FCC did not say why T-Mobile wasn’t included but pointed out that the staff review remains ongoing. T-Mobile did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last month, AT&T filed a petition asking the FCC to deny T-Mobile’s long-form application from the 2.5 GHz auction or condition its grant on T-Mobile’s divestiture of sufficient mid-band spectrum to avoid “harm to competition and the public interest.”

AT&T, which didn’t compete in the auction, said T-Mobile already owns too much mid-band spectrum and that creates a major imbalance in mid-band assets needed for effective competition in the long term. Under the Communications Act, the FCC can’t grant T-Mobile’s long-form application and unconditionally grant T-Mobile even more spectrum rights with no corresponding divestitures, unless it finds that doing so would promote the public interest, according to AT&T.

In a filing in response, T-Mobile said AT&T’s request boils down to an attempt to rewrite the rules for an auction that already occurred. T-Mobile also called it a delay tactic to prevent T-Mobile from deploying the 2.5 GHz spectrum for its new Home Internet service, particularly in rural areas, where T-Mobile is competing more aggressively than ever against AT&T.

Sasha Javid, COO of BitPath and a former chief data officer with the FCC, said he has no special insights on why the licenses were not yet granted to T-Mobile on Thursday. However, he said, it’s definitely unusual that the FCC decided to issue a Public Notice announcing the grant of 2.5 GHz licenses to auction winners without including T-Mobile, who won 90% of the licenses in the auction.

“At a minimum, it means that the FCC feels that the arguments in AT&T’s Petition to Deny have enough merit that they cannot be dismissed out of hand,” he said. “While I still think it is unlikely, were the FCC to start forcing T-Mobile to divest some of its recently acquired mid-band spectrum licenses, the process could become quite prolonged and a real opportunity for competitors to pick up additional 3.45 and 3.7 GHz licenses cheaply.”

Important spectrum for rural areas

While T-Mobile bought most of the 2.5 GHz licenses that were auctioned in Auction 108, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel noted in her statement that it’s important spectrum, especially for rural America. Auction 108 offered county-sized licenses, mostly in rural areas, which are considered easier for smaller entities to compete for versus larger blocks that big carriers usually prefer.

Aeronet Wireless Broadband, Broadband One of the Midwest, Carolina West Wireless, Cellular South, East Kentucky Network, Evergy Kansas Central, North American Catholic Educational Programming and United States Cellular (UScellular) are just some of the entities that were granted 2.5 GHz licenses this week. The auction closed at the end of August.

At the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) annual convention in September, incoming CCA President and CEO Tim Donovan pointed out that CCA members won hundreds of licenses in Auction 108, indicating how they’re planning to expand during this phase of continued consolidation.

“What’s the future of smaller carriers? You’re not spending money on auctions for new spectrum if you’re not planning to continue to provide service and to expand that service,” he told Fierce at the time.

Source: FIERCE Wireless

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

Inside Towers Newsletter

Friday, December 9, 2022 Volume 10, Issue 239

U.S. to Spend $1.5B on Domestic Cell Network Gear Production

The federal government plans to invest $1.5 billion to help spur a standards-based alternative for the gear at the heart of modern cellular networks. The NTIA confirmed the money will go toward domestic alternatives to current wireless network equipment. That could help telecoms faced with replacing network equipment from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE that the U.S. has deemed to be a threat to national security.

The NTIA will launch the Innovation Fund program, NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson confirmed on Twitter, according to Broadband Breakfast. The funds will come from the Chips and Science Act, the $280 billion legislation meant to fund U.S.-based chip research and manufacturing. “The highly consolidated global market for wireless equipment creates serious risks for both consumers and U.S. companies,” Davidson told Axios.

The FCC has been leaning favorably toward O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network) technologies. Last year, the FCC launched its first inquiry into the technology. “If we can unlock the RAN and diversify the equipment in this part of our networks, we may be able to increase security, reduce our exposure to any single foreign vendor, [and] lower costs,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said at the time. O-RAN equipment uses standard computing gear to replace what has been proprietary hardware from companies like Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei, Inside Towers reported.

The NTIA plans to kick-off the Innovation Fund with a public comment period. It will run through January 23, 2023. NTIA is required to start making the first grants by August.

Commercial adoption of O-RAN is already under way, though mostly in either limited trials or for brand-new networks, according to Axios. DISH Network and Japan’s Rakuten are both using it. The grants could help address some of the challenges for existing carriers who might want to use O-RAN as they modernize and upgrade their networks.

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers, Jim Fryer.
Inside Towers is a daily newsletter by subscription.

BloostonLaw Newsletter

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

  BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 25, No. 47

December 5, 2022  

Form 855 HAC Compliance Certification Due Jan. 31

The next Hearing Aid Compatibility regulatory compliance certification, certifying compliance with the FCC’s HAC handset minimums as well as enhanced record retention and website posting requirements for the 2022 calendar year, will be due Tuesday, January 31, 2023, for all CMRS service providers (including CMRS resellers) that had operations during any portion of 2022. Companies that sold their wireless licenses during the 2022 calendar year are still obligated to file a partial-year HAC compliance certifications if they provided mobile wireless service and sold wireless handsets at any time during the year.

