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independent news

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FRIDAY — JUNE 1, 2012 — ISSUE NO. 509

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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,


The results of the “country-club set” running Motorola once again become painfully evident when looking at how much money they paid Sanjay Jha for his short term there. These are the same people who replaced spoiled-rich-kid Chris Galvin (grandson of the founder) with Ed Zander who managed to practically ruin the company.

Remember his statement about Apple's fabulously successful iPod a few years ago: "Screw the nano," said Zander. "What the hell does the nano do? Who listens to 1,000 songs?" [ source ] So Motorola paid this guy $13.2 million dollars a year for being so smart.

Then Apple came out with the iPhone and took first place in the cellphone market, leaving Motorola in the dust. Motorola finally got rid of Zander. His exit bonus package is reported to have been worth over fifty million bucks. While he was in office, Zander "cut costs" by reducing the number of Motorola employees by one-half.

What about the thousands of families left with no income? What will they eat? I can just see the “country-club set” sitting there at their private clubs, sipping their martinis, and saying: “Let them eat cake.”

Here's another interesting quote:

“. . . former CEO Ed Zander, on whose watch Motorola acquired four top-of-the-line Dassault Falcon and Gulfstream jets in 2006 and 2007. Zander rang up $1.5 million in personal use on the company aircraft during his four-year tenure, even as Motorola descended into financial turmoil.”
[Source: Chicago Tribune link no longer available.]

Without Conscience. Mad or bad?

Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by an abnormal lack of empathy combined with strongly amoral conduct, masked by an ability to appear outwardly normal.
[ source ]

Pink Slips and Poor Health: The Toxicity of Job Insecurity

job loss

When you lose your job, with no prospect of finding another one quickly, you give up a lot more than income. You are deprived of a sense of security, a source of self-esteem, a certain status in the community. And, according to recent research, you also lose something even more precious: a year or more of your life. [ source ]

star The Golden Rule star

“Those Who Have The Gold,
Make The Rules”

A Simpler Solution: I would suggest that all the "un-needed" workers just be lined up in the parking lot and shot, but I had better not or someone might take me seriously.

My point is simply this: many good people are being fired just so the corporate "fat cats" can pay themselves exorbitant bonuses and salaries.

Personally I believe this is immoral and unethical. We should be looking for ways to save some of these jobs and return American industry to its leadership role in the world economy.

A step in the right direction would be for senior management to think more about running their companies and less about their bonuses, stock options, private corporate jets, country-club memberships, and other perks.

Another step would be to quit hiring outside "superstars" who don't know a company's culture, traditions, products, or customers.

Do you ever wonder why America's economy is in the toilet? Or why we are outsourcing so many jobs to other countries? Could it be the self-centered greed on the part of many of our corporate managers?


As a Co-CEO of Motorola in 2008, Sanjay Jha earned a total compensation of $8,462,544, which included a base salary of $905,769, a $836,931 cash bonus, stocks granted of $2,356,136, and options granted of $4,004,000.

sanjay jha

After the Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility is complete, Jha will receive $13.20 million dollars in cash and $52.5 million for his stock options and shares. The cash component of the Golden Parachute package includes $10.8 million in severance pay and a $2.4 million bonus. The cash portion is equal to three times Jha’s base salary and bonus. Jha stepped down after the deal was completed on 22 May 2012.
[ source ]

Is anyone worth that much money?

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Wireless Messaging News
This is a weekly newsletter about Wireless Messaging. You are receiving this because I believe you have requested it. This is not a SPAM. If you have received this message in error, or you are no longer 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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About Us

A new issue of The Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn't fill up your incoming e-mail account.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world's major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It's all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology. I regularly get readers' comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.

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Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association.

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Attention CMA Members
Be a part of our inaugural newsletter!
We need your help to make the newsletter a useful tool for our members.

Please submit to us your company news to be included in this first issue, no later than May 30 th . Come across an article you think other members may be interested in? If so — please send it to us. Vendor/Messaging Companies — remember you receive a complimentary ad space in the June newsletter.

You have two options for ad sizes:

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All ads and information must be e-mailed to no later than May 31 st .

We would like your opinion on the 2013 CMA Convention

The annual convention is one of the associations’ greatest benefits. Therefore, your input is important as we select the host property for our June 2013 convention in Washington, DC. Please answer the questions below and email your answers to . 1. Which is more important to you — being in DC able to walk to the attractions at a more expensive hotel ($220/night) or being just outside the city (in Arlington, VA) with access to attractions via the Metro for $170/night? 2. If we had to choose between providing lunch on one of the days or an evening reception/activity, which would you prefer? 3. What is the one key factor that would keep you from attending the conference? 4. What is the one key factor that will influence you to attend the convention?

Thank you for your time and input.

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Advertiser Index

American Messaging
CMA — Critical Messaging Association
Daviscomms USA
Hark Technologies
Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates
Leavitt Communications
Preferred Wireless
Prism Paging
Ron Mercer — Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC
PSSI — Product Support Services
TPL Systèmes
Critical Alert Systems d/b/a Northeast, UCOM & Teletouch Paging
WiPath Communications

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PageOne sees increased demand for paging ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games


London, 31 May, 2012 — PageOne Communications , the UK's leading provider of mobile messaging solutions to the public and enterprise sectors, has seen an increase in demand for paging and messaging services among key organisations involved in the Games, including The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), who have selected PageOne and its 2-way Responder pagers to help diversify their communications offering for added resilience and security.

