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Wishing a safe and happy weekend for all readers of The Wireless Messaging News.
This is issue number 726 — over 14 years of newsletters — almost every Friday. Time flies when you are having fun.
Lots of controversy circulating on the Internet about paging this week. The nay sayers continue to invent reasons to prove that paging technology is obsolete just so they can sell some smartphone apps.
Our issue last week — featuring Jim Nelson's article, “Is Paging Going Away?” — was tweeted and commented on very favorably all over the world.
We are hoping to get Jim's article translated into several more languages. If you would like to volunteer to do this, please let me know.
Although I have covered some of it before, I have decided to revisit the history of Paging in this issue.
This report follows immediately below, with a second article a little farther down.
Reports say that the “safe” Galaxy Note 7s still have battery problems.
Now on to more news and views.
Wayne County, Illinois
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“One of the first practical paging services was launched in 1950 for physicians in the New York City area. Physicians paid $12 per month for the service and carried a 6 oz (200 g) pager that would receive phone messages within 25 mi (40 km) of a single transmitter tower. The system was manufactured by the Reevesound Company and operated by Telanswerphone.” [source]
Pocket Radio Pages Doctor Night and Day
By C. Ennis
Thanks to a new radio paging service, physicians in New York City who carry special pocket receivers can be quickly reached in an emergency. A supplement to the telephone answering services many doctors use, it can tell a physician almost anywhere in the city that an important message is waiting for him.
Under the new system, a patient dials his doctor's number. If the doctor doesn't pick up his phone, the service takes the message. Then, if the message is urgent, the doctor's code number is immediately broadcast on a special radio frequency assigned to Telanserphone, lnc. The doctor hears the broadcast through his pocket receiver, which he switches on at least once an hour to listen to a series of three-digit code numbers. When he hears his number he goes to the nearest telephone to find out where he is needed. Once a doctor responds, his number is taken off the air. Unacknowledged code numbers stay on the air an hour, being repeated every minute. Sixty doctors can be paged at a time with this method.
The station that does the broadcasting is KEA627, which operates on a frequency of 43.58 mc, from an antenna 743 feet above sea level.
Code numbers are sound-recorded on 16-mm motion-picture film and encased in plastic sticks. When a doctor is to be paged, his code stick is hung on the endless moving belt a special transmitting machine. Then, as the stick passes an electric eye, the number is amplified and broadcast. This machine was developed by Reevesound, Co. Inc., of Long Island City, N.Y.
The doctor's portable receiver weighs only six ounces. It gives good reception within a 25-mi1e radius, and works in buildings, on a golf course, or in an automobile. About the only place where it won't perform is in the subway. Its batteries last about six months. Physicians pay about $12 a month to subscribe to, the radio paging service.
Source: Popular Science Magazine, January 1951 issue.
It wasn't selective call so technically it wasn't a real paging system as we understand them today. It simply used a small radio receiver.
THE FIRST REAL PAGING SYSTEM
[In 1949] Al “Gross invented and patented circuitry that responded selectively to specific signals for use as a pocket-sized receiver, the pager.” [I haven't been able to locate this patent. Can anyone help?]
“Physicians were his targeted audience for the use of such pagers. However, the initial reaction of the medical community was unenthusiastic because the device beeped. Medical professionals anticipated that the noise would annoy patients and might even interrupt the physician's golf game. However, Gross lived to see his pager not only accepted but also become a necessary device for many professionals and service providers.” [source]
Al started his career in radio communications the same way that a lot of us did — as a licensed amateur radio operator.
Alfred Gross was born on February 22, 1918 in Toronto, the son of a Romanian immigrant tailor. When Al was an infant, the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio.
After Mayfield High School, in 1936 Gross enrolled at Case Western Reserve University to study electrical engineering. From there he was selected for the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, where he was taught by Albert Einstein. He passed away in 2000.
Continued at the top of the column to your right.
This is Funny!
The date in the video above refers to when the video was made, not when the first pager was invented.
The Brits have made at least two conflicting claims for inventing the pager over there:
That may be true for them, but Al Gross beat them to it by several years, as far as the first invention of the pager.
An article in Mobile Radio Technology (March 1990) titled, “Selective radiopaging has origin in hospitals,” reports the following: “No one 'did anything about it' until 1951, when Neergaard interested Harry Royal in the idea. Royal, a manufacturer of electronics equipment for hospitals, recruited a young engineer, Al Gross, to join his staff. . . Neergaard and Gross had spoken several years earlier about radiopaging. Gross agreed with Neergaard and Royal to use his inventions to develop the radiopaging system. Gross went to work on the project, producing the basic elements. Six weeks later, in February 1952, a practical prototype was complete.”
The article goes on:
“In May 1952, representatives of the Army, Navy, Air Corps, Veterans Administration, Public Health Service and State Department witnessed a demonstration at the Pentagon. They gathered in a room on the fifth floor, south center, in the 29-acre structure. The 50W signal was picked up by the receivers in a second-floor room in the building's northwest corner. As predicted, the signal faced no barriers in the massive structure.”
This article was found with valuable help from:
By the way, Gross also invented the “walkie-talkie.” Several others claim to have done it as well.
I think this early model of the “walkie-talkie” was better looking than the cell phones we have today.
(* Geeks and Nerds will surely agree with me.) The model holding the “walkie-talkie” is not bad either.
Reference for the younger readers:
The hertz is named after the German physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857–1894), who made important scientific contributions to the study of electromagnetism. The name was established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 1930. It was adopted by the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) (Conférence générale des poids et mesures) in 1960, replacing the previous name for the unit, cycles per second (cps), along with its related multiples, primarily kilocycles per second (kc/s) and megacycles per second (Mc/s), and occasionally kilomegacycles per second (kMc/s). The term cycles per second was largely replaced by hertz by the 1970s. [source]
Like Old HP, BlackBerry Is Giving Its Advantage Away, Piece By Piece
Panos Mourdoukoutas, CONTRIBUTOR
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Unable to keep up with Apple, Samsung and the like, BlackBerry is making a big strategic mistake: it is giving its advantage away piece by piece to Asian competitors through outsourcing, as old Hewlett Packard did decades ago.
