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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — March 25, 2022 — Issue No. 1,003

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
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This Week's Wireless News Headlines

  • CISA, FBI warn of threats to US satellite networks after Viasat cyberattack
  • Zoom agrees privacy conditions, gets low-risk rating from Netherlands
  • Why The Controversy Over 5G Home Broadband Isn't Going Away
  • If a huge solar storm hits Earth, THIS is how terrifying it will be
  • Astronomers see massive debris cloud in space after 2 objects collide
  • You’ve probably never heard of terahertz waves, but they could change your life
  • Inside Towers
    • Iridium Adds Ultra-Low Bandwidth Video Over Satellite Broadband Connections
  • BloostonLaw Telecom Update
    • New Wireless Application Fees Effective April 19
    • 2.5 GHz Auction to Start July 29; Short-Form Applications Due May
    • Comment Sought on Pole Replacement Dispute Process
    • FCC Initiates Digital Discrimination Rulemaking; Comments Due May 16
    • Windstream Seeks Permission to Exceed 25% Foreign Ownership Benchmark
    • FCC Revokes Pacific Networks’ and ComNet’s Authority to Provide Telecom Services in US
    • FCC Extends Eligible Locations Adjustment Process Registration Deadline to May 13
    • California Privacy Agency to hold Public Meetings Regarding Privacy Protection Act
    • FCC Sends Additional Robocall Cease-and-Desist Letters
    • Deadlines
    • BloostonLaw Contacts
    • Calendar At-a-Glance
    • What Is a Class-D Amplifier, and What Are They Useful For?
    • Tuba Skinny New Orleans


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.

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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.

CISA, FBI warn of threats to US satellite networks after Viasat cyberattack

Carly Page
12:00 PM CDT • March 18, 2022

Image Credits: Al Drago / Getty Images

The U.S. government is warning of “possible threats” to satellite communication networks amid fears that recent attacks on satellite networks in Europe, sparked by the war in Ukraine, could soon spread to the United States.

A joint CISA-FBI advisory published this week urges satellite communication (SATCOM) network providers and critical infrastructure organizations that rely on satellite networks to bolster their cybersecurity defenses due to an increased likelihood of cyberattack, warning that a successful intrusion could create risk in their customer environments.

While the advisory did not name specific sectors under threat, the use of satellite communications is widespread across the United States. It’s estimated that about eight million Americans rely on SATCOM networks for Internet access. Ruben Santamarta, a cybersecurity expert who specializes in analyzing satellite communications systems, told TechCrunch that networks are used in a wide number of industries, including aviation, government, the media and the military, as well as gas facilities and electricity service stations that are located in remote places.

The military, in particular, should be concerned, according to Santamarta, who says that the recent cyberattack that hit SATCOM provider Viasat, which knocked tens of thousands of customers in Europe offline in February, shows the damage that can be done.

“The military in Ukraine was using this kind of satellite terminal,” Santamarta tells TechCrunch. “It has been acknowledged by one of the representatives of the Ukrainian army that it was a huge loss for them in terms of communications, so obviously that’s one of the most significant sectors that are affected right now.”

Santamarta said for the maritime industry, for example, a successful attack could become a safety threat rather than solely a cybersecurity issue. “Vessels use satellite communications for safety operations, so if they have to send a distress call, this can be sent over a radio frequency or a SATCOM channel. If you can’t send that kind of distress call, that’s a problem,” he said.

The joint U.S. advisory comes days after Western intelligence agencies reportedly launched an investigation into the cyberattack that hit Viasat’s KA-SAT network last month, causing a massive communications outage across Europe at the outset of Russia’s invasion.

The outage, which has not yet been fully resolved, affected satellite Internet services for tens of thousands of customers in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe, and disconnected roughly 5,800 wind turbines in Germany.

The cyberattack was originally believed to be the result of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, but this has since been thrown into doubt. Viasat hasn’t yet provided technical details but has confirmed that attackers leveraged a misconfiguration in the management section of the satellite network for remote access to modems. According to Santamarta, this suggests that the attackers likely deployed a malicious firmware update to the terminals.

“The attackers likely managed to compromise or spoof a ground station... to issue a command by abusing a legitimate control protocol... that deployed a malicious firmware update to the terminals,” Santamarta said in his analysis of the attack.

Given that Viasat provides its satellite communication service to the Ukrainian military, it’s believed the cyberattack may have been an attempt to disrupt communications across Ukraine during the early stages of Russia’s invasion.

“We currently believe this was a deliberate, isolated and external cyber event,” said Viasat spokesperson Chris Phillips. “Viasat’s continuous and ongoing mitigation efforts have stabilized the KA-SAT network.” Phillips rebuffed claims made by Michel Friedling, commander of the French Space Command, who said in a tweet that Viasat customer terminals had been rendered “permanently unusable” as a result of the incident.

“Viasat is actively working with distributors to restore service for those fixed broadband users in Europe impacted by this event, with a priority focus on critical infrastructure and humanitarian assistance,” added Phillips. “We continue to make significant progress and multiple resolution efforts have been completed while others are underway.”

The government’s advisory said U.S. organizations should “significantly lower their threshold for reporting and sharing indications of malicious cyber activity” due to the heightened risk of similar attacks targeting SATCOM networks.

Source: TechCrunch  

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

Zoom agrees privacy conditions, gets low-risk rating from Netherlands

Warn users there's no E2EE when using it via the browser, DPIA tells institutions

Richard Speed Mon 21 Mar 2022 // 12:30 UTC

Hot on the heels of Microsoft's report card from the Dutch department of Justice and Security comes news of rival messaging platform Zoom receiving a nod via a renewed Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA).

The assessment was performed by the Privacy Company and was commissioned by SURF (the purchasing organisation for Netherlands' universities.)

The first assessment kicked off in 2020 and by May 2021 [PDF] concluded that there were nine high and three low data protection risks for users of the video conferencing platform.

These risks included worries about where personal data was actually being processed and the retention of customer data.

The latest DPIA, however, has given the US videoconferencing giant the green light, albeit with some provisos. Risks remain, but according to the Privacy Company "universities and government organisations can mitigate these risks themselves."

Zoom's end to end encryption on all chats and meetings received a thumbs-up, as did a commitment from Zoom to process all personal data (such as account, diagnostic and support) exclusively in European data centres by the end of the year. A European help desk (due online by the middle of 2022) also met with the approval of researchers.

However, while "there remains a risk that US authorities order Zoom to provide access to the data it processes in Europe, without informing the customer", it was reckoned that the probability of such a risk was low – occurring less than once every two years.

Zoom itself was pleased with the assessment, and said the DPIA "reflects the respect that Zoom has for European data protection policies and principles." The events of the last two years have certainly demonstrated the need for virtual meetings and remote working. Zoom is unlikely to want to pass up on the revenue potential and so has tweaked things, leaving just those outstanding low privacy risks remaining.

