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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — April 10, 2015 — Issue No. 652

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

Welcome back. I hope you enjoy this issue of The Wireless Messaging News.

Apple Watch Hits Stores, Online Orders Backed Up

NBC News

The Apple Watch has arrived and fans are lining up around the world for their first chance to try one on.

For all of their trouble, they won't be able to take the Apple Watch home. Apple is only taking pre-orders online, so those marveling at the device in stores will still have to log onto the Apple website or order one through a terminal in the store to actually purchase one.

The Apple Watch officially starts shipping on April 24. The reality is that many customers will have to wait longer than that. According to CNBC , three hours after the Apple Watch went on sale, 37 of the 38 models were showing 4-6 weeks of wait time. A few aren't available until July. Hundreds of Apple Watches have already been spotted on eBay .

Unlike the last new product category Apple launched, the iPad, the Apple Watch is available in a wide array of materials and colors. Prices range from $349 for the lowest price Sport model to $17,000 for the 18-karat rose gold Watch Edition .

The Apple Watch lets users do things like purchase items with Apple Pay, summon an Uber, track health stats, check in at airports, and even send another Watch wearer the feel of their pulse with the device's heart rate sensor.

Reviews for the Apple Watch have generally been favorable. "Of the half-dozen smartwatches I've tested in recent years, I've had the best experience with Apple Watch," wrote Lauren Goode in her review for Re/Code . Most reviewers found that the Apple Watch lasted an entire day on a single charge.

One common criticism is that since the Apple Watch must be paired with an iPhone, it doesn't replace the phone, and it's not clear how many people want to spend $500 on an accessory. That hasn't stopped some people from lining up.

[ source ]

Consulting Alliance Updated

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

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

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

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

“He knows the water best who has waded through it.”
— Danish Proverb

Now on to more news and views

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.

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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Advertiser Index

American Messaging
Critical Alert
Critical Response Systems
Easy Solutions
Hark Technologies
Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates
Leavitt Communications
Preferred Wireless
Prism Paging
Product Support Services — (PSSI)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC — (Ron Mercer)
STI Engineering
UltraTek Security Cameras
WaveWare Technologies

Benefiting the community

Chantelle MacIsaac
Published on April 06, 2015
The Gulf News

Published on April 06, 2015Codroy Valley fire department chief Brian Osmond checks out one of the new-to-them radios, which was donated by the Malahide Fire Department in Ontario. Chantelle MacIsaac

Firefighters with the Codroy Valley Volunteer Fire Department are catching up with the rest of the world through technology. On March 25, three big boxes arrived with pagers, radios and personal alert safety systems. The most exciting part of receiving the equipment, it was all donated from a fire department in Ontario.

Obtaining the used equipment was the work of both Osmond and former firefighter with the department, Cole Durdle.

Durdle originates from Ontario but spent a year and half in the province and volunteered with the department as a training officer.

He said he some connections in Ontario and called up his old chief and asked if they had any equipment they were getting rid of.

"For me, I am really glad we could help," said Durdle. "I lived there and met a lot of people and I know that this will help them with response time."

Durdle said he would continue to work with the department and look for any other equipment that comes available.

The pagers, portable and mobile radios and back up paging system, although new to the Codroy Valley department, came from Malahide Fire Department.

Malahide mayor David Mennill said council had no issues with donating the equipment and explained the town is moving into a digital process and even though the equipment was still working, it no longer had a use for it.

"If we can help other people, we most certainly will," said Mennill. "Firemen help firemen, and I am only too happy to help."

Malahide's director of fire and emergency services Brent Smith said emergency services has a brotherhood and sisterhood that expands globally and he is happy to know the equipment will be put to good use.

Smith said one of the things that are said over and over in training is that fires can double its size every minute, so decreasing response times could mean the world of difference.

Decreasing response times is exactly what firefighters in the valley are striving to do.

Firefighter Anthony Gale said one of the biggest factors for them is firefighters can be anywhere and still receive the call and not stuck by their phones.

Gale said now, with all the volunteers having a pager, he expects more firefighters will respond as well.

"With the old system, people weren't necessarily home, and they are not always in cell phone range," said Gale. "There are a lot of dead spots unfortunately, but with the pagers, everyone will get the notification."