Running from 19 May to 9 September 2012, the Olympic and Paralympic games will present huge operational and logistical challenges for the Emergency Services, transport operators and businesses operating in the affected areas. Forward planning, resilient communications systems and the efficient coordination of people and resources will be crucial to successfully managing these additional pressures.

The speed, vast coverage and convenience of paging as a channel to broadcast updates and instructions to key staff are just some of the technology's most alluring benefits. PageOne's Responder pager combines these strengths with two-way messaging capability and further enhancements such as GPS location tracking and an SOS alert button, provides organisations with the tools to better manage and coordinate field-resource, whilst improving staff safety. With PageOne's network being wholly independent of the mobile networks, paging adds diversity and an even greater level of resilience into the communications mix of any organisation.

"We've seen a number of organisations express concerns over the availability of the mobile networks in the event of a major incident during the Olympics" says Chris Jones, CEO of PageOne. "Wholly independent, the paging network is not at risk from incident-driven traffic overload that typically affects mobile networks, as was proven during the 7/7 terrorist incidents. Therefore, paging gives our customers the confidence and peace of mind, that they can maintain communications, without risk, throughout the Olympic Games."

With an award winning network and pedigree in critical messaging, PageOne has a trusted reputation within the messaging industry. Having recently invested in two new geographically diverse data-centres located outside of the M25, PageOne have increased resilience and capacity to its services, a further declaration of commitment to its customers.In preparation for the London 2012 Olympics, PageOne has also undertaken a review of its operations and support requirements and issued an Olympics Preparedness Statement to confirm that the business foresees no operational impact or extraneous challenges associated with the Games. The Olympics Preparedness Statement continues to highlight PageOne as an approved messaging provider under the Office of Government Commerce CATALIST Mobile Solutions (II) framework, having been subjected to an extensive commercial, technical and security vetting and approvals process. "Security, resilience and preparedness for planned and unplanned events, are key criteria in being selected as an approved provider," says Nigel Gray, Sales Director of PageOne. "Our messaging services have played an important and integral role in helping clients manage their own operations and resource effectively, and will continue to do so during London 2012 Olympics and beyond".

The full statement can be downloaded at


About PageOne.
PageOne Communications is celebrating 25 years of innovation in mobile messaging solutions. The company has proven expertise in helping clients drive operational and cost efficiencies, deliver effective results and have a real business edge in a competitive market. With a rich heritage in all aspects of messaging — from paging and SMS through to voice, e-mail and location based services — it places its customers at the heart of its product development to help thousands of organisations across the public and major corporate sectors with reliable, cost-effective and award-winning solutions.

Source: IT News Online

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Product Support Services, Inc.

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Based in Coppell, Texas, a suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth, and located just five minutes north of the DFW Airport, PSSI receives, repairs and ships approximately 4,000 discrete units each day.

  • PSSI is ISO certified and has comprehensively integrated robust lean manufacturing processes and systems that enable us to deliver timely and benchmark quality results.
  • PSSI is certified for Levels III and IV repair by a wide variety of OEMs including, for example, Motorola, Nokia, Sony/Ericsson, Samsung, Stanley and LG.
  • PSSI ’s service center is a state-of-the-art facility, complete with multiple wireless test environments and board-level repair capabilities.
  • PSSI ’s state-of-the-art and proprietary Work-In-Process (WIP) systems, and its Material Planning and Warehouse Management systems, enable PSSI to track discrete units by employee, work center, lot, model, work order, location and process through the entire reverse logistics process. Access to this information can be provided to our customers so that they can track the real-time movement of their products.

Pager and Electronics Repair Product Support Services, Inc. pssi


Product Support Services, Inc.
511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
877-777-8798 (Toll Free)
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RIM Weighs Options, Maybe You Should Too

May 31, 2012 8:19 am
By Tony Bradley, PCWorld

RIM’s ship is sinking. The company announced its second straight losing quarter, and plans to let a significant number of employees go. It has also reportedly enlisted the support of J.P. Morgan Chase and RBS Capital Markets to help it shop for partners or suitors to eke out some value before the whole thing comes crashing down. If your business relies on BlackBerry devices, perhaps its time for you to consider your options as well.

The demise of RIM isn’t really news. I’ve been chronicling the downward spiral of the iconic smartphone platform for some time. I respect the fact that there are actual people who work for RIM, and families that will be impacted by the fallout should RIM fade into oblivion, but the reality is what it is.


RIM pinned high hopes on BlackBerry 10, but its fortunes haven't improved.

Don’t throw dirt on the coffin just yet, though. There are still options for RIM that could keep it afloat, or at least give the BlackBerry platform a new lease on life—perhaps under the stewardship of new owners. Who knows? I’m not suggesting everyone abandon ship today, but you should at least scope out where the life boats are situated and have a plan in place to transition off of BlackBerry if the need arises.

It seems to me that the most likely outcome for RIM will be to sell off much of its patent portfolio . Other mobile platforms and device makers could benefit from having RIM’s patents in their arsenal for the ongoing legal battles that have become standard operating procedure for the tech industry.

