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AAPC Wireless Messaging News

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FRIDAY - JANUARY 22, 2010 - ISSUE NO. 391

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Paging and Wireless Messaging Home Page image Newsletter Archive image Carrier Directory image Recommended Products and Services
Reference Papers Consulting Glossary of Terms Send an e-mail to Brad Dye

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,


I have sent in my donation by texting according to the following table. It's very easy and only takes a few seconds.

You can text donations for Haiti relief from your cell phone. In addition to your donation amount, standard text messaging fees will apply.

Red Cross HAITI to 90999 $10 donation
Yéle Haiti YELE to 501501 $5 donation
United Way HAITI to 864833 $5 donation
Int'l Medical Corps. HAITI to 85944 $10 donation

I have received a couple of inquiries about the status of Paging in Haiti. I was able to get in touch with my Haitian friend Reginald (Reggie) Chauvet. Reggie operated Bip Communications (BIPCOM) until about two years ago. He now spends about half of his time split between Haiti and Miami. Fortunately he was in Florida at the time of the earthquake. Unfortunately he has lost many friends and at least one family member. He is trying to find out, for us, if either of the two remaining paging systems — Multicom and Digicom — continue to operate. I have another Haitian friend and former business associate — Fritz Joasen (sp?) — but I haven't heard from him in several years. I hope he is OK.

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More good input this week on the topic: Is Paqging Dead?

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Now on to more news and views.

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Wireless Messaging News
  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Telemetry
  • Paging
  • VoIP
  • Wi-Fi
  • WiMAX
  • Location-Based Services
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This is the AAPC's weekly newsletter about Wireless Messaging. You are receiving this because you have either communicated with me in the past about a wireless topic, or your address was included in another e-mail that I received on the same subject. This is not a SPAM. If you have received this message in error, or you are not interested in these topics, please click here, then click on "send" and you will be promptly removed from the mailing list.

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iland internet sulutions This newsletter is brought to you by the generous support of our advertisers and the courtesy of iland Internet Solutions Corporation. For more information about the web-hosting services available from iland Internet Solutions Corporation, please click on their logo to the left.

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A new issue of The Wireless Messaging Newsletter gets 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 Internet. 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 Data 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 Data 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.


Editorial Opinion pieces present the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of AAPC, its publisher, or its sponsors.

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Anyone wanting to help support The Wireless Messaging Newsletter can do so by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above.

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The local newspaper here in Springfield, Illinois costs 75¢ a copy and it NEVER mentions paging. If you receive some benefit from this publication maybe you would like to help support it financially? A donation of $25.00 would represent approximately 50¢ a copy for one year. If you are so inclined, please click on the PayPal Donate button above. No trees were chopped down to produce this electronic newsletter.

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Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, and Vic Jackson are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects. Click here  for a summary of their qualifications and experience. They collaborate on consulting assignments, and share the work according to their individual expertise and their schedules.

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If you would like to have information about advertising in this newsletter, please click here.

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Global Paging Convention
June 16 - 18, 2010
Charleston, SC
The Mills House


Now is the time to start making your plans to join worldwide professionals in the paging industry and learn from their diverse experiences and successes, peruse vendor exhibits, and network, all while enjoying the beauty and history of Charleston, SC.

This event will blend plenty of social networking and learning from one another with informative educational presentations in a destination that has been named as one of the top 5 U.S. destinations for fourteen years. Charleston combines luxury and history with an international flavor that will make any visitor feel at home.

Quotes from 2009 attendees:

“The joining together of paging carriers from around the globe was truly a profound experience. For those of us in the U.S. it was like looking into a crystal ball. What we do with that look and the information we gathered will determine the path that we take and ultimately our future.”

“It changed the way we understood paging and helped us to refocus our strategy.”

Educational sessions
We are currently developing the agenda and we would like your input. Our members’ input is critical in shaping sessions that are directly relevant to you and improving your business in the future.

  • Do you have a new direction you are considering?
  • A technology you want to learn more about?
  • A problem that you can’t just seem to resolve and want additional input?

If so—please e-mail Linda at and we will work to address this at the conference.

boat All aboard! There’s no better way to experience the beauty of Charleston and her history than from the decks of a yacht. New for 2010, enjoy a chance to unwind and review Thursday’s session with colleagues enjoying the fresh sea air and incredible harbor views that Charleston has to offer. Seating is limited and registration is available when you register for the conference.

Plan to attend the Global Paging Convention now and be a part of Paging history!

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Thanks to our Premier Vendor!

prism paging
Prism Paging

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Thanks to our Silver Vendors!

  recurrent software
Recurrent Software Solutions, Inc.
Unication USA

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Thanks to our Bronze Vendors!

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  AAPC Executive Director
441 N. Crestwood Drive
Wilmington, NC 28405
Tel: 866-301-2272
AAPC Regulatory Affairs Office
Suite 250
2154 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007-2280
Tel: 202-223-3772
Fax: 202-315-3587

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Advertiser Index

AAPC—American Association of Paging Carriers Leavitt Communications (for Alphamate)
  Northeast Paging
CRS—Critical Response Systems Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC
CVC Paging Preferred Wireless
Daviscomms USA Prism Paging
Easy Solutions Ron Mercer
FleetTALK Management Services Swissphone
GTES—Global Technical Engineering Solutions UCOM Paging
Hark Technologies Unication USA
HMCE, Inc. United Communications Corp.
Leavitt Communications (for Zetron) WiPath Communications

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leavitt animation

Zetron's Paging and Remote Monitoring Solutions

leavitt zetron The Model 640 DAPT-XTRA Paging Terminal is a cost effective solution for small to medium-sized systems and private organizations offering a paging service based on bureau-type operator paging and/or direct telephone access. The 640 supports up to 1,500 users with up to 4 telephone lines. It also supports voice paging, voice prompts, talkback paging, and alphanumeric paging.

zetron Zetron's Remote Monitoring equipment provides monitoring and notification of unusual conditions and status changes. Messages are automatically transmitted over a radio or a public address system. Notification can be sent via speaker or radio announcement, telephone, cellular phone, or paging.

leavitt logo
(847) 955-0511
zetron reseller

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Ten years of BlackBerry

By Chris Ziegler
Mobile Editor
posted Dec 28th 2009 3:00PM

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The year is 1999. Bill Clinton is the President of the United States, gas is 94 cents a gallon, Bondi Blue iMacs are a staple in dorm rooms across the country, and Microsoft is trying to bring the desktop Windows experience to the pocket, pushing its Palm-size PC concept (after Palm had quashed the original "Palm PC" branding) on a world still feeling jilted by the failures of the Apple Newton. 3Com subsidiary Palm and its heavyweight licensee Handspring have figured out something interesting about the still-nascent PDA market, though: people like simplicity. If an electronic organizer does what it says it's going to do, keeps your information in sync with your PC, runs for forever and a day on a single set of batteries, and does it all with a minimum of fuss, people will buy. It's an exciting, challenging, and rapidly-changing era in the mobile business.

It's the network, stupid

This is the landscape Canadian start-up Research In Motion faced at the tail end of the millennium. It seemed clear that "staying connected on the road" was the Next Big Thing — email had finally started to become a standard in corporate communication, after all — but the roadblocks were many and formidable. "Always on" cellular technologies like GPRS and 1xRTT weren't yet readily available, and circuit-switched data running over pervasive D-AMPS and CDMA networks was painfully slow and expensive — not to mention a death wish for battery life.

Manufacturers and service providers took a two-pronged approach to overcoming the limitations: one, keep data consumption modest; and two, bypass the traditional cellphone networks altogether. Two-way paging networks like ReFLEX didn't have the bandwidth to handle the data demands of a late 1990s-era PDA with a big display, but DataTAC and Mobitex networks — running at a blistering 19.2Kbps and 8Kbps, respectively — were already widely deployed across North America. Neither technology had been conceived with consumer use in mind, but they were robust, proven, and most importantly, available.

palm vii Palm takes a leap of faith — and falls flat

Riding a wave of commercial successes, Palm saw the writing on the wall and plunged head-first into the connected market with its Palm VII, which used a Mobitex-based service called to offer bite-sized chunks of relevant data — news headlines, weather, email, flight times, and the like — on a device that resembled an overgrown Palm III with a flip-up antenna. The product was troubled from the start. Though's heart-stoppingly expensive monthly pricing wasn't necessarily an issue for the business-minded target audience, the device relied on proprietary "web clippings" from content providers to reduce data consumption; if your favorite newspaper didn't work with Palm to develop a web clipping app, you were stuck using the shoddy WAP browser. What's more, despite its whopping $599 sticker price, it failed to borrow from the high-end Palm V's legendary industrial design. Palm hobbled along with two more models, the VIIx and i705, before the GSM-based Tungsten W along with Treos obtained through its acquisition of Handspring overshadowed the dedicated network and doomed it to closure in 2004.

pager The BlackBerrys aren't ripe yet in Waterloo

Palm, of course, didn't need the Palm VII to succeed. The company would go on to see plenty of success from its traditional PDA business and — eventually, anyway — the Treo smartphones it was able to add to the line through its acquisition of Handspring. Meanwhile, the always-on, always-connected market was still waiting to be won, and RIM was perfectly positioned to take the prize. It had been making Mobitex radio modules for industrial systems for many years, and in 1995 had introduced its Inter@ctive Pager 900 — a fairly revolutionary product that promised two-way email communication from a device small enough to fit on a belt holster. The technology was there — RIM merely had to wait for email to become business-critical while working on making its hardware smaller, sexier, and ultimately, indispensable to anyone who picked it up.

In 1998, the Inter@ctive Pager 900 — a bulky brick with a flip-top display — was succeeded by the smaller Inter@ctive Pager 950. As its name implied, RIM considered the 900 and 950 pagers first, emailing devices second; paging was still a force to be reckoned with in the mid-90s (SMS was yet to become relevant in North America) and the company needed to identify with the paging crowd in order to find an audience. Indeed, RIM's own press release for the 950 proudly declared the device a "revolutionary two-way pager that allows users to both send and receive full-length, error-free, alphanumeric messages with guaranteed delivery."

The 950 retailed for $360 with plans starting at $25 a month through BellSouth, one of several companies that would ultimately become Cingular (and eventually AT&T Mobility, though Cingular's Mobitex network — Cingular Interactive — would be sold off prior to the name change). That pricing put the device well within the reach of any company who needed its employees a page (or an email) away. RIM estimated that some 80 percent of pages required a response — and at a time when one-way pagers still dominated the belts of field techs, executives, and doctors, the 950 was priced right to steal some of that market. Even better, the 950 was barely larger than those one-way devices it sought to displace.

