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AAPC Wireless Messaging News

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FRIDAY - APRIL 2, 2010 - ISSUE NO. 401

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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,

Ah . . . Springtime!

“In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” (Alfred Lord Tennyson)

And an old man's thoughts turn to: “How in the world am I going to pay my taxes this year?”

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Well . . . tomorrow is the big day. Apple's new iPad will become available through Apple stores and Best Buy. I predict that this "magical" new product will forever change several things:

  • the Internet and wireless publishing of books, newspapers, and magazines;
  • wireless text messaging;
  • Internet browsing using a touch screen instead of a mouse;
  • how we save our favorite photos in a "scrapbook" to show our friends;
  • how sales-people make product presentations;
  • and many more.

This product redefines what is cool. It is truly revolutionary. It may sound trite to say that it is "user friendly" but it brings this term up to a new level. Apple's Senior Vice President of Design, Jony Ive, says: "I don't have to change myself to fit the product, it fits me!" You can watch his video here.

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Frequent readers know that I have been closely following the topic of CB - "Cell Broadcast." This is the technology that will allow Cellular Telephone Systems to send one common message to many subscribers at the same time.

CB technology is a one-to-many broadcast service as opposed to SMS which is a one-to-one service.

Even though it is limited to the subscribers within one-common-cell coverage area, this will be a very important addition to our national security for the wireless-mass-notification of critical messages. Currently, paging technology is the only available means of doing this.

I found an article on CB Technology on a web site in India and have included it this week to keep you up to date on this important issue.

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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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aapc logo American Association of Paging Carriers

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AAPC Announcements:

  • Welcome to our latest carrier member — Steve Neal of Tri State Paging and our new bronze vendor member — RF Demand Solutions !
  • Vendors — click here to review the various opportunities and benefits of participating at this “can't miss” event for the industry.
  • Reminder — AAPC has negotiated a deal directly with Interstate Battery to help you — our members — receive lower rates on your battery purchases. To take advantage of this deal, you must contact Mark Dozier directly at Interstate Battery, 214-882-3800 or, and identify yourself as an AAPC member. He will work with each individual carrier to set up a system that works for you. There are no minimum orders, he will use your own shipping accounts, and you will be able to preorder and/or establish an account.
  • Do you have some spare equipment collecting dust? If you do — do not forget that the Trading Post is designed to help our members sell/exchange products easily and the more members populate the trading post the more useful it will become.

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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 Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC
CVC Paging Preferred Wireless
Daviscomms USA Prism Paging
Easy Solutions Ron Mercer
GTES—Global Technical Engineering Solutions UCOM Paging
Hark Technologies Unication USA
HMCE, Inc. United Communications Corp.
Northeast Paging WiPath Communications

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First iPad reviews hit the web

Posted on Mar 31, 2010 9:42 pm by Jason Snell,

With the iPad a few days away, now begins one of the great rituals of the release of a new Apple product: the posting of the reviews from the lucky few journalists who were given a week to play with the product.

Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal weighs in with “Apple iPad: Laptop Killer? Pretty Close.”

For the past week or so, I have been testing a sleek, light, silver-and-black tablet computer called an iPad. After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.


All in all, however, the iPad is an advance in making more-sophisticated computing possible via a simple touch interface on a slender, light device. Only time will tell if it’s a real challenger to the laptop and netbook.

Ed Baig of USA Today writes “Verdict is in on Apple iPad: It’s a winner.”

The first iPad is a winner. It stacks up as a formidable electronic-reader rival for Amazon’s Kindle. It gives portable game machines from Nintendo and Sony a run for their money. At the very least, the iPad will likely drum up mass-market interest in tablet computing in ways that longtime tablet visionary and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates could only dream of.


Apple has pretty much nailed it with this first iPad, though there’s certainly room for improvement. Nearly three years after making a splash with the iPhone, Apple has delivered another impressive product that largely lives up to the hype.

Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times (and Macworld!) has posted part one of a promised five part series, “The iPad is pure innovation - one of the best computers ever.”

The iPad user experience is instantly compelling and elegant. It’s not every computer and every function. It’s a computer that’s designed for speed, mobility, and tactile interaction above all other considerations.

The most compelling sign that Apple got this right is the fact that despite the novelty of the iPad, the excitement slips away after about ten seconds and you’re completely focused on the task at hand … whether it’s reading a book, writing a report, or working on clearing your Inbox. Second most compelling: in situation after situation, I find that the iPad is the best computer in my household and office menagerie. It’s not a replacement for my notebook, mind you. It feels more as if the iPad is filling a gap that’s existed for quite some time.

David Pogue of the New York Times writes “Love it or not? Looking at iPad from 2 angles.”

And the techies are right about another thing: the iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it — books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on. For most people, manipulating these digital materials directly by touching them is a completely new experience — and a deeply satisfying one.

The bottom line is that the iPad has been designed and built by a bunch of perfectionists. If you like the concept, you’ll love the machine.

The only question is: Do you like the concept?

Tim Gideon of PC Magazine reviews the iPad and gives it 4.5 red dots out of 5.

Kindle: I like you, but I am nervous about your future. The iPad displays books in a way that is much flashier than your black and white e-ink screen. It shows illustrations in color. Page turns actually look like page turns. And Apple gets the extras right, like being able to bookmark any word in the book you’re reading and then find it on a menu of all your bookmarks, sorted by date.