Watch on Forbes:
Outsourcing has a number of well-known advantages: it improves efficiency, cuts costs, speeds up product development, and allows companies to focus on their “core competencies.”
But, it has “unintended consequences,” too. Outsourcing leads to the fragmentation and disintegration of the supply chain, inviting new competitors into the industry and undermining pricing power and profitability.
Outsourcing of manufacturing, for instance, is feasible only if it can be separated from other supply chain activities — such as product development, branding, marketing, distribution, and after sales services. The same is true when it comes to outsourcing marketing or distribution and so on.
That’s what BlackBerry seems to have done in recent years. Three years ago, it outsourced the manufacturing of its handsets to Foxconn. Now the company is outsourcing both the development and manufacture of handsets to PT Tiphone Mobile Indonesia Tbk, while maintaining software development and service in-house.
The problem is that as more and more activities are outsourced, the supply chain turns from a single integrated process performed within the boundaries of traditional corporations to a fragmented and disintegrated process — a collection of separate and disjointed activities, performed across several independent subcontractors.
That makes entry of new competitors to the industry easier, intensifying competition, shortening product cycles, and squeezing return on invested capital. That was the case with PC makers and printer makers like HP back in the 1990s and the early 2000s.
We all know what happened to them.
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 ]
Exclusive Recitation of Specific Device in Specification Limits Claim Term
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Addressing issues of claim construction, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a limiting construction of a claim term where the specification exclusively used the disputed term in the limited fashion. GPNE Corp. v. Apple Inc., Case No. 15-1825 (Fed. Cir., Aug. 1, 2016) (Prost, J).
GPNE brought suit against Apple for allegedly infringing two patents relating to a two-way paging system capable of receiving and sending messages. All of the patent claims refer to the devices on the network as “nodes” and are otherwise silent as to the type of device a “node” may be. The central dispute was the court’s construction of the claim term “node” as a “pager with two-way data communications capability that transmits wireless data communications on a paging system that operates independently from a telephone network.” GPNE argued that a “node” should be broadly construed as a “device in a network that can transmit and receive information.” Apple argued that the term should be limited to a “pager in a network operating independently of a telephone network.” The district court agreed with Apple, and the jury ultimately issued a verdict that the patents were valid but not infringed. GPNE appealed.
GPNE argued that the district court’s construction of the term “node” was erroneously limited to “pagers.” GPNE argued that the specification contained a broader description of “nodes,” but except for the abstract, the patent specification did not use the term “node” and instead referred to the devices as “pagers” or “paging units.” Based on the principle that the words of a claim are generally given their ordinary and customary meaning in the context of the claims and the specification, the Federal Circuit found that the specification repeatedly and exclusively used the words “pager” and “pager units” to refer to the devices in the patented system.
GPNE also argued that principles of claim differentiation counsel against construing a “node” as a “pager,” because the parent of the patents at issue claimed both a “paging system” and a “paging unit.” The Federal Circuit again disagreed, finding that the claims GPNE cited for its claim differentiation argument differed in more ways than just their use of the terms “node” and “pager.” Thus, the Court found that the inference of claim differentiation between the parent and asserted patent claim was weak at best, and that it was proper for the district court to characterize a “node” as a “pager.”
GPNE also argued that the construction of the “node” as operating independently of a telephone network was improper based on a single sentence of the specification. The Federal Circuit found the construction proper, as the single sentence relied upon was a summation sentence that describes “the invention” as a whole.
Finally, GPNE argued that the district court’s failure to provide a construction of the term “pager” improperly left an issue of claim construction for the jury in violation of the Federal Circuit rule laid down in O2 Micro. But, as the Federal Circuit explained, the duty to construe claims is not without limits. In this case, the district court resolved the question of claim scope by construing the term “node” and was under no obligation to address other potential ambiguities (such as the meaning of the term “pager”). As the Court observed, only claim terms that are in dispute must be construed and even then, only to the extent necessary to resolve the dispute.
© 2016 McDermott Will & Emery
|Source:||The National Law Review|
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First-Hand:Hand-Held Radios and Electronic Beepers
Submitted by Al Gross
My parents encouraged my work, although they didn't understand it. We were poor, yet my parents found a way to get me parts to work with. The parts may have been from the junk yard, but they kept me busy. At one point, I had our whole house rigged up with radios, so we could communicate from the basement to the other parts of the house. My sister liked that.
At sixteen, I studied hard to earn my Amateur Radio Operator's License, and my parents encouraged me to master the intricacies of Morse code and the other stringent requirements. They weren't technically-minded at all, yet they encouraged me every step of the way.
I have the world's first hand-held radio. I built it in 1938 and it still works. The metal miniature tape recorder-sized box holds the circuitry built around vacuum tubes. This little unit is the grand-daddy of micro-miniaturization — and I built it long before the word “electronics” was coined.
On the eve of World War II, my radio was reviewed in a technical magazine where it caught the eye of officials in Washington, DC. Subsequently, I was invited to Washington to demonstrate my design to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) — the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency.
The people serving on the OSS panel must have liked what they saw. Soon I was given a commission and charged with assembling a group of people to secretly design and build handheld radios which would operate on high frequencies. I set up my operation in Youngstown, Ohio. There I designed a two-way system that allowed OSS agents working under the net of the Third Reich to communicate directly with Allied officers flying at thirty thousand feet in modified Mosquitoes.
Called the “Joan-Eleanor” system, the units beamed a vertical signal at a high frequency-a technique which made enemy detection of the signal highly unlikely, if not impossible. Two hundred agents carrying Joan-Eleanor units were dropped into Germany. Although thirty-six of them were reported killed or captured, the rest were successful in their missions, using Joan-Eleanor systems to help bring an end to the war.
July, 1945, in a memo from the OSS to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, my system received high marks for war service, “In actual operation, it (my system) proved a valuable new tool for penetration . . . into enemy territory.”
Federal Communications E.K. Jett gave the idea a boost in July, 1945, when he was interviewed for an article in the Saturday Evening Post, “The remarkable progress achieved during the war has opened the door to a large variety of new applications of radio. One of these is the Citizens' Radio Communications Service, recently created by the FCC, under which any American citizen, firm, group or community unit may privately transmit and receive short-range messages over certain radio wave lengths.”