950 A legendary brand emerges

In early 1999, RIM was in fat city. It was coming off a record quarter of earnings thanks to brisk sales of its handhelds and new contracts for its wireless modems, but it wasn't standing still. On January 19 of that year, the company made a bold declaration: email's the future. The Inter@ctive Pager devices were excellent two-way pagers, yes, but that wasn't where the market was going — and RIM knew that it already had a powerful framework for mobile email in play. It introduced a tight little solution called "BlackBerry," which essentially bundled a version of its Inter@ctive Pager 950 with a PC dock, a new service for synchronizing to Microsoft Exchange accounts, and optionally, a product called BlackBerry Enterprise Server geared at corporations looking to manage fleets of these devices.

Unlike the Palm VII, BlackBerry didn't try to be fancy — no "web clippings," no huge touchscreen, no handwriting recognition, and no massive flip-up antenna. Instead, RIM's device was almost singly focused on delivering a killer email experience with a scroll wheel, relatively comfortable QWERTY keyboard, and true push service (something many other platforms are still trying to get right ten years later, interestingly). For suits who'd been sucked into the Exchange ecosystem for corporate email, BlackBerry was a brave new world — a chance to untether — and they came calling in droves.

And that was just the first couple months of the year. Later in 1999, RIM would release the Inter@ctive Pager 850, which expanded BlackBerry's North American footprint by bringing the technology to DataTAC networks in the US and Canada (battery life dropped from the 950's claimed three weeks to just one week, but the 850's support for rechargeable NiMH packs made it a bit more palatable). Shortly thereafter, the company announced that it would adopt Sun's Java 2 Micro Edition platform for third-party development in its devices, and — for better or worse — BlackBerry developers write in Java to this day.

957 A form factor more familiar

By 2000, BlackBerry had cemented itself as a power brand — a corporate status symbol. Paging was on the way out, and RIM had somehow expertly ridden the wave right into mobile email as though that had been its plan all along. Thing is, the display on the 850 and 950 models — a carry-over from the Inter@ctive Pager days — wasn't particularly well-suited for reading emails, which tended to be longer and richer than old-school pages. The solution? A much, much larger display.

RIM introduced the BlackBerry 957 in concert with BlackBerry OS 2.0 in April of 2000. It would prove to be a landmark device for RIM, though it may not have seemed that way at the time. At its release, it was little more than an overgrown 950, but unlike its little brother, the 957's basic form factor would ultimately stand the test of time — and if you let your eyes go out of focus just a bit, you can actually see the beginnings of the ubiquitous user interface found on every BlackBerry sold today.

At this point, carriers and content partners were really starting to get it: to borrow a phrase from a 2000 press release detailing a new partnership with Nortel, RIM was becoming a champion of the "always on, always connected" internet, and everyone wanted in on the mojo (Nortel had just invested $25 million in RIM; ironically, RIM would try to buy a large chunk of Nortel's bankrupt remains just nine years later). Rogers (then Rogers AT&T), Bell Mobility, and BT were among the heavyweight networks to welcome BlackBerry to their lineups. AOL created a version of AOL Instant Messenger for the platform, and RIM started bundling its first web browser with the 950 and 957, though using it ran a stiff $9.95 a month — for 25KB. Yes, twenty-five whopping kilobytes! Fortunately, unlimited service was available for another $10, although it's amusing to think that wireless data devices were ever rudimentary enough, mobile content services simple enough, and networks slow enough to justify a service that allotted just a few thousand bytes every month.

Conquering the organizer

Today, cloud computing is a fact of life; if you use Gmail, Facebook, Flickr, or any of their contemporaries, much of what makes you who you are is stored in some nebulously-defined network of servers you'll never see — computers that look like overgrown refrigerators, sound like jet engines, and live in cold, windowless facilities close to power plants and jaw-droppingly fast internet connections. In 2001, the cloud as we know it today was just an idea on a whiteboard (and no one was calling it "the cloud") but BlackBerry customers were starting to taste bits and pieces of the experience.

RIM used CTIA Wireless in Vegas that year as the venue to introduce the next iteration of its connected experience: wireless calendar synchronization. Up until this point, the BlackBerry platform had been about email first, everything else second (and really, you could argue that's still the code RIM lives by today), but the company was starting to acknowledge that a businessperson's mobile office was about more than messaging — and it's not always convenient to pop open the laptop to check the day's schedule. Besides, while RIM was making wireless data a mainstream concept in the pocket, laptop data cards were still exceedingly rare. Of course, your average Joe off the street still couldn't walk into their carrier's shop, buy a BlackBerry, and get their personal Outlook calendar delivered over the aether — but for corporate customers with Exchange and BES installations, things were really getting interesting.

Pushing "push"

BlackBerry didn't just commoditize mobile email or connected organization — it helped pioneer the very concept of "push." Push continues to be an elusive, contentious technology for users of many systems, devices, and mobile platforms to this day — the idea that you get new content pushed to you as it happens, rather than waiting until you request it — but RIM was well ahead of the game here, touting its push technology by name as early as 2001. If someone shot you an email, you had it immediately. Meeting requests zipped down to you the second they were made. Of course, push would ultimately go on to become one of BlackBerry's hallmarks and one of the major reasons users continue to cite for steadfastly refusing to try other platforms, no matter how outdated RIM's well-worn interface may now seem by modern standards — it's a really powerful selling point.

tim-voicestream 2001 marked a number of important new partnerships for RIM, too, including VoiceStream (which would ultimately become T-Mobile USA) and Italy's TIM. Maybe more interesting, though, was an announcement the company made at the very tail end of the year: it'd be developing a device compatible with Motorola's iDEN network technology in partnership with Nextel. iDEN's claim to fame, of course, was (and still is) its push-to-talk interface — so did this mean that a hybrid BlackBerry cellphone was in the works? Smartphones were still a novelty at the time and heavyweights like Microsoft hadn't yet come to play ball, but the synergy was pretty obvious: road warriors do their email and take conference calls from the back of the cab on the way to LAX, after all.

Feeling litigious

For RIM, the decade has been filled with seemingly countless bouts of Law & Order-worthy courtroom drama, a theme that can trace its origins to November of 2001 when IP holding firm NTP — whose mere mention causes knee-jerk grumbles of "patent troll!" in some circles — filed its first lawsuit against the company. The suit focused on technologies surrounding the wireless transmission of email, which... well, kind of sums up RIM's entire business model, so the spat naturally garnered its fair share of attention. After some four and a half years of legal action, tentative settlements, and breakdowns, RIM and NTP finally came to terms to the tune of $612.5 million — considerably less than the $1 billion NTP had originally wanted, but still a breathtaking sum for a company that had done little more than sit on some purely theoretical technology.

good g100 Of course, RIM was sitting on an enviable IP portfolio of its own by this point, and that portfolio was starting to pay dividends right around the time of NTP's original filing. 2002 saw a licensing agreement take hold with Palm (without which the Treo line's famously good keyboards would've had a hard time existing) and a series of claims filed against upstart rival Good Technology — which at the time was working on a suspiciously BlackBerry-esque device called the G100 to accompany its server-side suite that duplicated much of RIM's functionality. Good would ultimately go on to abandon the G100 to focus strictly on software and services and undergo a couple takeovers — most recently by well-known patent plaintiff Visto — so the rough-and-tumble hardware biz clearly hadn't treated them with as much kindness as it had RIM.

Finally, two devices become one

2002 would prove to be a watershed year for the smartphone. Nokia's Communicator line had been around since the 1990s, but its models were niche devices — bulky beasts that didn't function very well as phones, PDAs, or computers — and they clearly weren't the catalyst the industry (and consumers) needed to take the concept mainstream.

5810 Following news late in 2001 that there'd be a BlackBerry coming to Nextel's iDEN network, a flurry of press releases hit in the first part of '02 touting that new handhelds with "data and voice services" would be made available on carriers around the world; AT&T in the States and Rogers AT&T in Canada both followed Nextel's lead in committing to offering them. Nextel's announcement was especially positive, dropping the bombshell that the companies had signed a "multi-year" agreement to supply iDEN-powered BlackBerrys to the network. Of course, that agreement must've worked out pretty well for everyone involved, seeing how the relationship continues to the present day.

Well, at first, it turns out that RIM really wouldn't be helping mainstream smartphone adoption any more than Nokia had. RIM's very first voice-enabled BlackBerry handset — the 5810 — debuted on Rogers AT&T in April of 2002 for a stiff CAD $750 (about $715 at today's conversion rates), looking like nothing more than a 957 with a headset jacked into it.

That's because it was nothing more than a 957 with a headset jacked into it.

Just as wireless calendar synchronization had taken a back seat to email, RIM was now treating another critically important function — voice — as an afterthought. The all-important messaging experience was as good on the 5810 as it was on any BlackBerry before it, but everything about the glued-on phone functionality screamed "usability nightmare," from the non-numeric pad digit layout to the handsfree permanently wired into place (well, not permanently, but it may as well have been as long as you wanted to use the device as a phone). Bluetooth and integrated speakerphones were yet to become must-have features in 2002, and you certainly weren't going to find them here.

rim blackberry 6710 The engineers up at RIM headquarters weren't taking a breather, though — far from it. The early part of the decade was a pretty magical time for wireless, for mobile, and for gadgetry in general; a primordial soup of paradigm-shifting technologies were all rapidly coming to fruition at the same time — everything from cheap, high-quality color LCDs to lithium-ion polymer batteries and broadly-available data networks — and phones from all companies were being developed, announced, and released more rapidly than they ever had been before. Gone were the days of owning a DynaTAC for eight years or a StarTAC for four — useful innovation was simply coming to market too quickly for consumers (or manufacturers) to get comfortable for more than a year or two at a stretch.

Make no mistake, it was a fun (if not terribly expensive) time to be paying attention to the market. Just six months — yes, merely half a year — after launching its first voice-capable BlackBerry, RIM gave the people what they really wanted: the 6800 series, introduced at CTIA in October of 2002. Unlike the awkward 5810, the 6810 and 6820 brought a proper earpiece to the equation, finally consummating the marriage of cellphone and connected organizer in a proper, usable way. Though some of BlackBerry's most important developments were yet to come, you could argue that this was RIM's turning point — the single, common ancestor to which every modern BlackBerry can trace its lineage.

Two (or three, or four) can play this game

At this point, the industry's starting to show some early glimmers of awareness: it turns out that people like having their phone, their email, and their calendar in a single, pocketable device. Go figure! Of course, RIM wasn't the only company having this revelation in 2002; Palm founder Jeff Hawkins' pet project, Handspring, was just coming to market around the same time with the first members of its sexy, fully-integrated Treo line.

palm treo The first Treos — the 180 and 180g — were forgettable (particularly the 180g, which tragically required Palm's classic Graffiti handwriting input for text entry), but before the end of the year, the 270 (for GSM networks) and 300 (for CDMA) were both shipping. That's where things started to get interesting. These suckers had color displays and at least pretended to do a decent job of web browsing using the company's Blazer app — something RIM couldn't really claim with the 6800. The 270 and 300 were so interesting, in fact, that they ultimately led directly to the release of the Treo 600 the following year, one of the most significant and influential smartphones ever released (it was so influential, in fact, that its genes still live on today in Palm's Treo Pro).

