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the wireless messaging news

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Wireless News Aggregation

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Friday — May 23, 2014 — Issue No. 607

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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,

VoLTE” is in the news a lot lately. It reminds me of the expression: “the tail is waging the dog.” Click on the link above for a tutorial.

When most of us first started using the Internet, we got to it by using a MODEM over our telephone line, to a “dial-up” ISP (Internet Service Provider). Now-a-days, most wireline, and cellular telephone services are transitioning over to “Voice over IP” (Internet Protocol) so we access our telephone service over the Internet.

Go figure.

For our international readers: go figure (idiomatic) Expresses perplexity, confusion, surprise, or puzzlement (as if telling somebody to try to make sense of the situation).

When you think about it, in the old days our television sets were connected to an antenna, and our telephones were connected to a wire line. Now our telephones use an antenna (portable phones) and most of our television sets are connected to a cable. This really makes more sense, since we take our cell phones with us and leave our televisions at home.

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My friend and mentor Ron Mercer, is an accomplished Italian Chef. One of my hobbies is woodworking, and making things on my new mini-wood-lathe. When I saw that a kit was available to make handles for a garlic press, I decided to make one for him. I like giving friends and family members gifts when it is not “expected” e.g. Birthdays, Christmas, etc.

Another friend here in Illinois has a small orchard on his farm, and he had given me several pieces of wood from fruit trees that had fallen down.

Persimmon Wood , is a prized wood for turners. It is very hard, and used to make all kinds of things, like:

  • textile shuttles;
  • the highest-quality heads of the golf clubs known as “woods”;
  • longbows;
  • wooden flutes;
  • billiard cues.

While light, in color, persimmon frequently has streaks of dark black, and some voids—making it difficult to turn on a lathe. So here is what it looks like:

By the way, the word persimmon is derived from putchamin, pasiminan, or pessamin, from Powhatan, an Algonquian language of the eastern United States, meaning “a dry fruit.”

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Change your eBay password now

By Donna Tapellini
Published May 21, 2014
Consumer Reports

After discovering that one of its customer databases had been hacked, eBay said in a blog on its site that it will ask its users today to change their passwords.

The database contained customer names, e-mail and physical addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, and encrypted passwords. eBay says there was no financial information in the hacked database, and that there was no evidence that any unauthorized activity had taken place. It also said there was no sign that PayPal, which is owned by eBay, had been compromised.

As of this morning, there was also no indication on eBay’s home page that the compromise had occurred. The announcement was made on eBay’s corporate blog, which has a small link at the bottom of the page in the style generally used to link to corporate sites. A user who hadn't seen the news elsewhere could easily not know anything about the hack. As an eBay user myself, as of 11 a.m. (EDT) today, I had not received an e-mail from eBay telling me to change my password because of the attack.

For more tips on staying safe online, check out our Internet security guide.

The database was hacked in late February or early March, according to eBay. The unauthorized access was possible because the log-in credentials of a number of eBay employees had also been compromised, an issue the company discovered “about two weeks ago,” it said in its blog about the hack.

If you’re one of eBay’s 128 million customers and you haven't yet received an e-mail notification, it's still a smart move to change your password now (learn how to hack-proof your passwords). In fact, you should change all your passwords regularly. And we strongly advise that you not use the same usernames and passwords on multiple website accounts.

—Donna Tapellini [source] FOX NEWS

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P.S. This newsletter is made possible by contributions from readers like you.

Now on to more news and views.

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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.

I spend the whole week searching the Internet for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won't have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.

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Editorial Policy

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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Back To Paging


Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!

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If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter just fill in the blanks in the form above, and then click on the “Subscribe” bar.

free There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. It's all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.


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Can You Help The Newsletter?

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You can help support the Wireless Messaging News by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above. It is not necessary to be a member of PayPal to use this service.

Reader Support

Newspapers generally cost 75¢ $1.50 a copy and they hardly ever mention paging or wireless messaging. If you receive some benefit from this publication maybe you would like to help support it financially? A donation of $50.00 would certainly help cover a one-year paid subscription. If you are wiling and able, please click on the PayPal Donate button above.

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Valid CSS!

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Advertiser Index

American Messaging
Critical Alert Systems
Critical Response Systems
Eagle Telecom
Easy Solutions
Hahntech USA
Hark Technologies
Infostream Pty Limited
Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates
Leavitt Communications
Preferred Wireless
Prism Paging
Product Support Services — (PSSI)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC — (Ron Mercer)
WiPath Communications

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State-of-the-art paging network infrastructure, fully supported at an affordable price – and it integrates with your other gear, include most makes of transmitters

Whether you are replacing or upgrading your existing network or building out new infrastructure, Infostream has the new equipment and systems that you need.

  • Optimised for mission critical and public safety networks
  • Highly integrated base station controller
    • GPS
    • 3G modem
    • HTML User Interface
    • Ethernet switch, IP and router
    • Optional integrated radio modems
    • Dual channel capable
    • Integrated off-air (self monitoring) receiver
  • Ultra high reliability configuration (99.999%)
  • Message encryption plug-in
  • Fully featured central site VOIP, CAD, HTML, TAP, TNPP, SMPP access
  • NMS integration including Nagios, SNMP and syslog
  • Comprehensive diagnostics including adjacent site monitoring
  • Deployed internationally in mission critical applications
  • 21 years of industry experience in design, build and integration

Infostream is a world leading supplier of paging and messaging infrastructure, specialized paging receivers and consultancy services. The company was founded in 1993 and has engineered and supplied equipment for some of the largest public safety networks and private paging customers around the world.

Medical • Fire • Police • Security • Mining • Petrochemicals • Financial Markets • Telemetry • Custom Applications

infostreamInfostream Pty Limited
Suite 10, 7 Narabang Way, Belrose, NSW 2085, AUSTRALIA
Sales Email: | Phone: +61 2 9986 3588 | Afterhours: +61 417 555 525

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AT&T tracking device would help you find your luggage

Agam Shah
@agamsh May 16, 2014 2:35 PM
PC World

AT&T researchers have developed a “smart luggage” tracker that would help travelers find their bags, showing off the device during an event that also highlighted the company’s push into the Internet of Things.

The tracking device, which fits inside or is attached to luggage, pinpoints the location of a bag in real time. Users could track the movement of their luggage through software on a mobile device, said David Marten, principal hardware designer at the company’s machine-to-machine foundry, during the AT&T Innovation Showcase Friday in New York.

For example, if a bag doesn’t arrive at an airport baggage claim area, a user could map out where it is in the airport. It could also tell if the bag is in another city.