BloostonLaw has prepared a 2023 HAC Regulatory Compliance Template to facilitate our clients’ compliance with the revised HAC rules. Contact Cary Mitchell if you would like to obtain a copy of the HAC Regulatory Compliance Template and/or would like our help in preparing it.

BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell.


FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for November Open Meeting

On November 30, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the tentative agenda for its upcoming Open Meeting, currently scheduled for December 21. At the meeting, the FCC will tentatively consider:

  • Preventing Digital Discrimination: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would take the next step in the FCC’s efforts to promote equal access to broadband by seeking comment on potential rules to address digital discrimination of access to broadband, consistent with Congress’s direction in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. (GN Docket No. 22-69)
  • Satellite Application Processing: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on changes to its rules, policies, or practices to facilitate the acceptance for filing of satellite and earth station applications under Part 25 to help FCC processing stay apace with the number of innovative satellite applications in the new space age. (IB Docket No. 22-411, 22-271)
  • Improving Wireless 911 Call Routing: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding a proposal to require wireless carriers and covered text providers to implement location-based routing on their networks in order to reduce misrouting of wireless 911 calls and texts and improve emergency response times. (PS Docket No. 18-64)
  • Improving Accessible Phone Services: a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order on Reconsideration to propose Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund compensation for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS), propose a technical amendment to the compensation formula for Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay), and resolve petitions for reconsideration of a prior order setting IP CTS compensation. (CG Docket Nos. 22-408, 03-123, 13-24)

Each summary above contains a link to the draft text of each item expected to be considered at this Open Meeting. However, it is possible that changes will be made before the Meeting. One-page cover sheets prepared by the FCC are included in the public drafts to help provide an additional summary.

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

Comments on Protecting Emergency Alerts from Cybersecurity Threats Due Dec. 23

The FCC is seeking comment on a variety of proposals to promote the operational readiness of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and to protect these systems from cybersecurity threats. Comments on the EAS Integrity NPRM (FCC 22-82) are due December 23, 2022 and reply comments due January 23, 2023.

If adopted, new rules would (1) require EAS Providers and mobile service providers that have elected to offer WEAs to submit an annual certification that they have a cybersecurity risk management plan in place; (2) require EAS Participants to report any cybersecurity breaches of their system to the FCC via the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) within 72 hours; and (3) require participating CMS providers to take steps to ensure that only valid alerts are displayed on mobile devices.

The item was prompted by hacking incidents involving EAS systems that resulted in hoax alerts about a “zombie attack” and a false radiation hazard warning, among other examples. In 2020, the FCC became aware that EAS equipment connected to the Internet was potentially vulnerable to IP-based attacks due to inadequate network security or unsecure device settings and it urged EAS Participants to install security patches and use firewalls.

Most recently, FEMA issued an advisory last August about the need to update software for certain EAS encoder/decoder devices to protect from false EAS alerts over the EAS Participant’s infrastructure. Cybersecurity researchers have also demonstrated that the WEA system could be vulnerable to interference from bad actors who could block or send false WEA alerts to the public.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell

CTIA and CCA Seek Additional Time for Carriers to Negotiate Roaming Under Disaster Arrangements

Under new rules adopted in the Resilient Networks proceeding last June, all facilities-based mobile wireless providers are obligated to establish mutual aid arrangements with other facilities-based mobile wireless providers for providing aid upon request to those providers during emergencies. The Mandatory Disaster Response Initiative (MDRI) codifies previously voluntary “roaming under disaster” (RuD) arrangements and creates new annual testing obligations and after-action reporting requirements that become effective in six to nine months. Wireless industry trade groups are now seeking reconsideration and/or clarification of the new MDRI rules so that providers have from nine to eighteen months to achieve compliance, among other requests. Comments on the joint CTIA & Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) petition are due December 19.

CTIA and CCA have asked that the Commission:

  • Provide a list of potential facilities-based mobile wireless providers to which the MDRI may apply, so that providers can determine with more certainty the scope of their obligation to execute Roaming under Disaster (RuD) arrangements with all “foreseeable” wireless providers;
  • Provide sufficient time for wireless providers—at least 12 months for non-small facilities-based mobile wireless providers and 18 months for small facilities-based mobile wireless providers—to achieve compliance with the new obligations;
  • Align the definitions of “non-small facilities-based” and “small facilities-based” wireless providers with the FCC’s existing definitions of “nationwide” and “non-nationwide” wireless providers applied in the 9-1-1 context;
  • Establish the process that the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (“Bureau”) will use to inform facilities-based wireless providers that MDRI is active, including by providing notice via email to facilities-based wireless providers; and
  • Affirm that Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) review is required for all information collection obligations and that the Commission will treat RuD arrangements provided under Section 4.17(d) as presumptively confidential.

Our law firm’s clients that are facilities-based mobile wireless carriers will want to consider supporting much of the CTIA/CCA petition, as the new rules will require that they enter bilateral RuD arrangements with all other carriers with whom it may foreseeably request roaming privileges while the MDRI is active. Negotiating such arrangements will be time consuming, and will impose costs, but the good news is this could also open the door for larger roaming discussions. Having additional time to negotiate the RuD arrangements could alleviate time pressure as an excuse for one-sided demands from nationwide carriers.

Clients who are not yet participants in the industry’s Wireless Resiliency Cooperative Framework should contact the firm so we can assist in identifying “foreseeable” wireless RuD partners and what additional compliance obligations apply to your company.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.