Even though RIM had just launched the 6810 and 6820, they were already looking outdated sitting on a table next to Handspring's (and later palmOne's) offerings. It didn't really matter, though; Waterloo's secret sauce lay as much in its robust server-side capabilities as it did in the hardware itself. What early BlackBerrys lacked in finesse, they made up for in manageability — music to any IT staff's ears. Palm and Handspring, on the other hand, had both done a better job over the years of straddling the fence between office and home — their devices had already been sold in big-box stores since the 90s, and the Treo seemed like a natural extension of that. Palm, of course, lacked a well-known, enterprise-friendly push email solution; for some, that was a deal breaker, but for others, the Treo's sex appeal made it the obvious choice.

Indeed, RIM was still years away from hitting its stride with consumers; just like its predecessors, carriers were positioning the 6800 series toward businesspeople alone, but the strategy certainly seemed to be paying dividends. Before 2002 closed out, they'd go on to announce the 6510 for Nextel and the 6850 for Verizon — the company's first CDMA device. The world had started the year with a selection of zero BlackBerry phones and ended it with five. The revolution had begun, and as it turned out, there was plenty of room in the market for RIM and Palm to both stake their claims — the concept was still young, competition was yet to become fierce, and the target demographic was hungry for innovation. Both companies would go on to hold significant pieces of the pie among business users (particularly in North America) in the latter half of the decade.

Acknowledging the elephant in the room

It wasn't just Handspring (and later palmOne) with skin in the game, either. Though it had a muted presence in North America, Nokia was jumping out to a commanding lead globally on the strength of its Symbian-based Series 60 platform, a lighter-weight derivative of the Series 80 core used on the Communicator series. By the end of 2003, some estimates had its smartphone market share near a staggering 90 percent worldwide. That's a stat you can't ignore, and RIM was eminently aware that it needed to capitalize on its "CrackBerry" reputation — its strength as an enterprise software and services player — and keep its hardware ego in check. Sure, it now had several phones in the market, but so did everyone else — so why try to beat 'em if you can just join 'em and still make money?

connect screens To that end, early '03 saw the introduction of BlackBerry Connect on Symbian, bringing BlackBerry's then-legendary corporate email capabilities to a seemingly limitless firehose of Nokia devices (along with a couple Sony Ericssons) and potentially upping RIM's profile in the all-important European theater. It also hit Windows Mobile and Palm OS the same year, cementing BlackBerry's status as a platform, not just a line of devices. The Connect solution would ultimately never gain the same level of popularity as the company's handsets would for hooking up to BlackBerry servers, but from RIM's perspective, that's probably just as well — they saw it as a win-win opportunity, and Nokia, Microsoft, and Palm very likely did as well.

Consumers are people, too

Even in these early years, RIM had already reinvented itself a couple times; gone were the days of "BlackBerry" meaning a small, ugly, all-black pager with all the ergonomics of a VAX that you could only get (and probably were forced to take) through your employer. Thanks likely to the introduction of its range of smartphones in the prior few months, 2003 would be the year that the company started to finally dip its toe in what it called the "prosumer" market — customers that weren't necessarily being offered a BlackBerry as part of an IT-managed fleet at their company, but still really needed (and were willing to pay for) always-on push email. Cingular, T-Mobile, and others started to introduce POP and IMAP email access on their BlackBerry devices early that year, marking the first time they were viable options for one-off buyers. Paying $30 a month for a mere 3MB of data service on top of a voice plan — as Cingular was doing at the time — was still a foreign concept to 99 percent of the non-enterprise market, but it marked one of the first early steps in acclimating end users to the idea. Today, even for a high-feature dumbphone, $70 is a reasonable charge for monthly service and $120 or more isn't unheard of — it's a trade-off we've collectively made to be connected all of the time, and RIM helped blaze that wallet-emptying trail.

Small and colorful

RIM continued to press as hard on the hardware front in 2003 as it had in 2002, proving it wouldn't let its hardware go quietly into the night and transform into a software firm the same way Good would. The new 6200 series took baby steps toward the classic BlackBerry look we all know today by lightening and shrinking the package, squishing the 6800's display down to a more typical landscape aspect ratio, and making it more functional than ever by stuffing in more RAM and introducing integrated attachment viewing.

6200 7200 Just a few months later, the company would introduce the 7200 series, its very first color models — but they wouldn't look very familiar to a modern-day Bold owner. Instead, the 7200 was nearly a dead ringer for its lower-end 6200 cousin, swapping out the low-resolution monochrome display for a 65,000-color one that clocked in at just 240 x 160 pixels — brutal by modern standards. The crappy resolution on the new model could be chalked up in part to the fact that the screen was transflective, a sunlight-viewable tech that has been all but abandoned in modern smartphones because they simply don't pony up sufficient eye candy — these days, you need HVGA or WVGA resolution and killer contrast ratios to earn respect and market share.

The 7250 would also be RIM's first EV-DO-capable handset, but taken as a whole, the series seemed built less to knock socks off and more simply to appease the market's calls for a color BlackBerry. In a way, it would mark the beginning of an age of R&D conservatism in Waterloo that plagues the company to this very day.

One million strong (and growing)

7100t The year is 2004. Palm OS would arguably reach its zenith with the introduction of the Treo 650, a model that refined the well-received 600 in all the right ways (and brought about the slightly-curved QWERTY arrangement that most — but not all — future Palms would go on to use). RIM signed up its millionth subscriber early in the year, a sign of great things to come over the next twelve months; the company would be announcing new carrier deals in every corner of the world virtually every week, and the tall-display form factor introduced way back on the data-only 957 would have one last hurrah on the 7700 series. 2004 would also see the first speakerphone-enabled BlackBerry, Nextel's 7510 for iDEN. As with the 7200, RIM going all-in with groundbreaking design or functionality — both of the new models looked virtually identical to the 6200 of old, not a good thing considering that the 6200 had already looked pretty outdated by the time it was released.

The solution? Completely rethink the keyboard. RIM came out of its slumber and rocked the boat later in '04 more than it had since the announcement of its first phones by rolling out the 7100 line — along with a little something called "SureType." Up until that point, each and every BlackBerry that came off the line used a traditional QWERTY thumb board; SureType turned things upside-down by doubling up two letters per key, a compromise between full QWERTY and the T9 / triple-tap world of numeric keypads. Beyond SureType, though, the 7100 was a radically different design for RIM — its first that made concessions to appeal to consumers. It looked and worked vaguely like a phone. Though it hadn't yet succumbed to the d-pad trend, the 7100 also added dedicated Send and End keys above the keyboard and was marketed directly to consumers in T-Mobile, Cingular, Sprint, and Verizon stores. Put simply, it was a predecessor to the Pearl in every sense of the word — RIM finally had its eye squarely on the consumer side of the market, and it'd end up paying off.

Reinventing the bread and butter

8700 BlackBerry was more popular than ever. In a year and a half, the service exploded from 1 million to over 4 million subscribers, but the time had come: RIM could no longer stretch the industrial design of the 6800 any further than it already had, and in late 2005 it finally took the bold (but totally necessary) step of redesigning its time-tested flagship from the ground up. Waterloo rode the resulting lineup — the 8700 series — to new heights, deploying on dozens of carriers around the world with a theme that mimicked the 7100 that had been unveiled a year prior. There were notable firsts: in North America, it became both the company's first EDGE-compliant handset and its first with a QVGA display. It was also the first QWERTY BlackBerry with a proper Send / End key arrangement; needless to say, the modern BlackBerry we know today cemented its ancestry right here.

Though it supported EV-DO early on, RIM was much slower in taking up UMTS than most of its rivals, putting it at a distinct spec sheet disadvantage on Cingular in the US and virtually every carrier in Europe (even the 8900 and brand-new 8500 lines stop at EDGE, practically unheard of for a smartphone from a major manufacturer these days). Mercifully, some Europeans got a taste with certain variants of the 8700 that supported UMTS 2100 — but Americans would still have years to wait.

A BlackBerry in every pocket

pearl 8100 By 2006, every carrier that offered BlackBerry was more than happy to sell a 7100 or 8700 to Joe Six-Pack, regardless of corporate affiliation. RIM and its partners had done a decent job of making it clear to would-be buyers that you didn't need to wear a suit, own an Exchange account, or get permission from your IT overlords to purchase, use, and enjoy a BlackBerry of your own. Problem was, RIM had never designed and built a no-compromises consumer device. The 7100 came within earshot, but by 2006, times had changed — you couldn't put a phone (smart or otherwise) on the shelf without a camera and a handsome design and expect it to sell itself.

That all changed in September of '06 with the introduction of the 8100 series, a phone we would come to know better as the Pearl. The fact that this was RIM's first handset christened with a brand name underscored its intended target audience: this was solidly a consumer device. Adopting the SureType input system first seen on the 7100, everything about it screamed its consumer roots from the snazzy color palette to the presence of a 1.3 megapixel camera — a BlackBerry first. It also marked the introduction of the trackball, an utterly unique feature for a phone at the time and the genesis of the "Pearl" name; it was the first time RIM had employed front-facing directional navigation of any kind, in fact, and as it turns out, they wouldn't look back.

As we know today, the Pearl would become a defining phone for RIM — its own RAZR, in a way, but without the brutal downside than Motorola would go on to experience. Versions of the handset were sold on virtually every carrier in North America and in many locales around the world; some of those are still sold today, including a clamshell version in the 8200 series. The design was so popular, in fact, that RIM took a mid-cycle opportunity to swap out the guts of the original GSM-flavored 8100 to add in a 2 megapixel camera, WiFi, and GPS. In an industry as brutal and fickle as consumer wireless, it takes nothing less than a miracle to create a device with three solid years of market longevity.

Meet the grandkids

curve 8800 tree

Outside the Pearl line, RIM ultimately chose to split the bulk of its business — the traditional QWERTY form factor — into distinct consumer- and pro-oriented series starting with the Curve 8300 and 8800 in early 2007. Over the years, we've gone on to witness the release of two more Curves — the 8900 and 8500 — along with three more pro models, spawning the Bold and Tour brands. By the end of 2008, RIM seemed to acknowledge the fuzzy line between its two QWERTY series by giving the original Bold a name, something that had previously been reserved for the more laid-back consumer devices. RIM's practice of slow-but-steady evolution has now brought us the broad adoption of 3G, dual-mode and WiFi radios, autofocus cameras, gorgeous high-res displays, and robust optical trackpads in place of the finicky trackballs of old, all while pushing the same back-end security, collaboration, and communication benefits that brought them superstar status a decade ago.