The application could also send text messages at specific intervals for when a bag lands and the tracking device could also light up a bag at lost-and-found or on a carousel. The tracker in the bag could work internationally by connecting to other 3G-compatible networks.

The tracker is a prototype that Marten said illustrates how AT&T’s network could be used in devices. It’s part of a larger move to boost the company’s presence in the Internet of Things space, where data-collecting sensors and instruments are connected.

“When it will be a marketable device, we don’t know yet,” Marten said.

AT&T also showed off a number of projects where connected devices automate mundane tasks. For example, after a car pulls into a driveway, a sensor device automatically sends instructions to switch on air conditioning, shut off the security system or switch on lights. The services are being researched for integration into AT&T’s Digital Life home automation and security system.

AT&T wants to be a broker for sensor devices to exchange information over its wired and wireless networks, said Marian Croak, senior vice president of applications and services infrastructure at the company.

The demonstrations were part of what the company calls rapid prototyping, where ideas are tested and deployed in quick time, Croak said. As more sensor and wearable devices connect to the Internet, the company is building out network capacity, virtualizing networks and adding Wi-Fi networks and small cells to handle the increased communication.

AT&T is also making changes at the data-center level, switching from proprietary hardware to commodity hardware so software-defined networks are easier to deploy, Croak said.

There is sensitivity to latency for specific applications like voice and video, but the improvements will progressively become visible to customers, Croak said. For example, companies will be able to assign levels of bandwidth to specific applications or departments.

“It’s not only that the applications will become faster, but applications can be customized to your liking,” Croak said.

Source: PC World

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Ivy Corp Eagle Telecom

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Critical Response Systems

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More than Paging.
First Responder Solutions.

Our patented technology notifies clinical personnel immediately, while tracking who receives and responds to each alarm. Users confirm or defer each event with a single button press, and analytic dashboards display response statistics in real time, as well as historically broken down by time, unit, room, and individual.

Our systems not only notify your personnel quickly and reliably, but also provide actionable feedback to fine-tune your procedures, reduce unnecessary alarms, and improve patient outcomes.

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BlackBerry's ultra-secure chat gives each message its own security key

MAY 22ND 2014, AT 7:47:00 PM ET

Chat systems like BBM and iMessage are typically very secure, since they're encrypted end-to-end. However, they still have a glaring flaw: if intruders do crack the code, they can see everything you've said. That's where BlackBerry's soon-to-launch BBM Protected comes in. As the company showed at its BlackBerry Experience Washington event ( CrackBerry 's video is below), the new service makes it extremely difficult to spy on an entire conversation. Each message has its own random encryption key; even a very clever data thief would only get one tidbit at a time, so it could take ages to piece together a full chat.

BBM Protected will only be available for corporate-controlled BlackBerry devices when it launches as part of an enterprise suite in June, although that will include anything running the now-ancient BlackBerry OS 6 or higher. The chat client won't be available for personal phones running BlackBerry Balance until early fall, while Android and iOS users will have to wait until late fall or early winter. All the same, it might be worth holding out if you're really, truly worried that someone is watching your private discussions.

Source: engadget

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Specialists in sales and service of equipment from these leading manufacturers, as well as other two-way radio and paging products:

UNICATIONbendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

COMmotorola red Motorola MOBILITY spacer
Philip C. Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Web Site:
Mobile phone:847-494-0000
Skype ID:pcleavitt

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You Can Now Text 911 on Major U.S. Wireless Carriers

Daniel Bean
Editorial Assistant
May 15, 2014

Many Americans can now text 911 during emergencies.

In accordance with an announcement made earlier this spring , Text-to-911 went live Thursday on the four major wireless U.S. carriers: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

Customers in many areas of the country can now report crimes and emergencies with a text. Per the FCC’s website , if you are in an area where 911 dispatchers can take emergency calls, and you are covered by one of the four major carriers, then you should be able to text 911.

To use the service, include both the description and location of the situation in a text message with “911” in the recipient or phone number field. If you are in an area that is not up and running Text-to-911 yet, texts sent to 911 will get a bounce-back message reply explaining that it wasn’t received.

But since getting a bounce-back message rather than a real reply during an emergency could be a disastrous waste of time, officials still recommend that you place a 911 call if you are able.

“It’s always preferable to make a voice call to 911,” director of government affairs at the National Emergency Number Association Trey Forgety told ABC News . “Call if you can; text only if you can’t.”

Check here to keep up to date on the program’s rollout across the country.

Of course, most of us associate texting with chitchat and shorthand Internet slang, but anyone who finds themselves in a situation where he has to use this service should be as articulate and tight as possible via text. The Text-to-911 program, according to ABC News , is not equipped to accept picture or video messages.

And with those disclaimers, here, from the New Yorker’s Shouts & Murmurs humor column, are some examples of how not to use Text-to-911.

You can learn more about the Text-to-911 program here.

Source: YAHOO!

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American Messaging

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American Messaging

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Easy Solutions

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easy solutions

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

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

Experts in Paging Infrastructure

  • Glenayre, Motorola, Unipage, etc.
  • Excellent Service Contracts
  • Full Service—Beyond Factory Support
  • Contracts for Glenayre and other Systems starting at $100
  • Making systems More Reliable and MORE PROFITABLE for over 30 years.

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

Easy Solutions
3220 San Simeon Way
Plano, Texas 75023

Vaughan Bowden
Telephone: 972-898-1119

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Easy Solutions

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Product Support Services, Inc.

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Repair and Refurbishment Services

pssi logo


Product Support Services, Inc.

511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
(972) 462-3970 Ext. 261 left arrow left arrow

PSSI is the industry leader in reverse logistics, our services include depot repair, product returns management, RMA and RTV management, product audit, test, refurbishment, re-kitting and value recovery.

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New success in protecting customer rights unsealed today

22 May 2014 12:09 PM

Successful challenge of National Security Letter protects longstanding policy of notifying enterprise customers if a government requests their data

Posted by Brad Smith
General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

On Thursday, a federal court in Seattle unsealed documents related to an FBI National Security Letter that Microsoft successfully challenged in court late last year. This marks an important and successful step to protect Microsoft's enterprise customers regarding government surveillance.

Because information about the case wasn’t public until today, this is our first opportunity to discuss it in detail. Given the strong ongoing worldwide interest in these issues, we wanted to provide some additional context on the matter.

The FBI’s letter in this case sought information about an account belonging to one of our enterprise customers. Enterprise customers at Microsoft include legitimate businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations. Like all National Security Letters, this one sought only basic subscriber information.