Is the iPad a perfect product? No. And the omissions will give the anti-Apple crowd plenty of ammo. Why do I need this extra device that’s not a full-fledged laptop? Where’s the camera? What about Flash? Um, how about multitasking? These are all valid complaints, but one thing I can say about most Apple products, and certainly the iPad: There may be things it doesn't do, but what it does do, it does remarkably well. Aside from the aforementioned limitations, there isn’t a lot else to gripe about.

Xeni Jardin of BoingBoing writes, “Apple’s iPad is a touch of genius.”

Tapping and swirling my way through iBooks (the store includes free, public domain titles in addition to the $9.99-$12.99 bestsellers), and iPad native apps provided at launch such as the spectacular, game-changing Marvel Comics app (crisp, lucid art, the ability to navigate frame-by-frame, rendering spoilers down the page obsolete), the Epicurious recipe browser, and the news browsing app by Reuters (free app in which video is, again, a seamless delight), the idea hits. This is what we wanted e-books to be all along. Rich, nimble, and dense with image and sound and navigability, right there inside the flow of the story. And this is what we wanted the web to feel like all along. We just want it to work, and we don't want to be aware of the delivery method while we're enjoying what's delivered.

Bob LeVitus of the Houston Chronicle writes that “Apple’s iPad is better than expected.”

It turns out the iPad isn’t as much a laptop replacement as I thought (though it could easily be used as one). Instead, it’s an entirely new category of mobile device. For example, now when I want to surf the Web from the couch or back deck, the iPad is the device I choose. Starbucks? Same thing. Think of the iPad as a new arrow in your technology quiver, an arrow that will often be the best tool for a given task.

I had high expectations for the iPad, and it has met or exceeded most of them.

Omar Wasow at The Root says that “techies are wrong about the iPad”:

...the techie obsession with specs and obscure features completely misses how most consumers will actually use the iPad. A small percentage of power users will be disappointed that the iPad doesn't, say, have an HDMI video-out port or that it currently lacks the ability to run multiple applications simultaneously or that it fails to address some other esoteric concern. The rest of us (even most techies) will be thrilled that doing what we want to do on the iPad is generally effortless. Wanna read the news in bed before breakfast? Easy. Wanna play a casual multi-player game of Scrabble on the sofa? Trivial. Wanna check your calendar, review a recipe, listen to a mix of indie rock, and load a map with detailed driving directions for an upcoming trip? Cake. With few exceptions, the iPad is impressively easy and fun to use.

And Stephen Fry is unpacking his iPad on YouTube.

Of course, our own iPad coverage will arrive as soon as we get our hands on one!

Source: Macworld

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Complete Technical Services For The Communications and Electronics Industries

Design • Installation • Maintenance • Training • Engineering • Licensing • Technical Assistance

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Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Registered Professional Engineer

Tel/Fax: 972-960-9336
Cell: 214-707-7711
7711 Scotia Dr.
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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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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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New Skype Application for Verizon Wireless Showcased on BlackBerry Storm 2, Motorola DROID

March 24, 2010, By Radimir Bobev in Cellphones, News

Those of you who’ve been at the CTIA were probably offered the chance to try the new Skype running on a BlackBerry Storm 2, as well as a Motorola DROID. The application gives users the ability to make unlimited calls, both domestic and international, and full instant messaging functionality.

You can also manage your contacts list very easily, and also call international numbers — which will cost you by Skype’s international calling rates, mind you! This will effectively allow you to place international calls at rates much lower than those Verizon are charging you normally.

However, there are some things still missing from the application – for example, functionality to call domestic landlines. Attempting to do so will display a prompt asking you to use your Verizon Wireless plan to make the call. Calling isn’t direct peer-to-peer either, as calls are being rerouted through Verizon’s voice network to Skype’s servers, leading to a somewhat decreased quality in the calls — it’s still great though, so don’t worry.

[ Via BoyGeniusReport ]


Device Magazine

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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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Firm: iPad May Replace Windows-Based Computers

By Maisie Ramsay
Thursday, April 1, 2010

A market research firm says over one-third of U.S. consumers may replace their Windows-based computers with Apple's iPad, which will hit shelves on Saturday.

According to Opinion Research Corp. (ORC), 35 percent of those polled said an iPad could eventually replace a laptop or desktop computer running Windows.

The research firm also said the vast majority of U.S. consumers — 71 percent — are familiar with the tablet device. Six percent of those polled plan on purchasing the device within a year and 1 percent plan to purchase one as soon as possible.

Those figures translate into immediate sales of 1 million devices, with that figure climbing to about 7 million by the end of the year. ORC's predictions are slightly higher than those of market analysts cited by the firm, who predict iPad sales of 5 million by year-end.

"Adoption of new technologies is often a slow and gradual process," ORC analyst Kevin Wood said in a report. "It wasn't that long ago when the BlackBerry smartphone was only used by executives and road warriors. Adoption of the iPad will likely increase when consumers begin to grasp the extent to which the new technology will integrate with and enhance the way they work and play."

Source: WirelessWeek

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Sell Potential

CB technology has a huge growth potential for all stakeholders, but they need to device a viable revenue model soon

Kannan K
Friday, April 02, 2010

Natural disasters are inevitable. However, citizens can certainly be alerted in the wake of any impending disaster — be it natural or man-made — to prevent its worst impact. There are proven technologies available to send messages reliably to citizens. Most governments across the world-including the US, Japan, South Korea, and even our neighbor Sri Lanka-already have an elaborate early warning system. Others are creating new ones with the use of advanced communication technologies for early warning.