Those risks include access to content data by US authorities, which is mitigated through means including end-to-end-encryption, "privacy friendly settings", and establishing policies prohibiting the use of identifying data in room or topic names. The transfer of diagnostic and support data is also a worry, but mitigated by using pseudonymous names and a European mail provider.

Rival in the chat space, Microsoft, had its own run in with Dutch authorities in February's DPIA in which a number of high risks were noted with mitigations including turning on end to end encryption and not exchanging anything sensitive on the platform in situations where E2EE was not an option. Risks were also noted for users of Google productivity suite and it has been made clear what the tech giants need to do in order to dodge the ire of the regulators.

In the case of Zoom, new privacy features, an EU support desk and a bit more transparency appear to have done the trick (although some elements, such as the processing of nearasdammit all personal data in the EU, might not happen until the end of 2022.) For its part, Microsoft has also pledged that EU data won't leave the EU with its EU Data Boundary.

The latest DPIA also suggested some mitigations of the low risks, such as enabling end-to-end encryption for all calls, meetings and chats and warning users "that E2EE is technically not possible when using Zoom via the browser, and that the browser should therefore only be used for non-confidential sessions such as attending a class."

It also suggested institutions make local recordings instead of cloud recordings, consider using single sign-ons with pseudonymous names, use a vanity URL "(such as to prevent IP addresses being transferred to Zoom when users log in", and "do not use the American mail provider Twilio, which Zoom has built in by default to send invitations for webinars. Use your own European mail provider."

The Privacy Company's report concludes: "If Zoom and the Dutch universities and government organisations apply all agreed and recommended measures, there are no known high risks for the individual users of Zoom's videoconferencing services."

An update to the DPIA and DTIA is expected in 2023. ®

Source: The Register  

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 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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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.


Why The Controversy Over 5G Home Broadband Isn't Going Away

08:00 AM ET 03/23/2022

Whether 5G wireless networks transform into a hot new revenue source could well decide the fate of telecom stocks in coming years.

But not everyone is sold on the promise of 5G wireless. Two of the three biggest telecom players, T-Mobile US (TMUS) and Verizon Communications (VZ), contend that selling what are also known as "fixed" 5G broadband services to homes will prove to be a moneymaker. Meanwhile, AT&T (T) has no plans to make a big push.

Whether these 5G services will heat up broadband competition with cable TV companies — who dominate in high-speed Internet services — is a controversial issue for telecom stocks. The fixed 5G wireless services also may compete with local phone companies in areas still served by copper line-based "DSL" services.

"Verizon and T-Mobile think the service can be a growth driver and will have attractive economics," UBS analyst John Hodulik told Investor's Business Daily. "FWA (fixed wireless access) is likely to do better where there are limited options for broadband and among subscribers used to lower speeds, so that means legacy DSL subscribers and slower speed cable."

He added: "The big question is whether FWA has staying power over the next 5 to 10 years given necessary speed increases."

5G Wireless To Homes A Long-Term Play?

Meanwhile, AT&T has downplayed the potential of fixed 5G wireless. AT&T contends that as data usage surges over time, FWA will become increasingly uneconomic vs. fiber-optic landline alternatives.

"I think it stems from a genuinely different view of the engineering and capacity constraints," MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett told IBD. "The divergence in views about fixed wireless access between AT&T and Verizon or T-Mobile speaks to a genuine controversy in the telecom industry."

He added that telecom companies are scrambling to make money from huge investments in 5G radio spectrum.

"The renewed appetite for FWA may be a sign of a dawning realization that the gee-whizzy use cases of 5G may never materialize," Moffett said. "That could be forcing operators to revisit every possible source of incremental revenue in a bid to earn at least some return on their huge investments in 5G spectrum."

In a government auction that ended in early 2021, Verizon spent $45.45 billion on 5G airwaves while T-Mobile invested $9.3 billion. AT&T spent $23.4 billion on the auction but it's putting its 5G chips in areas other than FWA.

Telecom Stocks: Broadband Competition

Meanwhile, there are cable TV firms looming with high-speed, coaxial cable. Comcast says it's not worried about broadband competition from fixed 5G wireless services to homes.

"Time will tell, but it's an inferior product," Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts said at a recent Morgan Stanley conference. "And today, we can say we don't feel much impact from (it). It's lower speeds. And in the long run, I don't know how viable the technology holds up."

Cable companies offer hard landlines while 5G wireless services provide high-speed Internet to homes mainly via indoor antennae that consumers self-install.

Eighty-seven percent of U.S. households subscribe to an Internet service at home, compared with 83% in 2016, according to Leichtman Research Group. Also, cable TV firms comprise 70% of the broadband market, LRG said.

Verizon ended 2021 with 223,000 fixed wireless broadband customers, but most connected via 4G wireless networks. Meanwhile, T-Mobile had 646,000 fixed 5G broadband subscribers.

How T-Mobile, Verizon Stack Up

T-Mobile has told Wall Street analysts it expects to serve in a range of 7 million to 8 million fixed 5G wireless subscribers by 2025. Verizon has projected 3 million to 4 million subscribers over the same period.

T-Mobile charges $50 monthly for its home Internet service. Verizon's pricing starts at $50 or $70 monthly, depending on the data speeds provided. Verizon mobile phone customers with unlimited data plans get a discount.

T-Mobile's 5G Internet to home services provides data speeds up to 115 megabits per second, or Mbps. Verizon plans to provide speeds up to 300 Mbps.

T-Mobile uses mid-band radio spectrum to deliver fixed 5G broadband to homes. Verizon uses a mix of mid-band and high-band radio spectrum. In urban areas, Verizon may be able to deliver higher Internet speeds with high-band spectrum, analysts say.

AT&T Exposure To Fixed 5G Wireless

One area of debate remains whether fixed 5G broadband finds more success in suburban/urban markets or in rural areas.

"FWA is definitely a threat to cable companies," Peter Rysavy, head of Rysavy Research, said in an email. "Particularly with (high frequency) mmWave, 5G can compete directly with cable. Mid-band spectrum is also effective but is best suited for lower density population areas. In these deployments, even T-Mobile limits the number of fixed wireless subscribers it can support in any geographical area."

At UBS, Hodulik says that even if positioned as a low-end service, fixed 5G broadband still has a potential market of 20 million to 30 million homes.

AT&T, whose forerunner was regional Bell SBC Communications, has a sizable wireline local service area in 22 states. So it will face competition from fixed 5G broadband, just like cable TV firms. Verizon is based mainly in the northeast. T-Mobile doesn't sell local phone services.

"AT&T has a huge wireline asset base that is only 25% upgraded to fiber," Oppenheimer analyst Tim Horan told IBD. "So they are very exposed to competition from fixed wireless."

At an analyst day on March 11, AT&T said it plans to upgrade 50% of its local markets, about 30 million customer locations, to high-speed fiber-optic broadband service by year-end 2025.

Private 5G Wireless Business Services

Meanwhile, AT&T CEO John Stankey commented on the controversy over FWA.