Last December I announced that Microsoft was committed “to notifying business and government customers if we receive legal orders related to their data. Where a gag order attempts to prohibit us from doing this, we will challenge it in court. We’ve done this successfully in the past, and we will continue to do so in the future to preserve our ability to alert customers when governments seek to obtain their data.”

In this case, the Letter included a nondisclosure provision and we moved forward to challenge it in court. We concluded that the nondisclosure provision was unlawful and violated our Constitutional right to free expression. It did so by hindering our practice of notifying enterprise customers when we receive legal orders related to their data.

After we filed this challenge in Federal Court in Seattle, the FBI withdrew its Letter.

Fortunately, government requests for customer data belonging to enterprise customers are extremely rare. We therefore have seldom needed to litigate this type of issue. In those rare cases where we have received requests, we’ve succeeded in redirecting the government to obtain the information from the customer, or we have obtained permission from the customer to provide the data. We’re pleased with the outcome of this case, which validates our approach.

Having spent the first half of this week in Berlin and London, it’s apparent that government, business, and civil society leaders around the world are continuing to follow closely these issues in the United States. I often meet people in other countries who ask whether the courts in the United States will play a strong and independent role on government surveillance issues.

For over two centuries individuals in the United States have turned to the courts to protect our most fundamental freedoms. This case demonstrates the vital role our courts continue to play and the cause for confidence they provide.

Source: Microsoft

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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

leavitt logo

7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

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News May 22, 2014


MAY 22, 2014 — "NBC Nightly News" anchor and managing editor Brian Williams traveled to Moscow this week for an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Edward Snowden. The former NSA contractor's first-ever American television interview will air in an hour-long NBC News primetime special on Wednesday, May 28 at 10pm / 9 Central.

Williams' rare and revealing in-person conversation with Snowden was conducted over the course of several hours, and was shrouded in secrecy due to Snowden's life in exile since leaking classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs a year ago. Williams also interviewed Snowden and Glenn Greenwald jointly about how they came to work together and the global debate sparked by their revelations.

Source: NBCUniversal MediaVillage

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Consulting Alliance

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Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, Vic Jackson, and Ira Wiesenfeld are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects.

Click here left arrow for a summary of their qualifications and experience. Each one has unique abilities. We would be happy to help you with a project, and maybe save you some time and money.

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Consulting Alliance

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Telemetry solution

Easy Application & Better Performance


NPCS Telemetry Modem


(ReFLEX 2.7.5)






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Preferred Wireless

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preferred logo

Terminals & Controllers:
5ASC1500 Parts: ATC, Memory Cards & Power Supplies    
3CNET Platinum Controllers 
2GL3100 RF Director 
1GL3000 ES — 2 Chassis
40SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1GL3000L Complete w/Spares
3Zetron 2200 Terminals
1Unipage—Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
9Zetron M66 Transmitter Controllers  
4Glenayre Universal Exciters, 1 UHF, 3 VHF
5Hot Standby Panel—2 Old Style, 3 New Style
25New and Used Cabinets & Open Racks 
38Andrews PG1N0F-0093-810 Antennas 928-944 MHz, Omni, 10dBi, 8 Degree Down-Tilt
4Andrews PG1D0F-0093-610 Antennas 928-944 MHz, Omni, 10dBi, 6 Degree Down Tilt
Link Transmitters:
1QT-5701, 35W, UHF, Link Transmitter
4Glenayre QT4201 & 6201, 25 & 100W Midband Link TX
1Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
3Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
2Eagle 900 MHz Link Transmitters, 60 & 80W
8Glenayre GL C2100 Link Repeaters
2Motorola Q2630A, 30W, UHF Link TX
VHF Paging Transmitters
1Glenayre QT7505
1Glenayre QT8505
UHF Paging Transmitters:
20Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
2Glenayre GLT8200, 25W
15Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
3Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
40Motorola Nucleus 900 MHz 300W CNET Transmitters


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 left arrow

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Preferred Wireless

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May 22, 2014 07:18 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro (

An attendee photographs the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3, during the event in New York May 20, 2014.
(Photo : Reuters)

Microsoft Co. unveiled a larger, yet lighter, version of its Surface Pro tablet on May 20 as the company attempts to make more of an impact on the mobile computing market.

The world's largest software company debuted its Surface Pro 3 during a presentation made by new CEO Satya Nadella in New York City.

Nadella said the company is completely committed to making its own devices, despite recently acquiring Nokia's handset business and the lack of success its own phone and tablets have seen so far this year.

"We are not building hardware for hardware's sake," said Nadella, at the event. "We want to build experiences that bring together all the capabilities of our company.

The new device comes with a 12-inch screen that is slightly bigger than its predecessor (9.7), and access to Microsoft's Office software suite, which is used in businesses around the globe.

The device runs the full Windows operating system, according to Reuters.

The Surface Pro 3 tablet comes in three models available for a base price of $799, and a max price of $1,949.

Microsoft executives have made comparisons with the MacBook Air during the launch this week, making it clear that the company feels Apple's laptop is its main competition.

The MacBook Air is sold for at $899.

Microsoft "has concentrated on its key strength - business users who look at tablets as extensions and/or replacements for full laptop capability," said Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates, according to Reuters. "Microsoft finally seems to understand it cannot go head to head with Apple's iPad, and must offer a superior business device."

Microsoft is attempting to recast itself as a "device and services" company, though has not made much of a headway on the devices side yet, except for its latest Xbox game console.

The Surface first launched back in October 2012 and was updated last year.

Source: Auto World News

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critical alert CA Partner’s Program

Providing better communications solutions to hospitals across the country — together!

For CAS, strong partnerships remain key to providing our software-based communications solutions to our customers. These solutions include:

ca dr and nurse
nurse call systemscritical messaging solutionsmobile health applications

We provide the communication, training and resources required to become a CA partner. In turn, our partners provide customers with the highest levels of local service & support. CA Partners may come from any number of business sectors, including:

  • Service Providers
  • System Integrators
  • Value Added Resellers and Distributors
  • Expert Contractors
If you would like to hear more about our CA Partners program, we’d love to hear from you.

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Selected portions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP are reproduced in this section with the firm's permission.

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BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 17, No. 20 May 21, 2014

Retransmission Consent Rule Effective
June 18, 2014

On May 19, 2014, notice of the FCC’s Report and Order revising the retransmission consent rules appeared in the Federal Register, establishing an effective date for the revised rules of June 18, 2014.

The revised retransmission consent rules make joint negotiation by stations that are ranked among the top four stations in a market a violation of the statutory duty to negotiate retransmission consent in good faith.


