the wireless messaging news

Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — October 31, 2014 — Issue No. 630

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Reference Papers Consulting Glossary of Terms Send an e-mail to Brad Dye

Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

A recent generous donation to help support the “cause” (The Wireless Messaging News) came in at a good time.

Just a reminder — donations and advertising are what make this newsletter possible.

I could be a greeter at Walmart but I like doing this much better.

The amount of your donation should be based on what you can afford, and how much you believe that this newsletter is helping to promote all types of Wireless Messaging — especially Paging.

“What is called 'apathy' is, I believe, a feeling of helplessness on the part of the ordinary citizen, a feeling of impotence in the face of enormous power. It's not that people are apathetic; they do care about what is going on, but don't know what to do about it, so they do nothing, and appear to be indifferent.” — Howard Zinn

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By all means, don't miss the photo of the week (near the end of this issue) and the background information that follows. It is a recent photo of some of our most famous and glamorous wireless celebrities. It includes Mr. and Mrs. Jai Bhagat, and Dr. and Mrs. Martin Cooper. Or maybe for the second couple I should just say that it includes Arlene Harris and her husband Marty Cooper, because she is famous in her own right. I would be remiss not to mention that they are all very nice people as well.

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I am looking for a copy of the ReFLEX50 specification issued May/June 1994 ( i.e., before middle of June 1994). Releases after June 1994 aren't what I need — I already have one of them.

If you have a copy that you are willing to share, I would very grateful. ( click here )

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This is the neighborhood that I grew up in. Isn't it beautiful this week? One of the things I like about the Midwest is that we have four distinct seasons here. The only thing bad about this time of the year is catching a cold.

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Now on to more news and views.

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The Weather in
Wayne County‚ Illinois

Find more about Weather in Fairfield, IL
Click for weather forecast

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

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

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

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

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

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Editorial Policy

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

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Back To Paging


Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!

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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.

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

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Can You Help The Newsletter?

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

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Reader Support

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

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

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Newsletter Advertising


If you are reading this, your potential customers are reading it as well.

Please click here to find out how.

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American Messaging

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Easy Solutions

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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.

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Easy Solutions

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Investor Relations - Press Release

Spok Reports Third Quarter Operating Results; Board Declares Regular Quarterly Dividend

Consolidated Revenue Increases; Software Bookings Reach Record High; Wireless Trends Continue to Improve; Balance Sheet Remains Strong; Stock Repurchase Plan Extended Through 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Oct. 29, 2014 — Spok Holdings, Inc . (NASDAQ: SPOK), a global leader in critical communications , today announced operating results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2014. In addition, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.125 per share, payable on December 10, 2014 to stockholders of record on November 18, 2014.

Consolidated revenue increased to $49.8 million in the third quarter from $49.7 million in the third quarter of 2013 and $49.1 million in the second quarter of 2014. Software revenue increased 34.4 percent to $16.9 million from $12.6 million in the year-earlier quarter. Wireless revenue was $32.9 million in the third quarter, compared to $37.1 million in the third quarter of 2013.

Third quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and accretion) totaled $12.3 million, or 24.7 percent of revenue, compared to $13.4 million, or 27.0 percent of revenue, in the year-earlier quarter, and $11.7 million, or 23.9 percent of revenue, in the second quarter of 2014.

Net income for the third quarter was $4.7 million, or $0.21 per fully diluted share, compared to $5.8 million, or $0.26 per fully diluted share, in the third quarter of 2013.

Other key results and highlights for the third quarter included:

  • Bookings for the third quarter increased to $20.4 million from $17.3 million in the year-earlier quarter, reaching a record high for the second consecutive quarter.
  • Backlog totaled $42.1 million at September 30, 2014, compared to $40.2 million at June 30, 2014.
  • Of the $16.9 million in third quarter software revenue, $9.1 million was operations revenue and $7.8 million was maintenance revenue, compared to $5.6 million and $7.0 million, respectively, of the $12.6 million in software revenue for the third quarter of 2013.
  • The renewal rate for software maintenance in the third quarter was 99.6 percent.
  • The quarterly rate of unit erosion improved to 1.9 percent versus 2.6 percent a year earlier, and was the Company’s lowest net paging unit loss rate in more than a decade. Net paging unit losses were 25,000 in the third quarter versus 37,000 in the third quarter of 2013. Units in service at September 30, 2014 totaled 1,274,000, compared to 1,408,000 a year earlier.
  • The quarterly rate of wireless revenue erosion was 2.0 percent, compared to 1.9 percent in the third quarter of 2013, and 2.4 percent in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Total paging ARPU (average revenue per unit) was $7.97 in the third quarter, compared to $8.22 in the year-earlier quarter and $7.98 in the prior quarter.
  • Consolidated operating expenses (excluding depreciation, amortization and accretion) totaled $37.5 million in the third quarter, compared to $36.3 million in the year-earlier quarter.
  • Capital expenses were $1.3 million, compared to $2.5 million in the third quarter of 2013.
  • The number of full-time equivalent employees at September 30, 2014 totaled 606, compared to 652 at September 30, 2013.
  • Dividends paid to stockholders totaled $2.7 million in the third quarter.
  • The Company’s cash balance at September 30, 2014 was $106.9 million.

“We achieved or exceeded our expectations on virtually all key operating measures for the quarter,” said Vincent D. Kelly, president and chief executive officer, “resulting in one of our most successful quarterly performances in many years. Consolidated revenues increased from the year-earlier quarter for the first time in our recent history, software revenues increased substantially from the same quarter a year ago, bookings reached an all-time high for the second consecutive quarter, and our backlog remained near record levels. In addition, wireless trends continue to improve as the quarterly rate of paging unit churn fell to 1.9 percent, its best level in more than a decade, while wireless revenue remained strong. During the quarter we also continued to enhance our product offerings, expand our market reach, strengthen our balance sheet, and generate sufficient cash flow to again return capital to stockholders in the form of cash dividends.”

Commenting on Software revenue, Kelly said: “Compared to the third quarter of 2013, operations revenue grew 63.3 percent, maintenance revenue increased 11.6 percent, and total Software revenue of $16.9 million was up 34.4 percent. The increase in operations revenue primarily reflected growing deliveries of software, hardware and professional services to our expanding worldwide customer base, while higher maintenance revenue reflected our continued renewal rates in excess of 99 percent.”

Kelly said record high bookings for the quarter included sales to both new and existing customers, with many existing customers upgrading applications as well as adding products to expand their portfolio of communications solutions. “Demand remained strong for upgrades and installations of call center solutions, along with healthcare applications to increase patient safety, improve nursing workflows and enhance organizational efficiencies. Customer demand also remained strong for such software solutions as critical smartphone communications, secure texting, emergency management, and clinical alerting. Our public safety sector also grew substantially during the quarter as our software sales team added 28 new accounts.”

Kelly added: “Software sales continued to be strongest in North America. However, we continued to expand our presence outside the United States as our sales team added numerous accounts in such key markets as Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region, where our healthcare solutions have attracted significant interest. At the same time, we continued to build a solid pipeline of new business leads throughout both North American and international markets.”

The Company’s wireless sales team also outperformed expectations for the quarter. “Wireless revenue came in ahead of plan due to higher than expected units in service combined with the lowest quarterly rate of pager churn in years,” Kelly said. “In addition, we completed a sizable transaction with a cellular provider during the quarter. Overall, wireless sales efforts continued to focus primarily on the core market segments of Healthcare, Government and Large Enterprise. These core segments represented approximately 93.3 percent of our direct subscriber base and 89.9 percent of our direct paging revenue at the end of the quarter. Healthcare comprised 76.9 percent of our direct subscriber base at September 30 and continued to be our best performing market segment with the highest rate of gross placements and lowest level of unit disconnects.”

Kelly also noted that Spok’s software and wireless sales teams continued to collaborate on many sales initiatives during the quarter, resulting in 17 new accounts which represented more than $1.5 million in software bookings.

Commenting on the Company’s previously announced name change, Kelly added: “Since changing our corporate name to Spok in July we’ve received an exceptionally positive response. The name change was part of a rebranding initiative that we believe better reflects our identity as a worldwide leader in critical communications. Going forward we expect our name recognition and brand strategy will continue to grow and evolve in both global and domestic markets.”

Shawn E. Endsley, chief financial officer, said: “Strong revenue from both wireless and software, combined with continued expense management, helped generate solid operating cash flow, EBITDA and operating margins for the quarter. We also strengthened our balance sheet, recording a cash balance of $106.9 million at September 30. In addition, we have no debt outstanding and approximately $40 million of available borrowing capacity with our existing credit facility.”

Endsley said the Company is maintaining its previously announced financial guidance for 2014, which projects total revenue to range from $183 million to $201 million, operating expenses (excluding depreciation, amortization and accretion) to range from $147 million to $156 million, and capital expenses to range from $7 million to $9 million.

The Company announced that its Board of Directors has approved extension of the Company’s stock repurchase program from December 31, 2014 to December 31, 2015. In extending the plan, the Board also maintained the repurchase authority of $15 million as of January 1, 2015. Since the program began in 2008, Spok has repurchased approximately 6.3 million shares of its common stock while maintaining appropriate cash balances and a strong balance sheet.