AT&T sees FWA as playing a limited role for mobile small business and enterprise applications as well as in rural areas.

"We're not opposed to fixed wireless, and I'm sure there's going to be segments of the market where it's going to be acceptable and folks are going to find it to be adequate right now," Stankey said.

Fixed 5G broadband services to homes isn't the only potential moneymaker for telecom stocks. Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile aim to upgrade mobile phone users to unlimited data plans. And they plan to sell "private" 5G connections to businesses. There's also the Internet of Things and 5G connections to industrial devices.

T-Mobile stock has gained about 9% in 2022. Verizon stock has edged down nearly 2% this year, while AT&T stock has shed 5%. Telecom companies are just some of many 5G stocks to watch.



Prism IPX Customers

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. We work with:

  • Hospitals and Medical Facilities
  • College and Universities
  • Firefighters and First Responders
  • Local Two-way Radio Dealers

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


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:

If a huge solar storm hits Earth, THIS is how terrifying it will be

A solar storm can be truly terrifying. So, how destructive will a solar storm of the highest strength be, if it struck Earth? Find out.

By HT TECH Updated on Mar 22 2022, 01:37 PM IST

The Carrington event highlights the destructive power of a severe solar storm. With the modern satellite dependent communications system, a similar solar storm can be disastrous. (Pixabay)

The Sun has entered a new solar maximum phase, which is characterised by higher activity that leads to frequent shooting out of coronal mass ejection (CME). That means the threat of a huge solar storm striking Earth has increased significantly. And yet, most of us do not understand the truly destructive power of a solar storm. Apart from minor incidents of temporary loss of mobile network or cautionary electricity supply cut off, the only way we remember a solar storm or a geomagnetic storm is by aurora borealis or northern lights. These fantastic patterned lights cover the entire sky near the northern hemisphere displaying beautiful colours. But if the intensity of the solar storm was really high, the same solar storm could have a horrifying effect. History is filled with such examples, with the most renowned one being the Carrington Event.

Carrington Event: When a solar storm disrupted global telegraph system

Around a century and a half ago, on September 1 and 2, 1859, a massive solar storm struck the Earth and immediately caused a global failure of the telegraph system. The telegraph operators reported receiving electric shocks upon touching the instruments, telegraph paper spontaneously caught fire and some equipment started working without being connected. The event is now known as the Carrington Event when a severe storm spelled disaster for the telegraph system.

Why solar storms are terrifying

The Sun releases massive amounts of energy containing visible light, ultraviolet and infrared, gamma as well as electromagnetic radiation. This is a massive ejection of energy millions of kilometres out into space. These have been dubbed as CMEs. When this energy blast reaches Earth, it generates a geomagnetic storm. While the Earth's atmosphere protects us from most of this blast, if the solar storm is big enough, it will penetrate all the way down to the ground level, which is what it did during the Carrington Event. The storm at that time devastated the telegraph network, but in those days, there were hardly any electrical infrastructure. By 2022, things have changed. There is a huge amount of tech in virtually every person's life on Earth. Since most of our communication technology functions wirelessly (using satellites as a medium), any interference in the waves can cause glitches and even completely destroy these machines.

The Carrington event is the largest recorded solar storm event. But it is definitely not an isolated incident. There is the Miyake Event in 774 CE, where a solar storm even more severe struck the Earth. Its evidence can still be seen in the Arctic ice core. Various studies have shown that the Mikaye event was almost 12 times stronger than the Carrington event. What it shows is that what happened in 1859 was not an isolated event. We have just been extremely lucky in not experiencing a severe solar storm in the last 100 years and that has allowed us to build technologies at a fast pace and push hordes of satellites up in the sky.

But the Carrington event is a reminder. No matter how peaceful it has been, the Sun can any day throw us a solar storm so large that it can bring all our modern communication including cellular networks (mobile phones), Internet, GPS systems, power grids and emergency services to a halt and send us right back to the stone age.

Source: Hindustan Times Tech.  

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

Astronomers see massive debris cloud in space after 2 objects collide

By Ashley Strickland, CNN Updated 4:23 PM ET, Tue March 22, 2022

This illustration shows what happens when two large asteroid-size bodies collide in space. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope observed a massive debris cloud that blocked the light of a nearby star.

(CNN)Space can be a violent place. Objects crash into each other, causing destruction or leading to the formation of larger celestial bodies. Scientists serve as astronomical detectives and use the evidence left behind from these collisions to piece together what happened and learn about the objects involved.

Astronomers had the chance to observe a massive, star-size debris cloud from such an impact as it passed in front of a nearby star and blocked some of its light. This temporary dimming of starlight, known as a transit, is often a method used to detect the presence of exoplanets around stars beyond our solar system. But this time, the observations revealed evidence of a collision between two celestial bodies likely the size of giant asteroids or mini planets, the scientists said.

A team of astronomers began to routinely observe HD 166191, a 10-million-year-old star similar to our sun located 388 light-years away, in 2015. Astronomically speaking, it's still a fairly young star — considering that our sun is 4.6 billion years old. At this age, planetesimals often form around stars. These orbiting clumps of dust left over from the formation of the star become rocky bodies, not unlike the asteroids that are left over from the formation of our solar system. Planetesimals found around other stars can collect material and increase in size, eventually turning into planets.

Gas, which is necessary for star formation, disperses over time between the planetesimals -- and then these objects are increasingly at risk of smashing into each other.

The research team had considered that they would likely be able to witness such an event if they continued observing HD 166191. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, the astronomers made more than 100 observations of the star between 2015 and 2019. (Spitzer was retired at the beginning of 2020.)

Debris provides clues about planetary formation

Planetesimals are too small to be seen by telescopes, but when they crash into each other, their dust clouds are large enough to be observable.

Based on the observable data, the researchers initially believe the debris cloud became so elongated that it took up an area about three times that of the star — and that's the minimum estimate. But Spitzer's infrared observation only saw a small portion of the cloud pass in front of the star while the total debris cloud spanned a region hundreds of times the size of the star.

In order to create such a massive cloud, the collision was likely the result of two objects similar in size to Vesta, a 330-mile-wide (530-kilometer-wide) giant asteroid nearly the size of a dwarf planet in the main asteroid belt found between Mars and Jupiter in our solar system, coming together.

When these two celestial bodies collided, they created enough heat and energy to vaporize some of the debris. Fragments from this collision likely crashed into other small objects orbiting HD 166191, contributing to the dust cloud witnessed by Spitzer.

"By looking at dusty debris disks around young stars, we can essentially look back in time and see the processes that may have shaped our own solar system," said lead study author Kate Su, research professor at The University of Arizona's Steward Observatory, in a statement. "Learning about the outcome of collisions in these systems, we may also get a better idea of how frequently rocky planets form around other stars."