Fire Chief Brian Osmond said the department is grateful for the support from Malahide and said its support makes everyone's jobs a little easier.

"This department would not be where it is without the support of other departments and to me, it shows wonders on how people support their fire departments no matter if they are in their own towns or provinces."

Osmond estimates the value of the pagers, radios and alarm systems to be over $20,000 if the department had to purchase new.

Source: The Gulf News (Canada)

Product Support Services, Inc.

Repair and Refurbishment Services

pssi logo


Product Support Services, Inc.

511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
(972) 462-3970 Ext. 261 left arrow left arrow

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.

American Messaging


American Messaging


WaveWare Technologies

2630 National Dr., Garland, TX 75041

Now stocking the full line of Daviscomms paging products

New Products

SPS-5v9E Paging System

  • 1 Serial Port Connection
  • 2 Ethernet Connections
  • Browser and Serial Port Configuration
  • TAP, COMP2, Scope, WaveWare SNPP, COMP2, & PET Protocols
  • 2W, 5W Option

DMG Protocol Converter

  • Linux Based Embedded System
  • Up to 4 Serial Port Connections
  • Ethernet Connections
  • Browser Configuration
  • Protocol Conversion
  • Additional Protocols Available Soon

WaveWare Technologies


Easy Solutions

easy solutions

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

  • We treat our customers like family. We don’t just fix problems . . . We recommend and implement better cost effective solutions.
  • We are not just another vendor . . . We are a part of your team. All the advantages of high priced full time employment without the cost.
  • We are not in the Technical Services business . . . We are in the Customer Satisfaction business.

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

  • Glenayre, Motorola, Unipage, etc.
  • Excellent Service Contracts
  • Full Service—Beyond Factory Support
  • Contracts for Glenayre and other Systems starting at $100
  • Making systems More Reliable and MORE PROFITABLE for over 30 years.

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

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119

Easy Solutions

Intel Compute Stick, world's smallest PC, will cost $150 with Windows, $110 with Linux

Jared Newman | @onejarednewman
Apr 6, 2015 9:19 AM

It look a little longer than expected, but Intel’s Compute Stick PC is up for pre-order through some online stores.

The stick-sized computer is available from Newegg with Windows 8.1 on board. If you’re the type that always spells “Microsoft” with a dollar sign, Newegg is also selling the Linux version for $110. Liliputing reports that it comes with Ubuntu 14.04. The price for the Linux Compute Stick was supposed to be $89, but we’ve yet to see it anywhere for that cheap.

Regardless of operating system, the Compute Stick comes with an Intel Atom quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. It plugs directly into a monitor or TV via HDMI, and is powered through a Micro USB jack on the side of the stick. There’s also a full-sized USB port, and Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting a mouse and keyboard.

Intel originally planned to ship the Compute Stick in March, but Newegg is listing a release date of April 24 for both models. A similar dongle with BeeLink branding is already available, but from more obscure retailers .

Why this matters: We’ve seen an explosion of miniature computers lately—including a new Raspberry Pi with promised Windows 10 support—but the Compute Stick promises to be the smallest of the bunch. Still, Intel has been talking about this thing since last November, so you’d be forgiven for writing it off as vaporware by now. While the Compute Stick hasn’t quite crossed over to “actual product” territory just yet, it sounds like we’ll be able to put it through its paces soon.

Source: PCWorld

Ivy Corp UltraTek Security Cameras



Please click the Learn More button.

security camera


Monitor your home, or business, “Day or Night.” True motion detection “turn-on and record” for “current” or “future viewing.” May be set up via Wi-Fi using the Wi-Fi capable unit.

All information is on the site: left arrow

or call, Jim, 1-662-284-6724

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.


World Amateur Radio Day is April 18


On Saturday, April 18, radio amateurs worldwide will take to the airwaves to celebrate World Amateur Radio Day (WARD) 2015. It was on April 18, 1925, that the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was founded in Paris, with ARRL Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, as its first president. The primary purpose of World Amateur Radio Day is to highlight Amateur Radio and its benefits to countries and communities. The IARU said World Amateur Radio Day is an opportunity for IARU member-societies to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the public and make friends with other amateurs around the world. Special event stations will be on the air over the April 18-19 weekend to highlight World Amateur Radio Day and the IARU’s 90th anniversary.

“Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio,” the IARU said in marking World Amateur Radio Day. “Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum.”

The 1925 IARU Congress in Paris. ARRL Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim is third from the right at the front table.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio. Amateur Radio is more popular than ever today, with more than 3 million enthusiasts around the world, the IARU has estimated. As 2015 also will mark the 150th anniversary of the ITU, the IARU has adopted the theme, “ITU & IARU: Celebrating 150 years of Advancing the Telecommunication Art” for World Amateur Radio Day 2015.

From 25 countries in 1925, the IARU has grown to include more than 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia.

“April 18 is the day for all of Amateur Radio to celebrate and tell the world about the science we can help teach, the community service we can provide, and the fun we have,” the IARU said.

Source: ARRL Letter


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

UNICATIONbendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

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

STI Engineering

sti header

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.

sti tx
  • High power output
    (selectable from 20 W - 250 W)
  • SNMP Diagnostics and alarms
  • Full VHF Band coverage
    (138-174 MHz)
  • DSP precision modulation
  • Integrated isolator
  • Sniffer port for in-rack receiver
  • Remote firmware upgrade capability
  • Software selectable frequency offset
  • Adjustable absolute delay correction
  • Front panel diagnostics
  • Hardware alarm outputs
  • High frequency stability
  • External reference option
  • FCC and ACMA approved
  • CE compliant version in development
22 Boulder Road Malaga 6090 Western Australia
Telephone:  +61 8 9209 0900
Facsimile:  +61 8 9248 2833

8 April, 2015 10:13AM ACST

Emergency services welcome GRN upgrade

By Kate Hill Kingston fire fighters have welcomed the news the South Australian Government Radio Network (SAGRN) will be upgraded, with greater coverage in the South East.

Announced on Tuesday by Emergency Services Minister Tony Piccolo, Kingston has been selected as an additional transmission site for the SAGRN service, used by emergency service organisations for voice and paging communications.

Emergency services will benefit from an upgrade to the GRN network. (Nicola Gage - ABC News)

Motorola Australia has been awarded the contract for the work, and Motorola Solutions Australia and New Zealand managing director, Steve Crutchfield told ABC South East the upgrade would dramatically improve the reliability of the network and improve security and capacity.

Mr. Crutchfield said the upgrade to the network was vital, given it is used by around 20 agencies and up to 20,000 users in the state.

Mr. Crutchfield said around 25 new full-time positions will be created during the upgrade and ongoing management of the system.

Work began this week and the initial upgrade will take approximately two years.

Deputy Group Officer of the Lacepede CFS group Brett McLaren, described the current system as 'hit or miss'.

The group covers localities such as Marcollat, Reedy Creek and Keilira, all of which had emergency fire situations last summer.

With the Kingston region falling in between two transmission towers, Mr McLaren said the signal strength was too weak to receive good paging service coverage for emergency service volunteers.

"Until recently, Kingston members used to have to carry a mobile phone to receive their pages because the signals from the paging service weren't reliable enough," he said.

"Often they receive scrambled or unreadable messages on their pagers."

Mr McLaren said the upgrade would make it safer and easier for volunteers to respond to emergency situations.

"If you have unreliable information, you're never really sure what the job involves," he said.

"Is it a house fire, a grass fire, a rescue or a car accident of some sort? Unless you can get a nice clear page, it can cause issues, just knowing what you are actually responding to."

"If they can put a new transmission area around Kingston, that will give us very good coverage."