India, with over 110 crore population, has experienced the worst of all kinds of natural and man-made disasters-tsunami, earthquakes, cyclones, floods, bomb blasts, terrorist attacks, poisonous gas leakages, etc. Doesn't India require a reliable, early warning system to alert citizens and avert the worst impact of such disasters on lives, properties, and health? Certainly it does, and for introducing such an early warning system, cell broadcast (CB) technology is the foremost important option.

If detecting disasters before they create mayhem and cause worst impact is the first step, sending reliable early warning messages in advance or on real-time basis is the next important step in an efficient disaster management. This is where the cell broadcast center (CBC), with its dedicated bandwidth, helps the government entities like National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) as well as NGOs to send emergency alerts to citizens to prepare themselves.

Reliability as the Key
CB transmits early warning messages and other emergency information with a 100% guarantee of message delivery to alert citizens in an affected area within a maximum time of two minutes-regardless of the size of the area or the subscriber's telecom operator. In the current scenario, SMSes are not a reliable source as they sometimes get delivered late, or do not get delivered during festive seasons or during the peak talk-time hours.

CB is an integrated open system that allows disaster management officials to transmit early warning messages to citizens' mobile phones. In cell broadcasting, the technology facilitates to push out a single text or binary message to multiple mobile phones within an entire 'cell area' without any lag time. Unlike in SMS-which poses problems of lag times and network congestion-the dedicated bandwidth of the CB technology ensures reliable delivery of warning messages immediately.

CB, which was originally designed to offer location based services, is a standard feature on GSM networks as well as IS95 CDMA. Praveen Nallapothula, CEO, TeleDNA Communications says, "CB technology is a one-to-many broadcast service as opposed to SMS which is a one-to-one service. In order to send information using CB, you do not require mobile numbers; rather, you choose a geography and send information which will reach all mobiles in that geography. This is like a radio or TV broadcast-the information or content is available in different channels all the time; however, only those subscribers who can subscribe and tune to this channel can see the content."

TeleDNA has developed a CB system that is capable of offering advanced features like integrated geographical information system, local as well geo-redundant systems for high availability, and various interfaces toward external applications. TeleDNA cell broadcast center has been working with different infrastructure vendor equipments like Ericsson, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia-Siemens, etc, which require a lot of effort to integrate and test. It is a carrier grade platform that interfaces with the mobile network elements such as BSCs, RNC, MSC over standard interfaces (3GPP or 3GPP2). The platform can scale from 1 TPS to 2,000 TPS. With in-built GIS server, TeleDNA CB allows system users to easily define a geographical area on the fly and broadcast messages.

CB technology is used for getting economical and political updates. It can also be used by communities for discussions on sports, movies, etc.

Debasis Chatterji,
CEO, Netxcell

CB technology is a one-to-many broadcast service as opposed to SMS which is a one-to-one service.

Praveen Nallapothula,
CEO, TeleDNA Communications

Debasis Chatterji, CEO, Netxcell says, "While SMSes are sent from a mobile to another mobile, cell broadcast messages are sent from mobile or a system to all mobiles under a cell circle or a tower circle. Broadcast messages can reach all mobiles under a tower or the entire country in a matter of seconds. In a cellular network 64,000 broadcast channels are possible, thereby enabling many services that use the basic broadcast technology." He further says, "The technology is used for getting economical and political updates. It can also be used by communities for discussions on sports, movies, etc. Apart from this, the technology can potentially be used for classifieds to sell or buy anything. Currently, Prasar Bharti (Doordarshan) uses CB to send information on vaccinations, public welfare activities." Netxcell offers a Cell Broadcast Center, designed for the creation and simultaneous delivery of CB messages to multiple users of mobile networks

CB messages can be broadcast across the entire network coverage area or within specific segments or cells. The system can function in GSM and UMTS. Apart from emergency broadcast messages, CB technology can be used much more efficiently than the existing SMS technology for sending subscription based infotainment and entertainment messages. Different channels can be created for different types of content, just like in TV, and let subscribers tune in to view that information. CB technology can also play a crucial role in geographical advertisement applications.

Gaining Momentum
Nallapothula says, "CB technology usage is still at nascent stages in most developed countries. However, they are viewing CB worldwide as a valuable emergency notification tool, since disaster preparedness and recovery cost billions of dollars annually to countries around the globe. In a recent study comparing public warning systems, it was shown that cell broadcast was the most valuable tool for emergency warnings." The US government has already implemented early warning system based on CB technology and it is proving to be very reliable and efficient in sending early warnings. In many markets, CB technology has not been used for any commercial applications; while is a few countries, it is being used for broadcasting emergency messages to the masses like flood warnings, traffic forecasts, missing kids information, etc, by public safety agencies.