Spok plans to host a conference call for investors on its third quarter operating results at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, October 30, 2014. Dial-in numbers for the call are 719-785-1753 or 888-455-2260. The pass code for the call is 5978502. A replay of the call will be available from 1:00 p.m. ET on October 30 until 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 13. Replay numbers are 719-457-0820 or 888-203-1112. The pass code for the replay is 5978502.

In addition, the Company will host an Investor Meeting (”Analyst Day”) for financial analysts and other investors on November 20, 2014, in New York City. The meeting is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. ET at the offices of Latham & Watkins, LLP, Spok’s outside legal counsel, at 885 Third Avenue, New York, NY. Meeting details are posted on the investor relations section of the Company’s website at .

About Spok

Spok Holdings, Inc ., headquartered in Springfield, Va., is proud to be a leader in critical communications for healthcare, government, public safety, and other industries. We deliver smart, reliable solutions to help protect the health, well-being, and safety of people around the globe. More than 125,000 organizations worldwide rely on Spok for workflow improvement , secure texting , paging services , contact center optimization , and public safety response . When communications matter, Spok delivers. Visit us at or find us on Twitter @Spoktweets.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act:
Statements contained herein or in prior press releases which are not historical fact, such as statements regarding Spok’s future operating and financial performance, are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause Spok’s actual results to be materially different from the future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expectations include, but are not limited to, declining demand for paging products and services, continued demand for our software products and services, our ability to develop additional software solutions for our customers and manage our development as a global organization, the ability to manage operating expenses, future capital needs, competitive pricing pressures, competition from both traditional paging services and other wireless communications services, competition from other software providers, government regulation, reliance upon third-party providers for certain equipment and services, as well as other risks described from time to time in our periodic reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although Spok believes the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained. Spok disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements.


Source: Spok Holdings, Inc.


State-of-the-art paging network infrastructure, fully supported at an affordable price – and it integrates with your other gear, include most makes of transmitters

Whether you are replacing or upgrading your existing network or building out new infrastructure, Infostream has the new equipment and systems that you need.

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Infostream is a world leading supplier of paging and messaging infrastructure, specialized paging receivers and consultancy services. The company was founded in 1993 and has engineered and supplied equipment for some of the largest public safety networks and private paging customers around the world.

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Good Stuff


Teletouch Paging, LP

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Is now hiring for a Field Service Technician in the Memphis, Tennessee area

Please contact Melinda Caragan at
904-203-1149 or send resumes to


Critical Response Systems

More than Paging.
First Responder Solutions.

Our patented technology notifies clinical personnel immediately, while tracking who receives and responds to each alarm. Users confirm or defer each event with a single button press, and analytic dashboards display response statistics in real time, as well as historically broken down by time, unit, room, and individual.

Our systems not only notify your personnel quickly and reliably, but also provide actionable feedback to fine-tune your procedures, reduce unnecessary alarms, and improve patient outcomes.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 03:07 pm PT (06:07 pm ET)

BlackBerry hopes to rekindle sales by reintroducing classic keyboard & form factor

By AppleInsider Staff

Hoping to strike a chord with old school BlackBerry users, the not quite dead company on Wednesday teased a new device called BlackBerry Classic, which appears to be a modern take on the seminal BlackBerry Bold.

Unveiled in an open letter from BlackBerry CEO John Chen, the upcoming BlackBerry Classic looks to be a throwback to RIM devices from the company's glory days, complete with trackpad, top-row navigation buttons and the familiar physical keyboard.

Aside from the traditional BlackBerry trappings, the Classic brings modern day technology like a larger high-resolution screen, buffed internals and the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. Chen touted the growing BlackBerry app library, as well as first-party software BlackBerry Hub and BlackBerry Blend, the latter of which acts very much like iOS 8's Continuity features.

Sure, we've got new BlackBerry devices that break the mold, including the BlackBerry Passport. But we also recognize that a lot of you continue to hang on to your Bold devices because they get the job done, day in and day out — just like you.

 We get it, and we've got you covered.

The company has yet to reveal a full list of specifications and features, but put up a teaser webpage with a picture of the device's keyboard and lower screen area.

Source: Apple Insider


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

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

STI Engineering

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250W VHF Paging Transmitter

STI Engineering's RFI-148 250 high performance paging transmitter features true DDS frequency generation that enables precise control and flexibility for a wide range of data transmission applications.

The transmitter is particularly suitable for large simulcast POCSAG and FLEX paging networks and can be used as drop-in replacement of older and obsolete transmitters. The unit has a proven track record in large scale critical messaging systems.

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22 Boulder Road Malaga 6090 Western Australia
Telephone:  +61 8 9209 0900
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It's official: Lenovo owns Motorola

by Daniel Cooper | @danielwcooper | October 30th 2014 at 7:45 am

The cash has been handed over, the contracts are signed and the lawyers are sipping champagne, which can only mean that Lenovo's deal to buy Motorola has been completed. The purchase makes Lenovo the world's third-largest smartphone maker, and the Chinese company has been quick to promise not to meddle. The outfit has pledged to keep Motorola based in Chicago, and CEO Rick Osterloh will keep his job at the head of the table. What will change, is that Motorola will now be able to sell its devices in Lenovo's Asian and European strongholds, which should help the pair meet its pledge to sell 100 million smartphones and tablets this year. The pair have also pledged to return Motorola to profitability by mid-2016, which seems a lot more plausible with a stable of devices that include the Nexus 6 , Droid Turbo and Moto 360 .

Source: engadget (Thanks to Barry Kanne.)

Product Support Services, Inc.

Repair and Refurbishment Services

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

Leavitt Communications

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It's still here — the tried and true Motorola Alphamate 250. Now owned, supported, and available from Leavitt Communications. Call us for new or reconditioned units, parts, manuals, and repairs.

We also offer refurbished Alphamate 250's, Alphamate IIs, the original Alphamate and new and refurbished pagers, pager repairs, pager parts and accessories. We are FULL SERVICE in Paging!

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

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Phil Leavitt

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7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

BlackBerry upgrades BBM with timed messages

By Mikael Ricknäs
IDG News Service
Oct 31, 2014 7:35 AM

Taking a page from the Snapchat playbook, BlackBerry will let BBM messaging service users control how long messages and pictures can be viewed, hoping the feature, along with other new capabilities, will result in a new revenue stream.

The BBM upgrade will be available for BlackBerry’s own smartphones as well as for Android and iOS over the next couple of days. The company didn’t say when the Windows Phone version would be updated.

By setting a timer, users control how long messages and pictures can be viewed by their contacts. The new BBM message type is hidden until the recipient touches and holds on the chat. Then, once the timer has expired or when the recipient takes their finger off the screen, the message is gone, according to BlackBerry. The user also receives a notification if BBM detects that a screenshot of the image or message has been taken.

BlackBerry has also added a feature that lets users remove a message from their BBM chat before or after it has been read by the recipient.

Both features will be available for free and without restrictions to BBM users over the next three months. After that, they will be included in a subscription bundle. The company didn’t disclose what the bundle will cost.

The upgrade with the new features will be available for download from BlackBerry World, Apple App Store and Google Play.

The concept of timed, disappearing photos and texts was popularized by Snapchat, which after its founding in 2011 quickly became one of the most used social sharing services in the world.

To turn around the company’s fortunes, Blackberry needs to find revenue streams beyond smartphone sales, and the company is hoping BBM users are willing to open their wallets. If each of the 91 million active BBM users had paid US$2.50, BlackBerry would have made a profit instead of loss during its second quarter, which ended Aug. 30.

In the company’s financial statement last quarter, CEO John Chen stressed the need to focus on revenue growth.

Source: PCWorld

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Consulting Alliance

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

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

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Consulting Alliance

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Preferred Wireless

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3CNET Platinum Controllers 
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1GL3000 ES — 2 Chassis
40SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1GL3000L Complete w/Spares
1Unipage—Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
16Zetron M66 Transmitter Controllers  
Link Transmitters:
1QT-5701, 35W, UHF, Link Transmitter
4Glenayre QT4201 25W Midband Link TX
1Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
3Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2Eagle 900 MHz Link Transmitters, 60 & 80W
2Motorola Q2630A, 30W, UHF Link TX
VHF Paging Transmitters
1Glenayre QT7505
1Glenayre QT8505
1Nucleus VHF, 125W, Advanced Control
UHF Paging Transmitters:
20Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
2Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
3Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W

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Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail

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Preferred Wireless, Inc.
10658 St. Charles Rock Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63074
888-429-4171 or 314-429-3000 left arrow

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Preferred Wireless

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critical alert CA Partner’s Program

Providing better communications solutions to hospitals across the country — together!

For CAS, strong partnerships remain key to providing our software-based communications solutions to our customers. These solutions include:

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We provide the communication, training and resources required to become a CA partner. In turn, our partners provide customers with the highest levels of local service & support. CA Partners may come from any number of business sectors, including:

  • Service Providers
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  • Expert Contractors
If you would like to hear more about our CA Partners program, we’d love to hear from you.