Source: ABC South East SA (Australia)

Leavitt Communications

its stil here

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 250s, 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.

black line

Phil Leavitt

leavitt logo

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Hark Technologies

hark logo

Wireless Communication Solutions

USB Paging Encoder

paging encoder

  • Single channel up to eight zones
  • Connects to Linux computer via USB
  • Programmable timeouts and batch sizes
  • Supports 2-tone, 5/6-tone, POCSAG 512/1200/2400, GOLAY
  • Supports Tone Only, Voice, Numeric, and Alphanumeric
  • PURC or direct connect
  • Pictured version mounts in 5.25" drive bay
  • Other mounting options available
  • Available as a daughter board for our embedded Internet Paging Terminal (IPT)

Paging Data Receiver (PDR)


  • Frequency agile—only one receiver to stock
  • USB or RS-232 interface
  • Two contact closures
  • End-user programmable w/o requiring special hardware
  • 16 capcodes
  • Eight contact closure version also available
  • Product customization available

Other products

Please see our web site for other products including Internet Messaging Gateways, Unified Messaging Servers, test equipment, and Paging Terminals.

Hark Technologies
717 Old Trolley Rd Ste 6 #163
Summerville, SC 29485
Tel: 843-821-6888
Fax: 843-821-6894
E-mail: left arrow CLICK
Web: left arrow CLICK

hark David George and Bill Noyes
of Hark Technologies.

Hark Technologies

Preferred Wireless

preferred logo

Terminals & Controllers:
1ASC1500 Complete, w/Spares  
3CNET Platinum Controllers 
2GL3100 RF Director 
1GL3000 ES — 2 Chassis
1GL3000L Complete w/Spares
40SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1Unipage—Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
16Zetron M66 Transmitter Controllers  
Link Transmitters:
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
19 Motorola Nucleus 125W CNET
6Motorola Nucleus 350W CNET
12Motorola Nucleus 350W Advanced Control
1Glenayre QT7505
1Glenayre QT8505
UHF Paging Transmitters:
16Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
2Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
3Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W


Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail

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

Preferred Wireless







CVC Paging

Switch Tech

CVC Paging has an opening for a Glenayre Switch Technician in our Vermont location.

For details please contact Stephan Suker at 802-775-6726 or

CVC Paging


Critical Alert

spacer cas logo

Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

Formed in 2010, CAS brought together the resources and capabilities of two leading critical messaging solutions providers, UCOM™ and Teletouch™ Paging, along with lntego Systems™, a pioneer in next-generation nurse call systems. The result was an organization that represented more than 40 years of combined experience serving hospitals and healthcare providers.

CAS was created to be a single-source provider for hospitals and healthcare facilities in need of advanced nurse call and communications technologies.

Unlike our competitors, our product development process embraced the power of software from its inception. This enables us to design hardware-agnostic solutions focused on built-in integration, flexibility and advanced performance.


Nurse Call Solutions

Innovation in Nurse Call

Innovative, software-based nurse call solutions for acute and long-term care organizations.


Paging Solutions

The Most Reliable Paging Network

To this day, for critical messaging, nothing beats paging. It’s simply the best way to deliver a critical message.



© Copyright 2015 - Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

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. 18, No. 15April 8, 2015

PSAP Text-to-911 Readiness Registry Updated, October 7 Deadline Established for Compliance

On April 7, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHB) issued a Public Notice indicating that it has updated the Text-to-911 Readiness and Certification Registry (now current through March 2, 2015). Pursuant to the Commission’s text-to-911 rules, covered text providers must begin routing 911 text messages to requesting PSAPs within six months (October 7, 2015), although an alternate timeframe may be “agreed to by both the PSAP and the covered text provider.” The PSHB reminds covered text providers to periodically review the text-readiness of PSAPs in their service areas, since covered text providers still must provide text-to-911 service within six months of receiving a valid PSAP request, irrespective of whether a PSAP has registered as ‘text-ready’ with the Commission.


FCC Seeks to Curb Fraudulent 911 Calls from Non-Service-Initialized Devices

You know that old cell phone that you keep in the glove compartment of your car “just in case” you need to call 911 and don’t have a phone with you? The one you aren’t paying for because wireless carriers are obligated to transmit all 911 calls? That long-trusted backup plan could soon fall through if the FCC adopts a proposal that is supported by many of the nation’s leading public safety organizations.

In an effort to curb fraudulent 911 calls from wireless phones that lack call back capability, the Commission last week adopted and released an NPRM in PS Docket No. 08-51 ( FCC 15-43 ) that is proposing to sunset the requirement for CMRS providers to transmit all wireless 911 calls “without respect to their call validation process.” Comments on the Commission’s proposals will be due 30 days after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register, with reply comments due 60 days following Federal Register publication.