First eyewitness observation post-collision

In mid-2018, the HD 166191 grew in brightness, suggesting activity. Spitzer, which observed infrared light that is invisible to human eyes, detected a debris cloud as it moved in front of the star. This observation was compared with those taken in visible light by ground-based telescopes, which revealed the size and shape of the cloud as well as how quickly it evolved. The ground-based telescopes had also witnessed a similar event about 142 days prior, during a time when there was a gap in Spitzer's observations.

"For the first time, we captured both the infrared glow of the dust and the haziness that dust introduces when the cloud passes in front of the star," said study coauthor Everett Schlawin, assistant research professor at The University of Arizona's Steward Observatory, in a statement.

Previous attempts by Spitzer to observe collisions around young stars didn't reveal many details. The new observations were published last week in The Astrophysical Journal.

"There is no substitute for being an eyewitness to an event," said study coauthor George Rieke, a Regents' Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences at The University of Arizona's Steward Observatory, in a statement. "All the cases reported previously from Spitzer have been unresolved, with only theoretical hypotheses about what the actual event and debris cloud might have looked like."

As the researchers continued observations, they watched the debris cloud expand and become more translucent as the dust quickly dispersed.

The cloud was no longer visible in 2019. There was, however, twice as much dust in the system compared with observations by Spitzer prior to the collision.

The research team continues to monitor the star using other infrared observatories and anticipate new observations of these kinds of collisions using the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope.

Source: CNN

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The feat marks a step toward a new source of clean energy.

AS ENERGY PRICES across the U.S. soar, with electricity prices jumping nine percent year-over-year, it’s become clearer by the day that affordable alternatives to fossil fuels are necessary not just for environmental reasons but also to lessen the strain on our wallets.

Nuclear fusion is one alternative on the horizon that until recent years sounded more like science fiction than fact. Now, a report from a private nuclear energy company in the U.K. has pushed this reality even closer to fruition in a donut-shaped nuclear reactor called a tokamak. Last week the company Tokamak Energy announced that its spherical ST-40 tokamak reactor reached the 100 million Celsius threshold for commercially viable nuclear fusion.

“We are proud to have achieved this breakthrough which puts us one step closer to providing the world with a new, secure and carbon-free energy source,” said Chris Kelsall, CEO of Tokamak Energy, in a statement. “[This] represent[s] the optimal route to achieving clean and low-cost commercial fusion energy.”

HERE’S THE BACKGROUND — Tokamaks aren’t the only reactors being tested for nuclear fusion — earlier this year Inverse reported on fusion breakthroughs at the Livermore Labs inertial confinement program — but they are a very popular option with a long history. In a nutshell, tokamaks are typically donut (or, torus) shaped reactors that squish and heat up hydrogen atoms in a vacuum until they transform into a plasma. With enough heat and pressure, this plasma then undergoes a fusion process similar to that at the center of a star to create a big burst of energy.

The ST-40 is not the first tokamak to reach this temperature threshold — the Princeton Large Torus tokamak reached that milestone back in 1978. But it is the first to do so with a spherical, privately-funded tokamak.

Gerald Navratil is the Edison Professor of Applied Physics at Columbia University and has been doing fusion research at the university for 45-years. Navratil is unaffiliated with the Tokamak Energy project but tells Inverse the breakthrough is exciting for the field of nuclear fusion at large.

“These are exciting times for fusion energy research,” Navratil says. “For a compact, privately funded fusion experiment at the $70 million cost range to achieve this temperature level means they’ve reached one (out of several) necessary conditions for fusion power success, which is noteworthy.”

Tokamak Energy has reached an impressive milestone. Tokamak Energy

WHY IT MATTERS — In nuclear fusion research, Navratil says that privately funded projects (like ST-40) and government-funded projects (like France’s ITER) work “highly synergistically” and even symbiotically with one another. This means that breakthroughs at private companies like Tokamak Energy are good for the progress of other projects and vice versa.

“We’ve reached a level of maturity in fusion science achieved through public funding that now enables very significant (but more risky) steps in fusion energy experiments funded by private investors,” Navratil says.

“As these private ventures proceed in parallel with the public research efforts, I expect many of the private efforts may fail to fully achieve their objectives,” he continues. “The entire field will benefit from the results of these private efforts, and one or more may indeed achieve significant success.”

Success in these endeavors could revolutionize access to clean, safe, and sustainable energy sources.

WHAT THEY DID — We don’t know for sure the secret sauce that enabled ST-40 to reach this fusion milestone, but there are several unique components of the tokamak that likely played a role in its success:

  1. Its spherical shape means that the magnets inside the reactor are closer to the plasma stream than in torus-shaped tokamaks. As a result, smaller and cheaper magnets can be used to create even more intense fields.
  2. The reactor also used high-temperature superconducting magnets that operate between -250 and -200 °C (-418 and -328 °F) and helped keep the reactor cool.

Even though ST-40 was able to reach this crucial fusion threshold, Navratil says there are still many questions to answer before this kind of reaction can truly be used commercially.

“The ST-40 results claim to have achieved sufficient temperature, but for how long was this sustained? At what density? And with what ‘energy confinement time’?” Navratil says. “Commercial fusion energy [will] require advances in both physics and technology. Even after the plasma physics requirements are met, there are a host of technology requirements that must also be addressed to make fusion a commercially viable source of energy.”

This will include developing a fusion power system, power conversion technology, and next-gen radiation-resistant materials, he says.

WHAT’S NEXT — The list of obstacles still along the road to commercial fusion may sound daunting, but it hasn’t stopped researchers so far in their 70-year journey toward this goal. As for ST-40, Tokamak Energy is already underway designing the next generation of the reactor which they hope will inform the building of the first fusion power plant in the 2030s.


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You’ve probably never heard of terahertz waves, but they could change your life

Welcome to the electromagnetic dark zone.


Engineers from Harvard, MIT, and the US Army created this experimental terahertz laser setup in 2019. They are among the few to do so. Arman Amirzhan, Harvard SEAS

There’s a gap on the electromagnetic spectrum where engineers can not tread.

The spectrum covers everything from radio waves and microwaves, to the light that reaches our eyes, to X-rays and gamma rays. And humans have mastered the art of sending and receiving almost all of them.

There is an exception, however. Between the beams of visible light and the blips of radio static, there lies a dead zone where our technology isn’t effective. It’s called the terahertz gap. For decades now, no one’s succeeded in building a consumer device that can transmit terahertz waves.

The terahertz band lies in a slim region of the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and infrared. Deposit Photos

“There’s a laundry list of potential applications,” says Qing Hu, an electrical engineer at MIT.

But some researchers are slowly making progress. If they stick the landing, they might open up a whole new suite of technologies, like the successor to Wi-Fi or a smarter detection system for skin cancer.

The mystery of the terahertz

Look at the terahertz gap as a borderland. On the left side, there are microwaves and longer radio waves. On the right side lies the infrared spectrum. (Some scientists even call the terahertz gap “far infrared.”) Our eyes can’t see infrared, but as far as our technologies are concerned, it’s just like light.