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

BloostonLaw Telecom UpdateVol. 17, No. 43October 29, 2014


Pending Litigation Leads to Delay in Expected Start Date for Incentive Auction

Citing court challenges to the auction rules by certain broadcasters, the Chair of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force last week set a revised schedule for the 600 MHz broadcast incentive auction that would push the expected auction start date back six months, until early 2016. A previous timetable set by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last December outlined a long list of proceedings that needed to be completed by the Commission’s staff and set mid-2015 as a target date for that auction.

The FCC’s progress report and revised auction schedule were announced by Gary Epstein, Chair of the FCC's Incentive Auction Task Force, in a posting on the FCC Blog .

“Earlier this week, the court issued a briefing schedule in which the final briefs are not due until late January 2015,” wrote Epstein. “Oral arguments will follow at a later date yet to be determined, with a decision not likely until mid-2015. We are confident we will prevail in court, but given the reality of that schedule, the complexity of designing and implementing the auction, and the need for all auction participants to have certainty well in advance of the auction, we now anticipate accepting applications for the auction in the fall of 2015 and starting the auction in early 2016.”

As we have previously reported, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) last August filed a Petition for Review of the FCC’s Order ( FCC 14-50 ) adopting rules to implement the broadcast incentive auction. Among other objections, the broadcast industry has taken exception to a new methodology for calculating broadcasters’ coverage areas that was adopted in the Order.

Despite the six-month delay, Epstein expressed optimism on many action items completed to date. “We are continuing our march toward implementing the incentive auction,” wrote Epstein. “Importantly, we anticipate the Commission will vote on the Comment PN before the end of the year. The Comment PN will propose and seek comment on the detailed directions for how the auction will be conducted, including the methodology to be used to establish opening bids for the reverse and forward auctions; how to define “impaired” markets subject to interference; and the components of the final stage rule.”

In the coming weeks, the Commission will also reportedly consider an NPRM on preserving one vacant TV channel post-auction for use by unlicensed devices.

Given the complexities of the world’s first two-way spectrum auction, and all that is at stake for broadcasters and the wireless industry, a delay in the start date comes as no surprise. The revised auction timetable should also be welcome news to our clients because they will now have more time to size up the 600 MHz spectrum opportunity, to raise auction funds, and to evaluate strategic partnerships.

FTC Sues AT&T for Alleged “Throttling” of Unlimited Data Plans

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Tuesday filed suit against AT&T Mobility LLC for its alleged “throttling” of wireless data services to millions of smartphone customers with “unlimited” plans. The FTC has jurisdiction over deceptive marketing practices.

The FTC’s complaint , which was filed in the US District Court in San Francisco, alleges that AT&T failed to adequately disclose to its customers with unlimited data plans that once they reach a certain amount of data use in a given billing cycle, the company reduces — or “throttles” – their data speeds by up to 90 percent. With this amount of throttling, many common mobile phone applications – like web browsing, GPS navigation and watching streaming video — may become difficult or nearly impossible to use.

The practice allegedly began in July of 2011, and imposed restrictions when a customer’s monthly data usage threshold in some markets was as low as 2 GB per billing cycle in high density markets like New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. The complaint seeks a permanent injunction to prevent future violations of the FTC Act, and could result in significant fines against AT&T, as well as refunds being paid to AT&T customers who were harmed by the practice. The FTC vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint was 5-0.

“AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “The issue here is simple: ‘unlimited’ means unlimited.”

AT&T responded by calling the FTC’s allegations “baseless” and an intrusion into the normal network management practices in the industry It also said it notified customers about throttling by sending emails or texts to notify customers when they had crossed pre-set limits and would experience slower data speeds for the balance of the billing cycle. AT&T quit offering unlimited plans for new contracts in June 2010, but customers who had unlimited plans could keep them.

However, when AT&T implemented its throttling program, the company’s internal focus group research showed that throttling was inconsistent with consumer expectations. According to the complaint, AT&T researchers highlighted a consumer’s comment that “[i]t seems a bit misleading to call it Unlimited.” The researchers observed that “[t]he more consumers talked about it the more they didn’t like it.” This led the researchers to advise AT&T that “[s]aying less is more, [so] don’t say too much” in marketing communications concerning such a program.

“It’s absolutely outrageous,” said a senior staff attorney at Public Knowledge, a Washington-based advocacy group. “They’re not allowed to promise one thing and deliver another… Unlimited is not unlimited when you put limits on it.”

Like FCC enforcement actions, FTC investigations are conducted by staff behind closed doors and typically result in a voluntary settlement and possible fine. However, the fact that this action actually went to court suggests that AT&T believes its network management practices were transparent and reasonable, and/or that the potential cost of fines and other remedies sought by the FTC are so high ( i.e. , possibly in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars) that cost/risk of litigation is relatively small in comparison.
In 2012, Google paid the largest FTC fine ever — $22.5 million — to settle charges that it misrepresented privacy assurances to users of Apple’s Safari Internet browser. With the large number of AT&T’s customers involved, duration of the alleged violation and cost of unlimited data plans, it seems likely that the fines sought by the nation’s consumer protection agency against AT&T could eclipse this previous record.

Wireline Competition Bureau Announces Dates for 2015 Urban Rates Survey

On October 27, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau released a Public Notice announcing it will shortly be initiating the urban rate survey for 2015, which will be used to develop voice and broadband benchmarks that will be in place in 2015. Notifications that a provider is required to complete a survey will be sent via email to each selected provider’s FCC Form 477 contact person and certifying official on or around October 28, 2014. Completed surveys will be due on November 26, 2014.

The survey consists of an online reporting form which will be accessible only to the selected providers. The specific data to be collected includes the rates offered by providers of fixed voice and broadband services identified using the most recent FCC Form 477 data in up to 500 urban Census tracts. Because some providers serve many urban Census tracts, these providers may receive surveys for multiple Census tracts.

Additional information on the urban rates survey, including the orders referenced in this Public Notice, can be found on the Commission’s urban rate survey webpage at .

FCC Releases Open Internet Reply Comments to the Public

On October 22, Gigi Sohn, Special Counsel to Chairman Wheeler, wrote a blog entry on the Official FCC Blog announcing the release of the nearly 2.5 million reply comments that were filed during the reply comment period of the recent Open Internet remand proceeding. The comments are made available in one zipped XML file that includes 725,169 comments received through ECFS and CSV file uploads and another 1,719,503 comments received via the FCC’s dedicated reply email address, for a total of 2,444,672 comments received during the filing window. A separate file contains the initial comments, and both files can be found here .

As part of the blog entry, Ms. Sohn encouraged those with the requisite technical skills “to analyze the raw data and build visualizations or other tools and to share them with the public.”

Law & Regulation

Commissioner O’Rielly Remarks at NTCA Conference

On October 27, recently re-nominated FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly spoke at the NTCA Telecom Executive Policy Summit. In his remarks, the Commissioner emphasized three basic points: 1) the future is broadband and this means change; 2) action by the Federal Communications Commission is necessary and appropriate; and 3) consumers will benefit from modern infrastructure and regulatory treatment.

With regard to the first point, Commission O’Rielly noted that the changes occasioned by the broadband transition would require companies to “find efficiencies wherever possible” in order to remain competitive and relevant. He emphasized that “carriers do not own nor is there any guarantee to receive universal service support. It is ratepayer money. In other words, it is American consumers’ money that the FCC is entrusted to invest wisely.” Though he indicated that he did not promote or seek consolidation as the answer, Commissioner O’Rielly encouraged rural carriers to explore ways to join forces with other carriers to “obtain assets from others that are less interested in serving rural America.”

To the second point, Commissioner O’Rielly stated that, “It is imperative that the [FCC] decide key policy issues that will impact investment decisions for years to come.” To that end, he suggested, it is in rural carriers’ best interests “not only to press to get rate-of-return reforms accomplished, but also to push the Commission to complete broader CAF reforms.” In particular, Commissioner O’Rielly indicated that if the Commission “is able to wrap up the challenge process and all other decisions needed to make offers to the price cap carriers by the end of this year,” it can reasonably finalize the rest of the decisions needed for CAF Phase II in early 2015, eliminating any reason for further delay of CAF for small carriers.
Finally, Commissioner O’Rielly commented on the future of telecommunications regulation, largely suggesting that new regulation was needed for new technologies and services. Particularly in the context of net neutrality, O’Rielly made clear that he did not support Title II application, or even an application-and-forbearance scheme. “I am extremely concerned that applying Title II to any part of broadband or the Internet will [chill access to capital and broadband deployment]. And it will impact not only last-mile ISPs that own transmission facilities but anyone that uses the service as an input to deliver content across the Internet, including some edge providers.”

FCC Issues $10 Million Notice of Apparent Liability for Mishandling Proprietary Information

On October 24, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against TerraCom and YourTel America for collecting names, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, and other proprietary information belonging to low-income Americans and storing them on “unprotected Internet servers that anyone in the world could access with a search engine and basic manipulation.” The proposed forfeiture is $10,000,000.