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FCC Releases Open Internet Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

On May 15, 2014, the FCC adopted and released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on how to re-implement and expand its 2010 Open Internet (a/k/a. Net Neutrality) rules in light of the D.C. Circuit’s January 2014 decision vacating portions thereof. Comments are due July 15, 2014, and reply comments are due September 10.

As we reported in the January 15, 2014 edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the 2010 Open Internet rules regarding blocking and discrimination were vacated for impermissibly applying common carrier regulation to Internet service providers, while the initial transparency rule was upheld. The NPRM proposes to enhance the transparency rule while re-adopting the anti-blocking rule with a revised rationale and developing a new anti-discrimination rule based upon commercially reasonable practices.

While the anti-blocking and anti-discrimination rules are attracting most media attention, the proposed “enhanced” transparency rule may have a major impact upon rural telephone company affiliates and other small Internet service providers (ISPs). The FCC is proposing that broadband providers help end users make informed choices regarding their purchase and use of broadband services by disclosing specific:

(a) network practices (e.g., data caps, traffic exempted from data caps, consumption monitoring, tethering restrictions, service tiers, and actual achieved results);
(b) performance characteristics ( e.g., effective download speeds, upload speeds, latency and packet loss); and
(c) terms and conditions of service.

The FCC is also proposing to ensure that edge providers have access to broadband provider network information necessary to develop new applications and services, and is exploring ways to disclose useful information to edge providers, start-ups, content delivery networks, and cloud services. Finally, the FCC is proposing to inform the overall Internet community and the FCC itself about broadband practices and conduct that may impact Internet openness, including:

(a) changes to network practices;
(b) instances of blocking, throttling, and pay-for-priority arrangements;
(c) parameters of default or best efforts service; and
(d) the source, location, timing, speed, packet loss, and duration of network congestion.

Whereas some of this information is currently required to be provided on ISP websites, the “enhanced” transparency proposals appear to require much more detailed and continuous monitoring of conditions and updating of the information on websites and in reports. Clients may want to respond to the FCC’s questions whether the “enhanced” requirements create major costs and burdens that are likely to affect the pace of innovation, investment and growth.

With regard to the no-blocking rule, the Court suggested that it may not have amounted to per se common carrier regulation if the FCC had “establish[ed] a lower limit on the forms that broadband providers’ arrangements with edge providers could take, [but] nonetheless [left] sufficient ‘room for individualized bargaining and discrimination in terms.” The FCC now proposes to do just that: to establish a minimum level of service that service providers must offer all customers while leaving them free to negotiate individual agreements for service levels above the minimum. Accordingly, the FCC also seeks comment on where to set such a minimum service level, and provides three specific suggestions:

  • Best Efforts. Under the best efforts approach, best-effort delivery would represent the “typical” level of service for that type of traffic—in effect, routing traffic according to the “traditional” architecture of the Internet. Broadband providers would be free to negotiate “better than typical” delivery with edge providers, and would be prohibited (subject to reasonable network management) from delivering “worse than typical” service in the form of degradation or outright blocking.
  • Minimum Quantitative Performance. Under a minimum quantitative performance approach, the FCC would promulgate specific technical parameters for a required minimum level of access, such as speed. The FCC also sought comment on what parameters would be appropriate for use.
  • Reasonable Person Standard. Under the reasonable person approach, the minimum level of access would the level that satisfies the reasonable expectations of a typical end user. For example, a typical end user may reasonably expect the ability to access streaming video from any provider, place and receive telephone calls using the VoIP service of the end user’s choosing, and access any lawful web content. By meeting this standard, the provider would be considered to be in compliance with the no-blocking rule.

With regard to the no-discrimination rule, the D.C. Court suggested that it may have withstood judicial scrutiny if it had preserved some flexibility by including a specific set of factors to consider on a case-by-case basis. Again taking its cue from the court, the FCC proposes to prohibit only “commercially unreasonable” practices, as determined on a case-by-case basis that necessarily takes into account a specific set of factors. The FCC is also seeking comment on which factors it should consider, such as impact on competition; impact on speech and civic engagement; technical characteristics; good faith negotiation; industry practices; and any other factors that may be relevant.

The FCC is also seeking comment on whether and how these requirements should apply to mobile carriers. In their original iteration in 2010, only the transparency requirement applied equally to both fixed and mobile broadband. The no-blocking rule applied a different standard to mobile broadband Internet access services, and mobile Internet access service was excluded entirely from the no-discrimination rule.

Finally, the FCC is seeking comment on what legal authority it should rely upon to implement its Open Internet rules: Section 706 (which authorizes the FCC to “encourage the deployment” of advanced telecommunications capability by promoting competition in the telecommunications market and removing barriers to infrastructure investment), or Title II. Relying on Title II authority would require the FCC to revisit its classification of Internet access as an information service, which would enable it to impose the common carrier-type requirements that the D.C. Circuit Court rejected. It would also sweep the provision of Internet service into all of the other common carrier requirements embodied in the Communications Act – anti-discrimination, interconnection, universal service, intercarrier compensation, and of course, numerous reporting requirements. As such, the FCC also seeks comment on whether it should also forbear from applying certain Title II regulation to reclassified Internet service provision.

The Title II question has already met with stiff opposition from both the legislation and the industry. House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican leaders Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Bob Latta (R-Ohio) sent a letter to Chairman Wheeler expressing their “grave concern” that the FCC is considering reclassifying Internet broadband service as a Title II common carrier service. “Simply raising the prospect of such stifling regulation harms broadband providers, the American Economy, and ultimately broadband consumers,” wrote the representatives. Verizon, AT&T, USTelecom, NCTA, CISCO, and American Consumer Institute have all also filed letters already opposing Title II classification. Common themes in these letters included the archaic nature of Title II regulation and thinly veiled promises of eternal litigation.

Our read is that the FCC is likely using the prospect of Title II regulation to reduce opposition to, and increase the likelihood of judicial and legislative support for, its effort to adopt and implement Open Internet rules under Section 706. Title II is a two-edged sword that could clarify the Section 251/252 interconnection rights of small ISPs that are not offered peering relationships, as well as certain Section 201 and 202 protections against unjust and unreasonable practices of larger providers, but that could also impose substantial new pricing and other regulations upon ISPs. Whereas a vigorous pro-Title II and anti-Title II debate may take place, it does not appear at this time that the FCC will take on major segments of the Congress and the industry, and that it is most likely to adopt a version of its proposed Open Internet rules under the authority of Section 706 alone.
Carriers interested in filing comments in the proceeding should contact the firm without delay.

