|Wireless News Aggregation|
Wishing a safe and happy weekend for all readers of The Wireless Messaging News.
Pagers – the new national security threat!
“How pagers threaten our security on a daily basis Pagers are still being used by hospitals and industrial environment to send critical and sensitive information. This information could potentially fall into the hands of hackers who hold the data for ransom which could impact budgets or in some cases even national security. Pagers are the riskiest way to send information.” [source]
This poorly-worded baloney is coming from OnPage, a company based in Israel that has been aggressively attacking Paging for a few years now — They even hired me (and Ron Mercer too) to help them “prove” that they were friends of the Paging Industry. I told them that we see them as an anti-paging company and that was the end of my consulting work with them.
There have been news flashes coming out for over 25 years announcing “the death of paging.”
“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” —Mark Twain
Jim Nelson's paper “Is Paging Going Away?” first published in the September 23, 2016 issue of this newsletter, continues to circulate around the world with favorable comments. Jim and his partner John Bishop run Prism-IPX Systems.
With the help of Angelo Saccoccia and his team at Swissphone we now have this great report on the health and wellbeing of Paging available in French and German. Volunteers are needed for translations into other languages. Let's work together to get this important message circulated to a wider audience.
If you can help with a translation or with getting it republished in your area, please let me know.
Is Paging Going Away?
Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.
A COOL CHART
P.S. I heard something about an Illinois baseball team winning an important game. Did you hear about that?
Now on to more news and views.
Wayne County, Illinois
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 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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NOV 4, 2016 @ 09:37 AM
Apple Grabs More Than 100% Of Smartphone Profits
Parmy Olson, FORBES STAFF
Two sets of figures are out this week about Apple’s place in the smartphone market, and while they seem to conflict one another, they ultimately point to Apple strengthening its position as the most profitable smartphone vendor in the world.
The first set of stats from Strategy Analytics said this: Android’s share of the global smartphone market by unit shipments had risen to its highest ever point of 88%, while Apple’s iOS has fallen to 12%.
The second? BMO Capital Market analysts Tim Long said Thursday that despite getting squeezed on shipments, Apple was actually grabbing more of the market’s profits than ever before – some 103.6% of operating profits for the smartphone industry in the third quarter.
Apple can technically get more than 100% of the market’s overall earnings because other smartphone makers like LG and HTC have lost money. Apple has made up the shortfall and then some.*
These divergent statistics have been moving in the same, opposite direction for some time now. A year ago, Apple’s share of industry profits stood at 90% according to BMO, while Android’s share of shipments was also lower at 84.1%.
“Few Android vendors make profits,” says Strategy Analytics Director Woody Oh. And while Android clearly dominates the market in numbers, it faces other challenges, including “overcrowding” by a range of new, low-cost manufacturers.
Plus, “Google’s new Pixel range is attacking its own hardware partners that made Android popular in the first place.”
It’s tempting to say that the so-called smartphone wars are over, with Android’s increasing ubiquity across the globe making it the clear winner.
The truth is that the war is still being played out with increasing complexity and challenges for Android vendors over how sustainable their business models truly are.
Even behemoth vendor Samsung came a very distant second behind Apple with a 0.9% share of earnings, losing out on more of the profit pie because of its problems with the Galaxy Note 7, according to Long.
Globally, smartphone shipments grew by 6% annually, to 345 million units in the third quarter. That was its fastest growth rate for a year. But most of that growth is coming from emerging markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and in particular, India and South Africa.
Profit margins for selling cheaper phones in these markets are razor thin, hence why LG and HTC are largely in the red despite selling many devices there.
Earlier this month, LG revealed that its smartphone division had lost $390 million in the quarter between July and September 2016; the sixth straight quarter of declining profits at the unit. HTC also recently revealed a $63 million loss for the third quarter.
* To explain this seemingly illogical math a little further: If Apple makes $100 and HTC loses $10, total industry earnings would be $90. Apple’s profits thus outweigh the total share, and rise above 100%.