On Sept. 10, 1945, the FCC issued me an experimental Radio Station Construction Permit and assigned the call sign W8XAG. Under the terms of the permit, I was to build an experimental radio to operate on “frequencies . . . assigned by the Commission's Chief Engineer.”
Relying on my Joan-Eleanor system, I submitted a prototype of a CB radio to the FCC in May, 1946. Next, I organized the Citizens Radio Corporation to develop and build the transceivers. On March 22, 1948, the radio design received the blessing of the FCC.
Although setting up the Citizen's Radio Corporation involved considerable “professional and financial risk,” I didn't spend much time out on the limb. I still keep copies of these two purchase orders. One from Montgomery Ward, dated 1949, ordering $1,800,000 worth of radios. The second is from the U.S. Coast Guard authorizing expenditure of $500,000 with my company.
Remember, these were 1949 dollars and I was a thirty year old engineer. I was thrilled. A 1948 back-cover ad on Radio News Magazine proudly announced that the “Citizens Radio Transceiver Uses Sylvania Sub-Miniature Tubes!” This thing never would have been possible without the support and help I received from Sylvania.
In 1949, I was approached by a hospital consultant to build a “silent radio paging system for use by doctors and nurses in hospitals.” Six weeks later, we had built the world's first pocket pager, or “beeper.” It weighed twelve ounces and was called “Royalcall.” The Royalcall also contained Sylvania vacuum tubes.
I took the Royalcall to a hospital trade association meeting in 1951, and couldn't get anybody interested in it. I was told it was impractical, that it would inconvenience the doctor and the patient. We were just ahead of our time. That's all.
Lastly, because of all the publicity I had gotten, Chester Gould, Dick Tracy's creator, came to visit. On my kitchen table was this wristwatch radio. He looked it over, and the next thing I knew, it showed up in the comics on Dick Tracy's arm.
This article was found with valuable help from:
|Source:||The Engineering and Technology History Wiki|
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While doing my homework on the history of paging—for this issue—I found this very interesting Wikipedia article. I didn't know that the famous move actress, Hedy Lamarr (Born: Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) was the inventor of a Secret Communication System. In her day, she was known as the most beautiful woman in the world.
Frequency-hopping spread spectrum
At the beginning of World War II, Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes, which used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers. Though the US Navy did not adopt the technology until the 1960s, the principles of their work are now incorporated into modern GPS, Wi-Fi, CDMA and Bluetooth technology, and this work led to their being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.
Lamarr's earliest inventions include an improved traffic stoplight and a tablet that would dissolve in water to create a carbonated drink. The beverage was unsuccessful; Lamarr herself said it tasted like Alka-Seltzer.
With the ongoing World War, Lamarr was inspired to contribute to the war effort, designing a jam-proof radio guidance system for torpedoes. With the help of composer George Antheil, they drafted designs for a new frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum technology that they later patented.
Lamarr and Antheil realized that radio-controlled torpedoes, which could be important in the naval war, could easily be jammed, thereby causing the torpedo to go off course. With the knowledge she had gained about torpedoes from her first husband, and using a method similar to the way piano rolls work, they designed a frequency-hopping system that would continually change the radio signals sent to the torpedo.
Their invention was granted a patent on 11 August 1942 (filed using her married name Hedy Kiesler Markey). Yet, it was technologically difficult to implement, and the U.S. Navy was not receptive to considering inventions coming from outside the military at the time. Only in 1962, at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, did an updated version of their design appear on Navy ships. The design is one of the important elements behind today's spread-spectrum communication technology, such as GPS, CDMA, Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth technology.
They eventually received the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award and the Bulbie Gnass Spirit of Achievement Bronze Award, given to individuals whose creative lifetime achievements in the arts, sciences, business, or invention fields have significantly contributed to society. Lamarr was also featured on the Science Channel and the Discovery Channel. In 2014, Lamarr and Antheil were posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Here is another interesting article A short history of spread spectrum.
And here is a great explanation of how it worked:
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?
How We Lost Our 4th Amendment Rights to Technology Providers
Segment 2 — FCC Case Overview
Pre-installed predatory smartphone apps supported by nontransparent application permission statements (“app permissions”) are the focal point of the formal FCC consumer privacy complaint I filed against T-Mobile in July of 2015. My FCC complaint is centered on the transparency of data mining practice employed by T-Mobile, Samsung, Google, and authorized third-party pre-installed app developers such as Facebook and BAIDU (multinational entities and/or corporations).
Third-party pre-installed app developers are made up of multinational entities and/or corporations that can lawfully access personal and business information from a telecommunication subscriber using connected products such as smartphones. My FCC case revealed that 18 or more multinational entities and/or corporations were accessing personal and business information (“sensitive user data”) from my smartphone. Regarding my FCC case, the complaint is centered on a Samsung Galaxy Note supported by the android (Google) operating system (“OS”) I purchased from T-Mobile in Jan of 2013.
Smartphones and connected products such as tablet PC’s supported by the android OS contain pre-installed applications and content that cannot be uninstalled by the product owner. Some pre-installed apps are classified as predatory apps since the apps are programmed to access, collect, and aggregate sensitive user data from the smartphone subscriber. Many pre-installed apps cannot be controlled nor disabled which forces the smartphone subscriber into a nontransparent data mining business model due to lack of transparency in regards to predatory apps plus the type of sensitive user data being data mined from the smartphone.
Smartphone subscribers would be surprised to know that nearly 100% of all smartphone activity is recorded which means that OS and app developers can access, collect, and aggregate close to 100% of all sensitive user data from the smartphone subscriber and authorized device users (spouse, children, employees, etc.).
If you do not believe me, let’s review a comment made by Alphabet’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt. Mr. Schmidt states that people are giving companies such as Google “” access to sensitive user data:
With your “permission” you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches [...] We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about.” — Eric Schmidt, Google (today-Executive Chairman Alphabet — Source: Huffington Post Nov 4th, 2010).