Radio waves are crucial for communication, especially between electronic devices, making them universal in today’s electronics. Light powers the optical fibers that underpin the Internet These realms of technology typically feed off different wavelengths, and uneasily coexist in the modern world.

But both realms struggle to go far into the terahertz neutral zone. Standard electronic components, like silicon chips, can’t go about their business quickly enough to make terahertz waves. Light-producing technologies like lasers, which are right at home in infrared, don’t work with terahertz waves either. Even worse, terahertz waves don’t last long in the Earth’s atmosphere: Water vapor in the air tends to absorb them after only a few dozen feet.

There are a few terahertz wavelengths that can squeeze through the water vapor. Astronomers have built telescopes that capture those bands, which are especially good for seeing interstellar dust. For best use, those telescopes need to be stationed in the planet’s highest and driest places, like Chile’s Atacama Desert, or outside the atmosphere altogether in space.

The rest of the terahertz gap is shrouded in mist. Researchers like Hu are trying to fix this, but it isn’t easy.

Engineering terahertz waves

When it comes to tapping into terahertz waves, the world of electronics faces a fundamental problem. To enter the gap, the silicon chips in our electronics need to pulsate quickly—at trillions of cycles per second (hence a terahertz). The chips in your phone or computer can operate perfectly well at millions or billions cycles per second, but they struggle to reach the trillions. The highly experimental terahertz components that do work can cost as much as a luxury car. Engineers are working to bring the prices down.

The other realm, the world of light, has long sought to make devices like lasers that could cheaply create terahertz waves at specific frequencies. Researchers were talking about how to make such a laser as early as the 1980s. Some thought it was impossible.

But MIT’s Hu didn’t think so.“I knew nothing about how to make lasers,” he says. Still, making this kind of laser became his quest.

Then in 1994, scientists invented the quantum cascade laser, which was particularly good for making infrared light. All that Hu and his colleagues needed to do was push the laser out to the longer waves of the far infrared.

Around 2002, they succeeded in making a terahertz quantum cascade laser. But there was a catch: The system needed temperatures around -343 degrees Fahrenheit to actually fire. It also required liquid nitrogen to work, which made it difficult to use outside the lab or cryogenic settings.

In the two decades since, that temperature threshold has crept up. The latest lasers from Hu’s lab operate at a balmier 8 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s not quite room temperature, but it’s warm enough that the laser could be chilled inside a portable refrigerator and carted out of the lab. Meanwhile, in 2019, a team from Harvard, MIT, and the US Army created a shoe box-sized terahertz laser that can alter molecular gas.

The nanoscale terahertz wave generator, created by engineers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland in 2020, can be implemented on flexible substrates. EPFL/POWERlab

In the time it took Hu to fine-tune his laser, electronics have made progress, too. Advances into how chips are built and the materials that go into them have pushed them to run faster and faster. (A nanoplasma chip made by a group in Switzerland in 2020 was able to transmit 600 milliwatts of terhertz waves, but again, only in the lab.) While electrical engineers want to see more progress, designing terahertz components isn’t the distant dream it once was.

“Now we can really make really complicated systems on the chip,” says Ruonan Han, an electrical engineer at MIT. “So I think the landscape is changing.”

“What’s happened over the last thirty years is that progress has been made from both ends,” says Mark Sherwin, a physicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Terahertz Facility. “It’s still relatively rare, but I would say, much, much, much more common … and much easier.”

Such decades-long timescales are common in a world where new technologies whirl about in cycles of hype and disappointment. Amongst engineers, terahertz is no exception.

The future of terahertz technology

For now, the two realms trying to enter the terahertz dark zone from either end remain largely separate. Even so, they’re giving the science world new abilities in a broad range of disciplines.

Some of those abilities could speed up communication. Your Wi-Fi runs on microwaves: Terahertz, with higher frequencies than microwaves, could forge a better connection that’s orders of magnitude faster. Through a wire, it could also create a lightning-fast cross between USB and fiber optics.

Terahertz waves are also ideal for detecting substances. “Almost every molecule has a ‘fingerprint’ spectrum in the terahertz frequency range,” says Sherwin. That makes terahertz waves optimal for picking out chemicals like explosives and the molecules in medicines. Astronomers already use that ability to look at the chemical compositions of cosmic dust and celestial objects. Closer to Earth, Han envisions a terahertz “electronic nose” that could even discern odors in the air.

Those terahertz signatures also make the far infrared ideal for scanning people and objects. Terahertz waves can see through stuff that light can’t, such as clothes, with the bonus of avoiding potentially harmful ionizing radiation like X-rays. Security screeners have already shown interest in the tech.

The one scanning characteristic that terahertz waves lack is that they can’t get through water—in the air and in the human body. But that’s no obstacle for medicine. A doctor could use a terahertz device to screen for subtle signs of skin cancer that X-rays might miss; or a neuroscientist might use it to scan a mouse brain.

The one scanning characteristic that terahertz waves lack is that they can’t get through water—in the air and in the human body. But that’s no obstacle for medicine. A doctor could use a terahertz device to screen for subtle signs of skin cancer that X-rays might miss; or a neuroscientist might use it to scan a mouse brain.

Closer to Earth, Han envisions a terahertz “electronic nose” that could even discern odors in the air.

Hu thinks the research is still early days. “If we can develop tools that can really see something and not take forever to scan some area, that could really entice potential practitioners to play with it,” he says. “That’s an open-ended question.”

Much of the terahertz gap remains a blank spot on researchers’ maps, which means equipment using the coveted far infrared waves just isn’t common yet.

“Researchers really don’t have a lot of chances to explore what [terahertz waves] can be good at,” says Han. So, for now, the faster, more sensitive world inside the gap remains largely in their imagination.

Rahul Rao is a former intern and contributing science writer for Popular Science since early 2021. He covers physics, space, technology, and their intersections with each other and everything else.
Source: Popular Science  

Inside Towers Newsletter

Friday, March 25, 2022

Volume 10, Issue 59

Iridium Adds Ultra-Low Bandwidth Video Over Satellite Broadband Connections

By John Celentano, Inside Towers Business Editor

Iridium Communications (NASDAQ: IRDM), the satellite communications company headquartered in McLean, VA, announced an ultra-low bandwidth video transmission technology from a new value-added developer, VideoSoft Global. Running over the Iridium Certus® broadband service, Videosoft’s FireLight solution enables the live transmission of video from as low as 4 Kbps to and from anywhere in the world.

The Firelight solution supports secure live video, audio and data delivery for viewing, command and control, and processing in real-time for a variety of applications. Government entities can use it for security and surveillance; the maritime and aviation industries for beyond visual line of sight video delivery from manned and unmanned vessels and aircraft; and land-based users for operations at fixed sites or on-the-move around the globe. The compression and transmission of live, bandwidth-efficient video over the Iridium network also supports IoT applications, disaster response efforts, and transportation and critical infrastructure monitoring.