OMNI Messaging Server
MARS (Mobile Alert Response System)
STG (SIP to TAP Gateway)
The Motorola Nucleus II Paging Base Station is a great paging transmitter. The Nucleus I, however, had some problems.
One of the best features of this product was its modular construction. Most of the Nucleus' component parts were in plug-in modules that were field replaceable making maintenance much easier.
One issue was (and still is) that two of the modules had to always be kept together. They are called the “matched pair.”
Motorola used some tricks to keep people in the field from trying to match unmatched pairs, and force them to send SCM and Exciter modules back to the factory for calibrating them with precision laboratory equipment.
The serial numbers have to match in the Nucleus programing software or you can't transmit. Specifically the 4-level alignment ID parameter contained in the SCM has to match the Exciter ID parameter.
Even if someone could modify the programing software to “fudge” these parameters, that would not let them use unmatched modules effectively without recalibrating them to exact factory specifications.
So now that there is no longer a Motorola factory laboratory to send them to, what do we do?
I hope someone can help us resolve this serious problem for users of the Nucleus paging transmitter.
Please let me know if you can help. [ click here ]
Man killed in fall from east Tulsa cell phone tower
by: Jonathan McCall Updated: Nov 3, 2016 - 12:59 AM
TULSA, Okla. — Quick Facts:
A 44-year-old man is dead after falling hundreds of feet from an east Tulsa cell phone tower.
Tulsa police say the man was working on the tower and slipped and fell near 31st and Memorial around 1:30 p.m.
Police are investigating.
Officials are unsure if the man, described as in his late twenties and early thirties, was harnessed.
The owner of the tower, SBA Communications, has been inspected by OSHA 10 times since 2000.
They have not reported any previous fatalities.
Police said the man worked for Michigan-based Mann's Tower Service.
They have been hit with at least seven violations in the past, including three listed as serious.
This is the sixth cell phone tower worker killed in the United States in 2016.
Tower workers are 10 times more likely to die on the job than construction workers, according to the Department of Labor.
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Disaster-Proven Paging for Public Safety
Paging system designs in the United States typically use a voice radio-style infrastructure. These systems are primarily designed for outdoor mobile coverage with modest indoor coverage. Before Narrowbanding, coverage wasn’t good, but what they have now is not acceptable! The high power, high tower approach also makes the system vulnerable. If one base station fails, a large area loses their paging service immediately!
Almost every technology went from analog to digital except fire paging. So it’s time to think about digital paging! The Disaster-Proven Paging Solution (DiCal) from Swissphone offers improved coverage, higher reliability and flexibility beyond anything that traditional analog or digital paging systems can provide.
Swissphone is the No. 1 supplier for digital paging solutions worldwide. The Swiss company has built paging networks for public safety organizations all over the world. Swissphone has more than 1 million pagers in the field running for years and years due to their renowned high quality.
DiCal is the digital paging system developed and manufactured by Swissphone. It is designed to meet the specific needs of public safety organizations. Fire and EMS rely on these types of networks to improve incident response time. DiCal systems are designed and engineered to provide maximum indoor paging coverage across an entire county. In a disaster situation, when one or several connections in a simulcast solution are disrupted or interrupted, the radio network automatically switches to fall back operating mode. Full functionality is preserved at all times. This new system is the next level of what we know as “Simulcast Paging” here in the U.S.
Swissphone offers high-quality pagers, very robust and waterproof. Swissphone offers the best sensitivity in the industry, and battery autonomy of up to three months. First responder may choose between a smart s.QUAD pager, which is able to connect with a smartphone and the Hurricane DUO pager, the only digital pager who offers text-to-voice functionality.
Bluetooth technology makes it possible to connect the s.QUAD with a compatible smartphone, and ultimately with various s.ONE software solutions from Swissphone. Thanks to Bluetooth pairing, the s.QUAD combines the reliability of an independent paging system with the benefits of commercial cellular network. Dispatched team members can respond back to the call, directly from the pager. The alert message is sent to the pager via paging and cellular at the same time. This hybrid solution makes the alert faster and more secure. Paging ensures alerting even if the commercial network fails or is overloaded.