Specifically, the FCC found TerraCom and YourTel America apparently liable for violating Section 222(a) and 201(b) of the Communications Act by: (i) failing to properly protect the confidentiality of consumers’ proprietary information they collected from applicants for the companies’ wireless and wired Lifeline telephone services; (ii) failing to employ reasonable data security practices to protect consumers’ proprietary information; (iii) engaging in deceptive and misleading practices by representing to consumers in the companies’ privacy policies that they employed appropriate technologies to protect consumers’ PI when, in fact, they had not; and (iv) engaging in unjust and unreasonable practices by not fully informing consumers that their proprietary information had been compromised by third-party access.
In finding the companies apparently liable for violating Section 222(a), the FCC noted that the scope of “proprietary information” protected by Section 222(a) is broader than the statutorily defined term “customer proprietary network information” (CPNI) and that had Congress wanted to limit the protections of subsection (a) to CPNI, it could have done so. According to the FCC, the term “proprietary information” used in Section 222(a) should be interpreted in the commonly understood sense of the term, i.e. “information that should not be exposed widely to the public, so when applied to information about individuals, the term must include personal data that customers expect their carriers to keep private,” even if it is not CPNI.


USDA Announces Awards of $190 Million in Broadband Grants and Loans in Rural Areas

On October 22 the USDA issued a press release announcing $190.5 million in grants and loans for 25 projects in 19 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The purpose of the funds is “to make broadband and other advanced communications infrastructure improvements in rural areas.”

For example, in Arkansas, Arkwest Communications is receiving a $24 million telecommunications loan to provide voice, broadband, and internet TV service to nearly 4,000 customers and to make other system improvements. Nexus Systems, in Monroe, La., is receiving a $2.5 million Community Connect grant to provide high-speed broadband in the sparsely-populated, economically depressed Powhatan, La. area. Public television broadcasters serving the U.S. Virgin Islands will use a $750,000 USDA grant to replace analog mobile production and satellite equipment with a digital high-definition video recorder.

In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “Modern telecommunications and broadband access is now as essential to the businesses and residents of rural America as electricity was in the 1930s. The investments we are announcing today will provide broadband in areas that lack it, help rural-serving public television stations begin using digital broadcasts, and support other telecommunications infrastructure improvements.”

A complete list of the funding awards can be found here .

Apple Announces Participation on ConnectED Program

On October 27, Apple unveiled the details of its participation in the Obama administration’s ConnectED effort, which seeks to connect 99 percent of America’s students to high-speed broadband Internet by 2018.

Specifically, Apple has chosen 114 schools in 29 states to give technology grants. Every student at participating schools will receive an iPad, every teacher and administrator will receive an iPad and a Mac, and every classroom will receive an Apple TV set-top box. In addition, each school will be assigned an Apple Education team to ensure technical and educational needs are met, as well as a professional development specialist to ensure that teachers are prepared to integrate technology into their curricula.
According to its press release, Apple has chosen to provide its support to schools where at least 96 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. The company also notes that 92 percent of students at partner schools are of Hispanic, Black, Native American, Alaskan Native, or Asian heritage.

Calendar At-a-Glance

Oct. 1 – FCC Form 477 due (Local Competition and Broadband Reporting) .*
Oct. 14 – Deadline for applications for rural broadband experiments .*

Nov. 1 – Deadline for Part 90 Licensees and Signal Boosters to register existing signal boosters.
Nov. 3 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Nov. 3 – Reply comments are due on IP Captioning proceeding.
Nov. 7 – Deadline for Rural Broadband Experiments Applications (6 p.m. EST).
Nov. 7 – Nominations and statements of interest for PSAP Architecture Task Force are due.
Nov. 10 – Auction 97 Mock Auction.
Nov. 10 – Responses to CAF Phase II Challenges are due.
Nov. 10 – Reply comments are due on the Healthcare Connect Fund Public Notice.
Nov. 10 – Comments on electronic delivery of license authorizations and ASR registrations are due.
Nov. 13 – Auction 97 begins.
Nov. 14 – Comments are due on USDA Notice on Changes to Guaranteed Loan Program Regulations.
Nov. 14 – Comments are due on Part 32 Accounting Rules NPRM.

Dec. 1 – Deadline to Increase Residential Rate Floor to $16.
Dec. 15 – Deadline for Special Access Data Collection.
Dec. 15 – Reply comments are due on Part 32 Accounting Rules NPRM.
Dec. 17 – Comments are due on Part 22 Technical Changes.

Jan. 19 – Reply comments on Part 22 Technical Changes are due.


* These deadlines have been suspended indefinitely. New deadlines have not been set at this time.

BloostonLaw Private Users UpdateVol. 15, No. 10October 2014

Reminder: Part 90 Class B Signal Booster Registration Must be Completed by November 1, 2014; FCC Modifies Technical Rules

Final Reminder: Part 90 licensees and signal booster operators that operate or intend to operate Part 90 Class B private land mobile (non-consumer) signal boosters will be required to register existing signal boosters with the Commission by November 1, 2014. Any new Class B signal boosters installed on or after November 1, 2014 must be registered before the device can be operated. Registration will be made electronically and paper filings will not be accepted. The FCC is holding to this deadline despite the unavailability of the registration site earlier this week.

If you have a signal booster that requires registration, and are confused about the registration process, please contact our office for assistance.

In a related matter, the FCC recently released its Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in which it modified the rules that affect the manufacturing and distribution of service provider signal boosters (which are typically used for cellular systems) and for consumer signal boosters. The most relevant change that could affect our clients is the labeling restriction for consumer signal boosters. This restriction requires that the sentence “[t]his device may ONLY be operated in a fixed location for in-building use” be listed in four locations: (1) in any online listing, in point-of-sale marketing materials; (2) in any user/owner’s manual or installation instructions; (3) on the packaging; and (4) on a label affixed to the booster itself. Additionally, the FCC has added technical requirements for mobile provider-specific Consumer Signal Boosters, which include: stronger noise limits, stronger gain limits if the device is directly connected or using direct contact coupling; and maximum gain limitations for signal boosters of 58 dB (for frequencies below 1 GHz) and 65 dB (for frequencies above 1 GHz) if an inside antenna is used and the booster has both an automatic gain adjustment based on isolation measurements between the booster donor and server antenna with automatic feedback cancellation. Finally, the Commission has indicated that it will apply the “antenna kitting rule” to all Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters so that all boosters are sold together with antennas, cables, and/or coupling devices that meet the FCC’s requirements for use with signal booster equipment.

FCC Issues Paging and Radiotelephone Compliance Reminder; Asks for Comment on Technical Changes

This article will be of concern to those clients who obtained Part 22 paging licenses from the FCC through its paging auctions for the purpose of providing dispatch or private carrier paging services. The FCC has issued a Public Notice, reminding Part 22 licensees of several rules that the FCC must feel are not always being followed; and the Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is seeking comments on any technical or operational flexibility that the Commission may provide that might result in more intensive use of the band. Comments are due December 17, 2014 and reply comments are due January 19, 2015. Clients trying to make more effective use of their Part 22 channels for dispatch, data and other services should take this opportunity to advocate rule changes that would help this cause. In the meantime, it is advisable that Part 22 licensees check to ensure their compliance with the following rules that the FCC is focused on, since a warning shot such as the Public Notice is likely to be setting the stage for enforcement efforts.

Licensees authorized in the Part 22 Paging and Radiotelephone Service generally have the authority to operate various voice and data services, and they must comply with all applicable Part 20 and 22 rules. While the small number of channels allocated under Part 22 were originally intended for paging and the now defunct IMTS service, licensees have been looking to make more creative use of this spectrum now that the demand for traditional paging service is at an all-time low. Several companies are using these frequencies for trunking, sometimes pursuant to an FCC waiver, to fill the void left by Nextel.
The FCC is reminding licensees to obey are the following Part 22 Rules unless they have been granted a waiver by the FCC:

  • Channel bandwidth . Unless otherwise indicated, all channels have a bandwidth of 20 kHz and are designated by their center frequencies in megahertz. The paging channel spacing may be more than 20 kHz, but the authorized channel bandwidth as specified by the rules is 20 kHz (10 kHz to each side of the center frequency).
  • Emission limitations . Under Part 22, the power of any emission outside of the authorized operating frequency ranges must be attenuated below the transmitting power by at least 43 + 10 log (P) dB. Alternative out of band emission limits may be established at specified frequencies (band edges) in specified geographical areas pursuant to a private contractual arrangement among all affected licensees and applicants, and must be disclosed to the FCC, upon request.
  • Effective radiated power limits . The effective radiated power (ERP) of transmitters operating on paging channels must not exceed the limits in section 22.535.
  • Permissible operations . The channel assignments listed in section 22.531 are allocated for one-way paging operations. Paired channels listed in section 22.561 are for one-way or two-way mobile operations.
  • Permissible communications paths . Mobile stations may communicate only with and through base stations. Base stations may communicate only with mobile stations and receivers on land or surface vessels.
  • Equipment authorization . All the equipment operated in Part 22 paging must have been certified by the Commission under applicable Part 22 paging rules.
  • Protection of existing service . Pursuant to section 22.537 or section 22.567, all facilities authorized to operate pursuant to a paging geographic area authorization (i.e., an auction license) must provide co-channel interference protection to all authorized site-based co-channel facilities of incumbent licensees within the paging geographic area.
  • Canadian border . Licensees planning to operate transmitters north of Line A are first required to obtain Canadian clearance by filing an application for modification of their license(s), including the technical parameters of the planned site, in order for the Bureau to coordinate planned operations with Industry Canada.