If RIM does sell the lion’s share of its patents, though, it doesn’t mean the company will disappear entirely. RIM has already put pieces in place that could hint at what the future holds for the company — BlackBerry Mobile Fusion . BlackBerry Mobile Fusion extends the capabilities of BlackBerry Enterprise Server to enable customers to manage iOS and Android devices in addition to BlackBerry.

The up side for BlackBerry customers is that Mobile Fusion also provides a path to transition to other mobile platforms, and continue to squeeze value from the existing investment in a BlackBerry infrastructure.

RIM essentially pioneered the concept of MDM (mobile device management), and it can leverage its current customer base to embrace that role and transition its business model to become a leader in MDM. It can take the cash from a patent portfolio sale, and dump it into innovating and refining its MDM platform.

For businesses that have invested in a BlackBerry infrastructure and rely on BlackBerry devices for mobile communications, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is a perfect solution. Customers can continue to use the BlackBerry management tools they’re accustomed to, and move to alternate platforms like iOS and Android by attrition.

I offered my two cents a few months ago for how RIM could turn things around. It seems that RIM doesn’t read my posts, but it’s not too late for RIM, or the customers who depend on BlackBerry devices. At this point, the answer is simple for both parties: focus on BlackBerry Mobile Fusion.

Source: PCWorld

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LEAVITT Communications

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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 offer refurbished Alphamate 250’s, Alphamate IIs, the original Alphamate and new and refurbished pagers, pager repairs, pager parts and accessories. We are FULL SERVICE in Paging!

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

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Phil Leavitt

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7508 N. Red Ledge Dr.
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

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Motorola: a brief history

By Brian Heater
posted May 30th 2012 8:49AM


A snapshot of the last several years in Motorola's history shows a company in flux, culminating last week, when the smartphone manufacturer's sale to Google was finally given the green light . After undergoing governmental scrutiny from the US, China and the EU, the move, priced at around $12.5 billion, seems a logical fit, given the phone maker's push toward a portfolio built nearly exclusively around the search giant's mobile operating system. Of course, it's hard to imagine such a transaction taking place, had the Mobility wing not been spun off from Motorola a year and a half prior.

These are the latest events for a company that has undergone a fair amount of change in its 80-plus-year existence. It's a long and fascinating story — one likely hazy at best for those who can only remember as far back as the original RAZR or StarTAC . So, before the company embarks on the next chapter of its history, let's take a quick look back, after the break.

Before it was a international telecommunications giant, Motorola was the name of a car radio. The moniker was an amalgam of sorts, the "motor" pulled from "motorcar" paired up with "-ola," to signify sound. The Motorola car radio was released by the Galvin Manufacturing Corporation in 1930, two years after the company's founding in Chicago, kicking things off with a battery eliminator, aimed at letting battery-powered home radios run off of household electricity. The company was launched by two brothers, Joseph and Paul Galvin, the latter of whom reportedly bestowed the car radio with its soon-to-be-famous name.

The same year it was released, the Motorola became Galvin's first internationally sold product — albeit on a fairly small scale, moving two units in Mexico City. Not an epic feat by any stretch, sure, but companies rarely become multinational presences overnight. In 1947, the company dropped the name of its founders in favor of a punchier moniker borrowed from its early car stereo — a name that meant "sound in motion," according to the company line. A fitting switch, in light of the Galvins' embrace of all things radio, including models for the home, police cruisers and two-way units like the Handie-Talkie, which would be put to use on the battlefields of WWII. The company wouldn't adopt the now familiar "M" Motorola logo for nearly another decade, favoring a decidedly less iconic, cursive font for the time being.

Motorola also provided the radio technology for Apollo 11's moon landing.

Motorola even flirted with an early version of the car phone in 1946, developing the Car Radiotelephone for Illinois Bell. Newly re-christened, the company found more success with 1947's Golden View Television, a seven-inch set that sold at a reasonable $190. In the '60s, the company would go cordless with the 19-inch Astronaut TV, offer up color tubes and cap off the decade with another large leap — providing radio technology for Apollo 11's moon landing.

In 1973, Motorola took some major steps toward the technology that would define it in the decades to come, showing off the DynaTAC and demonstrating the phenomenon of cellular telephones to the world. It wasn't until 1984 that the brick-sized phone would actually start making its way into the hands of consumers. The 80s also saw the development of Six Sigma, a quality control strategy aimed at nearly error-free products. By the end of the decade, the MicroTAC hit the market, dropping down the size and weight a good deal and shifting toward a flip phone form factor. That handset was succeeded in 1996 by the truly iconic StarTAC, a (relatively) tiny, "wearable" handset that popularized the clamshell design and brought the vibrate option over from the pager side of Motorola's business.

Into The Smartphone Era

Motorola had another giant hit on its hands with 2004's RAZR, pushing the boundaries of cell phone size — and fashion — yet again, becoming the best-selling clamshell ever made. By the end of decade, Motorola had shifted its focus to Google's Android, in a bid to get on-board with the smartphone explosion set off by the iPhone and its ilk. The company attempted to put its stamp on the mobile operating system with the MotoBlur skin , much to chagrin of users and critics. In October 2009, the company bucked the trend away from physical keyboards with the release of the Droid , an Android 2.0 slider with a Lucasfilm-licensed name that Motorola would borrow for a slew of subsequent handsets.