Swissphone sets new standards in paging:
Swissphone provides a proven solution at an affordable cost. Do you want to learn more?
New Broadband Privacy Order Released, Internet Reclassified as Telecom
The FCC will give internet service providers a year to get permission from their subscribers before ISPs can share privacy data like web browsing and app use histories with third parties for marketing purposes. The Commission released its broadband privacy opt-in Report and Order Thursday; it voted 3-2 on the item at its October 27, meeting, Inside Towers reported.
The FCC states in the document it’s applying the privacy requirements of the Communications Act “to the most significant communications technology of today—broadband internet access service.” The agency deems privacy rights fundamental “because they protect important personal interests—freedom from identity theft, financial loss, or other economic harms, as well as concerns that intimate, personal details could become the grist for the mills of public embarrassment or harassment or the basis for opaque, but harmful judgments, including discrimination.”
The change reclassifies broadband internet access service (BIAS) as a telecommunications service. The update is needed because “Broadband providers provide the “on ramp” to the internet. These providers therefore have access to vast amounts of information about their customers including when we are online, where we are physically located when we are online, how long we stay online, what devices we use to access the internet, what websites we visit, and what applications we use,” states the FCC in the document .
The agency also revised existing rules to harmonize privacy protections for voice and broadband customers. The Commission made the changes after receiving more than 275,000 comments from the public and industry.
Carriers will be required to provide privacy notices that clearly and accurately inform customers about what confidential information the carriers collect, how they use it, under what circumstances they share it, and the categories of entities with which they will share it. The agency is also requiring carriers to inform their customers about their right to opt in to or opt out of agreeing to have their confidential data shared with third parties.
Data breach notification requirements are also included. BIAS providers must notify customers, the FCC, the FBI and Secret Service “unless the carrier is able to reasonably determine that a data breach poses no reasonable risk of harm to the affected customers.”
Published November 4, 2016
Wireless Communication Solutions
USB Paging Encoder
Paging Data Receiver (PDR)
Please see our web site for other products including Internet Messaging Gateways, Unified Messaging Servers, test equipment, and Paging Terminals.
SEE WEB FOR COMPLETE LIST:
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.
A-CAM Offer Corrections
On Friday, October 28, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice containing corrected offers of Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) support. A list of the affected offers can be found here . Carriers on the list that accept the corrected offer of model support were required to file a letter that acknowledges the corrected support amount and revised service obligations by November 1. This means that if a listed carrier filed before the corrections were announced, or filed based on the original offer of support, a revised letter was necessary. According to the Public Notice, the Bureau should have contacted those carriers who had already filed letter accepting A-CAM offers. If you are a listed carrier that accepted support, but was not contacted by the Bureau and/or did not file a corrected letter, please contact the firm ASAP. Carriers that do not refile a corrected letter will be deemed to have declined model-based support.
No other changes were made, and all other companies’ A-CAM support amounts remain the same. Carriers that have already elected to receive model support and are not on the list need not take further action. The Bureau has also published a corrected list of census blocks eligible for model-based support. That list is available here .
Chairman Wheeler Circulates Mobility Fund Phase II Order, VoLTE Roaming NPRM
On October 30, the FCC issued a Fact Sheet outlining two proposals FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated for consideration by the full Commission at the November Open Meeting. The first is aimed at providing $500 million in annual support for LTE mobile coverage through the Mobility Fund Phase II. The second is designed to improve the ability of consumers to roam on other networks using VoLTE (Voice over LTE).
The Mobility Fund Phase II Report and Order proposes a Mobility Fund Phase II Auction to award $470 million in annual support (five years total) to “preserve and extend 4G LTE in areas where the market can’t sustain or extend service absent government support.” Eligible areas would include any portion of a census block not fully covered by unsubsidized 4G LTE coverage (per Form 477 data), but subject to a process that will consider stakeholders’ challenges to ensure accurate decisions on the eligibility of particular areas. The Report and Order would also phase out legacy wireless support from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund, with the phase out ending July 1, 2021.