FCC Adopts Rules for 600 MHz Broadcast Incentive Auction

At last Thursday’s Open Meeting, the FCC adopted rules for its first ever broadcast television incentive auction. The two-sided auction will use market forces to recover spectrum from television broadcasters who voluntarily choose to give up some or all of their spectrum usage rights in exchange for incentive payments (the “reverse” auction). The FCC will then “repack” the remaining broadcast operations into a smaller portion of the broadcast band, and auction new 600 MHz licenses to the highest bidders (the “forward” auction) for the provision of advanced wireless services.

Due to the greater efficiency of digital broadcasting, licensees are able to deliver programming using just a portion of their licensed 6 megahertz channel. This creates the opportunity for broadcasters to return all or a portion of their spectrum rights and, if desired, to enter into channel sharing arrangements with other broadcasters in their area to reduce their operating costs. Success of the incentive auction will first depend on whether a sufficient number of broadcasters in each market choose to participate, a prospect that some believe is far from certain. The FCC is betting that the prospect of large auction payout will entice broadcasters to take the deal.

A full text of the Commission’s Incentive Auction Report and Order has not yet been released, but industry reporting and a summary of the item prepared by the Incentive Auction Task Force give us a good idea of what to expect, although like all matters from the FCC, the devil is in the details.

Good news for our law firm’s clients is the Commission’s decision to license the 600 MHz band using Partial Economic Areas (or “PEAs”) rather than larger Economic Areas (EAs) that were favored by nationwide carriers. Smaller geographic licenses that do not include urban areas should create more opportunities for small and rural carriers to bid and have a realistic shot at winning spectrum rights for their primary areas of interest in the “forward auction” portion of the proceeding, currently scheduled for the summer of 2015.

While it is unclear pending review of the Commission’s Order, we believe the FCC has adopted a map of PEA boundaries that was developed this spring as a consensus among the Blooston Rural Carriers and other rural advocacy groups. A last minute proposal by Verizon sought changes to the consensus PEA proposal in a way that could impact some PEAs that are near urban markets, and it is possible that the FCC made some tweaks to ensure Verizon’s support. At the same time, the FCC may have acted on its own to modify or combine PEAs that it deemed too small.

To ensure that no one or two carriers can “run the table” and dominate the bidding in the incentive auction, the FCC also adopted spectrum aggregation limits in a separate Mobile Spectrum Holdings proceeding that reserve up to 30 megahertz of spectrum in each market for carriers that currently hold less than one-third of the available spectrum below 1 GHz in a market. This “set aside” effectively prevents any carrier with 45 megahertz or more of low-band spectrum ( e.g., attributable interests in a 25 megahertz cellular license and 20 megahertz or more of 700 MHz Band spectrum) from being able to bid on the reserved spectrum. Pending review of the fine print in the new rules, this provision will likely restrict nationwide carriers from obtaining all of the spectrum, but apparently will not impact smaller carriers.

With respect to small business bid credits, the Commission adopted the same size-based credits for the forward auction as it used for the 700 MHz band auctions: 15 percent for small businesses (defined as entities with average annual gross revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $40 million) and 25 percent for very small businesses (defined as entities with average annual gross revenues for the preceding three years not exceeding $15 million). The Commission intends to initiate a separate proceeding to review the Part 1 designated entity rules. As part of that proceeding, the Commission will consider whether any revisions made to the rules should apply to the incentive auction. Forward auction applicants will be subject to the existing Part 1 competitive bidding rules.

Other decisions relevant to the “forward” licensing of the 600 MHz band include “flexible use” service rules (allowing the provision of fixed and/or mobile voice and data services), and a band plan with specific paired uplink and downlink bands, comprised of five megahertz “building blocks.” The specific uplink and downlink bands will support Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) technologies that the FCC deemed as “best suited” for the new 600 MHz Band at the present time in light of current technology, the Band’s propagation characteristics, and potential interference issues present in the Band. New licensees will be required to build out to 40 percent of the population (as opposed to geography) in their service areas within six years and to 75 percent of the population by the end of their initial license terms of 12 years. This is an improvement over the Auction 73 requirement to cover a large percentage of geography, without regard to whether there were inhabitants to be served. Also, to avoid a problem that contributed to delay in the deployment of 700 MHz services in rural markets, the FCC has adopted a requirement that all mobile devices in the 600 MHz band must be fully interoperable.

The Incentive Auction Report and Order will also make additional prime spectrum from the 600 MHz Band guard bands available for unlicensed devices nationwide. This should create opportunities for manufacturers of unlicensed devices and providers of unlicensed band services. Depending on the amount of spectrum repurposed through the incentive auction, a total of 14 to 28 megahertz of guard band spectrum will be available for unlicensed use. In addition, the Commission will make an additional six megahertz of spectrum available by allowing unlicensed use of channel 37 at locations where it is not in use by channel 37 incumbents, subject to the development of the appropriate technical parameters to protect the incumbent medical telemetry and radio astronomy users from harmful interference. TV Band White Space devices may continue to operate on channels allocated and assigned for primary television services, consistent with current FCC rules. The Commission has said it plans to initiate a rulemaking proceeding soon to consider changes to its existing Part 15 rules to facilitate unlicensed use of the television bands, 600 MHz Band guard bands and channel 37.

The FCC approved the incentive auction rules in a 3-2 vote split along party lines, with Democrats in the majority.

FCC Adopts Revised Mobile Spectrum Holdings Policies Designed to Promote Competition

In an effort to ensure access to mobile spectrum for both large and small service providers, and in particular low-band spectrum (i.e., spectrum below 1 GHz), the FCC last Thursday adopted a Report and Order revising its mobile spectrum holdings policies. A text of the item was not yet available as we went to press, and the following report is based on FCC News Releases and industry reporting:

The Commission’s decision addressed mobile spectrum policies in three related areas,

  1. proposed transactions,
  2. transactions involving low-band spectrum, and
  3. policies for the upcoming AWS-3 and 600 MHz Broadcast Incentive Auction.

First, with respect to review of proposed transactions, the Commission added and removed spectrum from its current competitive spectrum aggregation “screen” to reflect spectrum that is currently suitable and available for mobile broadband. If a proposed transaction would result in a wireless provider holding approximately 1/3 or more of available spectrum licenses in a given market, that transaction will continue to trigger a more detailed, case-by-case competitive analysis by the Commission. The FCC's spectrum screen previously covered a total of roughly 453 megahertz of spectrum and would kick in if a carrier seeks to acquire more than one-third of that total (150 megahertz) in a given market. If a carrier is seeking spectrum that would push it over the screen in a given market, the FCC would review the transaction more carefully and could move to block it. Under the new polices, the screen reportedly includes a total of 582 megahertz of spectrum (due to the addition of the AWS-4, H-Block, and BRS-EBS bands) and thus would kick in if a carrier acquired more than 195 megahertz (around one-third) of the spectrum in a given market.