The focal point of my FCC case is centered on the transparency of app permissions which are NOT published in the subscriber and OEM T&Cs’, privacy policies, nor EULAs. How can people be giving “permission” to allow access to sensitive user data to companies such as Google if the smartphone subscriber has never seen or read the app permissions in the first place?
App permission are located in the OS of the device within settings and/or within an application manager pending the OS. To find the app permissions the subscriber mush have knowledge of the application manager. In the case of a Galaxy Note the subscriber must be given instructions on where to locate the pre-installed app permissions or they will never find the app permissions. For example, it takes over 10 precise touches, swipes, and taps to find the detailed app permission statements. Unless a user knows the code, they will never accidentally find the app permissions since the odds could be millions to one that the user will figure the code out. Below is an example of how to find app permissions on a Samsung Galaxy Note:
Figure 1- How to Locate App Permissions (Galaxy Note Smartphone):
Even if the subscriber has access to read the app permissions, many predatory apps cannot be controlled nor disable which means the wireless subscriber does not even have the ability to opt out of the data mining business model unless they chose not to participate at all by not subscribing to cellular phone services. Since most users do not even know the intrusive app permission exists, they are unknowingly forced into a nontransparent data mining business model.
Companies such as Google, Apple, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, Samsung, and others are making billions in profits off of the sensitive user data at the expense of the telecommunication subscribers’ privacy while the subscriber is expected to pay for the smartphone and monthly subscriber services. I describe the connected product data mining business model as “Digital Tyranny” since the smartphone subscriber does not have the ability to opt out while still participating or even knows they are participating in a highly intrusive data mining business model in the first place.
I will use real app permissions from the Galaxy Note and s7 Edge to illustrate my points about the lack of transparency regarding data mining business practices plus illustrate the sheer amount of sensitive user data that is being data mined from telecommunication subscribers. Below are examples of real android app permissions that support the Samsung Galaxy Note and 7s Edge:
Figure 2 — android App Permission Examples Include Personal Profile, Text Messages, Accounts, Email Attachments, Contacts, and Calendar Events:
What individual would give T-Mobile, Samsung, Google, and other multinational corporations the “Permission” to access sensitive user data such as their ID (personal profile), text messages, accounts, email attachments, contact data, and calendar data? Notice the app permission warning in Contacts. App permissions contain product warnings that are not transparent to the wireless subscriber. This is an issue the FCC and FTC need to address. What other industry can sell products and services that contain warnings not visible to the paying customer?
Since the app permissions and app product warnings are not published in the wireless subscriber T&C’s, privacy policies, and EULAs, the wireless subscriber will never know the app permissions nor app product warnings exist unless the subscriber knows where to locate the app permissions.
My FCC case highlights the following issues consumers, businesses, and government agencies such the FCC, FTC, and Department of Homeland Security need to address regarding the transparency of data mining practices by wireless carriers and technology providers:
*My analysis does not imply that T-Mobile, Samsung, Google, and app developers unlawfully collect nor unlawfully misuse sensitive user data. The analysis does not imply that that T-Mobile, Samsung, Google, and app developers unlawfully engage in deceptive trade practices nor unlawfully engage in fraud inducement.
Also there are national security issues regarding companies such as BAIDU (Asian/Chia Search Engine) who may be accessing sensitive user data from US citizens by way of their telecommunication products and services:
There are questions that need to be addressed in regards to sensitive user data cultivated from business users that could end up in the hands of multinational corporations such as Google who have a presence in many industries worldwide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mergers_and_acquisitions_by_Alphabet
Companies such as Google pose a conflict of interest for companies such as T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Wireless carriers expose their embedded base of subscribers and/or “paying” customers to companies such as Google who can lawfully glean business data from wireless subscribers who use connected products such as smartphones or tablet PCs for professional purposes.
There are also questions in regards to sensitive user data that may be sold to data brokers who in turn could sell or share the data in a manner that could bring harm to the device user. Sensitive user data in the hands of a current employer, future employer, insurance company, bank underwriter, business competitor, institution of higher learning, law enforcement agency, and government entities (foreign or domestic) could be very damaging to a consumer, business professional, child, or government entity.
Sensitive user data in the hands of the wrong entities could also pose economic and national security threats considering connected devices that are being used in the defense industry and/or within government at all levels. For example, I used my Galaxy Note in conjunction with a consulting project I was hired to do by Space Data Corporation, a defense contractor who coincidently competes against Google Loon. The other big issue is the fact a company such as BAIDU (Chinese owned company) could also be accessing sensitive user data from a device use by a subscriber doing work for a US defense contractor. The Space Data scenario was the catalyst that motivated me to do the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone analysis plus file formal complaints with T-Mobile and Samsung plus ultimately file a formal complaint against T-Mobile with the FCC.
In closing, I am not against data mining for profits nor against companies such as Google. I am only advocating transparency of data mining business practices and the ability for consumers and businesses to opt out while still being able to participate in regards to connected products and services that require payment such as smartphones, PC’s, tablets, autos, TV’s, wearable technology, games, toys, and other connected IoT products. I am also advocating how sensitive user data is being accessed, collected, aggregated, and used.
People need to know if sensitive user data is being used, shared, or sold in a manner that can bring harm to the wireless subscriber and authorized device users which include children under 18. It would be unsettling to know that we are paying money to companies such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile for products and services that could inadvertently bring harm to us or our family members such as children under 18.
If you feel the same way about transparency that I do, then please take action by contacting your wireless service provider, the FCC, and FTC and demand transparency. My FCC case is based on fact that multinational entities and/or corporations are accessing you sensitive user data plus using the data. If you do not believe me, just read this quote from T-Mobile regarding third-party access to sensitive user data from android device and Apple iPhone subscribers:
“We, too, remember a time before smartphones when it was reasonable to conclude that when you activated service with T-Mobile that only T-Mobile would have access to our personal information. However, with the Samsung Galaxy Note, the iPhone, and many other devices, there are indeed a variety of parties that may collect and use information.” — T-Mobile Privacy Team (November 6th, 2015/FCC Consumer Complaint #423849 — Rex M. Lee).