Service requirements for Mobility Fund Phase II recipients will sound familiar: baseline data speeds of 10/1 Megabits per second (Mbps); latency of less than 100 milliseconds (ms); at rates that are reasonably comparable to urban rates. The Fact Sheet also mentions a reverse bidding credit for certain Tribal entities seeking support on their Tribal lands, but nothing for small and/or rural providers.
The Data Roaming and VoLTE Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes data roaming rules, as well as the the classification of mobile voice service when carriers provide that service using VoLTE technology. Specifically, the NPRM proposes adopting a unified Title II roaming standard for both voice and data – i.e., the “just and reasonable” standard. The NPRM also proposes to adopt the same regulatory classification for VoLTE as conventional mobile voice.
FCC Adopts Broadband Privacy Rules
On October 27, the FCC issued a Press Release announcing the adoption of rules implementing the privacy requirements of Section 222 of the Communications Act for broadband service providers. The rules establish a framework of customer consent required for ISPs to use and share their customers’ personal information that is “calibrated to the sensitivity of the information.” The effective date of the rules will be established when the actual Order is released.
In addition, the rules include:
The rules apply to broadband service providers and other telecommunications carriers. Thus, these can apply to wireless and other services in addition to ISP operations. The rules do not apply to the privacy practices of web sites and other “edge services” over which the Federal Trade Commission has authority. The scope of the rules does not include other services of a broadband provider, such as the operation of a social media website, or issues such as government surveillance, encryption or law enforcement.
Law & Regulation
FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for November Open Meeting
On October 27, the FCC issued a Press Release announcing the tentative agenda for the November Open Meeting, scheduled for November 17. At the Meeting, the FCC will consider:
The Open Meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. EST, and will be webcast live at that time at www.fcc.gov/live.
Pleading Cycle Established for AT&T Petition for Forbearance from Tariffing Rules
On November 2, the FCC issued a Public Notice establishing the comment deadlines for AT&T Services, Inc.’s petition requesting forbearance “from the tariffing requirements of the Act and its rules as to all tandem switching and tandem-switched transport charges on all traffic to or from [incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs)] engaged in access stimulation.” Comments are due December 2, and reply comments are due December 19.
The petition, originally filed at the end of September, also asks the FCC to forbear from enforcing “all of its rules that allow LECs to tariff a charge billed to [interexchange carriers (IXCs)] for toll-free database queries.” Finally, the petition also urges the Commission to “promptly issue new rules to address the remaining inefficiencies and arbitrage activities in its hybrid intercarrier compensation system.” Specifically, this refers to §§ 203, 51.901 et seq., 51.913, 61.1, 61.26, 61.47, 69.1 et seq., 69.108, 69.111, 69.118 et seq. and requirements from certain related FCC Orders.
In support of its petition, AT&T argues that forbearance is appropriate under the statute because (1) the
USAC Issues Lifeline Broadband Provider Designation Process Notice
On October 31, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) issued a news item outlining the streamlined Lifeline Broadband Provider (LBP) designation process, and requesting certain information relating to the same. Specifically, USAC asks companies planning to offer supported broadband service beginning in December 2016 to email and let them know the areas where supported broadband service in planned. Participation is purely optional.
As we reported in the October 5 edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom update, the FCC’s LBP designation process received OMB approval on October 2. To obtain designation, service providers must:
Service Providers may qualify for a streamlined 60-day designation process if they serve at least 1,000 non-Lifeline customers with voice and/ or broadband at the time of filing and have offered broadband to the public without interruption for at least two years preceding the filing. Petitions qualifying for streamlined designation will be deemed granted in 60 days from the submission of an application if the FCC has not removed it from streamlined treatment.
FirstNet Continues to Pursue Network Procurement
At the end of October, FirstNet CEO Mike Poth posted a blog article providing a short update on the FirstNet network procurement proceeding. Although unable to share specific details, Mr. Poth stated that he is, “pleased to report that we have made significant progress in the evaluation process and are moving closer to a contract award.” He further stated that although FirstNet would miss the November 1 target date for awarding the contract, it would continue to work diligently to execute the acquisition process outline in the Request for Proposals (RFP).