Recently, the US Parliament passed a WARN Act in which CB technology has been selected for emergency communication with public like presidential alerts, etc. In fact, one of the acts recently passed in the US encourages carriers to participate in the government emergency warnings sent out to cell phones. In the recent years, South Korea and Japan launched the first nationwide system. Customers of Japan's NTT DOCOMO, for instance, can opt for a free offering called Area Mail Disaster Information Service. The United Nations and the World Health Organization are working on deploying this technology to keep pace with global communications initiatives. International Telecommunications Union and other international governing bodies are already developing global harmonization standards for emergency cell broadcast warnings. Apart from the US, Japan, and South Korea, our neighbor Sri Lanka has also introduced an early warning system based on CB technology in January 2009. Maldives and many other governments across the world are actively considering the use of this technology for a reliable, early warning system. In Africa, CB is used for social service messaging, while in Israel it is used for merchandising.

CB technology can also play a crucial role in geographical advertisement applications as it is geo scalable and geo-specific. The Dutch Government has done a series of trials with CB as a media channel for communication with citizens in cases of emergency. The EU project, CHORIST, for public warning has recently given a proof of concept demonstration and presentation at the Catalonia Civil Protection Center in Barcelona to a broad audience of selected European authorities.

Market Potential
As the technology has a very big revenue potential for all stakeholders, India will see a variety of commercial applications along with emergency applications being launched by the end of 2010. It can be an additional revenue stream for operators who are already facing the decline of ARPU in mobile services revenue. Nallapothula says, "Operators and VAS players can look at using CB as a medium to open and offer a wide variety of innovative services to all subscribers in a network, instantly and based on location, all without jeopardising subscribers' privacy or overloading the network. Typical examples would be pay-per-click geographical advertisements, flash news alerts, promotional messages, and more importantly some emergency communication messages."

In its basic form, CB is relatively less expensive, simple to deploy and requires little bandwidth to broadcast messages. Recent evidence suggests that successful business models can be developed for CB, which means interest in CB as a launch pad for profitable commercial services may re-awaken. The successful services, however, would be based on interactive models rather than simple, one-way cell broadcast. This also depends on how innovatively subscribers are allowed to opt for selected broadcast channels without bombarding them with some unwanted data. Chatterji says, "India's private radio broadcasting industry exhibits a strong growth potential. Radio broadcasting revenues are growing at 29% per annum. Growth in this sector is being propelled by the increasing listener base, favorable demographics, opportunities in phase III expansion, political advertising, increasing advertising by small local brands, and introduction of new performance measurement tools."

Viable Model Eluding?
For any technology to be successfully deployed, the ecosystem should find a viable revenue model. According to Nallapothula of TeleDNA, "One of the biggest stumbling blocks for CB has been finding a viable business model. Even in other countries, its nature as a broadcast medium has made it difficult to work out ways of squeezing revenue out of users, since information is sent out in a blanket fashion without registering to whom it is delivered. In some countries, classified services have been introduced by getting users to generate and pay for their own content. The carrier had to come up with its own solution to allow users to broadcast messages by simply sending an SMS. Countries like South Korea and Japan are using CB to promote video streaming services to millions of subscribers."

CB as a technology provides significant opportunity to operators in terms of differentiation, segmentation and revenue. Major part of the location applications could be implemented with little investment. Network operators can look at a small portion of fee that can be collected from the subscribers and also location based advertisements which can be potential revenue models. Chatterji observes that the revenue models differ from country to country, since it all depends on the number of towers and the number of subscribers.

For instance, India can leverage on the number of subscribers and on towers since we are concentrated and numbers speak in our case which is reflective of managed services and revenue sharing kind of business models that exist. Whereas, Africa is more spread out in terms of base transceiver station (BTS) whereby, the number of BTS are more than the population concentration; therefore minimum guarantee plus revenue sharing might work there. VAS players feel that the revenue sharing model, wherein VAS companies are paid more than 50% is to be considered in India, unlike the traditional means wherein VAS companies are paid as low as 5% in some cases. Most European and Asian companies have revenue sharing against favoring the VAS companies.

Kannan K

Source: Voice&Data

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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. 13 March 31, 2010   

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  • NBP proposals for D Block, AWS spectrum bands.
  • FCC proposes to extend jurisdictional separations freeze for one year.
  • Joint Board seeks comment on certain interim proposals.
  • FCC seeks comments on proposed changes to “ex parte” rules.
  • FCC seeks comments on proposed changes to procedural rules.

NBP Proposals For D Block, AWS Spectrum Bands

The FCC’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) makes a number of proposals regarding wireless communications. Here we address only two: the recommendations regarding the Upper 700 MHz D Block, and the Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) bands.

Based on the Plan’s recommendations, there should be multiple broadband spectrum auctions held within the next few years (including the D Block and AWS 2 and 3 band auctions), with at least one occurring perhaps as early as next year. Our clients will want to make sure that the license sizes and other auction rules are designed to allow realistic participation by small businesses, including rural telephone carriers. Our clients may also want to advocate that equipment developed for the D Block and the AWS bands be subject to requirements that will prevent some of the issues facing the 700 MHz A Block winners.

D Block: The Task Force recommends that the FCC auction the 10 megahertz Upper 700 MHz D Block for commercial use that is technically compatible with public safety broadband services.

According to the Task Force, the FCC should auction the Upper 700 MHz D Block for commercial use with limited technical requirements that would ensure technical compatibility between the D Block and the adjacent public safety broadband spectrum block and would enable, but not obligate, the licensee to enter into a spectrum-sharing partnership with the neighboring Public Safety Broadband Licensee (PSBL). Due to its favorable propagation characteristics and the emergence of a 4G technology ecosystem in the 700 MHz band, the D Block is likely to have high value for the delivery of commercial mobile broadband services. The recommendation is intended to unlock this value while supporting the simultaneous development of public safety broadband capability through equipment development, roaming and priority access.