Treasury Dept. Announces ARPA Grants

On December 1, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the approval of broadband projects in an additional six states under the American Rescue Plan Act’s (“ARPA”) Capital Projects Fund: Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Utah. The Capital Projects Fund provides $10 billion to states, territories, freely associated states, and Tribal governments to fund critical capital projects that enable work, education, and health monitoring in response to the public health emergency.

Each of the approved plans will target 100/10 Mbps speeds, and in accordance with Treasury’s guidance, each state’s plan requires service providers to participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program. (ACP). In addition to requiring funding recipients to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program, Treasury’s guidance requires recipients to consider whether the federally funded networks will be affordable to the target markets in their service areas and encourages recipients to require that a federally funded project offer at least one low-cost option at speeds that are sufficient for a household with multiple users.

In addition to the $10 billion provided by the CPF, many governments are using a portion of their State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) – another part of the ARPA – toward building out high-speed Internet Treasury announced state awards in June, July, August, early October and late October, and will continue approving state and Tribal plans on a rolling basis. To date, 22 states have been approved to invest nearly $3 billion of CPF funding, which is estimated to reach more than 700,000 locations.

The following descriptions summarize the six state plans that Treasury approved:

  • Florida is approved for $248 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 48,400 households and businesses – representing approximately 10% of locations still lacking high-speed Internet access. Florida’s award will fund Florida’s Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP), a competitive grant program designed to expand last mile broadband access to homes and businesses in rural areas of the state. The plan submitted to Treasury and being approved today represents 68% of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program. Florida submitted plans for the remainder of their CPF funds and these applications are currently under review by Treasury.
  • Georgia is approved to receive $250 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 70,000 households and businesses – representing 15% of locations still lacking high-speed Internet access. Georgia’s award will fund the Georgia Capital Projects Fund grant program, a competitive grant program that is designed to fund broadband infrastructure projects that provide service to areas identified by the state to currently lack access to reliable broadband that can meet or exceed 25/3 Mbps, and that adopt practices that support both efficient broadband expansion and community engagement. The plan submitted to Treasury and being approved today represents 96% of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program. Georgia submitted plans for the remainder of their CPF funds and these applications are currently under review by Treasury.
  • Iowa is approved for $152.2 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 18,972 households and businesses – representing approximately 16% of locations still lacking high-speed Internet access. Iowa’s award will fund the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Program, a competitive grant program designed to address inequities in access to broadband throughout the state of Iowa. Using a three-step process, the program combines mapping data, input from communities, and applications from service providers. The plan submitted to Treasury and being approved today represents 100% of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program.
  • Minnesota is approved for $44 million for broadband infrastructure. Minnesota’s award will fund two additional broadband infrastructure programs: Minnesota’s Line Extension Program, a competitive grant program designed to address the needs of individuals who are located near infrastructure for high-quality broadband service but where the cost of the last mile connection is a barrier; and the Low-Density Pilot Program, a competitive grant program that provides financial resources for new and existing providers to invest in building broadband infrastructure in low-density areas of the state that currently lack high-speed Internet In total, Minnesota is using $127 million –70% of their CPF funding –for broadband infrastructure to reach an estimated ~32,000 locations, or ~12% of locations still lacking high-speed Internet access in the state. Minnesota submitted plans for the remainder of their CPF funds and these applications are currently under review by Treasury.
  • Missouri is approved for $196.7 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 37,979 households and businesses – representing approximately 8% of locations still lacking high-speed Internet access. Missouri’s award will fund the Missouri Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program, a competitive grant program designed to fund broadband infrastructure projects in areas that currently lack access to high-speed, reliable broadband. The plan submitted to Treasury and being approved today represents 100% of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program.
  • Utah is approved for $10 million for broadband infrastructure, which the state estimates will connect 3,080 households and businesses – representing approximately 5% of locations still lacking high-speed Internet access. Utah’s award will fund the Broadband Infrastructure Gap Networks Grant Program (Gap Networks Grant Program), a competitive grant program designed to address gaps in broadband infrastructure where reliable broadband service is currently unavailable. The plan submitted to Treasury and being approved today represents 7% of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program. Utah submitted plans for the remainder of their CPF funds and these plans are currently under review by Treasury.

Carriers in these states interested in obtaining more information are invited to contact the firm.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.

Law and Regulation

FCC Adopts New Prohibitions on Equipment Authorizations for Secure Networks Initiative

On November 25, the FCC adopted new rules prohibiting communications equipment deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to national security from being authorized for importation or sale in the United States.

Specifically, the new rules prohibit the authorization of equipment identified on the Covered List published by the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau pursuant to the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 through the FCC’s Certification process, and makes clear that such equipment cannot be authorized under the Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity process or be imported or marketed under rules that allow exemption from an equipment authorization. Although the new rule only applies to future authorizations, the FCC determined that it has the authority to revoke existing authorizations as well.

The FCC also adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking further comment on additional revisions that should be made to the rules and procedures prohibiting the authorization of “covered” equipment. It also seeks further comment on potential revisions to the FCC’s competitive bidding program, and on future action related to existing authorizations – in particular, whether the FCC should revoke existing authorizations for covered equipment.