“Traditional live video transmission requires a significant amount of bandwidth and can be costly to users. FireLight’s capability to support live video transmission over Iridium Certus from as low as 4 Kbps opens the door for countless critical applications,” says Bryan Hartin, Executive Vice President, Iridium. “With the addition of VideoSoft’s video compression technology, cost-effective, weather-resilient and reliable video transmission everywhere in the world is now another value-added service available for our customers.”

“Videosoft is delighted to bring the capabilities of ultra-low bandwidth video to Iridium and its user base – working together to provide the very best in performance of network and application, to deliver real world benefits to customers,” adds Stewart McCone, CEO, Videosoft. “Our FireLight solution is a real enabler of video applications previously thought not possible; it’s a true game changer.”

With its 66 satellite constellation in low earth orbit, Iridium differentiates itself by “connecting small things that move.” Such things include battery powered devices with extremely small antennas mounted on planes, boats, trains and trucks, and in handheld devices. FireLight fits that model and is compatible with a wide variety of Iridium Connected satellite terminals built to operate using the Iridium Certus 100, 200 or 700 broadband service.

The company claims that Iridium Certus is the world’s most advanced L-band (1616-1626.5 MHz) satellite service platform, with flexibility to scale device speeds, sizes, and power requirements both up and down based on the needs of the end-user. Iridium points out that it does not compete with commodity broadband services offered by other satellite operators.

The company reported record total revenue in 2021 of nearly $615 million, up 5 percent year-over-year. That total included $492 million of service revenue and $123 million of revenue related to equipment sales and engineering and support projects. Operational EBITDA for 2021 was $378 million, a 6 percent increase from $356 million in 2020. Capital expenditures were $42.1 million for the full-year 2021.

Iridium ended 2021 with 1.7 million total billable commercial and government subscribers, a 17 percent increase from nearly 1.5 million at year-end 2020. Commercial IoT data is the company’s largest and fastest growing segment with 1.2 million subscribers, up 24 percent YoY.

The company’ guidance for full-year 2022 includes total service revenue growth of 5-7 percent, Operational EBITDA of $400-410 million and capital expenditures of $45 million.

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. 12 March 23, 2022  

New Wireless Application Fees Effective April 19

On March 23, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that the new application fee rates for the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will become effective on April 19. More information can be found in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Fee Filing Guide located at

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Updates, the FCC adopted a Report and Order implementing a new application fee schedule, to become effective when its “information technology systems and internal procedures have been updated.” The new application fee rates for the Office of Engineering and Technology and the Media Bureau became effective on July 15, 2021, and the new application fee rates for the Wireline Competition Bureau, the Enforcement Bureau, the International Bureau, and CALEA Petitions became effective on December 15, 2021

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Cary Mitchell.


2.5 GHz Auction to Start July 29; Short-Form Applications Due May

The FCC late yesterday announced that July 29, 2022, will be the start of bidding in the auction of 2.5 GHz band licenses for 5G wireless services. Auction 108 will offer approximately 8,000 new flexible-use, county-based overlay licenses using ascending clock format. These licenses are in areas with unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum—mostly rural parts of the country—following disposition of applications filed in the Rural Tribal Priority Window.

“The 2.5 GHz band spectrum provides an opportunity to fill in some of the critical 5G gaps in rural America,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “I look forward to the launch of this important auction.”

In conjunction with the auction procedures Public Notice, the FCC’s Wireless Bureau and Office of Economics and Analytics announced the launch of a mapping tool that can be used to help assess whether and to what extent there is unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum available in any county nationwide. The mapping tool can be found under the Education tab on the Auction 108 website at We can assist our clients in sizing up available spectrum in counties of interest, and navigating the FCC application and bidding process.

Overlay licenses must protect the operations of incumbent licensees within the auctioned areas, including any licensees that receive their licenses through applications filed in the Rural Tribal Priority Window. The FCC continues to process pending Tribal applications, which may result in removing a relatively small number of additional licenses from the inventory before the opening of the Auction 108 short-form application filing window.

BloostonLaw Contact: Cary Mitchell.

Comment Sought on Pole Replacement Dispute Process

On March 16, the FCC adopted a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on establishing clear standards for how utilities and attachers must share in the costs of pole replacements. Comments are due May 16, and reply comments are due June 30.

Specifically, the Further Notice seeks comment on the following matters:

  • How to determine whether and to what extent utilities directly benefit from various types of pole replacements in situations where a pole replacement is not “necessitated solely” by a new attachment request.
  • What standards the FCC should establish for requiring utilities to pay a proportional share of pole replacement costs.
  • When weighing the costs and benefits of early pole retirements, what is the best approach to align economic incentives between communications attachers and utilities.
  • Whether requiring utilities to pay a portion of the costs of a pole replacement would positively or negatively affect negotiations of pole attachment agreements and broadband deployment.
  • What measures the FCC could adopt to avoid disputes, or expedite the resolution of pole replacement disputes; and
  • What scope of refunds the FCC should order when it determines that a pole attachment rate, term, or condition is unjust and unreasonable.

Carriers with questions about the FCC’s latest revisions to pole attachment rules may contact the firm for more information.

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

FCC Initiates Digital Discrimination Rulemaking; Comments Due May 16

On March 17, the FCC adopted a Notice of Inquiry seeking input on how to implement certain provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which require the agency to “take action to prevent and eliminate digital discrimination.” Comments are due May 16, and reply comments are due June 30.

Specifically, the FCC seeks input on the following questions:

  • What rules the FCC should adopt to facilitate equal access to broadband Internet access service and prevent digital discrimination;
  • What other steps the FCC should take to eliminate digital discrimination;
  • What data the FCC should rely on as it considers the issue of digital discrimination; and
  • How the FCC should revise its public complaint process to accept complaints related to digital discrimination.

Last month, Chairwoman Rosenworcel announced the formation of a cross-agency task force focused on preventing digital discrimination. The task force will oversee the development of model policies and best practices state and local governments can adopt that ensure ISPs do not engage in digital discrimination. In accordance with the law, these collective initiatives must be completed by November 2023.

BloostonLaw Contact: Sal Taillefer.

Law and Regulation

Windstream Seeks Permission to Exceed 25% Foreign Ownership Benchmark

On March 18, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by Windstream Holdings II, LLC (Windstream), its members, and its common carrier licensee subsidiaries to permit foreign ownership of the proposed controlling U.S. parent, Windstream, to exceed the 25% benchmarks specified in section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act. Comments are due April 18, and reply comments are due May 3.