The D Block consists of 10 megahertz (2x5 megahertz) that did not receive a winning bid in the 700 MHz auction held in 2008. The original rules required the D Block licensee to enter into a public-private partnership with the PSBL to build a public safety broadband network. The absence of meaningful bidding activity indicated that the public safety obligations as designed were not commercially viable. The approach recommended in Chapter 16 would allow for a voluntary partnership between public safety broadband spectrum holders and commercial partners, including the D Block licensee(s). Limited technical requirements on the D Block are supposed to help maximize the number of partners available to public safety, while also maximizing the commercial potential of the spectrum.

Specifically, the Task Force believes the D Block should be auctioned with the following rules:

  • The D Block licensee(s) must use a nationally standardized air interface. The emerging consensus in the public safety community is that the Long Term Evolution (LTE) family of standards is most appropriate. A standardized air interface will ensure that the D block will be technically capable of supporting roaming and priority access by public safety users of the neighboring public safety broadband block.
  • The FCC should initiate a proceeding to enable authorized state, local and federal public safety users to have rights to roaming and priority access for broadband service on commercial networks subject to compensation, as described in Chapter 16. Before the D Block is auctioned, it must be clear that D Block licensee(s) are required to provide such roaming and priority access to public safety users.
  • D Block licensee(s) must develop and offer devices that operate both on the D Block and the neighboring public safety broadband block, with a path toward scale production of components
    and devices that can utilize both blocks, in order to stimulate the public safety broadband equipment “ecosystem.
  • The D Block license should be subject to commercially reasonable buildout requirements. The Commission should also consider the use of incentives to promote additional deployment by the D Block licensee(s) for the benefit of rural citizens and for public safety agencies.

AWS Bands: The Task Force recommends that the FCC make up to 60 megahertz of spectrum available by auctioning Advanced Wireless Services (AWS ) bands, including, if possible, 20 megahertz from federal allocations.

The FCC should move expeditiously to resolve the future of the spectrum already allocated for AWS. The AWS-2 and AWS-3 allocations consist of the following bands:

  • AWS-2 “H” Block. Total of 10 megahertz at 1915–1920 MHz paired with 1995–2000 MHz.
  • AWS-2 “J” Block. Total of 10 megahertz at 2020–2025 MHz paired with 2175–2180 MHz.
  • AWS-3 Band. Twenty megahertz unpaired at 2155–2175 MHz.

The FCC proposed rules for AWS-2 spectrum in 2004 and sought comment on AWS-3 spectrum in 2007. Potential synergies exist between the AWS-3 band and spectrum currently allocated to federal use at 1.7 GHz. There are a number of countries that have allocated spectrum in the 1710–1780 MHz band for commercial use and devices already exist in the international market for that spectrum. Consequently, pairing the AWS-3 band with spectrum from the 1755–1780 MHz band has the potential to bring benefits of a global equipment ecosystem to this band.

NTIA, in consultation with the FCC, should conduct an analysis, to be completed by October 1, 2010, of the possibility of reallocating a portion of the 1755–1850 MHz band to pair with the AWS-3 band. NTIA has commented that, “the Administration supports exploring both commercial and government spectrum available for reallocation. If there is a strong possibility of reallocating federal spectrum to pair with the AWS-3 band, the FCC, in consultation with NTIA, should immediately commence reallocation proceedings for the combined band. If, at the end of this inquiry, there is not a strong possibility of reallocation of federal spectrum, the FCC should proceed promptly to adopt final rules in 2010 and auction the AWS-3 spectrum on a stand-alone basis in 2011.

The AWS-2 “J” block also has potential synergies with AWS-3 and with the adjacent MSS S-Band. If developments in those other bands warrant, the FCC should integrate the J Block into one or the other of the band plans in order to maximize the broadband potential of the spectrum. For example, it may make sense to group the J Block with contiguous S-Band spectrum if the AWS-3 band is paired with federal spectrum, or to group the J Block with the AWS-3 band if there is no reallocation of federal spectrum.

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

FCC Proposes To Extend Jurisdictional Separations Freeze For One Year

The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), seeking comment on whether it should extend for one year, until June 30, 2011, the current freeze of jurisdictional separations category relationships and cost allocation factors in Part 36 of our rules. Jurisdictional separations is the process by which incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) apportion regulated costs between the intrastate and interstate jurisdictions. Historically, one of the primary purposes of the separations process has been to prevent incumbent LECs from recovering the same costs in both the interstate and intrastate jurisdictions.

In this NPRM, the FCC notes that although the Federal-State Joint Board on Separations is in the process of preparing a recommended decision, the scope and complexity of the referral makes it unlikely that the process will be completed prior to the current expiration of the freeze on June 30, 2010. As the Commission has previously observed, if the Commission does not extend the separations freeze and instead allows the earlier separations rules to return to force, incumbent LECs would be required to reinstitute their separations processes that have not been used since the inception of the freeze almost nine years ago.