As in the early days of the 6800, 6200, and 7200, the company's once again taking criticism for driving a theme into the ground — one look at the family tree starkly demonstrates how little has changed in nearly three years. The counter argument, of course, is that they've settled on a winning formula, refining it year after year without messing with the recipe that made billionaires of co-CEOs Lazaridis and Balsillie. What side of the fence you fall on is very much a matter of personal opinion, but on some level, it says something about one's personality: it's a choice between productivity and multimedia, vanilla and chocolate, Ford and Chevy. A BlackBerry can be your music player just as an iPhone can connect to your Exchange account — it's ultimately a question of priorities, and for some, allegiances.

A gamble on reinvention

Push email in a mobile device isn't the same kind of massive, paradigm-changing differentiator that it was ten years ago, and RIM can't lean on it nearly as heavily as it used to for sales — even in its traditional corporate strongholds. It needs powerful, sexy products that can compete head-to-head with any smartphone the industry has to offer. To an extent, it has those with modern QWERTY sets like the Curve 8900 and Bold 9700, but here's the rub: the consumer market has made a sharp turn toward touch in the two-plus years since the iPhone has been available. It's a segment that's not just difficult for competitors to ignore — it's impossible. Android, S60 5th Edition, and an endless onslaught of mid- to high-end featurephones validate it and make it harder to stay relevant without it. So how does a company with a host of patents regarding QWERTY thumb boards — a company that has built its reputation on the quality of its physical input methods — capitalize on something so foreign to its core competency?


That question remains largely unanswered as we end this first decade of BlackBerry's colorful existence. The company that taught us we could belt out messages with two thumbs using keys no bigger than eraser heads and made us crave constant email access from the bus, the airport, the bathroom, and the beach finds itself today in need of another revolution.

The good news is that RIM doesn't roll the dice very often, but when it does, it plays for keeps; the 7100 and the Pearl were both early evidence of that, and we're now seeing that brazen attitude again with the Storm line. The company's early forays into touch are taking Waterloo well outside its comfort zone and the first models to market were almost universally panned as usability failures, but it's not all gloom and doom — like SureType, the Storm's SurePress technology is unique in the industry, and a little more refinement could probably still make it the virtual keyboard powerhouse RIM wants it to be.

In 2005, RIM had 4 million subscribers to its name; in 2009, it adds over 4 million subscribers in a single quarter. BlackBerry isn't going anywhere, clearly, but for a company in RIM's position, relevance is a daily battle that requires a delicate mix of innovation and respect for tradition.

And on that note, RIM, bring on the next ten years — you may have calloused and cramped our thumbs, but you haven't managed to destroy them just yet.

Source: Engadget

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Paging & Wireless Network Planners

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R.H. (Ron) Mercer
217 First Street South
East Northport, NY 11731
ron mercer

Cell Phone: 631-786-9359

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Paging & Wireless Network Planners

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(Or, Whatever happened to the Iceman?)

Every so often this question arises and each time it does, it triggers reactions that range from naïve optimism to despondent pessimism. And the truth, I believe, lies somewhere between the two extremes.

Very clearly, the general public’s interest in using pagers for personal wireless messaging, sometimes referred to as “people calling people”, has been in decline for most of a decade. Moreover, the frequently referenced “inherent advantages” of paging have either proven to be either:

  • Overstated (e.g. improved building penetration with simulcast paging compared to cellular),
  • Out of step with current trends (e.g. costly battery saving protocols in a world where rechargeable devices have become widely accepted), or
  • Of little functional interest to the general public (e.g. efficient group call).

Additionally, while two-way text messaging is a very attractive method of communicating between groups that include family, familiar friends and co-workers (the people that one includes in an “address book”), voice telephony continues to be better suited to communicating with the larger, less-familiar world that includes police, fire and EMS responders. Given available bandwidth, the integration of text messaging (not to mention cameras, photo transmission and GPS functionality) into cellular systems, has proven to be practical. In contrast, the integration of even basic voice service into narrowband paging systems is very impractical and the integration of photo or GPS facilities remains beyond serious consideration. Most importantly, people want multimode functionality but they tend to resist carrying multiple devices making the cell phone with integrated voice, text messaging and even a camera very attractive. Remember, the oft-touted Blackberry success only occurred after its original text messaging capability was integrated into a cell phone.

In sum, these trends have unquestionably spelled the end of widespread subscription to paging service by the general public; the “people paging people” application that has been the focal point of the paging carrier industry for over four decades. Today, classical “people calling people” paging continues to be popular in only three vertical niches:

  • The hospital/healthcare community where the “On the belt” form factor and “Group Call” functionality of paging continue to be viewed as beneficial. The healthcare community, however, are beginning to expect additional functionality from their paging systems (e.g. message received confirmation, bedside database access, etc.)
  • To a much lesser degree, a segment of the public safety/homeland security community wherein functional needs can be met by paging. Then again, a significant portion of these practitioners—those whose function confines them to vehicles—believe that they require functionality beyond that which paging can deliver (transmission of mug shot photographs and maps, as well as in-vehicle access to information from a variety of databases, etc.)
  • On an even smaller scale, the hotel/hospitality industry continues to view paging as a preferred method of communicating with various staff members.

Additionally, all three of these remaining viable “people calling people” vertical niches have displayed a growing tendency to prefer private systems as opposed to subscription to carrier provided service!

This set of circumstances, wherein a disruptive technology displaces an established one, has numerous other examples. I am reminded that in my youth every home in my neighborhood had an “icebox” in which they kept perishable foods. In warm weather, the iceman arrived twice a week to drop a 25 lb block of ice into the icebox. Our neighborhood actually had two competing icemen. One had a horse drawn wagon from which he sold river ice while the other had a truck and sold “clean” manufactured ice from which we kids were allowed to eat the chips that developed when the 200 pound ice slabs were “ice-picked” into the 25 pound blocks to be carried into homes. Like paging, the icebox also had other unique advantages:

  • No dependence on electric power!
  • Absolutely free in the winter when pails of water could be set outside to freeze and moved into the icebox without involving the iceman!

Notwithstanding those “advantages”, the arrival of the electric refrigerator displaced the icebox causing it to virtually disappear within a few years. The health care community, however, are beginning to expect additional functionality from their paging systems (e.g. message received confirmation, bedside database access, etc.) The same can hold true for paging technology, if our industry can:

  • Find ways to fully understand the current needs and develop ways to work more closely with the hospital/health care, hotel and public safety communities who continue to view paging technology as important. Perhaps associate membership in the Trade Associations representing these communities would be constructive:
    • American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&L) for the hotel market,
    • American Hospital Association and Healthcare Information & Management Society (HIMSS) regarding the hospital market,
    • American Institute of Facility Engineers that has both hospital and hotel practices,
    • International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) covering all segments of wireless communications including both hotels and hospitals.
    • Develop business models that allow paging carriers to participate in the private systems that are preferred by these surviving niches.

Lastly, as others have pointed out, in addition to “people paging people” which is in decline, there are three other applications of paging technology, generally identified as “telemetry”, which remain quite viable:

  • People paging things; (P to M)
  • Things paging things; (M to M)
  • Things paging people. (M to P)

The following is a partial list of telemetry applications that use either one-way or two-way paging technologies. Some applications operate in a “person-to-machine” (P to M) mode while others operate in a “machine-to-machine” (M to M) or a machine-to-person (M to P) mode.

One-way Applications:
The following opportunities can be addressed with one-way paging technology:

Electric Load Shedding (P to M or M to M):
Provides electric utilities with the ability to ease the demand for electricity during peak periods by remotely turning non-essential equipment off without visiting the consumer’s premise. Can be implemented in either “person-to-machine” mode wherein a human initiates the “Shed Load” command or in a “machine-to-machine” mode where a computer at the utility detects the usage peak and automatically generates a “Shed Load” command.

Fire & EMS Station Auxiliary Services Including (P to M):
A series of commands to fire station equipment and/or facilities using the “person-to-machine” mode:

  • “Rip & Run” Printers;
  • Wall Mounted Message Boards;
  • Door Opener Control;
  • Emergency Sirens.

Irrigation Controls for Agriculture (P to M or M to M):
Allow irrigation systems to be turned on and off remotely to optimize the use of water that is a scarce commodity in many areas. Can be implemented in either “person-to-machine” mode wherein a human initiates the “Stop or Start Irrigation” commands manually or in a “machine-to-machine” mode where a central computer detects the need for water and automatically generates a “Start Irrigation” command.

Public Emergency Warning Signs for (P to M):
A series of public warnings that tend to use the “person-to-machine” mode:

  • Schools,
  • Hospitals
  • & Similar Public Places

Highway Traffic Signs (P to M):
A series of public announcements that most often use the “person-to-machine” mode to control highway display signs that alert drivers regarding traffic congestion, weather and other conditions of interest.

Traffic Light Override Control (P-M):
A series of controls that most often use the “person-to-machine” mode to permit Fire Department & Public Safety organizations to control traffic lights during emergencies allowing critical personnel to arrive at an incident more quickly.

Weather Forecast, Stock Market Reports and Similar Information Broadcasts (M to M):
Services based on a series of receiving devices marketed to the general public and intended to be installed by the device owners. (e.g. Ambient Devices' ORB product) Relevant information updates are automatically transmitted periodically in a “machine-to-machine” mode.

Taxicab Advertising: Allows advertising messages to be updated as frequently as desired without requiring physical access to the taxicabs.

Billboard Advertising:
Allows advertising messages to be updated frequently without requiring physical visits to the billboard.

Opportunities For Two-Way Paging Technology:
The following opportunities can best be addressed using two-way paging technology:

Remote Meter Reading (P to M or M to M):
Provides water, gas and electric utilities with the ability to read usage meters remotely without needing to visit the premise. May use either “person-to-machine” mode or “machine-machine” mode.

Remote Data Base Access (P to M):
An important tool for law enforcement organizations that affords in-the-field police officers remote access to data base records such as Motor Vehicle, Stolen Property, Wanted Persons, etc. tend to use the “person-to-machine” mode.

Package Drop-Off Boxes (M to M):
Provides package delivery services (UPS, FEDEX, etc.) with the ability to confirm that a drop-off box actually contains a package before dispatching a driver to location for a pickup. Most often use the automatic “machine-to-machine mode.

Oil & Gas Pipeline Monitor Systems (M to M):
Allow pipeline operators to pinpoint malfunctions remotely saving time and reducing the environmental dangers. Most often use the automatic “machine-to-machine mode.

Prisoner Monitoring (P to M):
Allows inmates who are considered “low risk” to work or study outside of prisons while continuing to monitor their movements. Generally use the “person-to-machine/machine to person” mode.

Vending Machine Monitoring:
A “just-in-time” utility that allows vending machine operators to visit machines only when the quantity of goods available to be purchased falls below a preset level. Generally use a combination of “person-to-machine” and “machine-to-machine” modes.