The Covered List (which lists both equipment and services) currently includes communications equipment produced by Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, and Dahua Technology (and their subsidiaries and affiliates).

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.

Comments on Petitions for Rulemaking Proposing Amendments to FM Digital Radio Rules Due Jan. 12

On November 28, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the Petition for Rulemaking filed by the National Association of Broadcasters and Xperi, Inc. on October 26. According to the Public Notice, the petitioners request that the FCC “adopt an updated formula to determine and increase FM digital sideband power levels for stations transmitting digital FM.” Comments are due January 12, 2023.

At the petitioners’ request, the FCC combined this proceeding with the rulemaking proceeding initiated by the petitioners and National Public Radio, Inc. on December 9, 2019, seeking blanket authorization to originate digital transmissions at different power levels on the upper and lower digital sidebands (asymmetric sidebands) without having to request experimental authorization. The combined rulemaking was assigned MB Docket Number 22-405.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.


FCC Announces Process to Request List of Agencies Participating in NORS/DIRS Information Sharing

On December 2, the FCC announced that service providers that file in FCC’s Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) and Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) may request a copy of the list from the FCC at any time by sending a request to FCC staff will provide the list to the requestor by return e-mail after confirming the service provider’s eligibility and addressing any outstanding questions or concerns, if applicable.

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, in 2021 the FCC adopted a Report and Order that created a framework for Federal, state, Tribal nation, territorial, and District of Columbia agencies to obtain read-only access to communications status and outage reports filed in the NORS and/or DIRS. The rules became effective on September 30, 2022, allowing qualifying agencies to request access. The Report & Order requires the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) to develop a list of agencies with access to NORS and DIRS filings and make the list available to relevant service providers.

FCC Establishes Affordable Connectivity Program Transparency Data Collection

On November 23, the FCC released the text of its Order creating the Affordable Connectivity Program Transparency Data Collection, a statutorily mandated annual data collection describing all Internet service plans subscribed to by households enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Order would require ACP providers to submit annually data on price, plan coverage, and plan characteristics of their broadband Internet services subscribed to by ACP-enrolled households.

A Further Notice seeks comment on subscriber enrollment data, digital divide metrics, metrics related to low-income plan and connected device offerings, and on the merits and burdens associated with the collection of subscriber level information. The Further Notice also seeks comment on whether the FCC should collect information related to the digital divide, including whether an ACP subscriber is a first-time or existing broadband subscriber or is subscribed to multiple plans. In addition, the Further Notice seeks comment on the collecting information related to providers’ low-income broadband plan and connected device offerings. Comment and reply comment deadlines have not yet been established.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.

FCC Grants First 2.5 GHz Auction Licenses

On December 1, the FCC granted the first batch of new, flexible-use, county-based overlay wireless licenses made available in the 2.5 GHz auction, Auction 108. Specifically, the FCC granted 51 of the 68 total long-form applications received from winning bidders in Auction 108, following a thorough review of the applications and a period of public comment. Of the 51 applications granted, 15 applicants obtained small business bidding credits and 23 obtained rural service provider bidding credits. Staff review of the remaining Auction 108 long-form applications remains ongoing.

A list of the granted applications can be found here.


JANUARY 31: Form 855 HAC Compliance Certification. The next Hearing Aid Compatibility regulatory compliance certification, certifying compliance with the FCC’s HAC handset minimums as well as enhanced record retention and website posting requirements for the 2022 calendar year, will be due Tuesday, January 31, 2023, for all CMRS service providers (including CMRS resellers) that had operations during any portion of 2022. Companies that sold their wireless licenses during the 2022 calendar year are still obligated to file a partial-year HAC compliance certifications if they provided mobile wireless service and sold wireless handsets at any time during the year.

BloostonLaw has prepared a 2023 HAC Regulatory Compliance Template to facilitate our clients’ compliance with the revised HAC rules. Contact Cary Mitchell if you would like to obtain a copy of the HAC Regulatory Compliance Template.

BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell.

JANUARY 31: FCC FORM 555, ANNUAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIER CERTIFICATION FORM. All Lifeline Program service providers are required to file the FCC Form 555, except where the National Verifier, state Lifeline administrator, or other entity is responsible. Since January 31 falls on a weekend or holiday this year, Form 555 may be filed by February 1. The FCC Form 555 must be submitted to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) electronically via USAC’s E-File (One Portal). Carriers must also file a copy of their FCC Form 555 in the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System, Docket 14-171, and with their state regulatory commission. The form reports the results of the annual recertification process and non-usage de-enrollments. Recertification results are reported month-by-month based on the subscribers’ anniversary date.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and John Prendergast.

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 Sal Taillefer.

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 Sal Taillefer.

FEBRUARY 1: Live 911 Call Data Reports – Non-Nationwide Providers that do not provide coverage in any of the Test Cities must collect and report aggregate data based on the largest county within its footprint to APCO, NENA, and NASNA on the location technologies used for live 911 calls in those areas. Clients should obtain spreadsheets with their company’s compliance data from their E911 service provider (e.g., Intrado / West).

BloostonLaw Contacts: Cary Mitchell.