The FCC seeks comment on whether incumbent LECs would have adequate time to reinstitute their separations processes prior to the expiration of the freeze on June 30, 2010, and whether such reinstitution would constitute an undue burden. The FCC seeks comment on the effect its proposal to extend the freeze will have on small entities, and whether any rules that we adopt should apply differently to small entities. The FCC seeks comment on the costs and burdens of an extension on small incumbent LECs and whether the extension would disproportionately affect specific types of carriers or ratepayers.

The FCC tentatively concludes that extending the jurisdictional separations freeze on an interim basis provides incumbent LECs a reasonable method to apportion costs.

The FCC notes that, as the Supreme Court found in Smith v. Illinois, extreme precision is not required in the separations process. The FCC tentatively concludes that the extended freeze will be implemented as described in the 2001 Separations Freeze Order. Specifically, price cap carriers will use the same relationships between categories of investment and expenses within Part 32 accounts and the same jurisdictional allocation factors that have been in place since the inception of the current freeze on July 1, 2001.

Rate-of-return carriers will use the same frozen jurisdictional allocation factors, and will use the same frozen category relationships if they had opted previously to freeze those. The FCC seeks comment on these tentative conclusions.

Comments in this CC Docket No. 80-286 proceeding will be due 14 days after publication of the item in the Federal Register, and replies will be due seven days thereafter.

Joint Board Seeks Comment On Certain Interim Proposals

In a related matter, the FCC’s Federal-State Joint Board on Separations seeks comment on a proposal by the State Members of the Joint Board for an interim adjustment of separations allocation factors and category relationships pending comprehensive separations reform. In addition to general comments regarding the State Members’ Interim Proposal, the Joint Board seeks specific comment regarding:

1. whether and to what extent the State Members’ Interim Proposal would improve the accuracy of the apportionment of regulated costs between the intrastate and inter-state jurisdictions;

2. whether and to what extent any refinements to the State Members’ Interim Proposal or alternatives to the State Member proposal should be made in light of the recently released recommendations in the National Broadband Plan;

3. whether the procedures set forth in the State Members’ Interim Proposal raise implementation or operational issues that would have a significant adverse impact on carriers;

4. the time-frame in which companies could reasonably be expected to comply with the procedures in the State Members’ Interim Proposal;

5. the impact on the universal service fund and other federal programs expected to result from the potential changes in the ratio of intrastate to interstate costs; and

6. what changes in rules, regulations, or policies affecting jurisdictional separations, rate regulation, intercarrier compensation, or universal service would be necessary to implement the State Members’ Interim Proposal. Please be as specific as possible.

Further, the Joint Board seeks comment on issues related to comprehensive permanent separations reform referred to the Joint Board by the Commission in the 2009 Separations Extension Freeze Order. Commenters are encouraged to submit reform proposals as part of their comments and to address whether and how separations reform should be coordinated with potential reforms in broadband policy. Commenters are also instructed to clearly delineate whether their comments refer to the State Member Interim Proposal, long-term reform, or both. Comments in this CC Docket No. 80-286 proceeding are due by April 29, and replies are due by June 1.

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


FCC SEEKS COMMENTS ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO “EX PARTE” RULES: The FCC has established a comment cycle on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) requesting comment on proposed changes to its ex parte rules (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, February 24). The ex parte process allows parties in most Commission proceedings to speak directly (or have written communications) with Commission staff and decision makers, providing a way to have an interactive dialogue that can root out areas of concern, address gaps in understanding, identify weaknesses in the record, discuss alternative approaches, and generally lead to more informed decision-making. Oral ex parte presentations are by their nature inaccessible to people who are not present at the meeting unless the presentations are publicly documented in some way. In this proceeding, the FCC seeks comment on proposals to improve its ex parte and other procedural rules to make the Commission's decision-making processes more open, transparent, and effective. Comments in this GC Docket No. 10-43 proceeding are due May 10, and replies are due June 8. BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

FCC SEEKS COMMENTS ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO PROCEDURAL RULES: In conjunction with the Ex Parte NPRM above, the FCC has set comment dates for its companion Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on proposed revisions to the Commission's procedural rules and organizational rules (BloostonLaw Telecom Update, February 24). The proposals are intended to increase efficiency and modernize FCC procedures, enhance the openness and transparency of Commission proceedings, and clarify certain procedural rules. The FCC seeks comment on the proposed rule language, as well as the other proposals contained in this document. Comments in this GC Docket No. 10-44 proceeding are due May 10, and replies are due June 8. BloostonLaw contacts: Hal Mordkofsky, Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

COMMENTS SOUGHT ON ALLOWING PUBLIC TO USE E-RATE SCHOOLS FOR INTERNET ACCESS AFTER HOURS: The FCC has established a comment cycle for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), accompanying its order to enable schools that receive funding from the E-rate program (more formally, the schools and libraries universal service support program) to allow members of the general public to use the schools’ Internet access during non-operating hours. The Commission waived, on its own motion, through funding year 2010 (which ends June 30, 2011), rules that currently discourage public use of resources funded under the E-rate program. In the NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on revising its rules to make this change permanent. This change will leverage universal service funding to serve a larger population at no increased cost to the E-rate program. The general public will be able to use the Internet access already present in schools, at the schools’ discretion, for purposes such as job searches and applications, digital literacy programs, and online access to governmental services and resources. Comments in this CC Docket No. 02-66 proceeding are due April 5, and replies are due April 19. BloostonLaw contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

FCC SEEKS COMMENT ON EAS RULE CHANGES TO ACCOMMODATE COMMON ALERTING PROTOCOL: In its Emergency Alert System rules, the FCC mandated that all EAS participants must accept Common Alerting Protocol (CAP)-based EAS alerts 180 days after the date on which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) publishes the applicable technical standards for its adoption of CAP as the basis for FEMA-generated alerts. FEMA has announced that it may adopt a version of CAP as early as the third quarter of 2010. Such action would trigger the Commission’s 180 day requirement.