2004's RAZR became the best-selling clamshell ever made.

The company kicked off 2011 with a rift. After years of discussions, it was split into two parts: Motorola Solutions , an enterprise- and government-facing wing, and Motorola Mobility, specializing in handsets and set-top boxes. In August of last year, Google announced that it would be acquiring Mobility for around $12.5 billion, a deal that would close nearly nine months after it was first made public.

Source: engadget

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TPL Systèmes

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TPL Systèmes

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Preferred Wireless

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Terminals & Controllers:
1 Motorola ASC1500
2 GL3100 RF Director 
15 SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1 GL3000L Complete w/Spares
1 GL3000ES Terminal
4 Zetron 2200 Terminals
  Unipage — Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
Link Transmitters:
4 Glenayre QT4201 & 6201, 25 & 100W Midband Link TX
2 Glenayre QT6201 Link Repeater and Link Station in Hot Standby
1 Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2 Motorola 30W, Midband Link TX (C42JZB6106AC)
2 Eagle Midband Link Transmitters, 125W
5 Glenayre GL C2100 Link Repeaters
VHF Paging Transmitters
6 Glenayre GLT8411, 250W, VHF TX
8 Motorola VHF 350W Nucleus NAC Transmitters
13 Motorola VHF 350W Nucleus Cnet Transmitters
UHF Paging Transmitters:
20 Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
3 Motorola PURC-5000 110 & 225W, TRC & ACB
2 QT-7795, 250W, UHF TX
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
3 Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
2 Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15 Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
35 Glenayre 900 MHz DSP Exciters
25 Glenayre GLT-8500 Final PAs
35 Glenayre GLT-8500 Power Supplies

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Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail

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

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Preferred Wireless

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Consulting Alliance

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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SPARKGAP and the M1503 Response Pager go Live at Johns Hopkins Hospital

The Johns Hopkins Hospital has gone live with SPARKGAP and the M1503 response pager for clinical alerting.

Norcross, GA — Critical Response Systems, a provider of leading-edge, mission-critical communication systems, announced that The Johns Hopkins Hospital has gone live on the company’s SPARKGAP System and M1503 Pager . The SPARKGAP System provides critical alerting, enterprise-wide, combining the best possible performance and reliability with low cost of ownership and a rapid ROI. A single rooftop antenna delivers urgent and critical messages to Johns Hopkins’ staff members within the hospital complex as well as up to 20 square miles of surrounding area.

SPARKGAP is completely self-contained and does not rely on cellular towers, Internet coverage, external communication apps or email servers. Message recipients can reply instantly with just a touch of a button, confirming receipt and how they will react. Also, the SPARKGAP system is easily managed and administered from a central location. All system maintenance, address additions, encryption keys, pager settings, etc. are automatically programmed into pagers over the air. The SPARKGAP system currently supports over 350 pagers at Johns Hopkins with the ability for unlimited growth.

The system is installed in the new Johns Hopkins Sheikh Zayed Tower and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center, a 1.6 million-square-foot facility that features two connected 12-story towers. Opened in early 2012, the facility incorporates the best ideas in modern health care. Johns Hopkins is among the nation’s largest academic medical centers

“While cell phones and smart phones are good solutions for voice communications and web apps, they are not the best choice for critical alerting,” explained Brian Claise, CTO of Critical Response Systems. “Phones rely on cellular service and the Internet, both of which are subject to dropped calls and other momentary outages. This is not acceptable for life-critical situations. Additionally, cellular devices can be turned off, and they invite personal usage that hinders productivity.”

About Critical Response Systems

Critical Response Systems manufactures leading-edge wireless data systems, focused solely on critical messaging and alerting. We know that every response starts with an alert, and our systems use the latest technology to ensure that first responders and clinical personnel get their messages quickly, correctly and reliably.

Source: Critical Response Systems

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Newsletter Supporters mobilfone

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Daviscomms USA

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Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

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Wireless Network Planners


R.H. (Ron) Mercer
217 First Street South
East Northport, NY 11731
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Cellphone: 631-786-9359

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Wireless Network Planners

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SMS Will Remain More Popular Than Mobile Messaging Apps over Next Five Years

Published on: 29th May 2012

Mobile operators' SMS revenues may be under pressure from mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp, iMessage and others, but Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts that mobile operators will still generate a total of US$722.7 billion in revenues from SMS between 2011 and 2016.

"There will not be a uniform decline in mobile operators' SMS traffic and revenues as a result of the adoption and use of over-the-top messaging services," says Pamela Clark-Dickson, senior analyst, Mobile Content & Applications, at Informa Telecoms & Media. "Factors such as the operators' pricing strategies, and the penetration of smartphones and mobile broadband in a market will determine how quickly and to what extent substitution occurs," she adds.

"For example, operators offering integrated tariffs that include a balanced proportion of voice, SMS and mobile data, are continuing to see growth in their SMS traffic and less impact on their SMS revenues," says Clark-Dickson.