Second, with respect to transactions involving low-band spectrum, which is relatively scarce and has properties that allow service across longer distances and through barriers such as walls and foliage, the Commission will continue to use a case-by-case review of these transactions. Aggregation of approximately 1/3 or more of available low-band spectrum will be an “enhanced factor” in the competitive analysis of a proposed transaction. According to an FCC Fact Sheet, Verizon and AT&T hold a combined share of approximately 70% of all low-band spectrum licenses, while Sprint and T-Mobile hold a combined share of approximately 15% of all low-band spectrum licenses.

Third, with respect to auctions, the Commission set policies for the upcoming AWS-3 and 600 MHz Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction. Specifically, the Commission refrained from setting auction-specific spectrum aggregation limits for qualified bidders in the AWS-3 auction, regardless of their existing spectrum holdings. To promote competition in the Broadcast Incentive Auction, the FCC adopted rules establishing a market-based reserve of up to 30 MHz of spectrum targeted for providers that hold less than 1/3 of available low-band spectrum in a license area. As a practical matter, this means that any nationwide carrier with 45 megahertz or more of low-band spectrum (e.g., a 25 MHz cellular license and 20 MHz or more in 700 MHz holdings) would be precluded from bidding for reserved 600 MHz spectrum. In this regard, Verizon holds 22 megahertz of Upper 700 MHz Band C-Block spectrum nationwide, and AT&T holds at least 24 megahertz of 700 MHz spectrum in geographic markets where it holds Lower B & C-Block CMA licenses.

Modifications to the spectrum screen could lead to additional regulatory scrutiny and delay for proposed transactions involving Sprint, because that carrier holds an average of 201 megahertz in the nation’s top 100 markets, largely due to its vast 2.5 GHz BRS-EBS holdings. This compares to an average of 105 megahertz of spectrum held by Verizon, an average of 129 megahertz of spectrum held by AT&T and an average of 78 megahertz of spectrum held by T-Mobile in the nation's top 100 markets.

While the exact details and nuances of the Mobile Spectrum Holdings Report and Order are not yet known, an FCC Fact Sheet released upon adoption of the item explains the application of the new mobile spectrum holdings policies on the Broadcast Incentive Auction as follows:

  • Any nationwide provider that holds approximately 1/3 or more of available low-band spectrum in a license area would be able to bid on all unreserved spectrum in that area, but would be ineligible to bid on any reserved spectrum.
  • Any provider that holds less than 1/3 of available low-band spectrum in a license area would be able to bid on all unreserved spectrum, AND all reserved spectrum in that license area.
  • Non-nationwide providers will be able to bid on both reserved and unreserved spectrum in all license areas.

The Commission clarified that these rules were based on current market structure, and it reserved the right to modify the rules based on significant market changes, including proposed transactions.

The item was adopted on a 3-2 vote, with Republican Commissioners Pai and O’Reilly dissenting.

INS Withdraws IP Transition Proposal, Authorization Unnecessary

On May 15, 2014, Iowa Network Services, Inc. (INS) filed a letter with the FCC officially withdrawing its Application for authority to conduct a service-based experiment concerning the TDM-to-IP transition for Centralized Equal Access ("CEA") service. According to the letter, INS’ consultation with FCC staff confirmed that no additional authority was necessary for INS to go forward with the broadband IP experiment as proposed in its application.

As detailed in the original application, INS sought authority from the FCC to conduct a limited service-based experiment to study the impact on customers and rural communities as INS' voice communications convert from a CEA network based on TDM circuit switched service to a CEA network using IP technologies, and to collect data to further inform the transition to an all-IP based network.

FCC Schedules AWS-3 Auction to Begin November 13, 2014; Seeks Comment on Auction Procedures

The FCC has issued a Public Notice (DA 14-669) announcing plans for an auction of 1,614 licenses in the 1695-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands (collectively, the “AWS-3” bands) to commence on November 13, 2014. Issuance of this Public Notice also provides an opportunity for interested parties to submit comments on the Commission’s proposed competitive bidding procedures for the AWS-3 auction, which will be known as Auction No. 97. Comments on the FCC’s proposals are due by June 9, 2014 with Reply Comments due by June 23, 2014. We urge interested clients to contact us with questions or if there are any particular issues they would like to address.

The AWS-3 Auction will provide small and rural telephone companies and entrepreneurs with an opportunity to obtain paired channel licenses for spectrum that is particularly well suited for the provision of mobile and/or fixed wireless services, and which is contiguous with and complimentary to AWS-1 band licenses that were auctioned in 2006. With Partial Economic Area (PEA) licensing slated for the broadcast incentive auction, currently scheduled for the summer of 2015, Auction 97 may also be one of the last opportunities in the foreseeable future for our clients to obtain wireless spectrum for geographic areas as small as Cellular Market Areas (CMAs). A variety of paired and unpaired AWS-3 channel blocks will also be available for bidding on an Economic Area (or “EA”) basis. The AWS-3 frequencies will be licensed in five and ten megahertz blocks, with each license having a total bandwidth of five, ten, or twenty megahertz.

In an AWS-3 Report and Order (FCC 14-31) adopted this past March, the FCC established technical and service rules for AWS-3 operations (which will be regulated under Part 27 Rules), and concluded that its standard formula for small business and very small business bid credits should apply to the AWS-3 band. In this regard, businesses that have average gross revenues for the preceding 3 years not exceeding $40 million will be eligible for a 15% bidding credit; and businesses that have average gross revenues for the preceding 3 years not exceeding $15 million will be eligible for a 25% bidding credit. License buildout requirements for AWS-3 band will require licensees to provide reliable signal coverage and offer service to at least forty (40) percent of the population in each of its license areas within six (6) years of an initial grant; and to provide reliable signal coverage and offer service to at least seventy-five (75) percent of the population in each of its license areas by the end of the initial license term i.e., within twelve (12) years. Failure to meet the interim buildout requirement will accelerate the initial license term (and 75% coverage requirement) by two years (i.e., from 12 years to 10 years). In the event a licensee fails to meet the AWS-3 Final Build-out Requirement for any licensed area, the license for each licensed area in which it fails to meet the build-out requirement shall terminate automatically without Commission action. This means that the entire license is terminated, not just unserved portions of its license area, as was the case with 700 MHz licenses from Auction No. 73. To promote the rapid buildout of AWS-3 networks by all licensees, the Commission also adopted rules that require AWS-3 band equipment to be fully interoperable and to operate on all AWS-1 band frequencies.