Wireless Point Of Sale Credit Card Reader:
Particularly attractive in temporary or “short-residency” applications such as fairs, sporting events and similar community gatherings. Generally use the “person-to-machine” mode.

Premise/Facility Fire Alarm Monitoring (M to M):
Lower cost and more secure than wire line facilities between Alarm companies and the premises they protect. Generally use the “machine-to-machine” mode.

Fleet Vehicle and Asset Tracking:
Allows fleet operators to keep track of the movements of their fleets. Generally use the “person-to-machine” modes although some “machine-to-machine” utilization is possible.

Wireless ATM:
As stated regarding point of sale credit card readers, particularly attractive in temporary or “short-residency” applications such as fairs, sporting events and similar community gatherings. Generally use the “person-to-machine” mode.

Home Medical Monitoring:
Helps patients maintain contact with health care suppliers. Can include a panic button which patients can use to summon assistance in emergencies.

Business Considerations:
In order to maximize the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and competitive advantage that paging affords telemetry applications, several implementation and business-related options and should be considered:

  • Usage-Based vs. Fixed Cost Arrangements:
    Telemetry applications are economically most attractive when associated costs are usage-based as opposed to fixed-cost producing the following considerations:
  • Usage Sensitive Billing: Allowing all transmissions to any capcode to be counted and billed. Capcodes with low call count cost less than those with heavy usage and this factor encourages users to consider paging distribution facilities as opposed to others.
  • Post-capcode Signaling: The assignment of a single capcode to all telemetry devices in a given application regardless of the number of devices within the group. Specific devices are then selected by the transmission of additional addressing as part of the message field. The resultant accrual of all billable traffic under a single capcode account is a benefit to carriers and telemetry customers.
  • Message Delivery Latency Requirements: Some applications (e.g. Alarm Monitor & Reporting) have severe delivery latency requirements while others are much more tolerant.
  • Lower Customer Support and Churn Considerations: Once committed to a given service, telemetry customers have much less tendency to move from one supplier to another. Telemetry customers also require much less “customer support” than conventional paging customers.

Clearly, other applications can, and should, be developed to create business opportunity for paging carriers in light of the general public’s declining interest in conventional “people to people” paging service. We need to remember, however, that our situation has natural causes that will not be ameliorated by simplistic solutions or by trying to lay blame. But paging technology is not dead. And if all possibilities are viewed with an open mind, if we are willing to change as dictated by current realities, it need not die! We’ve done well in the past and we can do well in the future, if only. . .

In closing I am reminded of an Ojibwa myth that I heard from my Grandmother:

When learning to jump, study the rabbit,
When you can jump like a rabbit, look at the deer,
When you can jump like a deer, remember always the eagle.

I look forward to receiving comments and to working with any interested individuals or groups to further develop these themes, and to keeping paging alive.

Ron Mercer

R.H. Mercer, Consultant
Paging and Wireless Network Planners LLC
217 First Street South
East Northport, NY 11731

Cell Phone: 631-786-9359

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daniels training

The Daniels training department has scheduled a 2-day technical training course in Las Vegas, NV on March 3rd and 4th, 2010 and a 1-day Radio Basics training course for technicians new to the Radio Communications fields on March 2nd, 2010. The courses will be held at:

Rio Hotel and Casino
3700 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV

The courses will run from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM on each day.

MT-4E Analog and P25 Digital Radio Systems Course
Wednesday March 3rd and Thursday March 4th

The courses will consist of:

  • Introduction to P25 Radio System Technology.
  • Discussion of Interface Standards.
  • Practical uses of P25 and definitions of P25 terms.
  • Overview of the new P25 Conventional Fixed Station Interface Standard.
  • Introduction to the New MT-4E Product Line (analog and P25 digital versions).
  • Theory of Operation for all Daniels MT-4 radio systems.
  • Demonstrations and tuning using Daniels MT-4E digital radio product line.

Radio Systems Basics Course
Tuesday March 2nd

The courses will consist of:

  • Introduction to Radio System Operation and Terminology.
  • Frequencies, Modulation and RF Propagation.
  • Radio System Equipment and Configurations.
  • Basics of Testing and Maintaining Radio Systems.

Other Daniels training courses are also being held at:

Embassy Suites
Anchorage, AK
April 20 & 21, 2010
P25 and MT-4E Radio Systems
Coast Harbourside Hotel
Victoria, BC, Canada
May 11 & 12, 2010
P25 and MT-4E Radio Systems

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Any and all students are welcome to attend (Federal, State or Local government employees, Dealers, or any others interested in Daniels radio products).

Students can enroll in the 2-day class for $750.00 (per student) and the one day class for $375.00 (per student), plus applicable taxes. To enroll in the class, please contact Daniels training department with student name, organization, phone number, e-mail and credit card or P.O. to hold your seat (students will not be charged for the class until the class is over).

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Course Enrollment also includes a set of Daniels Instruction manuals, Training Guide, training tool kit and some other goodies. Feel free to bring your laptop computer to have the RSS software loaded into it.

Customers may also bring their own Communications Analyzer, Daniels Radio System and test equipment if it is convenient. It is not necessary, but could allow for more hands-on with your own equipment.

Please contact Daniels Training Section at or 1-800-664-4066 for more information or to reserve your seat. If you know someone who might be interested in this course please pass this invitation on to them.

Source: Daniels Electronics Ltd.

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  • VoIP telephone access — eliminate interconnect expense
  • Call from anywhere — Prism SIP Gateway allows calls from PSTN and PBX
  • All the Features for Paging, Voicemail, Text-to-Pager, Wireless and DECT phones
  • Prism Inet, the new IP interface for TAP, TNPP, SNPP, SMTP — Industry standard message input
  • Direct Connect to NurseCall, Assisted Living, Aged Care, Remote Monitoring, Access Control Systems

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Critical Response Systems

Over 70% of first responders are volunteers
Without an alert, interoperability means nothing.

Get the Alert.

M1501 Acknowledgent Pager

With the M1501 Acknowledgement Pager and a SPARKGAP wireless data system, you know when your volunteers have been alerted, when they’ve read the message, and how they’re going to respond – all in the first minutes of an event. Only the M1501 delivers what agencies need – reliable, rugged, secure alerting with acknowledgement.

Learn More

  • 5-Second Message Delivery
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  • Secondary Features Supporting Public Safety and Healthcare

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Finally, Minitor II housings available
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Repair of Minitor II pagers
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BloostonLaw Telecom Update

Published by the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP

[Portions reproduced here with the firm's permission.]

   Vol. 13, No. 3 x January 20, 2010   

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  • NTIA, RUS open second round of broadband grants.
  • FCC issues HAC reporting enforcement advisory.
  • FCC adopts order, FNPRM to clear 700 MHz band for public safety 4G consumers.
  • FCC seeks comment on national EAS testing.
  • DoJ seeks access to NRUF data.

Round 2 NTIA and RUS Broadband Stimulus Grant Applications Due March 15

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Rural Utilities Service (RUS) have announced the availability of $4.8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants and loans to expand broadband access and adoption in America. This is the second funding round for the agencies’ broadband programs. The filing window for Round 2 applications opens February 16, 2010 and closes March 15, 2010. Changes in the rules for the BTOP and BIP programs have made significant differences in the application process this time around, and may create opportunities for grants/loans to certain projects that could not qualify for Round 1 funding. The two programs are now aimed at different goals, which may make the application process trickier. The RUS BIP program is now aimed at rural “last mile” projects, while the NTIA BTOP program is aimed at middle mile projects targeting community institutions. Moreover, both agencies have modified the application process, especially the “due diligence” stage, putting a greater burden on applicants to submit an application with more complete documentation by the March 15 deadline.

"In response to lessons learned from the first funding round, RUS is making important changes that will make the process easier for applicants and target our resources toward '‘last-mile' broadband connections to homes and businesses," said Jonathan Adelstein, RUS Administrator. "This draws on our long experience in improving rural networks to the most difficult-to-reach areas of our country that need it most. We’ve streamlined the application process, added support for satellite service for rural residents left unserved after other funds are awarded, and provided ourselves more flexibility to target areas of greatest need. We are going to stretch every last dime to maximize economic development in rural areas that currently lack adequate broadband service."

The agencies announced the rules for this funding round in two separate but complementary Notices of Funds Availability (NOFAs) that promote each agency’s distinct objectives. A key aspect of the use of separate NOFAs is that applicants must now choose one program or the other; a single “BTOP/BIP” application will no longer be allowed, although NTIA reserves the right to refer to RUS any BTOP application it does not choose to fund that seems to qualify for BIP. Further analysis of the changes to each program will be needed once the agencies release the actual application forms and guidelines, but NTIA indicates that applicants should NOT submit a largely rural last-mile proposal for BTOP funding, as it will not score well and will likely not be funded by NTIA.

NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP)

NTIA’s NOFA allocates approximately $2.6 billion in this funding round, of which approximately $2.35 billion will be made available for infrastructure projects. In this round, NTIA is adopting a “comprehensive communities” approach as its top priority in awarding infrastructure grants, focusing on middle mile broadband projects that connect key community anchor institutions – such as libraries, hospitals, community colleges, universities, and public safety institutions. Comprehensive Community Infrastructure (“CCI”) projects maximize the benefits of BTOP by leveraging resources, promoting sustainable community growth, and ultimately laying the foundation for reasonably priced broadband service to consumers and businesses.

In addition, NTIA plans to award at least $150 million of the funding for Public Computer Center projects, which will expand access to broadband service and enhance broadband capacity at public libraries, community colleges, and other institutions that service the general public. NTIA also plans to award at least $100 million for Sustainable Broadband Adoption projects, which include projects to provide broadband education, training, and equipment, particularly to vulnerable population groups where broadband technology has traditionally been underutilized.

NTIA has moved some of the eligibility requirements, such as budget reasonableness and technical feasibility, to the due diligence phase, in order to ease the up-front burden on applicants.

RUS’s Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP)

RUS’s NOFA allocates approximately $2.2 billion in this funding round for broadband infrastructure projects. A second funding window will open later which will provide grants for satellite service for premises that remain unserved after all other Recovery Act broadband funding is awarded, make Technical Assistance grants for developing plans using broadband for regional economic development, and grants to provide broadband service to rural libraries funded by USDA under the Recovery Act.

RUS will focus this round on last mile projects, which are anticipated to receive the vast majority of funding. RUS will also fund middle mile projects involving current RUS program participants. The first NOFA had two funding options – grants up to 100 percent in remote rural areas, and 50/50 loan/grant combinations in non-remote rural areas. In the second NOFA, RUS has eliminated this distinction and adopted a base 75/25 grant/loan combination for all projects. The new approach provides RUS applicants with flexibility to seek a waiver if additional grant resources are needed for areas that are difficult to serve, and priority for those who seek lower grant levels. RUS believes this simplified and flexible funding strategy will promote rural economic development. Applicants may request more than a 75 percent grant component by submitting a waiver request to the Administrator, which demonstrates their need for additional grant funding in accordance with the requirements of this Second Round NOFA. The waiver request will be addressed at the time any award is offered. The Administrator has the authority to award grants up to 100 percent. RUS also indicated that it will limit federal assistance to “no more than $10,000 per premises passed, unless a waiver is requested.”