FirstNet developed and issued the RFP in January for a contract to build and manage the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network. Since then, it has answered several hundred questions about its content, and received and evaluated proposals from offerors. “Going forward, we remain committed to delivering the Network to the public safety community and the American public they serve as swiftly as possible,” said Mr. Poth in closing his post.
FCC Announces Next Meeting of NANC
On November 1, the FCC announced that the next meeting of the North American Numbering Council (NANC) will be held on Thursday, December 1, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The proposed agenda includes reports by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator; the National Thousands Block Pooling Administrator; the Numbering Oversight Working Group; and several others. It will also include an update on the status of the Industry Numbering Committee’s activities, a summary of Action Items, and time for public comments and participation.
JANUARY 15: HAC REPORTING DEADLINE. The next Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) reporting deadline for digital commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers (including carriers that provide service using AWS-1 spectrum and resellers of cellular, broadband PCS and/or AWS services) is January 15, 2017. Non- Tier I service providers must offer to consumers at least 50 percent of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the M3 rating, and at least one-third of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the T3 rating. Month-to-month handset offering information provided in annual reports must be current through the end of 2016. With many of our clients adjusting their handset offerings and making new devices available to customers throughout the year, it is very easy for even the most diligent carriers to stumble unknowingly into a non-compliance situation, resulting in fines starting at $15,000 for each HAC-enabled handset they are deficient. ALL SERVICE PROVIDERS SUBJECT TO THE COMMISSION’S HAC RULES — INCLUDING COMPANIES THAT QUALIFY FOR THE DE MINIMIS EXCEPTION — MUST PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL HAC REPORTING. To the extent that your company is a provider of broadband PCS, cellular and/or interconnected SMR services, if you are a CMRS reseller and/or if you have plans to provide CMRS using newly licensed (or partitioned) AWS or 700 MHz spectrum, you and your company will need to be familiar with the Commission’s revised rules.
Failure to Pay Regulatory Fees Leads to Revocation of FCC Authorizations
The FCC has issued an Order revoking any authorizations held by LDC Telecommunications, Inc. for failure to pay delinquent regulatory fees to the FCC as required by Section 9 of the Communications Act. In this case, LDC was delinquent on its regulatory fees for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2014 in the aggregate amount of $3,736.74. The FCC sent LDC a demand letter for payment in October 2014, which was ignored. Thereafter, the FCC transferred the debt to the US Treasury for collection. As of July 1, 2016, the FCC’s records showed that the regulatory fees still had not been paid. As a result, the FCC issued an Order to Pay or to Show Cause. This order gave LDC with 60 days to (a) make full payment on the outstanding regulatory fees (including penalties and interests) and file evidence with the Enforcement Bureau which documented the payment or (b) show cause why the payment was inapplicable to it or should otherwise be deferred or waived. As with the FCC’s prior communications, LDC did not respond. Accordingly, the FCC has now revoked any FCC authorizations held by LDC.
It is important to remember that the FCC does not take the failure to pay regulatory fees lightly. The FCC has several enforcement tools at its disposal, including the redlight system, the Debt Collection Act as well as revocation of FCC issued authorizations, whether these authorizations be wireless, Satellite, domestic 214, international 214, cable, etc. As can be seen from this case, while revocation is a last resort, it will not relieve you from any financial obligations to the FCC or the federal government.
It is also important to maintain correct contact information with the FCC, so that a revocation does not happen inadvertently due to a failure to respond to FCC correspondence that may be going to the wrong address.
FCC Proposes $15,000 Fine for Unlicensed Operation
The FCC has once again issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for unlicensed operation. In this case, the FCC has proposed a $15,000 penalty against Michael Dudley for operating an unlicensed radio station on the frequency 103.9 MHz in Guntersville, Alabama. The FCC had previously warned Mr. Dudley that operation of this station was illegal. Because Dudley deliberately disregarded the FCC’s warnings, it has proposed a significant fine even though he is an individual. The FCC stated that its action in this case was essential because unlicensed operations in the FM band create the potential for harmful interference to other licensed radio operations and undermine the FCC’s authority to regulate radio operations.