Law Offices Of
Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens,
Duffy & Prendergast, LLP

2120 L St. NW, Suite 825
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 659-0830
(202) 828-5568 (fax)


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,

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

Calendar At-a-Glance

Dec. 10 – Reply comments are due on Robotexting NPRM.
Dec. 19 – Comments are due on Petition for Reconsideration of Resilient Networks Order.
Dec. 23 – Comments are due on EAS Integrity NPRM.
Dec. 27 – Reply comments are due on Petition for Reconsideration of Resilient Networks Order.

Jan. 12 – Comments are due on Petition for Rulemaking for FM Digital Radio Rules.
Jan. 13 – NTIA is encouraging carriers to participate in the BDC challenge process by January 13.
Jan. 23 – Reply comments are due on EAS Integrity NPRM.
Jan. 31 – Annual Hearing Aid Compatibility Report is 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. 1 – Live 911 Call Data Reports from Non-Nationwide Providers are due.

Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP is a telecommunications law firm representing rural telecommunications companies, wireless carriers, private radio licensees, cable TV companies, equipment manufacturers and industry associations before the FCC and the courts, as well as state and local government agencies. Our clients range from Fortune 500 companies to small and medium-sized enterprises whose vitality and efficiency depend on the effective deployment of communications.

Complete Technical Services for the Communications and Electronics Industries

Technical Services Inc.

Texas Registered Engineering Firm #F16945

“It's more than Push-To-Talk”

7711 Scotia Drive
Dallas, TX 75248-3112

Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

President • Principal Engineer

Cell: 214-707-7711
Toll Free: 844-IWA-TECH (844-492-8324)

Design  •  Installation  •  Maintenance  •  Training

IWA Technical Services Inc. offers a complete set of RF engineering, installation, maintenance, training and support services, for the Land Mobile Radio and Paging industries.

From design to end user training, IWA Technical Services can solve any RF challenge




This was published in Urgent Communications Magazine in 2009.


Have you ever used a Walkie-talkie radio, and felt that there was something wrong with the particular radio that you were using or with the system because the range was reduced? In addition, have you ever wondered why some Walkie-talkies seemed to have much further range than other Walkie-talkie radios on the same system?

A new VHF radio system that was recently installed for a public safety agency worked sometimes and sometimes not. It had poor range with some of the Walkie-talkies, but great range with others. It was the investigation as to why some of the units worked with a range of better than 20 miles, but others could not talk even 2 miles that generated the need for this article.

Radio System Fundamentals

A radio system is made up of transmitters, receivers, antennas, antenna system peripherals and power supplies. There are many books, articles, and courses available that cover each of these areas, but this article is concentrating only in the area of Walkie-talkie antennas, and as such, is staying on point about these antennas only.

The range of a radio system is influenced by quite a number of factors. The factors that determine the range include:

  • Transmitter Power
  • Receiver Sensitivity
  • Transmission Line Losses
  • Antenna Gain
  • Antenna Efficiency
  • Antenna Height
  • Line of Sight
  • Obstructions
  • Terrain
  • Noise Floor
  • RF Interference

In a well-designed radio system, the design engineer will have taken every one of these factors into consideration for that design. Some of these factors are determined by the FCC rules and regulations, some by economics, and others just by the luck of the draw as to where the system is located. In any case, the range of the system is the aggregate of all of these factors.

The items dealing with the antenna have the greatest effect on the range. These few factors will have the most influence in determining the range of the system.

Since the fixed part of the system, often referred to as the SYSTEM INFRASTRUCTURE, is constant for all users of that system, the individual mobile unit installations and Walkie-talkie antenna efficiencies will be the factors that determine which units have better range than other units.

There have been many articles over the years that cover the ins and outs of mobile installations, but there have been very few articles on Walkie-talkie antenna efficiencies. The remaining parts of this article will only deal with Walkie-talkies and their antennas.

Testing Fundamentals

Just like any mobile or base radio station, portable Walkie-talkie radios have the same operating parameters that determine the range of that station. The main difference is the external environment can change just by the operator turning around, where the radio is worn, or where his/her hand is placed in relation to the Walkie-talkie antenna.

The radio itself will have the same parameters that all transmitters have, including FREQUENCY, MODULATION LEVEL, POWER LEVEL, DISTORTION, and SPECTRAL PURITY. The receivers will have the parameters of SENSITIVITY, SELECTIVITY, FREQUENCY, AUDIO OUTPUT LEVEL, DISTORTION, INTERFERENCE REJECTION, and SQUELCH LEVEL. The factor that is rarely tested, but has a great influence on both the transmitting and receiving paths is the ANTENNA EFFICIENCY.

In order to correctly measure the above parameters of a radio, there needs to be a method where the proper test equipment can connect directly to the radio for the Radio Frequency (RF) interface and to the audio circuits for the remaining parameters. All of the manufacturers have the required cables, connectors, and adapters available to do this.

It is important to be able to measure the actual transmitter output power of a Walkie-talkie. In most cases, a conventional wattmeter tied to a Dummy Load or a Communications Service Monitor can be used to measure the power of a Walkie-talkie. Most radios will be in the 3 to 5 watt range, but there are a few of them out there that only operate with 2 watts, while others can operate up to 7 watts.