As of this date T-Mobile has not revealed who a Variety of Parties are nor how sensitive user data is being used, shared, sold, purchased, and aggregated. As a paying customer, I have the right to know and so do you. Please take action and demand transparency otherwise we have truly lost our fourth amendment rights to multinational entities and/or corporations whom are our technology providers.
Please feel free to contact me for a copy of my smartphone analysis (Samsung Galaxy Note) and the Department of Homeland Security nontransparent data mining analysis plus a copy of the T-Mobile letter containing their admission that third-parties do in fact access sensitive user data.
Disclaimer: I am not implying that any company mentioned in the article is unlawfully collecting nor unlawfully misusing sensitive user data, location data, or surveillance data.
Rex M. Lee
Wireless Communication Solutions
USB Paging Encoder
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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.
Existing Providers Must Notify CenturyLink of Served Census Blocks by Nov. 7
On September 23, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) issued a Public Notice announcing that existing providers in the 9,703 census blocks CenturyLink recently identified as covered by its Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase I incremental broadband deployment plans have until Monday, November 7 to notify CenturyLink that they serve these blocks.
Specifically, existing providers in these blocks must notify CenturyLink that they currently offer Internet service at speeds of 3 Mbps downstream and 768 kbps upstream or higher in the newly identified census blocks. A machine readable list of the census blocks CenturyLink intends to serve is available at https://transition.fcc.gov/wcb/160913 CTL Attachment WC 10-90 FINAL.xlsx.
The following table shows the number of blocks CenturyLink has newly identified as intending to serve in each state:
Carriers that offer internet service of sufficient speed in these states should review the spreadsheet to ensure CenturyLink is not claiming a served block is unserved. BloostonLaw has handled several census block challenges on behalf of its clients and is available to assist. Please contact the firm for more information.
WCB Announces Approval of FCC Forms 507, 508, and 509; Form 508 due October 3
On September 26, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) announced that the revised FCC Forms 507 (Connect America Fund — Broadband Loop Support Line Count Report), 508 (Connect America Fund — Broadband Loop Support Mechanism Projected Annual Cost and Revenues), and 509 (Connect America Fund — Broadband Loop Support Actual Annual Cost and Revenues) and instructions have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Rate-of-return carriers must file FCC Form 508 with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) by October 3, 2016, to receive Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support based on forecasted consumer broadband-only loop costs and revenues for the first six months of 2017. Form 507 line count data may be filed by September 30 (data covering the last nine months of the previous calendar year and the first three months of the existing calendar year) or December 30 (data covering the last six months of the previous calendar year and the first six months of the existing calendar); Form 509 actual cost and revenue data is due by December 31.
Copies of the revised FCC Forms 507, 508, and 509 may also be obtained from the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) High Cost Web Page (http://www.usac.org/hc/tools/forms.aspx). Carriers with questions about the forms should feel free to contact the firm for more information.
House Unanimously Amends Communications Act Update
On September 27, the House of Representatives today unanimously amended and approved S. 253, the Communications Act Update Act of 2016. The bill contains eight Energy and Commerce Committee bills that have previously passed the House or have unanimously passed the committee. S. 253 now heads back to the Senate for final consideration.
The bills included in the package are as follows (in order by Title of the amendment to S. 253):
These eight bills have variously been reported in the BloostonLaw Telecom Update. Clients with questions about these bills or about the Communications Act Update are encouraged to contact the firm for more information.
Carriers Not Subject to State Jurisdiction Must File 54.314 Certification by October 1
Eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) are required to be certified to receive High Cost Program support, pursuant to Section 54.314, including certification of Mobility Fund Phase I and Tribal study area codes. Most carriers are certified by their state; however, if your company is not subject to state jurisdiction, you must file on your own behalf.
Under Section 54.314, carriers must certify that all federal High Cost Program support it received was used in
the preceding calendar year — and will be used in the coming calendar year — only for the provision,
If you are not sure whether you are required to make this filing or not, you should contact the firm without delay.
Comment Deadlines Established for 700MHz Public Safety Operations FNPRM
On September 26, 2016, a summary of the FCC’s Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on proposed amendments to the service rules governing Public Safety Narrowband Operations in the 769-775/799-805 MHz bands was published in the Federal Register. Accordingly, comments will be due on or before October 26, 2016, and reply comments on or before November 10, 2016.
Specifically, the FNPRM seeks comment on whether or not to amend Section 90.537 to specifically exempt Vehicular Repeater Systems (VRS) from the 700 MHz narrowband trunking requirement. In the Report and Order released alongside the FNPRM on August 22, 2016, the FCC added the 700 MHz Reserve Channels to the General Use pool, to be made available for multiple uses subject to Regional Planning Committee (RPC) administration, and authorized the RPCs to designate some of the former Reserve Channels for VRS use. This had the side effect of bringing such Reserve Channels within the scope of Section 90.537 of the Commission’s rules, which requires all 700 MHz systems using six or more General Use or State License channels to be trunked.
According to the FNPRM, the growing popularity of VRS systems among public safety entities as a means to enhance system coverage provides grounds to revisit the trunking rule and ask for comment on additional rule changes that may be necessary to accommodate VRS operation in the 700 MHz band.
Law & Regulation
FCC Issues Agenda for September Open Meeting
On September 22, the FCC issued the agenda for its upcoming September Open Meeting, currently scheduled for September 29 at 10:30 a.m. At the meeting, the FCC will consider:
As always, the Open Meeting will be webcast live at the appointed hour at www.fcc.gov/live.
AT&T Settles Unauthorized Wireless Operations Investigation for $450,000
On September 23, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau announced that it reached a reached a $450,000 settlement with AT&T to resolve an investigation into whether AT&T operated fixed wireless stations without authorization or without filing required license modification notices. The investigation revealed that AT&T operated numerous common carrier fixed point-to-point microwave stations throughout the United States in ways that differed from the stations’ licenses for periods ranging from three and a half years to over four years.