It is important to note that unlicensed operations are permitted under Part 15 of the FCC’s Rules on the frequency 103.9 MHz; but Dudley’s operation exceeded the power limitation and therefore required licensing.
While Dudley surrendered the offending 103.9 MHz transmitter to the FCC, two months later, the FCC traced to Dudley another unlicensed radio station was illegally operating on the frequency 107.9 MHz, Using direction finding equipment. Dudley refused to shut the station down. Mr. Dudley claimed that listeners in his area wanted the station and that “his hands were tied” because he was unable to apply for a license since there was no filing window.
As we have previously indicated, the FCC takes a dim view of improper or unlicensed operations because of the potential for harmful interference to other licensed operations. While this interference may seem innocent enough, there is potential for interference to safety of life and property communications. We recommend that our clients take this opportunity to verify that all stations are operating in accordance with the terms of the underlying FCC radio license.
FCC Streamlines Foreign Ownership Rules for Commercial Licensees
The FCC recently adopted rules to extend its streamlined foreign ownership approval process to include broadcast, common carrier and aeronautical licensees, with certain broadcast-specific modifications. It also adopted revisions to the 310(b) compliance assessment process.
These changes are relevant to our private user clients with foreign ownership interests that hold commercial licenses. While the thrust of these rules is aimed at broadcast licensees, the FCC can apply the same considerations to both commercial and aeronautical licenses.
With regard to the extension of streamlined Common Carrier Foreign Ownership Procedures to Broadcast Licensees, the FCC:
With regard to the reforms adopted for assessing compliance with §310(b), the FCC:
The FCC has also made it clear that it expects all licensees and US parent companies to monitor foreign ownership levels in order to ensure that it does not rise above specified thresholds. In particular, licensees that are controlled by US public companies have a 30-day period to file a petition for declaratory ruling seeking after-the-fact approval of foreign ownership in excess of the 25 percent benchmark under Section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act (or approval of any particular foreign ownership interests that may require specific approval under the licensee’s existing Section 310(b)(4) ruling — where the after-the fact filing is due solely to circumstances beyond its control and could not be reasonably foreseen).
FCC Clarifies Robocall/Spoof Blocking
The FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) has issued a Public Notice clarifying that if a subscriber requests call blocking in order to prevent its telephone number from being spoofed, a voice service provider (whether providing such service through TDM, VoIP or CMRS) may block such calls so they do not reach the recipient consumer. According to the Public Notice, the purpose of this clarification is to “spur pro consumer initiatives, such as a “Do-Not-Originate” database, that will further protect consumers from robocallers who pretend to be trusted callers in an attempt to annoy and defraud consumers.”
The Public Notice goes on to specify that voice service providers may block such calls when requested by the spoofed number’s subscriber, e.g., a government agency such as the IRS. “Such calls are presumptively spoofed and thus likely to violate the Commission’s anti-spoofing rules. Moreover, the spoofed number’s subscriber has a legitimate interest in stopping the spoofed calls — in light of the significant reputational damage and other harms they cause.”
FCC Grants Tenn. Department of Safety and Homeland Security Rule Waiver to Use 800 MHz Business Frequency
The FCC has granted the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security a waiver to allow it to license an 800 MHz Business/Industrial/Land Transportation (B/ILT) channel for public safety communications.
In April 1995, the FCC suspended the acceptance of applications for intercategory sharing of all private land mo bile radio service frequencies in the 806-817/851-861 MHz bands. The FCC concluded that this freeze, which is still ongoing, was necessary to resolve spectrum allocation issues and ensure that future public safety spectrum needs were protected.