Along with requiring CMRS providers to transmit 911 calls from customers with service contracts, the FCC’s 911 “all calls” rule currently requires carriers to transmit 911 calls originating from “non-service-initialized” (NSI) devices to PSAPs. An NSI device is a mobile device for which there is no valid service contract with any CMRS provider. As such, NSI devices have no associated subscriber name and address, and do not provide Automatic Number Identification (ANI) or call-back features. Because of these limitations, when a caller uses a NSI device to call 911, the PSAP typically cannot identify the caller.

When the FCC adopted the 911 “all calls” rule in 1996, the Commission recognized that this requirement — designed to limit lengthy manual call validation processes for unidentified callers — could also lead to a rash of hoax and false alarm calls. Public safety organizations like NENA supported the “all calls” rule at the time because a significant number of 911 calls from NSI devices were legitimate. But in the nearly two decades since the rules were adopted, call validation methods of concern to the FCC are no longer in use and low-cost options for wireless services have increased. The Commission believes that these trends suggest that the NSI component of the requirement is no longer needed to ensure that wireless callers have access to emergency services. More significantly however, public safety organizations that previously supported the NSI call-forwarding requirement have recently come to a consensus view that requiring 911 call forwarding from NSI devices does more harm than good.

For these reasons, the FCC is now proposing to sunset the NSI component of the rule after a six-month transition period that will allow for public outreach and education. The Commission seeks comment on what technical and operational changes, if any, CMRS providers and/or PSAPs would need to implement in connection with the sunset of the NSI rule. The FCC anticipates that any costs associated with discontinuing call-forwarding of 911 calls from NSI devices as of the six-month sunset date would be relatively minor, but it seeks comment on whether this assumption is correct. The NPRM also seeks comment on alternative approaches to addressing the issue of fraudulent calls from NSI devices.

We anticipate that the Commission’s decision making in this proceeding will be largely driven by comments from public safety organizations, PSAPs and the public at large. However, we recommend that our clients who provide CMRS service speak with their vendors to confirm that the costs of discontinuing NSI 911 call-forwarding are not objectionable, and to file comments to seek a smooth transition from the old regime.

Last week, the U.S. District Court of Northern California issued an Order denying AT&T’s motion to dismiss the FTC complaint pending against the company because it is statutorily exempt from FTC jurisdiction as a common carrier. The court ruled the common carrier exception applies only where the entity has both the status of common carrier and is actually engaging in common carrier activity – an important distinction because at the time of the alleged misconduct, AT&T’s mobile data service was not regulated as common carrier activity by the FCC.

As we reported in the October 29 edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FTC filed suit against AT&T alleging that the company had 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 throttles their data speeds by up to 90 percent. 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.

Although the FCC’s recent Open Internet Order makes throttling illegal, those rules were not in effect at the time of the activity in question (and indeed, they are technically not yet effective even today), and in any event the FTC’s complaint is not based on the actual practice of throttling, but rather the deceptive nature with which AT&T went about advertising the service. It will be interesting to see whether the Open Internet rules will have an impact on the prospective relief sought by the FTC in the form of a permanent injunction.

NARUC Files Response to Oppositions to Petition for Writ of Certiorari

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) filed a response to the Oppositions filed by the FCC and AT&T et al. to its petition for certiorari, seeking Supreme Court review of the FCC's Transformation Order , which was upheld by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. In its Reply, NARUC argues that neither the FCC nor AT&T provides any substantive response to its argument that the 10th Circuit failed to provide the statutory analysis required to determine when Chevron deference is appropriate. NARUC also argues that the oppositions either do not address or address only in part the flaws in the 10th Circuit’s decision identified by NARUC, including the arguments that (1) the FCC’s new interpretation of the Communications Act renders surplus the mandated State role to specifically assure the reciprocal compensation rate complies with the §252(d)(2) cost standard; (2) the FCC’s elimination of the State responsibility under §252(d)(2) renders surplus §252(e)(5), which permits the FCC to act only if the State fails to act; and (3) the zero bill-and-keep rate the FCC has mandated for all (even non-reciprocal) traffic bears no resemblance to the “bill-and-keep” arrangements the statute “does not preclude." The filing of NARUC's response sets the stage for the Supreme Court to decide within the next few weeks whether it will hear the case.