While Informa is forecasting either slowing growth or even a small decline in person-to-person SMS revenues in some developed regions and countries, total global SMS revenues will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 3% over the next five years. Western Europe will generate the highest amount of SMS revenues globally between 2011 and 2016, totaling US$174.1 billion, followed by Asia Pacific Developing, where SMS revenues will total US$173.8 billion between 2011 and 2016.

Globally, Informa forecasts that SMS traffic will total 9.4 trillion messages by 2016, up from 5.9 trillion messages in 2011. However, SMS's share of global mobile messaging traffic will fall from 64.1% in 2011, to 42.1% in 2016. At the same time, global mobile instant messaging traffic will increase from 1.6 trillion messages in 2011 to 7.7 trillion messages in 2016, doubling its share of global messaging traffic from 17.1% in 2011 to 34.6% in 2016.

Informa also forecasts that, by 2016, mobile operators globally will still be generating a higher proportion of revenues from mobile IM than the third-party providers of OTT messaging services will, at US$8.7 billion or 54% of total IM service revenues. However, the OTT messaging service providers' share of IM revenues will climb from 37% of total revenues in 2011, to US$7.4 billion or 46% of total revenues in 2016.

MMS remains a lucrative service for mobile operators, punching above its weight in terms of revenues. While global MMS traffic is expected to represent just 1.7% of global messaging traffic in 2016, at 387.5 billion events, global MMS revenues will represent 10.6% of global messaging revenues within the same timeframe, at US$20.7 billion.

However, mobile e-mail will be the second highest-revenue generator for mobile operators by 2016, generating US$32 billion in revenues, or 16.3% of total global messaging revenues. "Mobile e-mail is an important revenue-generating service for mobile operators, largely because they offer it as a service bundled with a mobile data plan," says Clark-Dickson. In addition to Research in Motion's BlackBerry services, mobile operators also generate revenues from their own-brand mobile e-mail services and from offering data plans that are specifically tied to mobile e-mail services that their subscribers can independently access on their devices.

Source: cellular-news via Linked In

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Three-Minute Tech: Audio compression

By Kirk McElhearn
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 7:00 AM

[In our Three-Minute Tech series, we tell you everything you really need to know about a technology in three minutes or less.]


The day may come when increased storage capacities and unfettered Internet bandwidth make uncompressed audio files the norm. But for now, audio files are generally compressed to save space and to make downloads faster. And while many people automatically assume that audio compression makes music sound worse, this isn’t always the case. Here’s a quick look at the types of audio compression used and how they work.

Lossy vs. lossless
There are two types of audio compression: lossy and lossless. Lossy, which includes formats such as MP3 and AAC that you’re very familiar with, is a type of compression in which some data from the original music is removed during the compression process. When the music is de-compressed for playback, this data remains “lost” and can’t be recovered. This may or may not affect the actual sound; I’ll get to that in a minute.

Lossless compression, however, ensures that the same data that is compressed is restored when you play back a file. The idea is the same as zip compression for computer files; when you compress an image or document, it shrinks to save space, but when you expand it, you have every bit and character that was in the original. The most common lossless audio formats are Apple Lossless, created by Apple and used by iTunes ; and FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), an open-source format with widespread device support that is used for many live concert recordings as well as high-resolution classical and popular music downloads .

What’s on a CD?
A CD contains a PCM (pulse-code modulation) data stream. If you copy this uncompressed data to a computer, it will be wrapped in a container as either an AIFF or WAV file. These files are simply that raw PCM steam with headers that allow them to be read on computers. The bit rate (measured in kilobits per second or kbps) for uncompressed audio copied from CDs is 1411.

How does lossless compression work?
Like compression used for graphics formats such as TIFF and PNG, lossless compression schemes look for redundant data and replace that data with shorter strings that, when decoded, result in the exact same data as the original. Lossless compression for music is not that different from the types of compression used for data and graphics. Lossless compression can shrink music files by between 40 percent and 75 percent, depending on the complexity of the music.

What’s lost in lossy compression?
Lossy compression doesn’t provide the exact same data when decompressed. The objective of this type of compression is to approximate the original, within certain limits (bit rate or file size). Much can be lost when a CD is ripped to an AAC or MP3 file, but if the compression is at a high enough bit rate, it can be unnoticeable to most listeners. In any case, the ultimate goal is to reduce the size of files, to store more music on a device, or to download faster.

compressed file size
Here are three files of orchestral music, exactly 10 minutes long. The first is uncompressed, the second compressed in Apple Lossless format, and the third with AAC at 256 kbps.

The basic principle of lossy audio compression is that it uses perceptual coding and psycho-acoustic models to determine which sounds and frequencies humans can’t hear. While the difference in bit rate—and therefore in file size—between an original file and its compressed version may be important, the difference perceived by listeners may not. For example, with “joint stereo” compression, low frequencies may be stored in mono, rather than stereo, because the sound waves at these frequencies are so long that listeners can’t tell if they’re in stereo or not. (A 100Hz sound wave is about 3.4 meters—11.15 feet—long.) This is why your surround sound system only has one sub-woofer, and why its precise position is unimportant. Very high frequencies may also be removed; most people have a hard time hearing sounds above 16,000Hz to 18,000Hz, so frequencies above this range are usually discarded.

Other tricks to further compress audio
Variable bit rate (VBR) encoding may also be employed. This lets the encoder use lower bit rates for parts of an audio file that are less complex, and higher bit rates when needed.