Illustrations of the AWS-3 band plan and license allocation are shown below. The 1695-1710 MHz band will be licensed in an unpaired configuration for low-power mobile transmit ( i.e., uplink) operations. The 1755-1780 MHz band will be licensed paired with the 2155-2180 MHz band, with the 1755-1780 MHz band authorized for low-power mobile transmit (i.e., uplink) operations and the 2155-2180 MHz band authorized for base station and fixed (i.e., downlink) operations.

A complete list of licenses available for bidding and the required Upfront Payment and Minimum Opening Bid amounts for each is provided HERE .

Figure 1: 1695-1710 MHz Band Plan (unpaired channels)

Figure 2: 1755-1780 and 2155-2180 MHz Band Plans

Table 1: AWS - 3 License Summary

Block Frequencies (MHz) Total Bandwidth Paring Geographic
Area Type
Number of Licenses
A1 1695-1700 MHz 5 MHz unpaired EA 176
B1 1700-1710 MHz 10 MHz unpaired EA 176
G 1755-1760/2155-2160 MHz 10 MHz 2 x 5 MHz CMA 734
H 1760-1765/2160-2165 MHz 10 MHz 2 x 5 MHz EA 176
I 1765-1770/2165-2170 MHz 10 MHz 2 x 5 MHz EA 176
J 1770-1780/2170-2180 MHz 20 MHz 2 x 10 MHz EA 176

Incumbency in the AWS-3 Band

Licenses in the 1755-1780 MHz band are being made available on a shared basis with a limited number of Federal incumbent indefinitely (requiring commercial licensees in proximity to certain protection zones required to coordinate with Federal entities), while many Federal systems will over time relocate out of the band. A portion of auction proceeds will be set aside to reimburse eligible Federal agencies for their relocation or sharing costs. To implement these temporary and indefinite sharing of the bands by Federal incumbent users and commercial licensees, the Bureau has proposed to require applicants for Auction No. 97 to submit with its short-form application a signed statement acknowledging that the applicant’s operations the 1755-1780 MHz band may be subject to interference from Federal systems in certain geographic zones, that the applicant must accept interference from such Federal systems in those zones, and that the applicant has considered these risks before submitting any bids for applicable licenses.

Proposed Auction Design

Consistent with past practice, the FCC Wireless Bureau has proposed to conduct Auction No. 97 using its standard simultaneous multiple-round format, and limited information disclosure or “anonymous” bidding. Thus, the Bureau will withhold, until after the close of bidding, public release of (1) bidders’ license selections on their short-form applications (FCC Form 175), (2) the amounts of bidders’ upfront payments and bidding eligibility, and (3) information that may reveal the identities of bidders placing bids and taking other bidding-related actions.

Application and Upfront Payment Deadlines

While the Auction 97 Public Notice has proposed that the AWS-3 auction begin on November 13, 2014, and established proposed auction upfront payment and minimum bid amounts for each license that, the Bureau has not yet established short-form application and upfront payment deadlines. We expect these to be set when the FCC adopts its final procedures for the AWS-3 auction this summer.

Please contact us if you would like us to provide you with further information about the AWS-3 auction and spectrum that will be available for bidding. We are available to help clients that wish to explore joining forces to bid in the auction, through the creation of partnerships or other joint entities. Our clients in the midst of negotiating transactions and agreements with third parties will need to be cognizant of the “anti-collusion” rules that will kick in upon the short-form filing deadline, likely to be in late August or September.

Law & Regulation

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US Supreme Court to Hear Dispute over Procedures for Denying a Cell Tower Permit

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a wireless facilities siting case brought by a unit of T-Mobile USA that will decide whether a state or local government’s simple denial of an application for a construction permit, without providing reasoned explanation, satisfies the Communications Act requirement that such denial be “in writing.”

The case involves T-Mobile South, LLC and the City of Roswell, Georgia, and review of a decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the city’s ability to deny T-Mobile’s application to construct a 108-foot cell tower without any discussion or explanation, just two days after a lengthy city council meeting on the application. Section 332 (c)(7) of the Communications Act requires that any local government’s denial of an application for the placement, construction, or modification of a personal wireless facility “must be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in a written record.”

A federal trial judge sided with T-Mobile and directed the City to issue the permit, ruling that the City had violated the Communications Act. However, the Eleventh Circuit overruled the trial court and said that the city met the federal requirement by issuing a general denial letter and attaching a transcript of the hearings that led to the denial.

In its petition, T-Mobile argues that there is a split between federal courts on what is sufficient to fulfill the “in writing” obligation, with the Eleventh Circuit (which has jurisdiction over federal cases originating in the states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia) and Fourth Circuit (which has jurisdiction over federal cases originating in the states of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) holding that a denial letter need only advise the applicant of the fact that the permit has been denied. A majority of other federal appeals courts (including the First, Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits) have held that a ruling denying an application must be separate from the administrative record and contain a sufficient explanation of the reasons to allow a reviewing court to evaluate the evidence in the record supporting those reasons.

“In particular, under the Eleventh Circuit’s approach, applicants will be forced to engage in the costly and time-consuming process of filing suit to ferret out the underlying reasons for permit denials; and judicial review will be vastly complicated as courts are required to sift through sometimes hundreds or thousands of pages of hearing minutes, transcripts and correspondence simply to discover the threshold question of the grounds of the local government’s decision,” T-Mobile said in its petition.

For its part, the City of Roswell argues in its brief that the “in writing” requirement is merely a procedural requirement, and that the circuit courts are reaching a consensus on what the “in writing” requirement should mean.

“Indeed, the telecommunications industry has nothing to lose in this alleged conflict, but it undoubtedly has everything to gain,” the City’s brief argues. “If the court granted the petition and decided that the Eleventh Circuit was wrong as to the interpretation of these four words, it is the local governments who would be harmed, as they would be forced to allow cellular towers based upon a mere technicality, without regard for the merits of their decisions.”

The case will be heard during the next Supreme Court term, which begins in October.