Separate NOFAs will allow (indeed, require) applicants to apply directly to either program. RUS also eliminates the two-step process for BIP applicants (initial application followed by a due diligence submission period) to improve program efficiency; RUS will no longer have a separate due diligence submission phase, but instead will seek all significant information in the initial application, and request additional information later only as needed.

RUS has modified the eligibility for service area funding. Specifically, RUS qualified for funding any rural area in which at least 50 percent of the premises in the area do not have access to broadband service at the rate of 5 Mbps (upstream and downstream combined). Service offerings must still be within proposed funded service areas which are at least 75 percent rural as required by the Recovery Act, but it no longer appears necessary to meet the “unserved” and “underserved” definitions from Round 1. However, RUS has added an important limitation on service area eligibility, in that, “… the existing service area of [incumbent] RUS borrowers in which they provide broadband services shall not be eligible.”

Incorporated into the RUS NOFA is an opportunity for the reconsideration of BIP requests to provide viable applications with every chance for funding. RUS intends a second application review process during which it can allow an applicant to adjust its application to better meet program objectives and for the Administrator to provide discretionary points or to increase a grant component to meet rural economic objectives.

Public Workshops

Also, NTIA and RUS announced a series of public work-shops to review the application process and answer questions from prospective applicants. The workshops will be held in Portland, Ore.; Reno, Nev.; Denver, Colo.; San Antonio, Tex.; Eureka, Mo.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Detroit, Mich.; Blacksburg, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; and Atlanta, Ga. Interested parties can register for the work-shops at

The agencies plan to announce all awards by September 30, 2010.

BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, John Prendergast, and Mary Sisak.

FCC Issues HAC Reporting Enforcement Advisory

The FCC has issued an “Enforcement Advisory,” stating that the Enforcement Bureau has taken action against several companies for their failure to provide information that helps individuals with hearing disabilities fully utilize wireless phone services – allowing them to communicate effectively on their wireless phones without excessive feedback and noise. FCC rules require most digital wireless handset manufacturers and wireless service providers to make available a minimum number of hearing aid compatible handsets. In order to ensure that consumers have access to up-to-date information on the availability of those handsets, and to ensure that the Commission can monitor compliance, FCC rules also require these manufacturers and service providers to make periodic status reports and to post specific information on their public web sites. The Enforcement Bureau this week proposed forfeitures totaling $87,000 against seven companies, and issued Citations to two additional companies, for violating the reporting and posting requirements. (The FCC did not name these companies in its advisory.) The rules at issue in this week’s actions require the following:

  • Manufacturers were required to submit reports detailing their efforts toward compliance with the hearing aid compatibility requirements on January 15, 2009, on July 15, 2009, and must continue to file them on an annual basis on July 15 thereafter.
  • Service providers were required to submit status reports on January 15, 2009, and must continue to file them on an annual basis on January 15 thereafter.
  • Manufacturers and service providers with publicly-accessible web sites must also maintain a list of currently available hearing aid compatible handset models, the technical ratings of those models, and an explanation of the rating system.

With these latest actions, the FCC again confirms, that (i) a company’s failure to familiarize itself with the relevant law does not excuse noncompliance; and (ii) there is no de minimis exception to the wireless hearing aid compatibility reporting requirement. The FCC therefore urges closer attention to these rules by wireless service providers and handset manufacturers, as it intends to continue to strictly enforce these rules against those who fail to comply. Failure to comply with the reporting and web site posting requirements may result in monetary forfeitures starting at $6,000 per violation. Since May 2007, the Bureau has issued 31 Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeitures and Consent Decrees totaling $665,500 for violations of the hearing aid compatibility handset, labeling and reporting requirements.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, Cary Mitchell, and Bob Jackson.

FCC Adopts Order, FNPRM To Clear 700 MHz Band For Public Safety, 4G Consumers

The FCC has adopted an Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) prohibiting the further distribution and sale of certain devices that operate in the 700 MHz frequency band. This item, which was scheduled for the January 20 open meeting, was adopted on circulation, and therefore will not be considered at the meeting. The Commission said the action helps complete an important component of the DTV Transition by clearing the 700 MHz band to enable the rollout of communications services for public safety and the deployment of next generation 4G wireless devices for consumers.

The FCC said the order will primarily impact the use of wireless microphone systems that currently operate in the 700 MHz band. These unlicensed devices cannot continue to operate in this band because they may cause harmful interference to public safety entities and next generation consumers devices that will be utilizing the 700 MHz frequency. Thus, the Commission is making clear that no devices utilizing this frequency may be sold or distributed. In order to ensure that individuals and groups currently using unauthorized devices in this band have ample time to transition to appropriate frequencies, the FCC is providing a sunset period until June 12, 2010, one year from the DTV Transition.

The Commission said it is also unveiling an aggressive consumer outreach plan in order to assist consumers who have previously purchased wireless microphone systems and other related devices that utilized the 700 MHz band. Through the Commission’s website,, consumers can learn whether their wireless device is currently operating in the prohibited band and whether their devices may be retuned to operate on another band. Consumers may also call 1-800-CALL-FCC to ask questions regarding this transition.

As part of its consumer outreach plan, the FCC will release consumer publications, including a Consumer Fact Sheet, that informs the public of decisions in this Report and Order and of the need to clear the 700 MHz Band so that the spectrum can be used for the provision of new public safety and commercial services.

The FCC said it will work with organizations whose memberships include wireless microphone users so that they help the agency inform all affected users of Commission decisions in this Report and Order, particularly the need to clear the 700 MHz Band.

The FCC will make available via its website and its call center information regarding which wireless microphones are 700 MHz wireless microphones, what options may be available if consumers do have 700 MHz microphones, and how to contact wireless microphone manufacturers to obtain additional information. Information concerning the FCC’s decision will be posted on its website.

Finally, in the FNPRM, the FCC takes the following actions:

  • It proposes to revise its rules to provide that low power wireless audio devices, including wireless microphones, may be operated as unlicensed devices under Part 15 of the rules in the core TV bands.
  • It proposes technical rules to apply to low power wireless audio devices, including wireless microphones, operating in the core TV bands on an unlicensed basis under Part 15 of the rules.
  • It seeks comment on whether, and to what extent, eligibility for obtaining licenses to operate low power auxiliary stations, including wireless microphones, under Part 74 should be expanded, and on whether it should revise Part 90 to facilitate wireless microphone use.
  • It seeks comment on possible longer-term approaches for the operation of wireless microphones. Consistent with its broader efforts to manage this country’s spectrum resources as effectively and efficiently as possible, the Commission seeks comment on possible long-term reform, based in part on technological innovation such as digital technology, that would enable wireless microphones to operate more efficiently and with improved immunity to harmful interference, thereby increasing the availability of spectrum for wireless microphone and other uses.

Comments in this WT Docket No. 08-167, ET Docket No. 10-24 proceeding will be due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, and replies will be due 21 days thereafter.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, and Cary Mitchell.

FCC Seeks Comment On National EAS Testing

The FCC has adopted a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, proposing to amend its Part 11 rules governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to provide for national testing of the EAS and collection of data from such tests. The EAS is a national alert and warning system that exists primarily to enable the President of the United States to issue warnings to the American public during emergencies. To date, however, neither the EAS nor its predecessor national alerting systems have been used to deliver a national Presidential alert. Moreover, while the Part 11 rules provide for periodic testing of EAS at the state and local level, no systematic national test of the EAS has ever been conducted to determine whether the system would in fact function as required should the President issue a national alert, and, in their current form, the EAS rules do not mandate any such test.

In the FCC Chairman’s recent 30-Day Review on FCC Preparedness for Major Public Emergencies, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau noted that concerns had been raised regarding the frequency and scope of EAS testing. The Bureau recommended that the three Federal partners responsible for EAS – the Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS), review the testing regime to see where improvement could be made.

Since the 30-Day Review was conducted, the Commission, FEMA, and NWS, along with the Executive Office of the President (EOP), have initiated discussions regarding testing of the EAS at the national level. The FCC and its Federal partners agreed that it is vital that the EAS work as designed and shared concerns that existing testing may be insufficient to ensure its effective operation. In light of this, the Commission, FEMA, NWS and EOP have begun planning for a national EAS test, with subsequent tests to occur thereafter. To facilitate this test program, in this Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC proposes to amend its EAS rules to specifically provide for national EAS testing and data collection.

The FCC seeks comment on all issues, including whether its proposed rule would effectively ensure accurate EAS testing at the national level. Specifically, the FCC proposes to amend section 11.61(a)(3) of its rules to read as follows:

National Tests. All EAS Participants shall participate in national tests as scheduled by the Commission in consultation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Such tests will consist of the delivery by FEMA to PEP/NP stations of a coded EAS message, including EAS header codes, Attention Signal, Test Script, and EOM code. The coded message shall utilize EAS test codes as designated by the Commission’s rules or such other EAS codes as the agencies conducting the test deem appropriate. A national test shall replace the required monthly test for all EAS Participants in the month in which it occurs. Notice shall be provided to EAS Participants by the Commission at least two months prior to the conduct of any such national test. Test results as required by the Commission shall be logged by all EAS Participants and shall be provided to the Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau within thirty (30) days following the test.

The FCC seeks comment on the specific language of the proposed rule, whether it is the best way to implement national testing, whether different provisions should be adopted. The FCC also proposes implementing the national test on a yearly basis. The Commission also seeks comment on specific test-related diagnostic information. Comments in this EB Docket No. 04-296 proceeding will be due 30 days after publication of the item in the Federal Register, and replies will be due 30 days thereafter.

BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.


DoJ SEEKS ACCESS TO NRUF DATA: The FCC notes that the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), Antitrust Division, is completing its investigations of two wireless mergers, including evaluating the proposed acquirers of the assets to be divested pursuant to the Final Judgment entered in U.S. et al. v. Verizon Communications Inc. and Alltel Corp., and the proposed Final Judgment in U.S. et al. v. AT&T Inc. and Centennial Communications Corp. For the purpose of assisting in those investigations, the DoJ has requested access to information contained in the Numbering Resource Utilization and Forecast (NRUF) reports filed by wireless telecommunications carriers and to disaggregated, carrier-specific local number portability (LNP) data related to wireless telecommunications carriers. Comments (oppositions) in this CC Docket Nos. 99-200 and 95-116 proceeding are due January 25. If the Commission receives no opposition by that date, it will disclose the requested information to the Department. Clients that have operations in areas that Verizon or AT&T divested following the recent Alltel and Centennial mergers should contact us if they wish to lodge an objection to use of their NRUF data.