In addition, some lossy compression codecs may further reduce size by containing extra lossless compression. So a 256-kbps file, which is 18.8 percent of the size of an original uncompressed CD recording, may actually contain much more data because of this second level of lossless compression.

spoken word
These settings provide very compact files of spoken word recordings.

There is an ever larger difference in file size when you compress voice recordings, such as when you rip audio books from CDs. iTunes, for example, offers a Spoken Podcast import settings. This compresses files at a very low bit rate (32-kbps mono or 64-kbps stereo), but uses special voice filtering. Since the human voice has a very limited frequency range (from about 85Hz to 255Hz), even adding room for overtones, one can limit the frequency range to remove a huge amount of data without affecting the perceived sound.

Back in the Napster days, MP3 files of music at 64 kbps or 96 kbps were common. These files generally sounded inferior to the original CDs. But today the iTunes Store sells music at 256 kbps, and Amazon and other retailers offer files around the bit rate, or quality. In addition, audio compression has improved through the use of better MP3 encoders and more sophisticated formats such as AAC, which can provide better sound at lower bit rates.

While some listeners think there is a difference between compressed music files and original, uncompressed files, it’s a good idea to try a blind listening test ; you may be surprised.

[Note: I have greatly over-simplified what is an extremely complex process. If you are interested in learning the details of this process, I recommend reading Ken C. Pohlmann’s Principles of Digital Audio .]

Source: TechHive

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Mobile payments still slow to catch on in U.S.

Even possible use of NFC with next iPhone is unlikely to rouse interest in touchless payments

Matt Hamblen
May 30, 2012

(Computerworld) Even if the next iPhone has a mobile wallet app and a Near Field Communication chip inside, don't expect contactless payments to suddenly explode in the U.S.

Despite its influence in the smartphone realm, Apple is only one part of a complex world of wireless financial transactions that involves banks, credit card processors, smartphones on several operating systems, merchants and NFC payment terminals, analysts said.

In the U.S., which lags behind Japan and South Korea on contactless payments, there is already a well-established banking network that supports customers with credit cards and ATM machines to provide a ready supply of cash and credit. Such a variety of choices for buying things has reduced the demand in the U.S. for phones with NFC technology for making mobile payments. Recent polls show that Americans aren't that interested in using NFC smartphones or mobile payments. (Mobile payments is a broad category that includes using text messaging, contactless payments and the Web to make payments and purchases from a mobile device.)

"To date, mpayments [mobile payments] in the U.S. have seen minimal growth, despite high estimates over the past decade," market research firm IDC wrote in a May report. "The U.S. consumer is not yet sold on mpayments, as only 19.3% have decided to make a payment using a mobile device." That 19.3% represents 494 respondents out of 2,560 people surveyed, IDC said. Of that 494, only 7.7% (38 people) had used a mobile device with NFC.

Apple has long been expected to launch the next iPhone, possibly by this fall, with an NFC chip inside that would work with some type of mobile wallet app to allow quick purchases from merchants or transit providers. Users would enable the app, probably with a PIN, and quickly pass the phone near a payment terminal to transfer funds from an established account, likely a traditional credit card, such as Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

Google launched Google Wallet for NFC-ready Android phones on Sprint last September, and despite more than 100,000 payment terminals in the U.S., the project has thus far seen only modest success, analysts noted.

"If Apple ships an NFC-ready iPhone, that could prod people to buy it, but the Google Wallet hasn't really done anything [to further contactless payments]," said Will Stofega, an IDC analyst. "In order to have a real takeoff of NFC, you have to have it everywhere. We're in the early stages."

Apple has been shipping more than 30 million iPhones per quarter, but even at that rate, iPhones with NFC and a mobile wallet app won't even reach the mass market of U.S. users until 2016 at the earliest, according to a recent Gartner forecast .

Juniper Research, in a study released Wednesday, found that only 2% of U.S. and Western European NFC-ready smartphone users will buy goods with such devices in all of 2012. The figure is expected to increase to 25% in 2016.

An iPhone with NFC and a mobile wallet app "will help drive NFC phone penetration, but will do little for [growing] the ecosystem, which involves banks, telcos, card networks, merchants, processors and more," said Gartner analyst Sandy Shen.

Shen also predicted that Apple won't use its popular iTunes app with NFC smartphones for billing. Instead, Apple is more likely to rely on having customers make a direct link to their credit cards or bank accounts for a smartphone purchase "because of the higher risks involved" in NFC purchases, she said.

Bob Egan, an analyst at The Sepharim Group, said, Apple may be working within a new framework with mobile payments, where Apple decides to operate as a "pseudo bank."

"Apple has to do something really revolutionary" to reduce the cost of credit card fees borne by merchants, sometimes in the 3% range," Egan said.

"Small businesses are really getting killed with those fees," he added. Even the newer technology from Square that adds a special attachment to a smartphone to swipe a credit or debit card involves a fee of nearly 3% on a merchant, he noted.

While NFC and mobile payments have not generated much consumer interest, a consortium of three wireless carriers called Isis is planning deployments of mobile payments with NFC phones this summer. The plan has added interest over to what Apple might do with the next iPhone.