The Wireless Bureau recognizes that additional technical and operational flexibility may promote more intensive use of the licenses, and therefore seeks comment on whether it is appropriate to update the Paging and Radiotelephone Service rules to provide flexibility in the types of uses and technologies that can operate on these channels (such as narrowband equipment, or using offset frequencies between the traditional channels).

For example, the FCC recently modified its Part 90 Private Radio rules to permit the use of Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) equipment in certain portions of two bands – the 450-470 MHz portion of the UHF band (421-512 MHz), and Business/Industrial Land Transportation 800 MHz band channels (809-824/854-869 MHz). However, use of TETRA equipment on Part 22 frequencies may violate channel bandwidth and emission limitations rules. The Bureau asks whether the Part 22 rules should be updated to permit technologies like TETRA.

As a further example, licensees planning to deploy transmitters north of Line A are required to first obtain Canadian clearance. Some licensees, who are unable to get Canadian clearance on the center frequency, may wish to use offset frequencies in order to get Canadian approval. Use of frequency offsets may violate channel bandwidth and emission limitation rules. The Bureau asks whether flexibility in channel bandwidths would be useful in these instances and under what conditions.

Interested clients that wish to file comments or participate in group comments should contact us promptly.

VoIP Phone Systems Can be Subject to Hacking, Leaving Businesses with Huge Losses

News outlets are reporting that over the past year, communications fraud involving VoIP systems has resulted in almost $4.75 billion dollars in fraudulent phone calls to premium-rate telephone numbers in foreign countries such as Somalia, Gambia and the Maldives. The scams are reportedly perpetrated by hackers without the knowledge of the business owner by breaking into the Internet connected phone network over a weekend or holiday when the businesses are typically closed and routing hundreds of calls to premium-rate telephone numbers that have been leased by criminal organizations. Because hackers are using high speed computers, they are able to make hundreds of calls at the same time, which increase the charges to the unwary business exponentially. In some cases, small businesses have been saddled with fraudulent phone charges as high as $200,000.

As a result of this fraudulent activity, there have been calls from Congress for the FCC and law enforcement to take action against fraudsters, but to date, there apparently has not been much movement or interest.

If you are using a VoIP system for your telephone system, it is critical that you have protections in place to prevent hackers from gaining access to your system over the Internet. Protections can include disabling any call-forwarding features, and requiring strong passwords for voice mail systems and for placing international calls. Essentially, experts are saying that VoIP phone systems should be treated like any other computer device that is connected to the Internet.

Our clients providing VoIP-based services will also want to work with liability counsel about communicating this risk, and potential remedies, to their customers.

FCC Refuses to Reconsider Termination of Microwave Licenses Because Request is One Day Late

The FCC has released an order denying a Petition for Reconsideration of the proposed termination of four microwave licenses held by Startouch, Inc. The reason for the denial was that the FCC received the Startouch petition for reconsideration one business day late. The FCC’s Order explains that the FCC is powerless to extend or waive the 30-day filing period for petitions for reconsideration since the time period was set by Congress in Section 405(a) of the Communications Act, unless the petitioner is able to demonstrate that extraordinary circumstances existed. In this case, the FCC concluded that Startouch made no such demonstration, especially since it did not even acknowledge that its petition was filed late.
It is extremely important that petitions be filed in a timely manner. If you receive correspondence from the FCC which you believe is in error, please contact our office immediately so that we can assist you in making any filings that might be required before the filing deadline occurs.

FCC Modifies Marine Licenses to Correct Errors in Original Grants

Over the past month, the FCC has issued two orders seeking to modify various Marine Services licenses that contained either incorrect frequency assignments or license terms beyond the period to which the Coast Guard agreed.

In the first case, the FCC issued an order which modified the license for a Marine Utility Service license held by Conrad Orange Ship Yard because the FCC erroneously granted a license for a marine utility station which authorized the frequencies 157.350 and 161.950 MHz in an area east of Texas. Unfortunately, these frequencies were sold at a spectrum auction in 1998. Upon discovering this error, and even though the FCC’s action had become final and non-appealable, the FCC issued an order on September 15, 2014, proposing to delete the frequencies 157.350 and 161.950 MHz from the license for station WQPU707. Because Conrad Orange Ship Yard did not protest the Commission’s order proposing the modification of its license within the required 30-day period, the FCC determined that the licensee had been deemed to consent to the proposed deletion of these frequencies from its license.

In the second case, the FCC has issued an order proposing the modification of various Private Coast and Marine Utility station licenses issued to Anadarko Petroleum, Charles County, Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virginia, Louisville Gas and Electric, Marathon Petroleum Company LP and the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority in order to change the license expiration dates to conform to the terms of the concurrence issued by the United States Coast Guard to allow these licensees to use Coast Guard frequencies.

Between March 2013 and August 2014, the FCC issued various licenses for 10-year terms even though each application included a letter from the US Coast Guard which stated that the concurrence was for a period of five years (and eight years in the case of the Commonwealth of Virginia). Each of these licensees had requested permission to utilize Coast Guard spectrum in order to communicate with the Coast Guard on matters pertaining to safety, search and rescue, law enforcement, and environmental protection activities.

The FCC notes that non-federal users may utilize spectrum allocated to the Federal Government provided that the use conforms to the conditions imposed by the relevant federal agency. In this case, the FCC granted licenses for 10-year license terms even though the Coast Guard had consented to a shorter period. As a result, the FCC recognized that it should not have granted the license applications for ten-year license terms. Unfortunately, each of the grants was more than 40-days old and the action therefore because final and non-appealable. As a result, the FCC was forced to take action pursuant to Section 316 of the Communications Act and propose the modification of these licenses to conform the license terms to the terms of the concurrence issued by the Coast Guard with respect to each license application. Under the Communications Act, the FCC is permitted to modify a station license if it will promote the public interest – which in this case the FCC asserts it would since the action would limit the license terms to the period for which the Coast Guard concurred to the use of its frequencies.

Each of the licensees will have 30 days within which to respond to the FCC’s proposed license modification. Absent a response, the FCC will assume consent on the part of the licensees since the FCC’s Order is being served on each licensee by certified US mail.

Orders proposing an involuntary modification to an FCC radio license are mailed to the licensee by certified mail. Should you ever receive correspondence from the FCC proposing a modification of your license, it is critical that you contact our office immediately upon receipt. As demonstrated in Conrad Orange Shipyard case, a failure to respond to a proposed modification will result in the FCC assuming your consent to the proposed action – which could then have a disastrous impact on your business operations.

FCC Seeks Nominations for Optimal Public Safety Answering Point Architecture Task Force

The FCC has announced that it is seeking nominations and expressions of interest for membership on the Optimal Public Safety Answering Point Architecture Task Force. Nomination applications and statements of interest are due November 7.

This task force will study and report findings and recommendations on the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) structure and architecture in order to determine whether additional consolidation of PSAP structure and architecture improvements would improve operational efficiency, safety of life and reduce costs while ensuring that needed integration remains with local first responder dispatch services and support. It will be comprised of members from various groups, including: (a) state, tribal and/or local governmental agencies and organizations with expertise in communications and public safety issues; (b) Federal government agencies with expertise in communications and/or homeland security issues; (c) communications service providers and organizations representing communications service providers, including: wireline, wireless, interconnected VoIP and other IP enabled service providers; (d) system service providers, including vendors of equipment and services used to provide critical network infrastructure to PSAPs; (e) organizations and other entities that represent consumer or community organizations such as those which represent end-users with disabilities, the elderly, those living in rural areas, and those representing populations that speak languages other than English; and (f) qualified representatives of other stakeholders and interested parties with relevant expertise.

It is important to note that the needs of PSAPs in urban areas may be significantly different from those in rural areas even though the underlying mission is virtually identical. Because the needs from one area to another may vary dramatically, we encourage those interested clients to apply for membership on this task force. Nomination applications and statements of interest are due November 7, 2014 and should include the following information:

  • Name, title and organization of the nominee along with a description of the organization, sector or other interest that the nominee will represent;
  • Nominee’s mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number and fax number; and
  • A statement which summarizes the nominee’s qualifications and reasons why the nominee should be appointed to the Task Force. If the nominee will represent a specific organization, the statement should also include a description of the organization and an explanation of the benefit of having the organization represented on the Task Force.

Changes Proposed to Distribution of Wireless License Authorizations and Antenna Structure Registrations

The FCC is seeking comment on a proposal to make electronic delivery of license authorizations and ASR registrations the default method of delivery. Comments are due November 10, 2014. Specifically, the FCC proposes to provide for two methods of electronic delivery: (a) directly through the License Manager module in ULS or the Dashboard module in the ASR system or (b) via e-mail upon the grant of an application if the applicant provides the FCC with an e-mail address. The FCC notes that not all users will want to receive their authorizations or registrations electronically and has therefore proposed to allow licensees and registrants the option of electing delivery of documents by U.S. Mail in the License Manager or Dashboard modules even though the default delivery method would become electronic delivery. While electronic delivery of authorizations and registrations is ecologically sound, there are pitfalls that you should be aware of if you would not receive a paper copy in the mail. If e-mail is selected, it is possible that e-mails could either be lost in cyberspace or directed to your SPAM filter. Or the responsible person for FCC matters in your company may leave or change email address, and notifying the FCC of this change may be overlooked. Likewise, receipt of a paper document from the FCC serves as an indication that an application has been granted.