CAP is an open, interoperable, data interchange format for collecting and distributing all-hazard safety notifications and emergency warnings to multiple information networks, public safety alerting systems, and personal communications devices. In conjunction with appropriate alert transmission architectures, CAP will allow FEMA, the National Weather Service (NWS), a State Governor, or any other authorized initiator of a public alert and warning to automatically format and geo-target a particular alert simultaneously to the public over multiple media platforms such as television radio, cable, cell phones and electronic highway signs. CAP will also allow an alert initiator to send alerts specifically formatted for people with disabilities and for non-English speakers.

The Commission’s EAS rules were not written to accommodate a CAP-based EAS and will likely require significant revision or replacement once CAP is adopted and implemented, even if CAP-formatted messages continue to be utilized in connection with the alert transmission architectures of the current or “legacy” EAS. In advance of any rulemaking that may need to be conducted by the Commission once FEMA announces its adoption of standards for CAP, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) seeks informal comment regarding what, if any, Part 11 changes might be necessitated by the introduction of CAP. The FCC asks commenters to identify, with specificity, those rules that need to be modified or deleted, and to suggest new rules for Part 11 — or a new rules framework to replace Part 11 rules. Accordingly, commenters should feel free to address the entirety of Part 11 rules in this regard. 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, John Prendergast, and Cary Mitchell.

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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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State lawmakers seek to update telecom bill

‘Illinois has a rotary-dial law in an iPhone world,’ says an AT&T official

By Wailin Wong, Tribune reporter
8:24 p.m. CDT, March 30, 2010

When state lawmakers drafted the Illinois Telecommunications Act, Motorola Inc.'s famous brick of a cellular phone had just debuted and consumers were years away from hearing their computers chirp, "You've got mail."

Legislators are now attempting to overhaul the old law, which dates to 1985 and was last updated in 2001. It is scheduled to expire at the end of June. Last week, two representatives introduced a bill aimed at modernizing the law. The legislation seeks to free services such as broadband, Voice over Internet Protocol and wireless from the legacy regulation faced by fixed-line telecommunications.

Members of Illinois' technology industry say the new legislation is sorely needed to attract investment in the broadband and wireless sectors.

"Illinois has a rotary-dial law in an iPhone world," said Paul La Schiazza, president of AT&T Illinois.

The local push comes amid the federal government's efforts to roll out high-speed Internet nationwide. The timing for updating the telecom law is tight, however, as the General Assembly adjourns at the beginning of May. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, chairman of the House Telecommunications Committee, and Sen. Michael Bond, chairman of the Senate Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee, have called for a joint hearing on the legislation next month.

La Schiazza said the current regulatory framework essentially forces his company to invest in legacy landline services, diverting resources away from AT&T's wireless and broadband technology. The Illinois Technology Partnership, a business group that advocates for less regulation, recently commissioned a survey that found an updated law would create or retain an estimated 105,000 jobs in the state.

Consumer advocates are urging caution when it comes to revising the telecom law. David Kolata, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board, said he wants to make sure that fixed-line consumers are protected from poor service and rate hikes.

"We think it would be dangerous to get rid of these service quality standards when they're working," Kolata said.

The telecom law also has stoked debate over whether an unregulated industry would result in more competition for wireless and broadband consumers.

Bond said the wireless sector shows that "the market works" under limited regulation because customers have their choice of many carriers. There are fewer options when it comes to broadband service, he acknowledged.

"We will make sure that whatever we do, we will create an environment where investors and companies are rewarded for expanding their broadband footprint, but doing it in a way that's beneficial to consumers," Bond said.

Kolata, however, said he wants to see the bill help rectify a flawed business model where a virtual duopoly dominates the broadband space.

"We certainly think that more needs to be done to provide competitive broadband options for consumers," he said. "If you look at the market today, even in the best of circumstances, you're typically stuck with one telephone company and one cable company."

Source: Chicago Tribune

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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


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GL3000 Paging Terminals - C2000 Controllers
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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.


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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
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  • Integrated paging receiver

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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

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

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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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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

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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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Field-test SmartMeters before more installed

Willard H. Wattenburg

Monday, March 29, 2010

smart meter
Carolyn Kaster / AP
This smart meter was used in a pilot program in Pennsylvania.

The president of the California Public Utilities Commission, Michael Peevey, told the Legislature this month that the commission - shockingly - did not do the most basic and essential field testing to investigate complaints about Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s SmartMeters before ordering the utility to install them at millions of customers' homes and businesses.

The utility apparently relied on tests supposedly done by the meter suppliers. There are already hundreds of complaints from honest customers about how their power bills have soared after the SmartMeters were installed. These complaints cannot be ignored.

The Legislature is considering ordering a halt to installing more SmartMeters until adequate tests are done. The governor and the Legislature must take charge now and demand that the utility not install any more SmartMeters until independent field tests are done to test their accuracy.