If you have a 5-watt portable, and you are measuring only 4 watts, the difference of 1 watt is only 1 dB. You will not have much of a range problem if your power is only down by 1 or 2 dB. In fact, you will not be able to notice this at all in most cases. However, if your power is down by 3 dB (50%) or more, then you do need to look further into this. Remember to always read the radio specifications before you start tearing apart the radio, and have a fully charged known good battery on the unit before making these measurements. Also, make sure your test equipment is working properly and you take into account any antenna test cables and connector losses. It is amazing how many times a good radio is taken apart due to faulty test setups.

Once the power level has been tested, the same test setup can be used to measure the other transmitter parameters, including FREQUENCY, MODULATION, DISTORTION, and SPECTRAL PURITY. Once you have verified that all of the transmitting levels are within specifications, then the receiver parameters need to be tested.

The receiver tests insure that the Walkie-talkie being tested can receive the fixed infrastructure radio transmitters. Again, there needs to be a method to directly connect the test equipment to the portable radio. The sensitivity of a receiver is easy to measure, and if it fails to be within 3 dB of the published specifications, then you can test for some of the other parameters. In addition, there are many test sets (Communications Service Monitors) that have an output specification of +/- 3 dB for the generator output, so it is possible for the receiver to measure 6 dB out of specification, and in fact, still be working correctly. Know your test equipment before ripping apart and rebuilding your receiver.

In the old days, the SQUELCH control was always available for the operator to change so that weak signals could be received. All of the newer radios have this as an internal setting, and at best, a MONITOR switch or pushbutton is provided on the radio. Many times, the users are not aware of this option, even when it is in place on the radios.

In today’s technology, the receivers in the Walkie-talkies are full featured, with specifications that exceed the base and mobile units of the past, and are contained in a single IC chip half the size of your little fingernail. With these specifications, it again falls on the antennas to work properly for the Walkie-talkies to have good reception.

This is the parameter that almost everyone misses when testing a Walkie-talkie. It is easy to measure the transmitter and receiver parameters, but quite difficult to measure the antenna parameters. In addition, the operating frequency of an antenna is determined by its length, combined with the ground plane of the radio, and the surrounding objects that will cause the antenna to operate at a lower or higher frequency, depending upon how far away the objects are from the antenna. Because of this characteristic whereby an antenna is detuned by nearby objects, it can be designed into an antenna to actually be tuned to work better when worn on your belt, as opposed to operating in free space away from any object or person. All of the Motorola Walkie-talkie antennas are designed for this factor.

In testing antennas for Walkie-talkies, especially for VHF radios, it is very important that the antenna always be at least 1 to 2 inches away from your body if the radio is worn on your belt, as the presence of your body being very close to the antenna for the entire length of the antenna seriously detunes the antenna where it actually disappears as an antenna. It is not uncommon for the range to shrink to 1% of normal if the antenna does come in contact with your body. Most of the radios on the market today have the antenna mounted to the case such that there is that distance, or have available leather or canvas cases that provide for the distance separation from your body. Those of us who have extra handles in the midsection of our bodies must use the external cases or pouches, even on the radios that have the distances built into them.

If you want to see how well an antenna performs standing in free space compared to sitting just above your belt, the best way to measure this is to use one of the antenna analyzers such as the Anritsu Site Master™ or the Bird Technologies Site Analyzer™ with a phase stable cable, along with the proper adapter to match the end of the phase stable cable to the antenna.

The first thing that you will notice is that the antenna is fairly narrow in the frequency range that it is tuned for. Since the base station transmitter usually has a much higher output power than the Walkie-talkie, it is advantageous for the Walkie-talkie to be most efficient on the frequency that is normally used for transmitting from the Walkie-talkie, which will be the base station receive frequency. Many of the radios have antennas that are not tunable. In these cases, you must specify to the manufacturer or dealer what frequency you are using for your transmitter on the Walkie-talkie, and they will provide the correct band antenna for that frequency range.

In many systems, there may be channels that are available and used that are outside of the true operating range of the antennas. In these cases, the range on these channels will be reduced from what is the true potential of the radio. It is best to engineer multiple channel system so that the Walkie-talkie transmitter is operating on frequencies close to each other and in the band of the antenna.

Field Intensity is a quantitative measurement that provides an indication of how much signal is radiated from a radio transmitter. One of the laws of physics that prevails here is that as you increase the distance between the transmitter and the receiver, the field intensity drops by the square of the distance. In simple terms, if you double the distance, you quarter the field intensity. If you triple the distance, the field intensity will drop by a factor of 1/9 the original value. If you quadruple the distance, the signal will be 1/16 the original value. A second factor is the free space attenuation of radio signals. The formula is:

Attenuation (dB) = 36.6 + 20*(Log (D [miles])) + 20*(Log (F [MHz]))

This formula works for Line-of-Sight signals. Any obstructions such as trees, buildings, vehicles, people, or any other item will attenuate the signal by some extent. In this case, the body could block the antenna signal path to and from the base station site. Also, if you do not have Line-of-Sight due to terrain obstructions, you will have severe losses between the transmitter and the receiver. Finally, the curvature of the earth does prevent a signal from being Line-of-Sight over very great distances.

Tests with Walkie-Talkie Antennas

By performing tests in a controlled environment, it is possible to check if the radio and if the antenna are performing as desired and designed. You do need to test both the antenna and the radio to ascertain if everything is working properly. Just because something is new out of the box does not guarantee that it is working correctly.