The FCC noted that Tennessee is a public safety eligible that is seeking to use one B/ILT frequency pair for simplex car-to-car communications and tactical field operations communications on a temporary fixed basis, as well as for mutual aid communications for Tennessee field units and local, state and federal agencies. Tennessee noted that the selected channel pair was not licensed anywhere in the State.
To justify the use of this frequency pair, Tennessee demonstrated that there were no other reasonable alter natives. It provided a letter of support from its frequency coordinator, Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International, Inc. (APCO) stating that it had searched the public safety and vacated spectrum database several times and was unable to find any frequencies within those pools. Additionally, UTC, the B/ILT coordinator concurred with Tennessee’s request even though this frequency pair is in use in Madison County, Alabama.
In granting the rule waiver, the FCC concluded that Tennessee must operate on a secondary, non-interference basis with respect to existing and future stations on the frequency pair.
FCC Reminds States to Update Administrative Procedures for 700 MHz Public Safety Band
The FCC has issued a Public Notice reminding communications officials in each state, district and territory that they must update their administrative procedures for spectrum in the 700 MHz narrowband public safety band (769-775/799-805 MHz) that is designated for interoperability communications. Interestingly enough, while the FCC is reminding the states of the requirement to update their prior notices, no deadline date is provided in the underlying order or the Public Notice.
In 2001, the FCC concluded that the states should be responsible for administering the interoperability channels. Nonetheless, the FCC recognized that some states might choose not to undertake this responsibility and established alternative procedures in order to ensure that a local or regional body would become the responsible party. The FCC also recommended that the states form State Interoperability Executive Committees (SIEC) to administer this spectrum, or in the alternative, delegate the responsibility to the 700 MHz Regional Planning Committees (RPC). Notices were last submitted to the FCC 15 years ago.
For states that have already established an FCC recognized SIEC (or equivalent), the head of the SIEC must submit a letter to the FCC with current contact information along with an indication whether the SIEC (or equivalent) intends to administer the railroad police’s use of the VHF and UHF interoperability channels or delegate that function to an RPC. For states that chose not to establish a SIEC (and now wish to do so), submit a letter to the FCC signed by the Governor indicating either that the state will establish an SIEC (or equivalent) or will assign the SIEC role to an existing state agency to administer the VHF, UHF and 700 MHz spectrum.
FCC Grants Waiver Request for Use of Airport Terminal Use Frequencies
Drock Gaming LLC requested a waiver of Rule Section 90.35(c)(61) to permit it to utilize Airport Terminal Use (ATU) frequencies within 16 kilometers of the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada even though Rule Section 90.35(c)(61) limits the use of ATU frequencies within 16 km of specified airports to entities furnishing commercial air transportation services for use in servicing and supplying aircraft. The ATU frequencies were set aside so that aircraft at designated airports (such as McCarran International) could easily communicate with each existing air terminal system.
Drock Gaming operates a UHF radio system at its hotel and casino, which is located approximately 10 km from McCarran International. Because additional UHF spectrum is required to meet its internal communications needs, Drock Gaming is proposing to utilize the ATU frequencies. In requesting these channels, Drock Gaming noted that the additional frequencies will support the safety and welfare of its employees and customers. Drock Gaming also states that the frequency coordinator performed exhaustive searches and could find no frequencies for its existing trunked system.
In order to qualify for a rule waiver, the proponent must demonstrate that the purpose of the rule would be frustrated by application to the present case and that a grant would be in the public interest or in view of unique factual circumstances application of the rule would be inequitable, unduly burdensome or contrary to the public interest or that the applicant has no reasonable alternative.
In weighing Drock Gaming’s application, the FCC noted that sufficient facts were presented to justify a grant of the rule waiver. In particular, the FCC noted that since only 14 ATU channels were in use within 16 km of McCarran International Airport, a grant of Drock Gaming’s request would leave sufficient spectrum available for new or expanded ATU operations. Additionally, un like prior requests for non-standard use of ATU frequencies, no party opposed Drock Gaming’s request. As a result, the FCC concluded that it would be “unduly burdensome and contrary to the public interest” to deny the rule waiver request.
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org .|
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