It is important to note that the “official” electronic authorizations or registrations that would be sent from the FCC via e-mail or through its License Manager or Dashboard modules would be the only official electronic documents that may be used, unless the FCC adopts the paper option discussed above and you elect that option. Any electronic FCC authorization or registration with a “Reference Copy” watermark ( i.e., one printed from the ULS database) is not the official authorization or registration and therefore cannot be relied upon for compliance with the FCC’s requirement that licensees maintain an official copy of the license authorization or ASR registration. Thus, if you elect electronic delivery, it will be critical for you to print off an official copy from either your e-mail (if you elect e-mail delivery) or your ULS dashboard account and not from the public side of the FCC’s ULS or ASR systems. Under its interim procedure, licensees and tower owners may log into the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) or Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) System and advise the Commission that they wish to receive their authorizations electronically – much the way you are able to do with banking statements from many of your financial institutions. During the interim period, if no action is taken, the FCC will continue to mail out paper authorizations as it has done for years.

Marriott Pays $600k to Resolve Wi-Fi Blocking Investigation

Marriott International, Inc. and its subsidiary, Marriott Hotel Services, Inc., have agreed to pay $600,000 to resolve an FCC investigation into whether Marriott intentionally interfered with and disabled Wi-Fi networks established by consumers in the conference facilities of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, in violation of Section 333 of the Communications Act. This portion of the Act prohibits willfully or malicious interference to radio communications.

In March 2013, the Commission received a complaint from an individual who had attended a function at the Gaylord Opryland. The complainant alleged that the Gaylord Opryland was “jamming mobile hotspots so that you can’t use them in the convention space.”

The FCC Enforcement Bureau’s investigation revealed that Marriott employees had used containment features of a Wi-Fi monitoring system at the Gaylord Opryland to prevent individuals from connecting to the Internet via their own personal Wi-Fi networks, while at the same time charging consumers, small businesses, and exhibitors as much as $1,000 per device to access Marriott’s Wi-Fi network. In some cases, employees sent de-authentication packets to the targeted access points, which would dissociate consumers’ devices from their own Wi-Fi hotspot access points and, thus, disrupt consumers’ current Wi-Fi transmissions and prevent future transmissions.

Under the terms of the Consent Decree the FCC announced last Friday, Marriott must cease the unlawful use of Wi-Fi blocking technology and take significant steps to improve how it monitors and uses its Wi-Fi technology at the Gaylord Opryland. Marriott must institute a compliance plan and file compliance and usage reports with the Bureau every three months for three years, including information documenting any use of access point containment features at any U.S. property that Marriott manages or owns. Marriott will also pay a civil penalty of $600,000 to resolve the matter.

This consent decree should remind our clients, as well as other property owners, that while they may control the deployment of fixed radio stations on their property, they may not interfere with communications, including Internet wireless access, that occur on their property using mobile devices.

FCC Proposes $10,000 Fine Against Global Tower For Failing to Properly Light Tower

The FCC has issued a Notice of Apparent Liability against Global Tower for failing to (a) properly light its antenna tower at Oak Park, Michigan and (b) monitor its antenna tower lighting as required by the FCC’s Rules. In particular, the FCC’s field agents noted that the antenna tower had been unlit for two consecutive nights. Upon investigation, Global Tower conceded that it had been unaware that the tower was dark and that it had failed to properly monitor the tower’s lighting system or maintain an operational lighting alarm system.

The FCC treats violations of its obstruction marking and lighting rules very seriously because of the dangers to air navigation. In addition to maintaining proper marking and lighting, it is critical that appropriate notifications be made to the FAA in the event of a light outage. Here, even though Global Tower took prompt action to remedy the light outage and repair its alarm monitoring system, the FCC has proposed a fine in the amount of $10,000.

FCC Grants Port Authority of New York and New Jersey One Year Extension of Construction Deadlines for World Trade Center Stations

With the collapse of the World Trade Center towers following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey lost an important part of its communications capabilities for the World Trade Center complex. This is because several public safety transmitters were housed at the World Trade Center. Since that time, the Port Authority has held a waiver of Rule Section 90.157, which provides that any station in the Private Land Mobile Radio Services that has not been operational for more than one year is deemed to have permanently discontinued operation.
In granting an extension of the waiver request, the Commission found that the Port Authority has demonstrated that unique circumstances caused the discontinuance of its operations these stations and that these radio facilities “will continue to serve an integral role in the extensive network of transportation, terminal, and commercial facilities throughout the New York metropolitan area, especially for public safety communications. . .” The Commission noted further that should circumstances warrant, the Port Authority could request additional time, as necessary.

State of Iowa Granted Waiver of Five-Year Interim Substantial Service Deadline

The State of Iowa holds 700 MHz spectrum on “state channels” in the public safety narrowband segment of the 700 MHz band. Pursuant to the FCC’s Rules, licensees on this channel had a five-year substantial service obligation that was due on June 13, 2014 – which was five years from the completion of the DTV transition on June 12, 2009.

On June 6, 2014, the State of Iowa requested a waiver of the five-year interim benchmark deadline that was applicable to one of its 700 MHz licenses. In justifying the rule waiver request, the State of Iowa stated that it is “actively pursuing a statewide 700 MHz Project 25 Phase II land mobile radio system” that will “provide radio service to the Department of Public Safety, Department of Transportation, Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Corrections and other interested public safety organizations.” Iowa indicated that the delay was due in part to issues with its procurement process since it was required to make refinements to its Requests for Proposals (“RFPs”). The FCC noted that the State of Iowa proposes to build out its 700 MHz system in three phases in order to provide coverage throughout the state, including in rural areas. In that regard, Iowa proposes to have service to one-third of the population by December 31, 2016 and two-thirds by December 31, 2017.

The Commission concluded that it would be premature to cancel Iowa’s license given its efforts to bring the 700 MHz system to fruition. As a result, the FCC determined that a grant would be in the public interest since the State of Iowa is on the cusp of making a contract award. Additionally, the FCC also noted that the State will not know if the system is funded since the funding package will be part of the legislative agenda for the session that starts in January 2015. That said, the FCC made its grant conditional on the State notifying the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (a) on November 8, 2014 whether it has awarded a contract for its proposed system and if not, why not and when it expects to do so and (b) immediately upon a grant or denial of funding for the proposed system by the State legislature.

FCC Adopts Order Implementing Changes to 700 MHz Public Safety Narrowband Spectrum Allocation

The FCC has adopted rules which will implement changes to the rules governing the 700 MHz public safety narrowband spectrum (769-775/799-805 MHz) that are designed to promote the flexible and efficient use of public safety spectrum in the 700 MHz band. Significant among these changes is the elimination of the December 2016 interim deadline to narrowband these frequencies to 6.25 kHz wide channels as well as revising and updating various the technical rules in order to enhance interoperability and open up channels to new uses. Finally, the FCC released reserve spectrum in order to make sufficient spectrum available to licensees migrating from the UHF T-Band.

The FCC’s actions include the following:

  • Elimination of the December 31, 2016 narrowbanding deadline for 700 MHz public safety narrowband licensees to transition from 12.5 kilohertz to 6.25 kilohertz channel bandwidth technology.
  • Re-designation of channels in the 700 MHz band that are currently licensed for secondary trunking operations for public safety aircraft voice operations, consistent with NPSTC’s 2010 proposal in order to facilitate air-ground use.
  • Declining to establish a Nationwide Interoperability Travel Channel.
  • Allowing voice operations on Data Interoperability Channels on a secondary basis.
  • Reallocating the Reserve Channels to General Use Channels and afford T-Band public safety licensees priority for licensing of the former Reserve Channels in T-Band areas.
  • Declining to increase the permissible 2 watt ERP for radios operating on the mobile-only low power channels.
  • Encouraging manufacturers of 700 MHz public safety radios to obtain Compliance Assessment Program (CAP) certification for new equipment to demonstrate that the equipment meets P25 interoperability standards as required by Section 90.548 of the Commission’s rules. CAP certification will presumptively establish compliance with Section 90.528; manufacturers that elect not to obtain CAP certification must disclose their basis for asserting compliance.
  • Encouraging Public Safety Licensees to incorporate CAP into their solicitations for supporting equipment.
  • Adopt rules governing the spectral output of signal boosters when simultaneously retransmitting multiple signals.
  • Adopting Effective Radiated Power (ERP) as a regulatory parameter in this band, in place of Transmitter Power Output (TPO).
  • Recommending (but not mandating) that 700 MHz radios operating on interoperability calling channels employ the Project 25 Network Access Code (NAC) $293. The FCC also clarified that 700 MHz radios must be capable of being programmed to any of the 64 interoperability channels, but that all interoperability channels do not have to be accessible to the radio’s user.
  • Clarifying that the rules do not allow analog operation on the 700 MHz interoperability channels.
This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm. For additional information, please contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or .

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One2many Enables Emergency Alerts On Small Cells

ETSI Plugfest successfully tests Cell Broadcast Wireless Emergency Alerts on LTE small cells.