The transmitter power, along with all other transmitter parameters, is supposed to be tested any time a new station is placed into service. In the US, all transmitters that put out more than 2 watts are required to have these measurements before a transmitter is placed in service.

In today’s technology, it is interesting that the wattmeter or antenna analyzer is quite a bit larger in size that the Walkie-talkie itself. An antenna analyzer will give a graphical representation of the antenna performance, which is better than just looking at the reflected power on a specific frequency with a wattmeter.

Under normal circumstances, a SWR of under 1.5:1 which is equivalent to –14 dB return loss indicates a good match at the operating frequency. A SWR of 2.0:1, which is equivalent to a –9.0 dB return loss, is the worst case that would be tolerated for an antenna to radiate. At 2.0:1 SWR, the antenna is only operating at 90% efficiency, which is the bare minimum that an antenna should operate at.

Using field tests, it has been found that many of the antennas only operate within a 5 MHz window where the SWR is less than 2.0:1, and the antenna manufacturers normally label what the limits are on the antenna or by the model designation.

In further testing, when the antenna that is tuned correctly, and has a good SWR on the normal operating frequency, is placed directly next to a body as would find when a Walkie-talkie is mounted on a person’s belt and the antenna is touching the body, the SWR goes from acceptable to terrible. In the case of the public safety agency installation that brought this article to light, the antenna was detuned to the point that the antenna was operating at less than 1% efficiency.

In using an antenna analyzer, it was shown that just by moving the antenna away from the body by at least 1 inch, the antenna did behave as designed, and the SWR did return to the acceptable range. In looking at different model radios made by different manufacturers, some, such as Motorola and Kenwood, have figured this out and the antennas are mounted such that they are removed away from the body even when there is no holster case and just the belt clip is used. Other manufacturers and models within a manufacturers line have not realized this problem. When these same radios were outfitted with the recommended holster cases by either the manufacturers’ product or an after-market vendor, the antennas are moved away from the body at the recommended distance of over 2 inches, and the radios did work as designed. If a person does want to leave the radio on their belt, and use a lapel microphone, then the antenna must be away from their body by more than 1 inch, and preferably by 2 inches in VHF for the radio to work properly. As the frequency goes up, the distance between the body and the antenna can be reduced. VHF antennas need the most distance of separation, while UHF and above frequencies can be reduced to less than an inch for the antenna to continue to work properly.

The ultimate way to determine if a radio and antenna combination is working properly and together is to test that the field intensity matches the predicted value for the power at a controlled distance.

When a Walkie-talkie radio is used without a lapel microphone, the radio is brought up to the face of the user, and the antenna is usually above the user’s head so that it does not matter which direction the user is from the base or repeater in which they are communicating with. When a lapel microphone is used with a Walkie-talkie, the radio is directional in such a way that when the body of the user blocks the radio and antenna from the other user or repeater, the signal will be attenuated by some extent. On VHF radio systems, this is present, but not to the extent that most users need to worry about it. On UHF and above frequencies, such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz, and 900 MHz systems, the manufacturers of the radio systems put the antennas on the lapel microphones to lessen these directionality affects. It was through the field intensity tests where the manufacturers determined that the lapel microphone antennas were needed for the higher frequencies as cited here. Many of the UHF and above frequency systems use multiple receivers and a voting system so that the users in the field do not need to worry about what direction they are facing when using their radios.


Walkie-talkie radios have become the standard of communications for a lot of companies and agencies as the preferred mode of communications. The radios have become very small, reliable, and user friendly. The one component that has not changed over the decades is the antennas. Due to the laws of physics, the antennas must be a certain length that corresponds to the frequency being used. When the antennas are placed touching the body of the user, it will be detuned, and will no longer perform properly. Just an inch or two away from the body will make the difference if the antenna works as designed for VHF radios, and less for the higher frequencies. When your radio system fails to work as designed or expected, do not forget to look at the antennas of the Walkie-talkies as the problem.


All radio antennas have one thing in common. The frequency of the antenna will determine the length of the antenna, and the length of the antenna will determine what frequency or frequency range in which it will work properly. The relationship can be expressed using the mathematical formula of:



If the Frequency is expressed in Megahertz, then c = 300. Professionals have been using this formula for decades. Ham radio operators have been using this formula since the days of Marconi.

Once the WAVELENGTH has been determined by the formula above, the length of the antenna will be 1/4 of this length. (It’s the law of physics and will just be accepted here. Many books have been written on antennas, and this subject can be researched further for those that want to understand more about this.)

High-band VHF antennas (150 MHz) have a length of 18 inches. UHF 450 MHz antennas have a length of 7 inches. 800 MHz radio antennas are 3 inches. 1900 MHz PCS antennas are just over 1 inch in length. Antennas can be made to have gain, and these will be longer than these numbers. Antennas can also be made physically shorter by coiling the lead around a wooden rod or other non-conductor. The shorter the physical length, the less efficient the antenna will perform.

When the antenna is operated at the frequency that matches the wavelength, it is said to be at RESONANCE. When the antenna is operated away from the resonance point, much of the signal will not be radiated, but will instead be reflected back to the transmission line and back into the transmitter. The amount that is reflected can be measured, and this is expressed as either SWR or RETURN LOSS. If the SWR or RETURN LOSS is too great, the antenna will not work, and can even damage the transmitter if the transmitter is not protected. Most new transmitters will have a circuit that checks for excessive SWR and reduces the transmitter power or disables the transmitter if the SWR is too high. Either way, the net result of having a high SWR is extremely poor performance of the radio.