By way of background, Windstream is a Delaware limited liability company that is the successor in interest to Windstream Holdings, Inc., Debtor-in-Possession. On February 25, 2019, Windstream Holdings filed voluntary petitions for relief for itself and its subsidiaries, and other subsidiaries under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

If approval to exceed the 25% foreign ownership restriction is granted, post-bankruptcy Windstream would have an aggregate indirect foreign equity interest of 66.29%. Specifically, Nexus Aggregator would hold a 49.36% equity interest in Windstream, with Elliott International, L.P. (Elliott International), a Cayman Islands entity, holding 69.57% equity interest, as an insulated limited partner, in Nexus Aggregator. Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (PIMCO), which ultimately is owned and controlled by Allianz SE, would exclusively control the voting in Windstream on behalf of a series of U.S. and foreign funds that would collectively hold a 21.17% direct equity interest in Windstream. In addition, Oaktree WIN Management, LLC, a Delaware entity would exclusively control the voting in Windstream on behalf of a number of U.S. and foreign entities that would collectively hold a 13.78% direct equity interest in Windstream through four Delaware LLCs: OCM Opps WIN Holdings, LLC; OCM SC WIN Holdings, LLC; OCM GC WIN Holdings, LLC; and Oaktree Senior Loan Fund WIN Holdings, LLC. The remaining 15.69% of equity interest in Windstream would be held by various U.S. and foreign entities, all of which would hold less than 10% equity interest in Windstream.

Windsteam also seeks advance approval for Windstream to be up to and including 100% foreign-owned in the aggregate.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and John Prendergast.

FCC Revokes Pacific Networks’ and ComNet’s Authority to Provide Telecom Services in US

On March 16, the FCC issued a Press Release announcing that it has adopted an Order on Revocation ending the ability of Pacific Networks Corp. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, ComNet (USA) LLC, to provide domestic interstate and international telecommunications services within the United States. This action is the result of findings made in March 2021 that Pacific Networks and ComNet had “failed to dispel serious concerns regarding their retention of their authority to provide telecommunications services in the United States.”

As a result, the FCC found that “the present and future public interest, convenience, and necessity is no longer served by the companies’ retention of their section 214 authority,” as follows:

  • The companies are U.S. subsidiaries of a Chinese state-owned entity, and therefore they are subject to exploitation, influence, and control by the Chinese government and are highly likely to be forced to comply with Chinese government requests without sufficient legal procedures subject to independent judicial oversight.
  • Given the changed national security environment with respect to China since the FCC authorized the companies to provide telecommunications services in the United States, the Order finds that the companies’ ownership and control by the Chinese government raise significant national security and law enforcement risks by providing opportunities for the companies, their parent entities and affiliates, and the Chinese government to access, monitor, store, and in some cases disrupt and/or misroute U.S. communications, which in turn allow them to engage in espionage and other harmful activities against the United States.
  • Independent of these concerns, the companies’ conduct and representations to the FCC and Congress demonstrate a lack of trustworthiness and reliability that erodes the baseline level of trust that the FCC and other U.S. government agencies require of telecommunications carriers given the critical nature of the provision of telecommunications service in the United States.
  • • Given the record evidence, the Order finds that further mitigation would not address these significant national security and law enforcement concerns. The Order therefore revokes the companies’ domestic and international section 214 authority.
  • Separate and apart from revocation, the Order finds that the companies violated the 2009 Letter of Assurances with the Executive Branch agencies, compliance with which is an express condition of the Companies’ international section 214 authorizations. The Order therefore terminates the Companies’ international section 214 authorizations.
  • Given the record evidence of significant national security and law enforcement risks concerning the companies’ section 214 authority, the Order on Revocation will reclaim the two International Signaling Point Codes that were provisionally assigned to ComNet in 2001 and in 2003.

According to the Press Release, the companies have sixty days from the release date of the Order on Revocation to cease providing service.

BloostonLaw Contact: Sal Taillefer.

FCC Extends Eligible Locations Adjustment Process Registration Deadline to May 13

On March 22, the FCC announced that it has extended the deadline for individuals, non-governmental entities such as small businesses, and governmental entities, such as state public utility commissions and Tribal authorities, to initiate the registration process for participating in the Eligible Locations Adjustment Process (ELAP) to Friday, May 13, 2022, at 11:59 PM ET.

The ELAP is a voluntary challenge process designed to facilitate post-auction review and potential adjustment of the defined CAF II Auction deployment obligations (and associated support) on a state-by-state basis if the total number of locations funded by the program exceeds the number of actual locations.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Sal Taillefer.


California Privacy Agency to hold Public Meetings Regarding Privacy Protection Act

On March 29 and 30, the California Privacy Protection Agency Board will hold public meetings via Zoom to provide more information about upcoming rule-makings associated with the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 ("CCPA"). Specifically, in November 2020, California passed Proposition 24, also known as the California Privacy Rights Act ("CPRA"), which amends and extends the CCPA on topics like personal data collection by businesses and consumers’ rights to delete personal information.

The meeting on March 29 will cover the following topics:

  • How Is Personal Information Collected, Sold, and Shared?
  • How the California Consumer Privacy Act Interacts with Personal Information Data Flows
  • Communicating Business Practices and Consumer Preferences
  • Opt-Out Preference Signals and the California Consumer Privacy Act

The meeting on March 30 will cover the following topics:

  • Overview of Data Processing and Automated Decision Making: Challenges and Solutions
  • Data Privacy Impact Assessments: What Should Be Considered
  • Cybersecurity Audits
  • Automated Decision Making: The Goals of Explainability and Transparency
  • Automated Decision Making: A Comparative Perspective

The information to join this meeting by Zoom video conference is as follows: or webinar ID: 817 7983 7193.

FCC Sends Additional Robocall Cease-and-Desist Letters

On March 22, the FCC issued three cease-and-desist letters to voice service providers that are apparently transmitting illegal robocalls on their networks, warning them that that they have 48 hours to “stop facilitating this traffic or face all their traffic being blocked by other providers.”

Specifically, letters were sent to thinQ Technologies, Airespring, and Hello Hello Miami. FCC investigations found that thinQ, Airespring, and Hello Hello Miami were apparently facilitating illegal robocall traffic on their networks. These investigations relied in part on information collected by the Traceback Consortium which, having been made aware of suspicious activity, traced the illegal robocall traffic to these providers. In addition, in the case of thinQ, the North Carolina Department of Justice identified that company as a source of illegal robocall traffic.

“There are far too many phone companies that count illegal robocallers among their clients, and that’s bad business,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel. “It is illegal to allow these junk calls to flood consumers’ phones, and there are consequences for phone companies that do not take immediate action to stop participating in these schemes.”


APRIL 1: FCC FORM 499-A, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. This form must be filed by all contributors to the Universal Service Fund (USF) sup-port mechanisms, the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the cost recovery mechanism for the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP). Contributors include every telecommunications carrier that provides interstate, intrastate, and international telecommunications, and certain other entities that provide interstate telecommunications for a fee. Even common carriers that qualify for the de minimis exemption must file Form 499-A. Entities whose universal service contributions will be less than $10,000 qualify for the de minimis exemption. De minimis entities do not have to file the quarterly report (FCC Form 499-Q), which was due February 1, and will again be due May 1. Form 499-Q relates to universal and LNP mechanisms. Form 499-A relates to all of these mechanisms and, hence, applies to all providers of interstate, intrastate, and international telecommunications services. Form 499-A contains revenue information for January 1 through December 31 of the prior calendar year. And Form 499-Q contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. (Note: the revised 499-A and 499-Q forms are now available.) Block 2-B of the Form 499-A requires each carrier to designate an agent in the District of Columbia upon whom all notices, process, Orders, and decisions by the FCC may be served on behalf of that carrier in proceedings before the FCC. Carriers receiving this newsletter may specify our law firm as their D.C. agent for service of process using the information in our masthead. There is no charge for this service.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, and Gerry Duffy.