But the slow movement forward with NFC payments in the U.S. is unimpressive, Egan added.

"There is no driving desire to have NFC," Egan said in an interview. "There's no significant driver behind this technology that the consumer is aware of, or that a retailer is aware of, that will create a different buying behavior by consumers. I don't see the motivation or the awareness being created. This is a very slow growth market."

Source: Computerworld

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Selected portions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, a newsletter from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP are reproduced in this section with the firm's permission.

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The FCC has announced that Austin Schlick will step down as General Counsel, effective mid-June. Sean Lev, currently Deputy General Counsel and Special Advisor to the Chairman, will become General Counsel. The FCC also announced that Rick Kaplan, Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, will step down, and that Ruth Milkman, currently Special Counsel to the Chairman for Innovation in Government will return as Bureau Chief, also in mid-June.

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NOI Explores Use Of Aerial Communications In Wake Of Major Disaster Strikes

The FCC has adopted a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) to explore the use of Deployable Aerial Communications Architecture (DACA) technologies. At last week’s open meeting, the FCC said DACA technologies are aerial technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles, weather balloons or existing aircraft that could provide emergency communications during or immediately after a major disaster, when terrestrial communications infrastructures may be damaged or disrupted.

“During a disaster, when the terrestrial infrastructure is unavailable, DACA technologies could provide emergency communications to first responders and possibly civilians” said David Furth, Acting Chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. “Ideally, DACA technologies could be deployed rapidly to the scene of a major disaster and enable immediate and continuous communications using the devices that first responders and other users carry with them everyday until the infrastructure is restored.”

The FCC noted that there remains a gap during the first 72 hours after a catastrophic event when communications may be disrupted or completely disabled due to damaged facilities, widespread power outages, and lack of access by restoration crews into the affected area. DACA could provide temporary emergency communications to emergency management officials, first responders, critical infrastructure industry personnel, and the public to use their day-to-day communications devices seamlessly during and immediately after an emergency. Most significant, the use of DACA to ensure quick restoration of emergency communications could save lives.
In its Notice of Inquiry , the Commission seeks comment on:

  • the deployment and operation of DACA technologies;
  • the associated costs and benefits;
  • coordinating and managing the use of DACA technologies; and
  • authorizing the use of spectrum to support their operation.

The Notice of Inquiry also addresses DACA system performance issues, including questions on coverage area, capacity, interference mitigation, and interoperability.

Comments in this PS Docket No. 11-15 proceeding will be due 40 days from publication in the Federal Register, and reply comments are due 20 days thereafter.

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COMMENT SOUGHT ON PRIVACY, SEURITY OF INFORMATION STORED ON MOBILE DEVICES: The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB), Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), and Office of General Counsel have issued a Public Notice, jointly soliciting comments regarding the privacy and data-security practices of mobile wireless service providers with respect to customer information stored on their users’ mobile communications devices, and the application of existing privacy and security requirements to that information. The FCC noted that since it last solicited public input on this question five years ago, technologies and business practices have evolved dramatically. It noted that the devices consumers use to access mobile wireless networks have become more sophisticated and powerful, and their expanded capabilities have at times been used by wireless providers to collect information about particular customers’ use of the network — sometimes, it appears, without informing the customer. Service providers’ collection and use of this information may be a legitimate and effective way to improve the quality of wireless services. At the same time, the collection, transmission, and storage of this customer-specific network information raise new privacy and security concerns, the FCC said. As a result, the Commission now seeks to refresh the record in this docket concerning the practices of mobile wireless service providers with respect to information stored on their customers’ mobile communications devices. How have those practices evolved? Are consumers given meaningful notice and choice with respect to service providers’ collection of usage-related information on their devices? Do current practices serve the needs of service providers and consumers, and in what ways? Do current practices raise concerns with respect to consumer privacy and data security? How are the risks created by these practices similar to or different from those that historically have been addressed under the Commission’s CPNI rules? Have these practices created actual data-security vulnerabilities? Should privacy and data security be greater considerations in the design of software for mobile devices, and, if so, should the Commission take any steps to encourage such privacy by design? What role can disclosure of service providers’ practices to wireless consumers play? To what extent should consumers bear responsibility for the privacy and security of data in their custody or control? Comments in this CC Docket No. 96-115 proceeding will be due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, and replies will be due 15 days thereafter.

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May 31 – FCC Form 395, Employment Report, is due.

May 31 – Deadline for comments on NPRM proposing 2012 regulatory fees (MD Docket No. 12-116).

June 1 – Effective date of Lifeline Reform Order Section 54.409 (consumer qualification for Lifeline) (WC Docket Nos. 11-42, 03-109, 12-23, and CC Docket No. 96-45).

June 1 – Deadline for comments on NPRM promoting interoperability in Lower 700 MHz band (WT Docket No. 12-69).

June 1 – Deadline for comments on AT&T’s request to make 800 MHz cellular base station rules consistent with other mobile broadband services (RM-11660).

June 4 – Deadline for oppositions to petitions to deny transfer of licenses from E.N.M.R.-Plateau to Verizon Wireless (ULS File Nos. 0005034870, 0005034877, 0005063051 and/or ITC-ASG-20120420-00105).