The FCC said that Section 251 of the Communications Act gives the Commission jurisdiction over the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) and related telephone numbering issues. In order to better monitor the way numbering resources are used within the NANP and efficiently allocate NANP resources, the Commission requires telecommunications carriers to provide the Commission with utilization reports of their current inventory of telephone numbers and a five-year forecast of their numbering resource requirements. LNP data is collected by the LNP Administrator, and provided to the Commission. The Commission has recognized that disaggregated, carrier-specific forecast and utilization data should be treated as confidential and should be exempt from public disclosure. In general, the Commission may share information it has collected with another government agency under 44 U.S.C. § 3510. Section 3510 further provides that all provisions of law that relate to the unlawful disclosure of information apply to the employees of the agency to which the information is released. Although the Commission’s regulations provide that proprietary and commercially sensitive information will be withheld from public disclosure, subject to the public’s right to seek disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act and implementing regulations, the Commission may disclose records to other federal agencies that have been submitted to the Commission in confidence upon another agency’s request. The DoJ states in its request that its policy is to protect the confidentiality of sensitive information and to prevent it from being shared among competitors. The Department further states that the information requested will be used only for a legitimate law enforcement purpose and that it will not disclose such sensitive information unless it is required by law or is necessary to further a legitimate law enforcement purpose. The Department maintains that if it is necessary to enclose any confidential business information in court filings, its policy is to notify the affected party as soon as is reasonably practical, to seek to file such information under seal, and to make reasonable efforts to limit disclosure of the information until the affected party has had an opportunity to appear before the court and the court has ruled on any request by the affected party. The Department further states that if a request is made under the Freedom of Information Act for the disclosure of confidential information, it is the Department’s policy to assert all applicable exemptions and to use its best efforts to provide concerned parties with notice prior to the release of any information. It also states that if confidential business information becomes the subject of discovery in any litigation to which the Department is a party, it is the Department’s policy to use its best efforts to ensure that a protective order is entered, and to not voluntarily provide the information until concerned parties have had an opportunity to review and comment on the protective order and to apply to the court for further protection. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

FCC ELIMINATES PART 23 IFPRS RULES: The FCC has issued an Order, eliminating Part 23 of the its Rules, governing International Fixed Public Radiocommunication Services (IFPRS). It also eliminated the frequency allocations for IFPRS in the Table of Frequency Allocations. The FCC said these revisions will eliminate a co-primary spectrum allocation for an outmoded service, and will facilitate operations by other services allocated to use those bands on a primary basis, such as by other Fixed Service (FS) operations and the Fixed Satellite Service (FSS), which provide, among other things, disaster recovery communications services. The Commission's rules define IFPRS as a publicly available fixed service between the United States and foreign points. Part 23 was created in the 1930s. IFPRS more recently was made up of point-to-point microwave services. For many years, these facilities provided an important form of international communications. More recently, however, IFPRS has been limited to point-to-point microwave services provided between islands in the Caribbean Sea. In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this Proceeding, the Commission invited comment on eliminating Part 23, and regulating IFPRS operators under the rules for domestic Fixed Wireless operators in Part 101. The Commission invited comment on a transition mechanism from the Part 23 rules to the Part 101 rules. The Commission also invited comment on revising the frequency allocation for IFPRS. There were three IFPRS licensees in the year 2000. In the Part 23 Notice, the Commission observed that one of those IFPRS licensees had ceased its operations. Since the Part 23 Notice was issued in 2005, the remaining two licensees have ceased their IFPRS operations. No other parties have applied for an IFPRS license since 2000. Moreover, the application filed in 2000 was the first one in "several years." One party, PanAmSat Corporation (PanAmSat), filed comments, proposing primarily to eliminate the current allocation for IFPRS in the C-band. No replies were filed. The FCC said that no one currently offers IFPRS, and there is no basis in the record for assuming that anyone will apply for a license to operate facilities to provide this service in the future. “Accordingly,” the FCC said, “there is no need for Part 23, and we remove it from the Commission's rules.” BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, John Prendergast, and Richard Rubino.

MAINE PUC SEEKS RULING REGARDING SECTION 271 ACCESS TO DARK FIBER FACILITIES AND LINE SHARING: On November 25, 2009, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) filed a petition for declaratory ruling on the scope of carriers’ Communications Act Section 271 obligations regarding dark fiber facilities and line sharing. The MPUC subsequently amended its petition on December 2, 2009. The MPUC specifically requests that the FCC “determine whether line sharing, certain dark fiber loops, dark fiber transport and dark fiber entrance facilities are facilities falling within items four and/or five of the ‘competitive checklist’ found in 47 U.S.C. § 271(c)(2)(B)(iv),(v).” This petition is filed against the backdrop of litigation over the MPUC’s ruling that dark fiber entrance and transport facilities must be provisioned to competing carriers in the state of Maine. The parties to the litigation agreed to seek a determination from the Commission after the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston decided that the interpretation of Section 271 in this matter should be handled by the Commission. The FCC seeks comment on the petition, which requests a declaratory ruling from the Commission regarding whether Section 271 requires Northern New England Telephone Operations, LLC, d/b/a FairPoint Communications-NNE (successor to Verizon as the Regional Bell Operating Company in Maine) to make certain dark fiber loops, dark fiber transport, dark fiber entrance facilities, and line sharing available to competitors seeking access and interconnection services from FairPoint in Maine. Comments in this WC Docket No. 10-14 proceeding are due March 1, and replies are due March 15. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

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This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm.

Source: Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy and Prendergast, LLP For additional information, contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or

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CVC Paging

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  • January 11, 1997—Telstar 401 suffers a short in the satellite circuitry—TOTAL LOSS May 19, 1998—Galaxy 4 control processor causes loss of fixed orbit—TOTAL LOSS September 19, 2003—Telstar 4 suffers loss of its primary power bus—TOTAL LOSS March 17, 2004—PAS-6 suffers loss of power—TOTAL LOSS
  • January 14, 2005—Intelsat 804 suffers electrical power system anomaly—TOTAL LOSS


Allow us to uplink your paging data to two separate satellites for complete redundancy! CVC owns and operates two separate earth stations and specializes in uplink services for paging carriers. Join our list of satisfied uplink customers.

  • Each earth station features hot standby redundancy UPS and Generator back-up Redundant TNPP Gateways On shelf spares for all critical components
  • 24/7 staffing and support

cvc paging cvc antennas For inquires please call or e-mail Stephan Suker at 800-696-6474 or left arrow

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CVC Paging

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GL3000 Paging Terminals - C2000 Controllers
GL3200 Internet Gateways - Transmitter Equipment


GTES is the only Glenayre authorized software support provider in the paging industry. With years of combined experience in Glenayre hardware and software support, GTES offers the industry the most professional support and engineering staff available.


  • GTES Partner Maintenance Program
  • Glenayre Product Sales
  • Software Licenses and Software Upgrades
  • Feature License Codes
  • New & Used Spare Parts and Repairs
  • Customer Phone Support and On-Site Services
  • Product Training


Sales Support - Debbie Schlipman
  Phone: +1-251-445-6826
Customer Service
  Phone: +1-800-663-5996 or +1-972-801-0590
Website -

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WiPath Communications

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Intelligent Solutions for Paging & Wireless Data

WiPath manufactures a wide range of highly unique and innovative hardware and software solutions in paging and mobile data for:

  • Emergency Mass Alert & Messaging Emergency Services Communications Utilities Job Management Telemetry and Remote Switching Fire House Automation
  • Load Shedding and Electrical Services Control

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  • FLEX & POCSAG Built-in POCSAG encoder Huge capcode capacity Parallel, 2 serial ports, 4 relays
  • Message & system monitoring

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  • Variety of sizes Indoor/outdoor
  • Integrated paging receiver

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  • Highly programmable, off-air decoders Message Logging & remote control Multiple I/O combinations and capabilities
  • Network monitoring and alarm reporting

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  • Emergency Mass Alerting Remote telemetry switching & control Fire station automation PC interfacing and message management Paging software and customized solutions Message interception, filtering, redirection, printing & logging Cross band repeating, paging coverage infill, store and forward
  • Alarm interfaces, satellite linking, IP transmitters, on-site systems

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Mobile Data Terminals & Two Way Wireless  Solutions

mobile data terminal
  • Fleet tracking, messaging, job processing, and field service management Automatic vehicle location (AVL), GPS
  • CDMA, GPRS, ReFLEX, conventional, and trunked radio interfaces
radio interface

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WiPath Communications LLC
4845 Dumbbarton Court
Cumming, GA 30040
4845 Dumbbarton Court
Cumming, GA 30040
Web site: left arrow CLICK
E-mail: left arrow CLICK
Phone: 770-844-6218
Fax: 770-844-6574
WiPath Communications

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Preferred Wireless

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Equipment For Sale
Terminals & Controllers:
1 Motorola C-Net Platinum Controller
1 Motorola ASC1500 Controller
1 Skydata Model 5090 Uplink Power Control
1 Skydata Model 8360 MSK Modulator
8 Skydata Multi Channel Receivers - NEW
1 Gilat Transmitter
2 Gilat Skyway ODU Controller
2 Rad RSD-10
3 Gilat Satellite Transmitter
2 Gilat Skymux Controller
8 Skymux Expansion
2 Gilat Transmitters
2 GL3100 RF Director
30 Zetron Model 66 Controllers
Link Transmitters:
6 Glenayre GL C2100 Link Repeaters
1 Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
1 Glenayre QT4201, 25W Midband Link TX
3 Glenayre QT-6201, 100W Midband Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2 Motorola 30W, Midband Link TX (C42JZB6106AC)
VHF Paging Transmitters
14 Motorola Nucleus 125W, NAC
3 Motorola Nucleus 350W, NAC
1 Motorola VHF PURC-5000 125W, ACB or TRC
10 Glenayre GLT8411, 250W, VHF TX
UHF Paging Transmitters:
24 Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
2 Quintron QT-7795, 250W UHF, w/TCC & RL70 Rx.
3 Motorola PURC-5000 110W, TRC or ACB
3 Motorola PURC-5000 225W, ACB
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
3 Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
20 Glenayre GLT-8500, 250W, C2000, w/ or w/o I20
4 Motorola PURC 5000, 300W, DRC or ACB
3 Motorola PURC 5000, 150W, DRC or ACB

left arrow CLICK HERE

Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail
Preferred Wireless
Rick McMichael
left arrow CLICK HERE
left arrow OR HERE

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Preferred Wireless

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pat merkel ad left arrow Click to e-mail left arrow Paging Web Site
Joshua's Mission left arrow Helping Wounded Marines Homepage
Joshua's Mission left arrow Joshua's Mission Press Release

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Easy Solutions

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easy solutions

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

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

Experts in Paging Infrastructure
Glenayre, Motorola, Unipage, etc.
Excellent Service Contracts
Full Service—Beyond Factory Support
Contracts for Glenayre and other Systems starting at $100
Making systems More Reliable and MORE PROFITABLE for over 28 years.