APRIL 1: ANNUAL ACCESS TO ADVANCED SERVICES CERTIFICATION. All providers of telecommunications services and telecommunications carriers subject to Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act are required to file with the FCC an annual certification that (1) states the company has procedures in place to meet the recordkeeping requirements of Part 14 of the Rules; (2) states that the company has in fact kept records for the previous calendar year; (3) contains contact information for the individual or individuals handling customer complaints under Part 14; (4) contains contact information for the company’s designated agent; and (5) is supported by an affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury signed by an officer of the company.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

MAY 31: FCC FORM 395, EMPLOYMENT REPORT. Common carriers, including wireless carriers, with 16 or more full-time employees must file their annual Common Carrier Employment Reports (FCC Form 395) by May 31. This report tracks carrier compliance with rules requiring recruitment of minority employees. Further, the FCC requires all common carriers to report any employment discrimination complaints they received during the past year. That information is also due on June 1. The FCC encourages carriers to complete the discrimination report requirement by filling out Section V of Form 395, rather than submitting a separate report. Clients who would like assistance in filing Form 395 should contact Richard Rubino.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy and Sal Taillefer.

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

2120 L St. NW, Suite 300
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

Mar. 24 – Reply comments are due on Broadband Consumer Label NPRM.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 525 (Delayed Phasedown CETC Line Counts) is due.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 508 (ICLS Projected Annual Common Line Requirement) is due.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Line Count – CAF BLS) is due.
Mar. 28 – Reply comments are due on Emergency Alert System NPRM.
Mar. 31 – COVID Lifeline waivers set to expire.

Apr. 1 – FCC Form 499-A (Annual Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Apr. 1 – Annual Accessibility Certification is due.
Apr. 1 – ICS Provider Annual Reports and Certifications are due.
Apr. 11 – Comments are due on Emergency Alert System NOI.
Apr. 11 – Comments are due on Secure Internet Routing NOI.
Apr. 15 – Reply comments are due on Affordable Connectivity Program rules.
Apr. 18 – Comments are due on Windstream Petition to Exceed 25% Foreign Ownership Rule.
Apr. 19 – New Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Fees are effective.

May 1 – 64.1900 Geographic Rate Averaging Certification is due.
May 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
May 3 – Reply comments are due on Windstream Petition to Exceed 25% Foreign Ownership Rule.
May 10 – Reply comments are due on Emergency Alert System NOI.
May 13 – Deadly to register for Eligible Locations Adjustment Process.
May 16 – Comments are due on Pole Replacement Dispute Process.
May 16 – Comments are due on Digital Discrimination NOI.
May 31 – FCC Form 395 (Annual Employment Report) is due.

Jun. 1 – Rural Healthcare Applications for 2022 are due.
Jun. 30 – Inmate Calling Service data reports are due.
Jun. 30 – Reply comments are due on Pole Replacement Dispute Process.
Jun 30 – Reply comments are due on Digital Discrimination NOI.

Complete Technical Services for the Communications and Electronics Industries

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Dallas, TX 75248-3112

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What Is a Class-D Amplifier, and What Are They Useful For?

KRIS WOUK MAR 19, 2022, 9:00 AM EDT | 3 MIN READ

JV Korotkova/

If you’ve been shopping for home theater components, you might have seen class-D amplifiers mentioned. But what are they, and what are they good for? Let’s take a deeper dive into these highly efficient wonders.

An Introduction to Amplification

At the most basic level, a traditional amplifier is a signal booster. Give it an input signal, and it uses electricity and various gain stages to increase the amplitude until you end up with a much higher signal than the one that came in. The end result: a louder signal than the input signal.

There are multiple types of amplifiers like class A, class B, and class AB. Classes A and B have their own benefits and drawbacks, while class AB amplifiers combine elements of each to maximize the benefits and minimize the disadvantages of each. For years, the vast majority of consumer electronics like A/V receivers and home theater systems have used class AB amplifiers.

Why are we spending so much time talking about other amplifiers if this article is about class-D amplifiers? Because they work very differently.

How Class D Amplifiers Work

A class-D amplifier is also known as a switching amplifier. Instead of boosting the input signal via linear gain stages, a class-D amplifier uses a concept known as pulse width modulation.

This is a complicated subject, but this converts the input signal into pulses. The output stage then switches back and forth at a high frequency, corresponding to the pulses that the signal was converted into. This amplified signal is then processed and run through a low-pass filter to return it to the original waveform and remove high-frequency noise.

This conversion to and from another type of signal is somewhat similar to how digital-to-analog and back conversion works, but this is far less complex. That said, the process (likely combined with the “D” in class-d) leads to people sometimes mistakenly referring to class-D amplifiers as “digital” amplifiers.

What Makes Class D Amplifiers Special?

Because the pulse width modulation lets amplification happen at much higher frequencies than normal, class-D amplifiers require much smaller power transformers than class AB amplifiers. That means you can pack much more amplification into a smaller space.

These amplifiers are highly efficient, producing more volume using less power. Class-D amplifiers frequently have maximum possible efficiency values of 90 percent or more, while class AB amplifiers rarely go higher than 60 percent efficiency.

Of course, class-D amplifiers aren’t perfect. Because of the low-pass filter, which is meant to filter out unpleasant noise, the high end can suffer, so these aren’t great for audiophile use. Some class-D amplifiers can also exhibit distortion, and some people, audiophiles in particular, just aren’t fans of the sound of these amplifiers in general.

Even with the downsides, that combination of high efficiency and small size makes class-D amplifiers perfect for certain applications.

Common Uses of Class D Amplifiers

As you might imagine, class-D amplifiers are a great option for any audio project where size and power efficiency—think battery life—are important. Because of this, you’ll often see class-D amplifiers employed inside Bluetooth speakers.

Bluetooth headphones are also a good candidate for class-D amplifiers, though because the volume requirements are fairly low, other types of amplifiers work for this particular case as well. You’ll also find class D amplifiers in many other products, including portable headphone amplifiers and even stereo amplifiers.

Kris Wouk

One major area where class-D amplifiers are frequently used is subwoofers. Looking at the pros and cons of class-D amplifiers, it almost seems as if they were created for subwoofers. This is because the audio issues essentially disappear when the amp is only used for bass frequencies, and the small size and efficiency let you pack massive power into a subwoofer.

Source: How-To Geek  


Tuba Skinny New Orleans

Niko Mylonas

Feb 17, 2022
Strassen Musik New Orleans
Ein Niko Mylonas Film

Source: YouTube  

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