June 5 – Deadline for reply comments on short-form Tariff Review Plans (TRPs) regarding annual access tariffs (WCB/Pricing File No. 12-07).

June 7 – Deadline for reply comments on NPRM proposing 2012 regulatory fees (MD Docket No. 12-116).

June 7 – Deadline for comments on Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association’s request to amend exclusive use provision of OTARD rule (MB Docket No. 12-21).

June 8 – Deadline for Oppositions to Petitions to Deny several proposed Lower 700 MHz transactions: (1) AT&T and Peoples Telephone Cooperative (ULS File No. 0005150801); (2) AT&T and Cox (ULS File No. 0005155794); (3) USSC and Cox (ULS File No. 0005167598).

June 8 – Deadline for Oppositions to Petitions to Deny T-Mobile, Cricket, Cook Inlet, Savary Island proposed spectrum swap of PCS and AWS-1 licenses (ULS File Nos. 0005140122, 0005140200, 0005140699, 0005143798, 0005143799, 0005143801, 0005144560, and 0005150677.)

June 11 – Deadline for replies to oppositions to petitions to deny transfer of licenses from E.N.M.R.-Plateau to Verizon Wireless (ULS File Nos. 0005034870, 0005034877, 0005063051 and/or ITC-ASG-20120420-00105).

June 13 – FCC open meeting.

June 13 – Deadline for reply comments on definition of “MVPD” per Sky Angel complaint against Discovery Communications (MB Docket No. 12-83). Extended from May 30.

June 14 – Deadline for reply comments on NPRM to streamline cellular service (WT Docket No. 12-40).

June 14 – Deadline for comments on Sprint’s request for ruling on VoIP-originated traffic (WC Docket No. 12-105).

June 15 – Deadline for Replies to Oppositions to Petitions to Deny several proposed Lower 700 MHz transactions: (1) AT&T and Peoples Telephone Cooperative (ULS File No. 0005150801); (2) AT&T and Cox (ULS File No. 0005155794); (3) USSC and Cox (ULS File No. 0005167598).

June 15 – Deadline for Replies to Oppositions to Petitions to Deny T-Mobile, Cricket, Cook Inlet, Savary Island proposed spectrum swap of PCS and AWS-1 licenses (ULS File Nos. 0005140122, 0005140200, 0005140699, 0005143798, 0005143799, 0005143801, 0005144560, and 0005150677.)

Source: BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 15, No. 21 May 30, 2012


This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm. For additional information, contact Hal Mordkofsky at 202-828-5520 or

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BT on track to switch on 500,000 London WiFi hotspots

By Nick Wood, Total Telecom
Tuesday 29 May 2012

U.K. incumbent in push to offer high-density public WiFi service in time for Olympics.

BT revealed on Tuesday it is on target to deploy 500,000 public WiFi hotspots across London in time for the Olympic Games.

The U.K. incumbent confirmed it is also the sole WiFi provider for the nine Olympic venues, rolling out 1,000 access points covering the athletics stadium, the aquatics centre, the velodrome, and all public areas of east London's Olympic park.

BT broadband customers will be given free access; everyone else will be required to buy a prepaid WiFi voucher.

"BT will bring the Internet right to the fingertips of spectators and visitors across London, so getting online during this busy period will be even easier," stated Andy Baker, BT's WiFi chief.

"BT has a proven track record of delivering the large-scale, reliable communications that London will need this summer," he said. During peak times BT expects it network will be carrying 60 Gbps of data.

However, given the temporary nature of some of the stadia, not all of the 1,000 WiFi hotspots deployed at Olympic venues will remain in place once the Games are over.

"We're liaising with legacy venue owners to determine whether they can continue to provide the service post Games time," a BT spokesperson told Total Telecom. "Wherever possible though, we are looking to keep installations in place for the benefit of the local community and businesses."

The telco claims to have the country's biggest WiFi network, boasting 4 million hotspots, 475,000 of them located in Greater London. The company has rolled out 600,000 hotspots in the past six months.

Source: Total Telecom

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Newsletter Editor


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Brad Dye, Editor
P.O. Box 266
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“The history of the twentieth century was dominated by the struggle against totalitarian systems of state power. The twenty-first will no doubt be marked by a struggle to curtail excessive corporate power.”

Eric Schlosser

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shadow factory

The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America By James Bamford - Doubleday (2008) - Hardback - 395 pages - ISBN 0385521324

James Bamford exposed the existence of the top-secret National Security Agency in the best selling The Puzzle Palace and continued to probe into its workings in his follow-up bestseller, Body of Secrets. Now Bamford discloses inside, often shocking information about the transformation of the NSA in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 2001.

In THE SHADOW FACTORY, Bamford shows how the NSA’s failure to detect the presence of two of the 9/11 hijackers inside the United States led the NSA to abandon its long-held policy of spying only on enemies outside the country. Instead, after 9/11 it turned its almost limitless ability to listen in on friend and foe alike over to the Bush Administration to use as a weapon in the war on terror. With unrivaled access to sources and documents, Bamford details how the agency has conducted domestic surveillance without court approval, and he frames it in the context of the NSA’s ongoing hunt for information about today’s elusive enemies.

THE SHADOW FACTORY is a riveting read for anyone concerned about civil liberties and America’s security in the post-9/11 world.

[ Source ]

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