A 5-watt transmitter will have an output expressed in dB’s of +37 dBm. The base receiver at a repeater site is typically at a level of –117 dBm. This gives us a link budget for a 150 MHz system where the signal can be attenuated by 154 dB and it will still work. Using the formula for attenuation, as found in this article, the Line of Sight distance could be up to 5,128 miles.

154 = 36.6 + 20 * Log (150) + 20 * Log (Distance)

117.7 = 20 * 2.176 + 20 * Log (Distance)

74.2 = 20 * Log (Distance)

3.71 = Log (Distance)

5,128 Miles = Distance

This is why very low power handheld radios can talk to satellites. Back here on earth, the curvature of the earth, hills, trees, building, and other factors will greatly attenuate these signals to the point where you are lucky sometimes to just talk 15 miles on a radio system. Add in metal buildings, and this can be less than 5 miles.


Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E., CETsr, WA5GXP has been involved with radio all of his working life. He has worked in the broadcast, public safety, manufacturing, military, and consulting industries since 1956, and has been active in amateur radio since 1963, where he holds an Advanced Class license WA5GXP. He has a BSEE from SMU in Dallas, TX; is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas; and is a Senior Certified Electronic Technician from ETA International. He also has a General Radiotelephone Operator’s License from the FCC. Ira is the author of Wiring for Wireless Sites and a few magazine articles on antennas and radio systems. Ira can be reached at



Notice how a perfectly good working antenna does not have any resonance point when placed right next to a person’s body.

Also notice that the range of the antenna is only 6 MHz, but the radio itself will program and operate from 148 MHz to 170 MHz for most radios.



Source: Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.  


“I Heard The Bluebirds Sing”

Dec 1, 2022
Bluegrass Music Videos from The Brandenberger Family featuring Bluegrass harmonies in the style made popular by Jim And Jesse, Ricky Skaggs, Ralph Stanley, Doyle Lawson and the Carter Family. Here is Angela and Bethany's version of a bluegrass classic! thanks for watching the videos and enjoy the music as always!

“I Heard The Bluebirds Sing”

I met a girl out in the hills
Who gave my lonely heart a thrill
Her beauty seemed just like a breath of spring
And when I looked into her eyes
I thought of blue mid summer skies
And when I held her hand in mine I heard the bluebirds sing

They sang of wondering (Wondering if he love her)
Will she marry? (Marry if he'll ask her)
Will her heart beat? (Heart beat true for him or for)
Them and ever more
And when she's lonely (Lonely is he near her?)
When there's sadness (Sadness will he cheer her?)
Will they always? (Always be together)
Until in death they part

I courted her for months on end
Until she promised we would wed
We planned on being married in the spring
All through the long cold winter months
It seemed that spring would never come
And every gloomy winter day
I heard the bluebirds sing

They sang of waiting (Waiting for the flowers)
And of counting (Counting every hour) '
Til the bluebird (Bluebird chirps his welcome)
Into the world once more
And while we're waiting (Waiting for the sunshine)
We keep hating (Hating every storm cloud)
That has gathered (Gathered o'er the mountains)
To keep us far apart

And when at last spring touched the earth
We were married in our village church
Our wedding seemed just like a dream come true
So many years have come and gone
Our love is still as true and strong
As when I found her long ago
And still the bluebirds sing

They sing of loving (Loving every hour)
That I'm married (Married to my flower)
And we're happy (Happy ever after)
As since the day we met
And though we're older (Older love is sweeter)
We grow fonder (Fonder of each other)
We'll be sweethearts (Sweethearts close together)
Until the end of time

Source: YouTube  

Best regards,
brad's signature
Newsletter Editor
Licensed since 1957
Current member or former member of these organizations.
The National

Rifle Association

mensa member
If you are curious about why I joined Mensa, click here .

A Public Library of
animated gif
Paging and Wireless Messaging
wireless logo medium

Brad Dye
P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

Critical Messaging
European Mobile Messaging Association
emma logo
Former Board Member

Radio Club of Paraguay
Quarter Century
Wireless Association
Back To Paging
Still The Most Reliable
Wireless Protocol
For Emergencies!
American Association

of Woodturners
U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy

radioman second class
Second Class
Petty Officer
Boy Scouts of America

National Honor Society
Creator of the

Paging Wheel of Fortune
National Skeet

Shooting Association
Institute Electrical and
Electronics Engineers

The Radio Club

of America


Life is good!

I am a person in


Skype: braddye
Twitter: @BradDye1
Telephone: +1-618-599-7869
Wireless: Consulting page
Paging: Home Page
Marketing & Engineering Papers
K9IQY: Ham Radio Page

Amateur Radio

  • ex KN9IQY, KN4BK, KM5NK, WB4JCF, ZP5TQ, WA4VXU, WA9RVL, /TI2, /9Y4, /6Y5, /KP4, HH2FJ
  • Licensed FCC Amateur Radio operator since 1957
  • Licensed FCC First-Class-Commercial Operator/Engineer since 1964

United States Navy

Home Page Directory Consulting Newsletters Free Subscription Products Reference Glossary Send e-mail