AT&T Settles Data Breach Investigations for $25 Million

On April 8, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau released a Consent Decree into which it entered with AT&T Services, Inc. to resolve its investigation into whether AT&T “failed to properly protect the confidentiality of almost 280,000 customers’ proprietary information, including sensitive personal information such as customers’ names and at least the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, as well as account-related data known as customer proprietary network information.”

According to the Consent Decree, the breaches, which took place in AT&T call centers in Mexico, Columbia, and the Philippines, resulted in the use of personal information of 51,422 AT&T customers to place 290,803 handset unlock requests through AT&T’s online customer unlock request portal. The Mexico breach, which is believed to have lasted from November 4, 2013 until April 21, 2014, was perpetrated by three Mexico Call Center employees who accessed 68,701 customers’ accounts. During the course of the FCC’s investigation, AT&T informed the FCC of the breaches in Columbia and the Philippines, in which call center employees there had also accessed customer accounts in order to obtain unlock codes for AT&T mobile phones. In all three cases, the employees were also able to access other CPNI, such as Social Security numbers. AT&T informed the Bureau that based on its investigation to date, it had identified approximately 211,000 customer accounts that were accessed in connection with the unlock code activities in the Colombian and Philippines facilities. At least two employees believed to have engaged in the unauthorized access confessed that they sold the information obtained from the breaches to a third party, known to them as “El Pelon.”

Law & Regulation

FCC Plans to Fine Roman LD $5.9 Million for Slamming

On April 2, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture in the amount of $5.9 million against Roman LD, Inc. (Roman) for allegedly misrepresenting its identity to consumers in order to deceive them into believing its telemarketing call was from the consumer’s own carrier and for fabricating audio “verification” recordings, as well as submitting requests to change or switch consumers’ preferred long distance carriers based on those misrepresentations. Roman also allegedly failed to seek and obtain Commission approval before transferring control of the Company to Monotaz Begum on January 2, 2013. The FCC indicated that it took this action after reviewing over 100 consumer complaints filed with the Commission, state regulatory agencies, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and directly with Roman or its billing aggregator, most of which arise from carrier changes that took place within the twelve-month period prior to the release of the Notice.

According to the Notice, two complainants, after listening to Roman’s recorded “verification,” concluded that parts of their conversation were used to fabricate their authorization. Complainant Sidney explained that the “yes” in the recording is her voice but the Roman telemarketer “pieced together [the recorded] conversation to make it seem as if I was agreeing to a service from them when they called disguised as AT&T with a rebate for me since I was a new [AT&T] customer.” K. Ethredge, from Graphic Results, stated in her complaint that “Roman LD had approached me as ‘AT&T’ with a discount offer to lower my phone bill [by 35 percent]. . . and he said that he just needed to verify information of mine.” After listening to the recording, Ms. Ethredge was sure that “they just copied and pasted my answers to where they could.”

Roman is an inter-exchange carrier that provides domestic and international long distance telecommunications service in various states, primarily in Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. The Notice gives Roman 30 days to either pay the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or file a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the forfeiture pursuant to FCC procedure.

FCC Issues $17.4 Million in Fines Against CenturyLink and Intrado Communications for 911 Failures

The Federal Communications Commission has reached a settlement with CenturyLink and Intrado Communications in connection with a 911 service outage that was unrelated to adverse weather conditions or other natural catastrophe. This six-hour outage, which affected public safety call centers in Washington State, Minnesota, North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina and Pennsylvania, resulted in over 6,600 calls for emergency service being missed – including for domestic violence, assaults, motor vehicle collisions, a heart attack, a drug overdose and an intruder breaking into a residence. CenturyLink’s $16 million settlement results in the largest 911 related fine ever assessed by the FCC.

The FCC concluded that because the outage was not the result of an “extraordinary natural disaster or other unforeseeable catastrophe,” the outage would have been preventable had CenturyLink and Intrado implemented basic safeguards. Additionally, the FCC noted that both CenturyLink and Intrado had failed to make timely notifications to the affected public safety call centers.

Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC stated that “Americans need to be confident that the service they use to reach first responders is reliable and accessible in their time of need.” Mr. Wheeler continued that “[p]roviders [of 911 services] have a responsibility to ensure that all Americans can use 911 to call for help any time. When a company fails to live up to its obligations, it will be held accountable.” The Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, Travis LeBlanc, stated that “[d]elivering 911 calls is one of the most important public safety responsibilities a phone company has” and “[w]e will aggressively enforce the Commission’s 911 rules whenever the public’s trust in 911 is undermined.”

As part of the settlement, CenturyLink and Intrado Communications agreed to adopt comprehensive compliance plans that will require the to implement appropriate risk management procedures. In particular, CenturyLink and Intrado Communications will be required to take steps in the evolving NG911 environment to:

  • Identify risks that could result in disruptions to 911 service;
  • Take action against any identified risk
  • Detect all future 911 outages
  • Respond to any 911 outages in a timely manner with remedial actions, including: prompt notification to any affected emergency call center; and
  • Recover from any outages on a timely basis.

Additionally, the companies will be required to develop appropriate measures to detect disruptions in 911 service in network facilities under its direct control; develop and implement procedures to maintain current contact information for officials designated to receive outage notifications at each PSAP that it serves; examine the PSAP notification processes utilized by its affiliates; and establish clear operational roles and responsibilities with its affiliates to improve situational awareness and information sharing.

To the extent that you are providing 911 service to public safety call centers, it is critically important that steps be taken to ensure the reliability of your service. We recommend that contingency plans be put in place and that in the unlikely event of a failure, timely notification be made to the affected public safety call centers.

FCC Sends Open Internet Order for Federal Register Publication

Last week, The Wall Street Journal and other news sources reported that the FCC sent its Open Internet Order out to be published in the Federal Register on April 1. As our clients know, the publication of the Order in the Federal Register triggers two key events in the life of any FCC order: it sets the effective date for the rules adopted therein, and starts the period for filing Petitions for Reconsideration (before the FCC) or Applications for Review (before the circuit courts).

Given the many promises of litigation made by large carriers like AT&T regarding the order, and not to mention the two Applications for Review have already been filed prematurely, it’s safe to say the Order’s publication has been highly anticipated.
BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens,


Recent Study Indicates 19% of Americans Depend on Phone for Internet Access

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and 19% of Americans rely to some degree on a smartphone for accessing online services and information and for staying connected to the world around them — either because they lack broadband at home, or because they have few options for online access other than their cell phone. 7% of respondents indicated they own a smartphone but have neither traditional broadband service at home, nor easily available alternatives for going online other than their cell phone.

Other findings include:

  • 64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind, up from 35% in the spring of 2011.
  • 10% of Americans own a smartphone but do not have broadband at home, and 15% own a smartphone but say that they have a limited number of options for going online other than their cell phones.
  • Smartphones are widely used for navigating numerous important life activities, from researching a health condition to accessing educational resources. Lower-income and “smartphone-dependent” users are especially likely to turn to their phones for navigating job and employment resources.
  • A majority of smartphone owners use their phone to follow along with breaking news, and to share and be informed about happenings in their local community.
  • Smartphones help users navigate the world around them, from turn-by-turn driving directions to assistance with public transit.

“The traditional notion of ‘going online’ often evokes images of a desktop or laptop computer with a full complement of features, such as a large screen, mouse, keyboard, wires, and a dedicated high-speed connection,” wrote Pew senior researcher Aaron Smith. “But for many Americans, the reality of the online experience is substantially different.”

Calendar At A Glance

Apr. 13 – Reply comments are due on Letter of Credit Requirements.
Apr. 14 – Deadline for reply comments on Online Public File Expansion NPRM.
Apr. 21 – Reply Comments are due on 911 Policy NPRM.

May 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
May 18 – Short Form Tariff Review Plan is due.
May 29 – Comments on Short Form Tariff Review Plans are due.