The only way to restore the public trust is to have a laboratory with the experience and technology field test the meters under actual operating conditions at customer locations. There is a straightforward and inexpensive way to do this: Take a sample from all installed SmartMeters (at least 1 out of every 100 installations) by re-installing standard meters alongside the SmartMeters and comparing the electric-use readings from both. Field testing must be continued for at least a year to validate the SmartMeter readings during various times and under various environmental conditions. Then the meters must be monitored on a periodic basis thereafter.

During the 2001 energy crisis, the governor asked Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to help find solutions. The extensive field experiments done by the laboratory scientists assisted the state and thus helped bring an end to the disastrous energy crisis.

Beyond the accuracy of the SmartMeters' energy-use readings, there is another serious uncertainty: The utilities plan to read and control the SmartMeters via radio. There is hardly any over-the-air communication scheme that has not been defeated by clever hackers. If communications are hacked, and the knowledge of how to do that becomes widespread, then hundreds of millions of not-so-smart meters in the country will have to be modified or replaced.

There must be thorough testing of the SmartMeter communication schemes by the most sophisticated cybersecurity laboratories in the country. This has the potential to become a national security matter, because hacking could disrupt the nation's power grids.

Willard H. (Bill) Wattenburg is a senior research scientist at the Research Foundation, California State University, Chico; and a scientific consultant for the University of California and many other institutions. He is also the host of the talk-radio show "The Open Line to the West Coast" on KGO radio in San Francisco.

This article appeared on page A - 10 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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Easy Solutions

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

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Easy Solutions

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Hark Technologies

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Wireless Communication Solutions

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USB Paging Encoder

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  • 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
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  • 16 capcodes
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  • 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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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

BlackBerry feel-good story delivers, as advertised

Reviewed by: Ted St. Godard

blackberry BlackBerry
The Inside Story of Research in Motion
By Rod McQueen
Key Porter 320 pages, $33

THERE'S a wonderful commercial on television, in which two 20-something guys puzzle over the sound coming from a BlackBerry.

The joke, of course, is that the ubiquitous devices, used by millions the world over to be at once connected and distracted, are just glorified telephones.

In BlackBerry, veteran Toronto business journalist Rod McQueen tells the exciting story of a Canadian start-up, Waterloo's Research in Motion (RIM), a little company that had the foresight and luck in the late '90s to "turn something familiar — one-way pagers — into something less familiar — two-way pagers," and in so doing arguably invented the "smartphone."

McQueen, whose previous outings include a fairly well-received history of Manulife, evidently has been granted liberal access to RIM insiders, and his book contains a foreword by the company's co-CEOs, Mike Lazaridis and the flamboyant Jim Balsillie, both 49.

Although one suspects that the price McQueen paid for his apparently free rein is the requirement that no mud be slung, this in itself is refreshing, and doesn't hurt the book, as much a business biography as the biography of a business.

McQueen's writing style is neither here nor there, but the book is rich with quotations from many of the key players. Balsillie and Lazaridis come off as articulate and bright, as they no doubt are.

Of a time when RIM needed to narrow its focus to concentrate on what was to become the BlackBerry, Balsillie is quoted as saying "[i]t was a nice time to jettison the fuel that got you to this orbit so that you could get to the next one."

Describing a company that took "25 years to become an overnight success," McQueen traces the evolution of a bulky pager, the "inter@ctive 900" into the early prototype of the first BlackBerry ("a 386 [with a] wireless modem"). Interestingly, he notes that many industry "experts" misunderstood what RIM was onto, and thereby missed the boat.

"They were looking at it the wrong way," he writes, "and looking at it as the world's largest pager, but it was actually the world's smallest email terminal."

The son of Greek immigrants, Lazaridis was a bit of a boy genius, a true tinkerer who breezed through high school and headed off to the University of Waterloo, where he "learned how to think ahead by imagining things that did not yet exist."

To the horror of his parents, but with the subtle and off-the-record blessing of the dean of engineering, he dropped out of school and founded RIM in 1984.

Balsillie, equally precocious and bright, is a chartered accountant with a Harvard MBA. He joined RIM as vice-president of finance and business development in 1992, and invested heavily in the company, both with $125,000 from a second mortgage and with sweat equity.

The money was spent in two days to pay creditors, and the rest, as they say, is history. RIM is now an internationally respected multibillion-dollar company.

The co-CEOs' mutual respect is abundantly evident, and much is made of the almost serendipitous way in which they complement each other, with Lazaridis heading up the technical engineering side of things and Balsillie looking after most of the deal-making and finances. (There is not a word, however, about his frustrated attempts to become an NHL team owner.)

A feel-good story of a little Canadian company that could, and did, BlackBerry demands little of its readers. Like its namesake, however, it delivers, exactly as advertised. Now, if someone could only make Telus, Rogers and Bell et al stop gouging us.

Winnipeg physician Ted St. Godard can't decide if he needs a BlackBerry or an iPhone.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 27, 2010 H9

Source: Winnipeg Free Press

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With best regards,

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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
Telephone: 618-599-7869

Wireless Consulting page
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“The year's at the spring

And day's at the morn;

Morning's at seven;

The hillside's dew-pearled;

The lark's on the wing;

The snail's on the thorn;

God's in His heaven —

All's right with the world!”

—Robert Browning

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