According to a press release, the Bureau began its investigation of AT&T in 2012. In August 2014, during the course of the investigation, AT&T reported to the FCC that it had discovered numerous inconsistencies between the licensed parameters and the constructed facilities of a large number of fixed microwave licenses that it acquired from 2009 through 2012. AT&T did not timely review the acquired licenses, which resulted in the unauthorized operation of many of the stations by its subsidiaries New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC and AT&T Mobility Puerto Rico, Inc. As a result, the Bureau investigated the licensing history of approximately 250 AT&T stations to determine the extent of the unauthorized operations. The original forfeiture, proposed in January of 2015, was $640,000.
As part of the settlement agreement, AT&T has agreed to implement a compliance plan through which it will conduct timely reviews of wireless fixed microwave stations acquired in future transactions to ensure that the stations are operating in accordance with their licensed parameters, file periodic progress reports on its compliance efforts, and correct any noncompliance discovered during the review process within 60 days of its discovery.
Have You Been Convicted of a Felony? Report it on All Applications or Risk a Significant Fine
The Federal Communications, as part of its effort to evaluate licensee qualifications, requires all applicants to report whether or not the applicant or any party directly or indirectly controlling it has ever been convicted of a felony by any state or federal court. In requiring this disclosure, it is important to note that each and every application must include the disclosure and that it is not sufficient to state that the disclosure was previously made or that the felony is too remote in time since the question is asked on each and every application without time limitation.
The FCC recently entered into a consent decree in the amount of $175,000 as the result of an applicant’s failure to disclose in numerous wireless license applications two felony convictions against the ultimate parent, which involved guilty pleas to criminal charges for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Additionally, certain affiliates of the applicant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate certain provisions of the FCPA through bribery of foreign government employees, including communications regulatory officials. In those cases, a multi-million dollar fines had to be paid to the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
It is important to note that the Commission relies on the truthfulness of applicants’ representations within the 4-corners of the application, irrespective of whether the applicant is in the telecommunications business or another line of business that relies on radio for the conduct of its business operations. Here, the applicants had an affirmative obligation to disclose felony convictions on numerous applications — which they did not occur. The Commission found the failure to disclose even more troubling because the felony convictions included illegal acts involving foreign telecommunications regulators.
As discussed above, it is critically important that all clients fully disclose any felony convictions that might exist. While this disclosure will generally delay the processing of an application, it does not typically result in the FCC making a determination that the applicant is not qualified to hold an FCC radio license.
AT&T Sues Nashville over “One Touch” Ordinance
On September 22, AT&T filed a law suit against the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee, over new "One Touch Make Ready" ordinance reportedly aimed at helping Google Fiber expand its gigabit internet to Nashville. According to The Tennessean, the lawsuit was widely expected.
The One Touch Make Ready ordinance modifies the existing local pole attachment policy. Under the previous rule, a new provider must wait on each existing provider to move its lines on a pole and make it ready for the new line. The One Touch Make Ready ordinance would allow a single contractor to move all existing lines in a single session, expediting the process. In its complaint, AT&T argues that under federal law the Federal Communications Commission, not local municipalities, have jurisdiction to regulate privately owned utility poles. AT&T also cites concerns for its own equipment being potentially damaged by unauthorized contractors, and also points to contracts with union workers that would be violated by the legislation.
AT&T sued Louisville, Kentucky on the same grounds back in February.
SEPTEMBER 28: EAS TEST. The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, in collaboration with FEMA, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (or “EAS”) on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, at 2:20 PM EDT. Entities required under the Commission's rules to comply with EAS rules (“EAS Participants”) include broadcast radio and television stations, and wired and wireless cable television systems, DBS, DTV, SDARS, digital cable and DAB, and wireline video systems. Under FCC Part 11 Rules, EAS Participants are required to file their “day of test” data within 24 hours of any nationwide EAS test or as otherwise required by the Bureau. The September nationwide EAS test will be the first time that test data will be captured and analyzed using the EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS). EAS Participants must file the “day of test” information sought by ETRS Form Two at or before 11:59 PM EDT on September 28, 2016. EAS Participants must file the detailed post-test data sought by ETRS Form Three on or before November 14, 2016.
SEPTEMBER 30: FCC FORM 396-C, MVPD EEO PROGRAM REPORTING FORM. Each year on September 30, multi-channel video program distributors (“MVPDs”) must file with the Commission an FCC Form 396-C, Multi-Channel Video Programming Distributor EEO Program Annual Report, for employment units with six or more full-time employees. Users must access the FCC’s electronic filing system via the Internet in order to submit the form; it will not be accepted if filed on paper unless accompanied by an appropriate request for waiver of the electronic filing requirement. Certain MVPDs also will be required to complete portions of the Supplemental Investigation Sheet (“SIS”) located at the end of the Form. These MVPDs are specifically identified in a Public Notice each year by the FCC.
NOVEMBER 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1.
FCC Proposes a $23K Fine for Unlicensed Operation and Broadcast of “Officer-in-Distress” Call
The FCC has proposed to fine Daniel Delise $23,000 for operating an unlicensed amateur radio station and for falsely transmitting an “officer-in-distress” call. This incident was not the first incident of unlicensed operation, and Mr. Delise had previously been warned by the FCC that unlicensed operation of his station was illegal and that continued operation could result in further enforcement action.
Over the years, the FCC has received numerous complaints concerning Mr. Delise’s unlicensed operations. The FCC issued two letter warnings to Mr. Delise in May and again in August 2012. Despite these warnings, the FCC continued to receive interference complaints in 2014 that Mr. Delise was operating without authority on the frequency 461.225 MHz – which was licensed to NYC City Wide Disaster Services. Ten additional complaints were received in 2014, nine in 2015 and one in January 2016. In many of these cases, Mr. Delise operated on different frequencies over short periods of time – which made it difficult for the FCC’s enforcement agents to obtain the measurements necessary to prove intentional interference. Nonetheless, the FCC’s field agents began to monitor the area in Astoria, New York, where Mr. Delise resided. Through this monitoring, the agents were able to determine that the signals came from Mr. Delise’s residence and that the voice in the communications was his. Again, Mr. Delise was warned that unlicensed operation was illegal.
On April 16, 2016, Mr. Delise was arrested by the NYPD for “sending out false radio transmissions over the New York City Police Department’s radio transmission system” and for possessing radios capable of operating on NYPD frequencies without NYPD permission. Operating on NYPD frequencies without permission which is also a violation of New York law.