Deventer, The Netherlands (PRWEB) October 31, 2014

one2many, the world’s leading Cell Broadcast company, has today announced it has rounded up a successful ETSI organised Small Cell LTE Plugfest in Paris, where one2many contributed to successful interoperability tests to enable Wireless Emergency Alerts on LTE small cells as an extension of existing Cell Broadcast systems.

Cell Broadcast is worldwide known for its next generation Wireless Emergency Alert service on 2G, 3G and LTE as well as Wi-Fi networks. Over the years the role of CB in public safety has been expanding, making it possible for governments worldwide to make vital public announcements to millions of citizens, within seconds, on a location-aware basis, without violating subscriber privacy or being affected by network congestion. Some of the Public Warning initiatives around the world are: EU-Alert in The Netherlands, ETWS and Wireless Emergency Alerts (CMAS) launched in the United States by the FCC and FEMA.

Our customers have requested LTE small cells support on our Cell Broadcast systems, and the ETSI plugfest tests prove it works. Which means that we now support emergency alerts on LTE small cells, next to regular CDMA, GSM, 3G, LTE and Wifi networks.

Maarten Mes, CEO of one2many said, “Our customers have requested LTE small cells support on our Cell Broadcast systems, and the ETSI plugfest tests prove it works. Which means that we now support emergency alerts on LTE small cells, next to regular CDMA, GSM, 3G, LTE and Wifi networks.”

The 2nd Small Cell LTE Plugfest was held from 23 June to 02 July 2014, organised by the Small Cell Forum, in partnership with European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), and was hosted by the ORANGE Labs in Paris. By connecting its CBC and broadcasting live CMAS messages one2many enabled mobile network equipment vendors to assess their CMAS/Cell Broadcast product interoperability and verify the correct interpretation of 3GPP and other base specifications.

one2many provides Cell Broadcast technology to telecoms operators across the world. Cell Broadcast technology delivers a non-intrusive, real-time service for the distribution of text-based messages to mobile handsets, specific to their current location. Cell Broadcast is capable of broadcasting one single message to reach all mobile handsets in an area as small as one radio cell and as big as an entire country. Sending a message to millions of handsets takes a matter of seconds, making the service ideal for applications such as public warning, location-based services and mobile social media.

Source: PRWeb


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Microsoft Cuts 3,000 Jobs, Finishing Layoffs


The software giant has laid off nearly 18,000 employees since July.

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The bad news: Microsoft cut another 3,000 employees today. The good news: this is pretty much the last of the layoffs announced by CEO Satya Nadella this summer.

In a statement to PCMag, a Microsoft spokesperson said the reductions are taking place across a variety of teams in many different countries, though there's no word as to which departments will be hit hardest.
"We've taken another step that will complete almost all the 18,000 reductions announced in July," the spokesperson said.

Today's cuts follow two previous rounds of layoffs. Microsoft kicked things off in July, axing 13,000 in the first wave before cutting another 2,100 workers in September.

GeekWire reported that about 638 of today's layoffs were in the Seattle area, for a total of 2,700 layoffs in Microsoft's home region, where the company employed some 42,500 people at the end of September. The report noted that many of the downsized positions were in support roles, including finance, human resources, sales, and marketing.

The reductions come as Microsoft works to integrate the Nokia handset business it acquired in April for $7.2 billion. Following the Nokia deal, Microsoft's employee headcount rose from about 99,000 last year to 127,000. About 12,500 of the 18,000 layoffs came from Nokia, including professional and factory workers.

In a July memo to employees , Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, pictured, said the company would largely nix work on Android-based devices. "We plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows," he wrote. "This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps."

Source: PC Mag

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“I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions—poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed—which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished.

It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system survive it and hold on to their humanity.”

― Dr. Howard Zinn, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times


Wireless Celebrities

October 25 at 10:12 pm

Marty Cooper

Martin “Marty” Cooper (top left) (born December 26, 1928) is an American pioneer and visionary in the wireless communications industry. With eleven patents in the field, he is recognized as an innovator in radio spectrum management.

While at Motorola in the 1970s, Cooper conceived the first handheld mobile phone (distinct from the car phone) in 1973 and led the team that developed it and brought it to market in 1983. He is considered the “father of the cell phone” and is also cited as the first person in history to make a handheld cellular phone call in public.

Cooper is co-founder of numerous successful communications companies with his wife and business partner Arlene Harris; also known as the “first lady of wireless.” He is currently co-founder and Chairman of Dyna LLC, in Del Mar, California. Cooper also sits on committees supporting the Federal Communications Commission and the United States Department of Commerce.


Cooper graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in 1950. After graduating he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserves where he served as a submarine officer during the Korean War. In 1957 Cooper went on to earn his Master's degree from IIT in electrical engineering and in 2004 IIT awarded Cooper an honorary doctorate degree. He serves on the University's Board of Trustees.



Cooper left his first job at Teletype Corporation in Chicago in 1954 and joined Motorola, Inc. (Schaumburg, Illinois) as a senior development engineer in the mobile equipment group. He developed many products including the first cellular-like portable handheld police radio system, produced for the Chicago police department in 1967.

By the early 1970s, Cooper headed up Motorola's communications systems division. Here he conceived of the first portable cellular phone in 1973 and led the 10-year process of bringing it to market. Car phones had been in limited use in large U.S. cities since the 1930s but Cooper defied the industry's narrow vision of car phones and championed cellular telephony for personal, portable communications. Cooper knew that people needed freedom that comes from anytime, anywhere telephony. He knew the cellular phone should be a “personal telephone — something that would represent an individual so you could assign a number; not to a place, not to a desk, not to a home, but to a person.” Cooper has stated his vision for the handheld device was inspired by Captain James T. Kirk using his Communicator on the television show Star Trek.

Top management at Motorola was supportive of Cooper's mobile phone concept; investing $100 million between 1973 and 1993 before any revenues were realized. Cooper assembled a team that designed and assembled a product that had never been built; a task they accomplished in less than 90 days. That original handset, called the DynaTAC 8000x (DYNamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage) weighed 2.5 pounds, measured 10 inches long and was dubbed “the brick” or “the shoe” phone. A very substantial part of the DynaTAC was the battery which weighed 4 to 5 times more than a modern cell phone. Additionally, the phone had only 20 minutes of talk time before requiring a 10-hour recharge but according to Cooper, “The battery lifetime wasn't really a problem because you couldn't hold that phone up for that long!” By 1983 and after four iterations, the handset was reduced to half its original weight.

Cooper is the lead inventor named on “radio telephone system” filed on October 17, 1973 with the U.S. Patent Office and later issued as U.S. Patent 3,906,166. John Francis Mitchell, Motorola's Chief of Portable Communication Products (and Cooper's Manager and Mentor) and the engineers who worked for Cooper and Mitchell are also named on the patent.

On April 3, 1973 Cooper and Mitchell demonstrated two working phones to the media and to passers-by prior to walking into a scheduled press conference at the New York Hilton in midtown Manhattan. Standing on Sixth avenue near the Hilton, Cooper made the first handheld cellular phone call in public from the prototype DynaTAC. The call connected him to a base station Motorola had installed on the roof of the Burlingame House (now the Alliance Capital Building) and into the AT&T land-line telephone system. Reporters and onlookers watched as Cooper dialed the number of his chief competitor Dr. Joel S. Engel, who was head of Bell Labs. “Joel, this is Marty. I'm calling you from a cell phone, a real handheld portable cell phone.” That public demonstration landed the DynaTAC on the July 1973 cover of Popular Science Magazine. As Cooper recalls from the experience: “I made numerous calls, including one where I crossed the street while talking to a New York radio reporter — probably one of the more dangerous things I have ever done in my life.”

That first cell phone began a fundamental technology and communications market shift to making phone calls to a person instead of to a place. Bell Labs had introduced the idea of cellular communications in 1947 but they wanted the first system limited to car phones which required roughly 30 pounds of equipment in the trunk. The technological breakthrough engineered by Cooper demonstrated the kind of creative innovation that competition could bring; resulting in a major achievement for Motorola. They gained Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval for cellular licenses to be assigned to competing entities and prevented an AT&T monopoly on cellular service.

Cooper worked at Motorola for 29 years; building and managing both its paging and cellular businesses. He also led the creation of trunked mobile radio, quartz crystals, oscillators, liquid crystal displays, piezo-electric components, Motorola A.M. stereo technology and various mobile and portable two-way radio product lines.

Cooper rose through the ranks to become Vice-President and Corporate Director of Research and Development at Motorola. In addition to his ground-breaking work on the mobile cellular phone, Cooper was instrumental in significantly expanding the technology of pagers from use within a single building to use across multiple cities. He also fixed a flaw in quartz crystals used in Motorola's radios which encouraged the Company to mass-produce the first crystals used in wrist watches.

Cellular Business Systems

In 1983, the first commercial cellular phone service began operation in the United States and the DynaTAC phone became available to consumers at a list price of around $4,000 ($9,000 in 2011 dollars) but Cooper left Motorola before the launch. In that same year, he co-founded Cellular Business Systems, Inc. (CBSI) and helped lead it to dominate the cellular billing industry with 75 percent market share. In 1986, Cooper sold CBSI to Cincinnati Bell (now Convergys) for $23 million.