Jun. 1 – FCC Form 395 (Annual Employment Report) is due.
Jun. 5 – Reply comments on Short Form Tariff Review Plans are due.
Jun. 16 – Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 23 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 24 – Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice are due by noon Eastern Time.
Jun. 29 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice due by noon Eastern Time.

Jul. 1 – FCC Form 481 (Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form) is due.
Jul. 1 – FCC Form 690 (Mobility Fund Phase I Auction Winner Annual Report) is due.
Jul. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Jul. 31 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.

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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Researchers at Stanford University develop new battery that could charge smartphones in one minute

Reported by: Customs Today Report April 10, 2015

NEW YORK: Researchers at Stanford University have developed a new battery that could charge smartphones in one minute. Their newly invented aluminum-ion battery has “unprecedented charging times,” and is less likely to catch on fire than the lithium-ion batteries that are currently used in smartphones, laptops and other electronics.

Not only that, but the new battery also has a much longer lifespan than its lithium counterparts, durable enough to withstand up to 7,500 discharge cycles. (The average lithium battery is good for around 1,000).

Professor Hongjie Dai told Stanford News, “Our battery has everything else you’d dream that a battery should have: inexpensive electrodes, good safety, high-speed charging, flexibility and long cycle life. I see this as a new battery in its early days. It’s quite exciting.”

Although the battery is safer, cheaper to produce and more environmentally friendly than the batteries currently being used, it’s still in the prototype stage. Dai and his team have published their findings in the journal Nature, but reading that article is as close as we’ll get to this technology for a while. Until then, here are a few ways you can make the most of the smartphone battery that you’re stuck with.

Keep your charger with you. It sounds self-explanatory, but throws your charger in your bag before you leave the house or double-check to make sure that it’s in your carry-on. Sometimes meetings last longer than you anticipate, you have to rely on Google Maps more than you thought or a layover stretches into a flight delay. I also keep an outlet splitter (which you can pick up for $10 or less) in my travel bag to ensure that I can score a place to plug in at the airport. It’s also the way to become everyone’s best friend in at the departure gate.

Charge when you can. This seems like another no-brainer, but plugging your phone in for ten minutes can make a massive difference. I’m not above ducking into a coffee shop for a flat white I don’t want, just to make use of one of their wall outlets.

Get the most from your charging time. If you’re plugging in for a quick boost, put your phone on airplane mode. If you’re waiting for a text or a call, just turn off wifi, Bluetooth and the push notifications for your apps. Also, pop it out of its case before you plugs in; some forums suggest that high temperatures can slow the charging process down. And while it’s charging, at least try to leave it alone. Distract yourself by stirring that coffee you just bought or building a sugar packet fort.

Carry a portable power source. There are countless packable, portable charging options out there, from battery life-extending cases like the Mophie Juice Pack to pocket-sized power bricks that you connect your phone too. I’ve been pleased with the charging speed from the InCase Portable Power 5400, which has enough kick to fully recharge an iPhone twice. There’s even a credit card sized Travel Card Charger that could be stored in your wallet for power in a pinch. If you have more extensive charging needs beyond just a smartphone, there are backpacks like the AMPL that can power up to six devices on the go.

Despite the existing charging options, it seems like there are always new products on the way and a lot of them like this Kraftwerk Portable Power Plant start out on crowdfunding sites. Yes, you’re taking a chance by backing an unknown or untested product, but that’s a risk with any new technology. Plus, by supporting the project early, you can typically save money, get a second device or any number of other perks that developers extend to backers.

Source: Customs Today

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The Searcher

APRIL 10, 2015

The Searcher

Photograph by Carlo Mogavero, National Geographic Your Shot

A lone rider is dwarfed by the immensity of Utah’s Monument Valley. Your Shot member Carlo Mogavero had the benefit of a clear day and an iconic setting but, he writes, his shot was missing a subject. “Suddenly a cowboy started to climb the cliff, and I began to hope that the guy was going to reach the right position,” he writes. “I waited for a while, and luckily the cowboy went [onto] the rock.” For Mogavero, the scene evoked the classic Western films of Sergio Leone and John Ford, once viewed on a black-and-white television.

This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our storytelling community where members can take part in photo assignments, get expert feedback, be published, and more.

Source: National Geographic

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