Office clients should ensure that their radio stations are being operated in accordance with the terms of their licenses. In many instances, the licensee receiving interference will contact you if they believe that the interference is coming from your station. Such calls should be passed onto our office for assistance. Additionally, you should experience interference, please contact our office as soon as possible so that we can guide you through the interference complaint process.
Sixth Circuit Reverses FCC Municipal Broadband Decision
On August 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the FCC’s order preempting Tennessee and North Carolina laws that prevented municipalities from deploying cable, video, and Internet services beyond their current boundaries.
In reversing the FCC, the court focused on the fact that neither federal law nor FCC rule requires the municipalities to expand their coverage area; on the contrary, federal law and FCC rule leave the choice of coverage area up to the provider. Therefore, according to the court, “What the FCC seeks to accomplish through preemption is to decide who—the state or its political subdivisions—gets to make these choices. It wants to provide the [municipalities] with these options notwithstanding Tennessee’s and North Carolina’s statutes that have already made these choices.” The court then noted that legal precedent makes clear, “Any attempt by the federal government to interpose itself into this state–subdivision relationship therefore must come about by a clear directive from Congress, and the FCC can only pick the decision maker here if there exists a clear statement to do so in § 706. The court ultimately held there was not such a clear statement.
In his statement, Chairman Wheeler stated that, “While we continue to review the decision, it appears to halt the promise of jobs, investment and opportunity that community broadband has provided in Tennessee and North Carolina. In the end, I believe the Commission’s decision to champion municipal efforts highlighted the benefits of competition and the need of communities to take their broadband futures in their own hands.”
Commissioner Requests Information from Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Commissioner Michael O’Rielly recently sent a letter to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) requesting information on its expansion of the wireless capability within its subway train tunnels. As you may be aware, WMATA has been under significant fire from all sides, including Congress, due to its poor maintenance of the subway system — which has led to some fatal accidents.
In February 2016, WMATA announced that it would install coaxial cables throughout the system’s subway train tunnels for use by the nationwide commercial wireless carriers (e.g., Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.) in order to improve wireless communications for both first responders and train passengers in the event of an emergency. Commissioner O’Rielly noted that virtually no information has been made public since that time — except with respect to WMATA’s various surge safety projects which have shut down various portions of the subway system for rehabilitation. As a result, Commissioner O’Rielly has requested information concerning the project and its anticipated completion date as well as information concerning the portion of the project currently completed, the number of segments installed as well as the number of segments being used by wireless carriers to extend their coverage within the subway tunnel system.
Commissioner O’Rielly also noted that WMATA had just announced a Wi-Fi pilot project at six subway station and requested the justification for the project as well as whether there would be any limitations on the ability of users to contact police/fire/EMS or whether there would be any restrictions regarding how the system could be used. Additionally, Commissioner O’Rielly was interested in the Wi-Fi System’s capacity with respect to the number of users and Internet Speed. Commissioner O’Rielly also expressed concern over the 45-day length of the trial and asked if its decision to disable the Wi-Fi network could be reconsidered as well as the timeline for making a decision to turn the system back on. Time will tell how WMATA responds to Commissioner O’Rielly’s concerns. Nonetheless, what is telling is that government officials who rely on mass transit are not afraid to ask questions in the name of safety.
FCC Seeks Comment on Request for Waiver to Permit Certification of Part 90 Equipment that does not Meet 6.25 kHz Narrowbanding
The International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA) has requested a waiver of Rule Section 90.203(J)(4)-(5) in order to permit certification of Part 90 equipment in the 150-174 MHz and 450-512 MHz bands that does not operate in a 6.25 kHz mode or with equivalent frequency efficiency. Comments are due October 26, 2016 and Reply Comments are due November 10, 2016.
While this requirement was originally slated to be effective on January 1, 2011, it was ultimately delayed until January 1, 2015 in order to allow additional time for standards bodies to complete the ANSI 102 “Project 25 Phase II” standard for the public safety sector. The January 1, 2015 deadline coincided with the date that the Commission would no longer accept applications for certification of public safety equipment in the 700 MHz band that could not operate in a 6.25 kHz mode or with equivalent frequency efficiency.
In its waiver request, IMSA notes that the standards for 6.25 kHz equipment are not yet in place and that the Commission subsequently eliminated the 6.25 kHz capability requirement for Public Safety equipment in the 700 MHz band. IMSA believes that enforcement of the 6.25 kHz capability requirement will result in significant price increases as well as reduce the deployment of newer equipment — especially by volunteer fire departments and ski patrols. IMSA also states that since first responders are required to utilize radios with FM analog capabilities, there is no reason to mandate digital capabilities. As a result, IMSA submits that a delay in the implementation of the 6.25 kHz requirement until January 1, 2020 would be in the public interest.
The Commission is requesting comment. In particular, commenters should address whether a delay until January 1, 2020 would be in the public interest. Additionally, the Commission is also requesting comment on the status of the development of standards for 6.25 kHz technologies as well as the timeline for when standards may be finalized and equipment commercially available. Finally, the FCC is also requesting specific data and information regarding the current effect of the 6.25 kHz capability requirement on equipment costs, including a description of how the data or information was calculated or obtained and any supporting documentation or other evidentiary support.
Comments are due October 26, 2016 and Reply Comments are due November 10, 2016
Puerto Rico Receives Waiver to Allow Late Filed Substantial Service Showing for 700 MHz State Channel
The FCC has granted Puerto Rico’s request for waiver of the Commission’s Rules to permit the acceptance of its late-filed interim substantial service showing for its “state channels” in the 700 MHz band.
Under the FCC’s Rules, Puerto Rico was required to file its interim five-year benchmark showing no later than June 13, 2014. Under that showing, Puerto Rico was required to demonstrate that it was either providing or prepared to provide substantial service to at least one-third of its population or geographic area.