Dyna LLC

Cooper and his wife Arlene Harris founded Dyna LLC in 1986 as a home base for their various developmental and support activities surrounding the incubation of new ideas and new companies. Subscriber Computing Inc., Cellular Pay Phone, Inc. (CPPI), SOS Wireless Communications and Accessible Wireless; the later two of which together created the underpinning for the creation of GreatCall, were all launched from Dyna LLC.

From his Dyna headquarters Cooper continues to write and lecture around the world about wireless communications, technological innovation, the Internet and R&D management. He also serves on a variety of industry, civic and national governmental groups including the U.S. Department of Commerce Spectrum Advisory Committee that advises the Secretary of Commerce of the United States on spectrum policy and the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Technological Advisory Council.

GreatCall, Inc

In 1986 Cooper co-founded Cellular Payphone Inc. (CPPI), the parent company of GreatCall, Inc. – Innovator of the Jitterbug cell phone (in partnership with Samsung). GreatCall is the first complete end-to-end value-added service provider in the cellular industry to focus on simplicity with primary emphasis on boomers and senior citizens.


In 1992 Cooper co-founded Arraycomm a developer of software for mobile antenna technologies used for both mobile telephones and long-range wireless internet. Under his leadership, the Company grew from a seed-funded startup in San Jose, California into the world leader in smart antenna technology with 400 patents issued or pending, worldwide.

Cooper's law

Cooper found that the ability to transmit different radio communications simultaneously and in the same place has grown at the same pace since Guglielmo Marconi's first transmissions in 1895. This knowledge led Cooper to formulate the Law of Spectral Efficiency, otherwise known as Cooper's Law. The Law states that the maximum number of voice conversations or equivalent data transactions that can be conducted in all of the useful radio spectrum over a given area doubles every 30 months. [ source ]

Arlene Harris

Arlene Joy Harris (front left) (born June 6, 1948), also known as the “First Lady of Wireless,” is a serial entrepreneur, inventor, investor and policy advocate. Her career spans a lifetime of innovation in mobile services and systems technology and later, wireless consumer products and services. Harris started and built several successful companies, pioneered many of the early cellular industry standards and holds numerous issued wireless communications patents. In May, 2007 she won industry-wide acclaim as the first woman inducted into the Wireless Hall of Fame.

Harris is co-founder and CEO of Dyna LLC, in Del Mar, California, where she incubates new ideas and businesses with husband and business partner Martin Cooper, a former Motorola Vice-President and Division Manager who developed and introduced the first handheld cellular mobile phone in 1973.

Early life

Harris was born in Los Angeles, California. She began her career at the age of 12 as a mobile telephone switchboard operator for her family's business, Industrial Communications Systems Inc., (ICS) (sold to Metromedia in 1983, now USA Mobile) in Los Angeles, California. In 1969, Harris left ICS for a formative stint with Air Canada and Continental Airlines helping to scale their business operations in preparation for the new wide bodied airplanes. She returned to ICS three years later.

In 1981, under her guidance, ICS developed the first wireless consumer healthcare application called “Life Page,” a program that provided pagers to organ transplant recipients. She later promoted and expanded the program to the National Trade Association for independent wireless operators Telocator, that later became the Personal Communications Industry Association.

ICS created state-of-the-art communication and, under Harris' direction, became the largest single city paging system in the world. Most notably, ICS was among the first of any category of business to create online computer systems to manage the company's business subscriber offering. While selling directly to businesses ICS also supported the first wholesale wireless service in history, starting in 1972. The wholesale model promoted substantial growth and shareholder value for ICS, its suppliers, and its partners. Because of the success of ICS's wholesale strategy in bolstering the opportunities for partners and service adoption by new users, their resale concept was mandated by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the original cellular spectrum allocations in 1982.


In 1983 Harris co-founded Cellular Business Systems Inc. (CBSI), (sold to Cincinnati Bell, now Convergys) where she guided the development of the leading billing/CRM service bureau in the early cellular industry. She personally specified and directed the development of the first automated cellular service activation systems now used globally in retail locations to remotely and instantly activate cellular phones. While at CBSI Harris served as one of three FCC committee members challenged to develop inter-system roaming protocols. The committee was established to create the methods by which cellular companies enable and bill customers who visited their networks. The committee's work resulted in the Cellular Inter-carrier Billing Exchange Record (CIBER) used throughout the cellular industry.

In 1986 Harris launched Dyna LLC in Chicago, Illinois and later relocated to Del Mar, California, as a home base to incubate and spin out new ideas and help young companies. Here, she continues to advocate for consumer interests involving design simplicity, accessibility, as well as inclusive regulatory policies and workplace diversity in technology to assure maximum opportunity and a growing proliferation of technology enabled products and services that improve life.

As founder of software company Subscriber Computing, Inc. (merged with Corsair, now CyberSource) in 1986, Harris' team built and delivered systems to the largest paging companies in the world and provided the first converged billing systems for cellular and the Internet to global leaders, including British Telecom and Hutchinson. In 1988, she innovated and led the Company's implementation of the first communications methods used to support access to cellular services by low and no credit consumers. The concept became known as “prepaid” cellular service and has grown to become one of the primary forms of subscriber relationship and payments in the cellular industry. She used some of the same techniques to innovate systems used to prevent the fraudulent use of cellular phones.

In 1986, Harris founded Cellular Pay Phone, Inc. (CPPI) where she developed her first patented invention, the first program controlled end-to-end management system (created with OKI Electronics and Motorola). This offering made CPPI the first niche cellular reseller in history to create a special cellular phone and a tightly integrated system to support cellular with automated payments by credit card. These phones were ultimately deployed in taxis, limousines, rental cars, on oil platforms and on public transportation such as trains and ferries (licensed to GTE, now Verizon). This payphone program innovated many of the techniques commonly used today by companies like Apple and BlackBerry.

Founded by Harris in 1994 and under her guidance, SOS Wireless Communications developed the first consumer oriented reseller of cellular service designed especially for safety. Like the payphone business SOS developed a custom phone and service for making outgoing calls for urgent communications. SOS customers were primarily older Americans who adopted cellular service to keep them safe while on the road.

Harris acquired cellular carrier Accessible Wireless in 2001 to provide a home carrier service for offerings targeting typically low usage applications. Accessible and SOS both supported the founding of Harris' next company GreatCall in 2004.

GreatCall is the first complete end-to-end value-added service provider in the cellular industry to focus on simplicity with primary emphasis on baby boomers and senior citizens. It was at GreatCall that Harris innovated and led the development of the Jitterbug phone in partnership with Samsung to create a simple and personalized cell phone experience that anyone, regardless of technological “know-how,” could use and enjoy. The Jitterbug and service earned top honors as one of New York Times top 10 greatest technology ideas of 2006 (as judged by David Pogue), as a finalist in Yahoo's “Last Gadget Standing” competition at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2007 and as Reader's Digest “Top 100 Products.” Additionally, GreatCall won the wireless industry's coveted Andrew Seybold Choice Award for “Best New Company” at CTIA in 2007 and the American Society on Aging's Award for “Best Small Business in 2008.” [ source ]

Mr. & Mrs. Jai Bhagat


Mr. Jai P. Bhagat (top right) was the Founder of AIR2LAN, Inc. and served as its Chairman. Mr. Bhagat was a Co-Founder of SkyTel Corp. (alternate name, SkyTel Communications, Inc.) Executive Vice President since October 1988 and Chief Executive Officer prior to its recent merger with MCI WorldCom. He served as Vice Chairman of kyTel Corp. since May 1995. Mr. Bhagat served as Chairman of “License Exempt” sector of Wireless Communications Association International (WCA). Mr. Bhagat served as the Chairman of Personal Communications Industry Association. He was Chairman of American Mobile Satellite Corporate (now Motient) from 1988 to 1991. He served as the Chairman of US Wireless Online Inc. from February 2005 to September 6, 2005 and its Director from February 2005 to May 1, 2006. He served as Chairman and Director of SmartSynch, Inc. He serves as the Vice Chairman of GulfSouth Capital, Inc. He served as Vice Chairman of Axesstel Inc. from May 17, 2006 to June 9, 2011 and its Director from August 2003 to June 9, 2011. He has been a Director of Ziplink, Inc. since 1999 and Reignmaker Communications, Inc. since October 2007. He serves as a Director of Insprit, Inc. He serves as a Director of several wireless communications based companies. He served as a Director of TAGNOS, Inc. He served as a Director of eLandia International, Inc. from November 2006 to May 24, 2008 and SkyTel Corp. since October 1988.


In March, 2002, Mr. Bhagat was included on Rutberg & Company's “Wireless Influencers: 2002” list. Mr. Bhagat was also inducted into the RCR Wireless Hall of Fame for his significant contributions to the wireless industry. He is a fellow member of the Radio Club of America. Past industry awards include the PCIA Chairman's Award for significant personal contribution to the development of the industry; the Radio Club Sarnoff Citation for outstanding contribution to the wireless industry; RCR's Personality of the Year for outstanding contribution to the development of the wireless industry; Mobile Insights, Inc. Mobility Award for outstanding personal achievement; and the Mobility award for development of the SkyTel 2-Way Network.


He holds Master of Science majoring in Electrical Engineering from Howard University and BS degree majoring in Electrical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology & Science. He completed the Executive Management program at Stanford University. [ source ]

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