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

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119
left arrow CLICK

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Easy Solutions

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Hark Technologies

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Wireless Communication Solutions

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USB Paging Encoder

paging encoder

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

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Paging Data Receiver (PDR)


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

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Other products

  • Please see our web site for other products including Internet Messaging Gateways, Unified Messaging Servers, test equipment, and Paging Terminals.
Hark Technologies
717 Old Trolley Rd Ste 6 #163
Summerville, SC 29485
Tel: 843-821-6888
Fax: 843-821-6894
E-mail: left arrow CLICK HERE

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Hark Technologies

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UCOM Paging

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Satellite Uplink
As Low As

  • Data input speeds up to 38.4 Kbps Dial-in modem access for Admin Extremely reliable & secure
  • Hot standby up link components

Knowledgeable Tech Support 24/7

Contact Alan Carle Now!
1-888-854-2697 x272

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UCOM Paging

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Haiti survivor 'saved by first-aid iPhone app'

January 21, 2010

An American filmmaker who was injured and trapped under rubble in the devastating Haiti earthquake credits a first-aid iPhone application with helping him get out alive after 65 hours.

Technology has been harnessed for significant benefit in the wake of the disaster, with donations drives flooding Twitter and Facebook, aid agencies using online tools to co-ordinate relief efforts and Google updating its Maps site to include highly detailed images of post-quake Haiti.

Dan Woolley, with his trusty digital SLR camera, recovers in hospital. Photo: NBC Miami

Dan Woolley, who was caught in the collapse of the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince, used the Pocket First Aid and CPR app to treat a compound fracture of his leg and a cut on his forehead, he told the US Today show.

Woolley, 39, was in Haiti on assignment for Compassion International, making a film about poverty in the country. He had just returned to his hotel from a day of filming when the earthquake struck, trapping him beneath six storeys of rubble.

"I just saw the walls rippling and just explosive sounds all around me," Woolley said.

"When things settled a little bit I tried to look around. I couldn't see anything. It was complete darkness, but I feel God gave me some tools to help me survive."

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The blood-stained notebook Woolley used to scrawl messages to his family. Photo: NBC Miami

Having lost his glasses, Woolley used his digital SLR camera and flash to illuminate and take photos of his surroundings, revealing a nearby elevator shaft that he used for cover.

The iPhone first-aid app taught him how to fashion a bandage and tourniquet for his leg and to stop the bleeding from the wound to his head, he told NBC Miami.

Woolley set his alarm clock to go off every 20 minutes after the app cautioned him not to fall asleep if he was going into shock.

"I was able to look up treatment of excessive bleeding and compound fracture, so I used my shirt to tie my leg and a sock on the back of my head and later used it for other things like to diagnose shock," he said.

Woolley was rescued after more than 60 hours by a French rescue team but his colleague David Hames is still missing.

Unsure whether he would ever be rescued, Woolley scrawled notes to his wife, Christina, and children Josh, 6, and Nathan, 3, on a blood-stained black notebook.

"I was in a big accident. Don't be upset at God. He always provides for his children, even in hard times," he wrote.

"I'm still praying that God will get me out, but He may not. But He will always take care of you."

Woolley is now at home after being reunited with his family in Colorado Springs.

A user review of the first-aid app, published by "Webguydan" and first spotted by, reads: "Consulted this app, while trapped under Hotel Montana in Haiti earthquake, to treat excessive bleeding and shock. Helped me stay alive till I was rescued 64 hours later.” It is not clear if the review was written by Woolley.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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its stil here


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

We also have refurbished Alphamate II, and the original Alphamate.

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

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Phil Leavitt
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  7508 N. Red Ledge Dr.
  Paradise Valley, AZ • 85253

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From: Ron Mayes
Subject: RE: Is Paging Technology Dead?
Date: January 12, 2010 1:20:53 PM CST
To: Brad Dye


I just forwarded a quick report on my findings at CES show to many of my industry friends and contacts. Didn't make CES 09 but did attend rest of this decade. To my surprise there were NO paging companies, manufacturers or distributors at CES for the first time in my recollection, for nearly 30 years. I looked high and low through most of the exhibits at the show. I did run into another paging guy, Phil Leavitt of Leavitt Communications from AZ, who spotted me in the crowd and reported about the same. Does this mean paging is dead. Probably not yet, however, it appears Paging is going the way of CB radio (27 Mhz). CB mfg Midland was at the show because they make a wide range of consumer communications products and there was one CB distributor there as well.

Verizon shut down the Alltel Paging network they acquired in Kansas (and probably other states) at the end of December 09 that was being utilized by American Messaging for resale along with other companies. I received calls from several businesses and medical units throughout Kansas looking for replacement or alternatives. However, none had enough numbers to justify expanding my coverage and they balked at our current prices when compared to what they were paying before. Once again the too low of price point introduced by the national paging guys came back to bite everyone. A follow- up showed all of these contacts but one went to cellular phones. While some may think paging prices need to remain very low to maintain interest, I respectfully disagree and point to the fact that many have been bankrupted using this business model. Once a customer is forced to make a change in paging because of bad carrier economics and look to the local paging systems they get a price shock which only helps them convert to cellular phones. This was the theme of most who visited my exhibit at the Kansas Hospital Association conference recently as well.

I am fortunate in being able to maintain our paging system and have added customers who will pay more for service than the nationwide systems charge. Being versatile in wireless business products and services helps a lot too. However, I do keep an eye out for the opportunities that will replace my paging revenue and expect the paging business life to be finite and the end closer than one may realize. I don't expect to be spending money upgrading my paging system and wouldn't be surprised to find others who think the same way. So in answer to your question is paging dead? NO, but there isn't much future in it either.

Sorry It's not so positive of outlook or report by me. Unless by saying paging isn't DEAD gives one a good feeling.

Your newsletters are always insightful and benefit our industry. Have a great day and stay warm.

Ron Mayes
Advantage Communications & Paging
Wichita, KS

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From: Ron Mayes
Subject: Some things about CES you may find interesting.
Date: January 12, 2010 12:02:59 PM CST
To: Brad Dye

January 12, 2010

A quick report on the new stuff introduced at Consumer Electronics Show that you may find interesting.

The Swiss Army Knife is evolving into a USB storage device with thumb print reader for security. Now you can really impress TSA security at airport check points.

  • All but one (Midland) CB (Citizens Band) Radio Manufacturers and distributors were absent from CES.
  • There were few 2 Way radios shown and absolutely NO Paging/Pagers at the show.
  • Many Cellular accessory distributors were also absent. Cellular emphasis is “SMART PHONES”.
  • Desktop Computer mfgs and distributors were down in numbers. NETBOOKS were the thing!
  • The big increase was really consumer electronic devices that would be in your home. A new emphasis is on GREEN energy conservation, home security, and wireless networking that will connect your computer, TV, stereo, heating – AC system, alarm system and related devices together to be managed and accessed through the internet or your smart phone.
  • Many of the technology manufacturers are acknowledging that these products are too complicated for most consumers and are trying to make them plug n play. Most all state that their return statistics are unrelated to product quality and really reflect the consumers ignorance or inability to make something work. This includes TVs, cameras, phones, wireless routers and more. Most no longer include a printed operators manual and instead include PDF or Video demonstrations on disk to go along with a product. Several indicated a move towards professional installation and assistance for their products.

REMEMBER: Advantage Communications is still your professional choice on wireless communications products and accessories. Including: Paging, Pagers, Two way radios, In Building Cellular amplifier systems, wireless networks, custom computers, IP internet cameras and more.

Ron Mayes
Advantage Communications & Paging
742 S. Washington
Wichita, KS 67211

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Here’s another writer's view of the show.

CES: The industry’s new wireless show? (Telephony today)

This year's Consumer Electronics Show had more good news for the industry than just a 6% increase in attendance. It also featured a marked increase in focus on wireless technologies. Wireless connectivity is beginning to permeate all aspects of the gadget industry and — at the same time — applications, smartphones' domain, are also venturing outside their mobile roots onto an array of new devices.

If 2009 was the year of netbooks, than 2010 will likely be the year that e-readers steal the scene. There were a slew of new devices on display at CES, including a Skiff-built e-reader that will run over Sprint's network. According to Danny Bowman, president of Sprint's integrated solutions group, the Skiff won't just be another e-reader; it's a new publishing platform that will also be available on the BlackBerry, Palm Pre and eventually more screens. Sprint, like other carriers, believes emerging devices represent a huge growth opportunity, with most forecasts putting around 150 million new devices coming to carrier networks by the end of 2013.

Bowman said that he expects the explosion of smartphones and netbooks to continue into 2010 as well as, on the business side, an influx of wireless point-of-sale devices, digital signage and digital billboards. He also cited an interesting example of a car insurance company using a connected driving camera to determine insurance rates, so that actual driving behavior determines rates instead of self-reported answers.

Verizon Wireless and a number of partners also hosted long-term evolution demos, which gave the most comprehensive view of the power of wireless in the energy-efficient home, automobiles, health care applications, remote mobile conferencing, entertainment and even how connected digital cameras can transform the paparazzi, a business where the successful get their pictures in first. Wireless essentially became an integral part of nearly every vendor in attendance's plans, either present or future.

As wireless made its move, so too did the applications the networks could enable. AT&T used its developer conference in part to announce how it is taking mobile applications beyond the smartphone and into its popular line of Quick Messaging Devices, but other companies took that message even further. Chipmaker Intel, for one, introduced the AppUp Center, its own netbook app store designed for services appropriate for a netbook's screen size and mobility. The storefront, including an initial set of entertainment, business, games, education, health and social media apps, is available today on Windows devices and will support Moblin-based operating systems, as well as other runtime environments later this year. Acer, Asus, Dell and Samsung also announced plans to collaborate with Intel on their own app stores.

"Our vision is to extend [AppUp Center] to any Intel architecture device in the computing spectrum, up to the PC space, netbooks and down into handheld and even the smart TV space over time,"said Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel, in his keynote address. "It gives the developer community a very broad template to recoup their investment and gives the same user experience over a range of devices.”

Carriers have been looking to cash in on applications and the emerging device opportunity for as long as their voice revenues have been shrinking, but it is encouraging to see the enthusiasm from the consumer electronics industry as well. There is still a lot that needs to be worked out — including the business model for new apps and devices — as these two industries forge relationships, but CES should be a good indication of what lies ahead. You can bet the conversations will only get more interesting at next month's Mobile World Congress.

The end. . .

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Newsletter Editor


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Wireless Messaging News
Brad Dye, Editor
P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

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Skype: braddye
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