On June 13, 2014, Puerto Rico requested an extension of time within which to make the required showing. Two additional requests for extension of time were ultimately filed. On May 19, 2016, Puerto Rico filed its interim substantial service certification along with a request for waiver of the June 13, 2014 filing deadline. In its rule waiver request, Puerto Rico stated that there had been a personnel change and that the responsible employee was no longer employed by the Commonwealth. Additionally, Puerto Rico indicated that it had deployed a 700 MHz land mobile system on its “state channels” in order to provide service to municipal, state and federal agencies in Puerto Rico which would provide interoperability in the event of an emergency.
In granting the waiver, the FCC recognized that the purpose of the substantial service requirement was to ensure efficient use of the “state channels,” including “service to rural, remote and insular areas.” In this regard, a state (or territory such as Puerto Rico) could demonstrate that it was prepared to provide service if it was able to certify that a radio system had been approved and funded by the deadline date. A failure to meet this requirement would have resulted in the cancellation of the license by the FCC. The Commission was able to determine that Puerto Rico actually deployed its 700 MHz facilities over one-third of its population and geographic territory prior to the original June 13, 2014 deadline. As a result, the FCC determined that a waiver was required for the late filing. In this regard, the Commission has previously explained that for the Private Land Mobile Services, the construction notification requirement is designed to “verify whether licensees have in fact met their construction obligations, not to terminate licenses for legitimately operating facilities based on a failure to notify by the licensee. . . .” Additionally, the Commission routinely advises any licensee with missing construction notifications that it may seek a waiver of the Commission’s rules, but must certify that “it did meet the construction or coverage requirement and provide the date by which the licensee met that requirement.”
FCC Proposes $25,000 Fine for Causing Harmful Interference and other PLMR Violations
The FCC has proposed a fine of $25,000 against Public Safety Technologies, Inc. (PST) for causing harmful interference to other licensed stations operating on a Part 90 shared channel in the Los Angeles area. PST was licensed to operate on five frequencies in the UHF band on a shared basis. The station class “FB7” did not authorize PST to operate as though it had exclusive use of the frequencies. As a result, PST was required to share the channels with other co-channel licensees.
This case was triggered by various interference complaints over a 4-month period from Mobile Relay Associates, a co-channel licensee to PST. As a result, the FCC determined that PST was transmitting on various frequencies for long periods of time and was not transmitting its call sign as required by the rules. Ultimately, in December 2015, Mobile Radio Associates advised the Commission that the interference was so severe that it had to relocate its operations to another frequency. The FCC’s investigation found that PST was (a) operating continuously on the frequency 451.350 MHz and therefore failing to restrict its transmissions to the minimum transmission time required, (b) not taking any other reasonable precautions to prevent harmful interference and (c) not transmitting its call sign as required by the rules.
While PST claimed that it had not understood the FB7 station class limitations and that its customers would be transitioned to public safety channels within 45 days of its April 22 response, the Commission discovered, on July 6, that while PST was no longer transmitting on the frequency 451.350 MHz, it had resumed continuous operations on the frequency 451.600 MHz and was still not transmitting a call sign as required by the FCC’s Rules.
In proposing the $25,000 forfeiture, the Commission noted that the aggregate base amount was $15,000. However, based upon the facts of this case, where PST continued its conduct despite numerous warnings and contacts with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, the Commission determined that a significant increase to $25,000 was warranted – especially since PST continued to operate its facilities in violation of the FCC’s Rules for at least 90 days following the issuance of a violation notice.
This case demonstrates that it is critically important for licensees to ensure that co-channel licensees are able to utilize shared frequencies on an equitable basis. In this regard, the FCC expects licensees to work together in order to resolve any issues. This case demonstrates that the FCC is prepared to take enforcement action in those circumstances where it is required to step in because an offending licensee is not being cooperative.
FCC Denies Application to Permit Centralized Trunking Station to Encroach on Incumbent Station Operation
Diverse Power, Inc. (Diverse Power) requested a waiver of the FCC’s Rules in order to allow it to operate a centralized trunking station at Union City, Georgia even though its interference contour would overlap an existing co-channel station’s service contour as well as a service contour that would be completely enveloped by the existing station’s interference contour.
It is important to note that Rule Section 90.187 requires trunked radio systems to monitor frequencies and use equipment that will prevent the transmission of a carrier on a frequency if a signal from another system is present, unless permission is obtained from all “affected licensees.” Additionally, Rule Section 90.187 was modified in 2013 in order to require applicants to utilize a contour analysis which demonstrates both that (a) the proposed system’s interference contour would not overlap any spectrally proximate incumbent system’s service contour and (b) the proposed service contour would not be overlapped by the interference contour of any incumbent station.
Upson County Electric Membership Corporation (Upson County EMS) operates a co-channel station on the frequency 451/456.0500 MHz. Diverse Power’s proposed interference contour overlaps the service contour of Upson County EMC but not its mobile area of operation. Nonetheless, Upson County EMC did not consent to Diverse Power’s request. As a result, Diverse Power requested a waiver of the rule.
FCC Modifies Maritime Radio Services Rules
The FCC has adopted an Order which updates its Maritime Radio Services Rules. The Maritime Radio Service Rules were designed to enhance safety on the high seas and inland waterways by creating a series of requirements and safety standards for vessels in order to ensure that vessels can be located and rescued in the event of an emergency. In particular, the FCC has amended its rules to:
These changes are designed to make the FCC’s rules consistent with today’s technology, while ensuring the safety of life and property on the high seas and inland waterways.
|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 email@example.com .|
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Wireless Network Planners
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Looking for a source of the following parts:
If you can, please let me know where these can be obtained. [click here]
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
I read your news article regularly.
Here is something you may be able to add to your reasons to use paging.
The ENTIRE state of South Australia has lost electricity which is a VERY RARE occurrence and the power may be down for a total of 24 hours.
1.6 million people are in that state.
Telecommunications services are already down and obviously paging is still working.
Check out this link:
You can also Google “South Australia Blackout”
Here is a live paging feed:
(NOTE: This website may be down due to the power outage as I believe it's hosted in a house)
|UNTIL NEXT WEEK|
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
Don't waste a good mistake. . .
|PHOTO OF THE WEEK|
|National Geographic||PHOTOGRAPH BY JES STOCKHAUSEN, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC|
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