FCC Application Processing Fees to Increase June 6

Effective June 6, 2014, the FCC’s application filing fees will be increased to reflect the change in the Consumer Price Index-Urban (CPI-U). The increase in the CIP-U over the past two years was 8 percent, which resulted in an increase of 17.369 index points, as calculated from October 2009 through October 2013. It is important to note that for those services where the filing fee includes both the annual regulatory fee and the application filing fee ( e.g., microwave, BETRS/Rural Radio, Part 90 private land mobile), the FCC is only increasing the application component of its filing fees and that this fee increase will be effective 30 days following publication in the Federal Register.

Title II Fees

Domestic Section 214 Applications increased from $1,050.00 to $1,130.00; International Section 214 Applications increased from $1,050.00 to $1,130.00; Tariff Filings increased from $845.00 to $910.00; and Petition for Waiver fees (Parts 69, 32, 43, 64 & 65) increased from $7,990.00 to $8,635.00.

Title III Fees

For typical paging applications, the fee will increase from $395.00 to $430.00 for new facilities, major modifications and license renewals while for BETRS/Rural Radio, the fee will increase from $180.00 to $195.00 for new facilities, major modifications and license renewals. For minor modifications, the fees will increase from $60.00 to $65.00. For the Part 90 Private Land Mobile Radio Services (shared use below 470 MHz), aircraft and ship stations, the fee will increase by $5.00 from $60.00 to $65.00. Most applications for marine coast and aviation ground stations will increase from $120.00 to $130.00 while typical microwave fees will increase from $270.00 to $290.00 for facilities based applications. Filing fees for transactional applications such as license assignments and transfers of control will also increase.

If you have an application filing that has been sent to you for review and signature, we recommend that you return it to us by June 4, 2014 for filing with the FCC in order to minimize the potential that the higher filing fee will apply.

Sprint To Pay $7.5M for Unwanted Marketing Calls, Texts in Record Do-Not-Call Settlement

On May 19, 2014, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau announced that it had entered into a Consent Decree with Sprint Corporation requiring it to pay $7.5 million to resolve an Enforcement Bureau investigation of the mobile wireless company’s failure to honor consumer requests to opt-out of phone and text marketing communications.

According to the FCC, this represents the largest Do-Not-Call settlement ever reached by the agency. In addition to the $7.5 million voluntary payment to the U.S. Treasury, Sprint will implement a two-year plan to ensure compliance with FCC requirements designed to protect consumer privacy and prevent consumers from receiving unwanted telemarketing calls and text messages. This follows a previous 2011 Enforcement Bureau settlement with Sprint arising from complaints that Sprint made telemarketing calls to consumers who had requested to be placed on Sprint’s Do-Not-Call list.

“We expect companies to respect the privacy of consumers who have opted out of marketing calls,” said Travis LeBlanc, Acting Chief of the Enforcement Bureau. “When a consumer tells a company to stop calling or texting with promotional pitches, that request must be honored. Today’s settlement leaves no question that protecting consumer privacy is a top enforcement priority.”

In its Consent Decree with the Enforcement Bureau, Sprint has agreed to:

  • Make a voluntary contribution of $7.5 million to the U.S. Treasury;
  • Develop and put into action a compliance plan designed, among other things, to help ensure future compliance with the FCC’s rules requiring companies to maintain internal Do-Not-Call lists and honor consumers’ requests;
  • Develop operating procedures and policies specifically designed to ensure that Sprint’s operations comply with all company-specific Do-Not-Call rules;
  • Designate a senior corporate manager as a Compliance Officer to ensure that Sprint complies with the terms and conditions of the compliance plan and the consent decree;
  • Implement a training program to ensure that Sprint employees and contractors are properly trained as to how to record consumers’ Do-Not-Call requests so that the company removes their names and numbers from marketing lists;
  • Report to the FCC any noncompliance with respect to consumers’ Do-Not-Call requests; and
  • File with the FCC an initial compliance report within 90 days and annual reports for two years.

In the previous 2011 case, Sprint paid $400,000 to the U.S. Treasury as part of a Consent Decree resolving an investigation into consumer complaints that Sprint had made marketing calls to consumers who had asked to be placed on Sprint’s internal Do-Not-Call list.

Since 2003, Americans have been able to opt out of receiving most telemarketing calls by putting their phone numbers on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. Consumers can register their phone numbers on the Do-Not-Call registry for free, and they will remain on the list until the consumer removes them or discontinues service — there is no need to re-register numbers. The Do-Not-Call registry does not prevent all unwanted calls. It does not cover the following:

  • Calls from organizations with which the customer has an established business relationship;
  • Calls for which the customer has given prior written permission;
  • Calls which are not commercial or do not include unsolicited advertisements;
  • Calls by or on behalf of tax-exempt non-profit organizations.

Subscribers may register their residential telephone number, including wireless numbers, on the national Do-Not-Call registry by telephone or by Internet at no cost.

The Consent Decree is available at: .

FCC Cites California Online Retailer for Importing and Marketing Illegal Smartphones

On May 20, 2014, the District Director of the Los Angeles Office of the FCC Enforcement Bureau’s Western Region issued a “Citation and Order” citing Panasystem Corp., a California-based online electronics retailer, for importing and marketing counterfeit smartphones marked with unauthorized or invalid labels falsely indicating that the devices were certified by the FCC. The investigation which led to the Citation was prompted by inquiries from the United States Department of Homeland Security concerning the devices.

“We will not tolerate the importation and marketing of counterfeit devices,” said Travis LeBlanc, Acting Chief of the Enforcement Bureau. “The trafficking of these devices not only robs the intellectual property of legitimate manufacturers, it harms consumers by failing to provide them with safe and certified smartphones that comply with the FCC’s equipment authorization process.”

The FCC investigation identified the smartphones imported by Panasystem as counterfeit Samsung models “Galaxy S Duos” and “Galaxy Ace.” Although these devices were labeled with seemingly-valid Samsung FCC Identifiers, the investigation showed that Samsung neither manufactured the devices nor authorized the FCC Identifier labels. The investigation also revealed that another set of smartphones imported by Panasystem contained counterfeit BlackBerry Model 9790 devices. These smartphones were labeled with invalid FCC Identifiers, which rendered them illegal for sale in the United States.

Federal law requires smartphones, and all other wireless devices and phones, to be certified in accordance with FCC technical standards before they can be marketed in the United States. Certified smartphones, and other wireless devices and phones, are labeled with a unique FCC Identifier that may not be placed on devices without authorization.

The FCC Identifier is comprised of a three to five character grantee code that is assigned permanently to a manufacturer for use on all of its authorized devices, and a longer product code that the manufacturer assigns to a particular model. The FCC Identifier must be permanently stamped, etched, or otherwise printed on the device and be readily visible to consumers. Smartphones and other wireless devices and phones labeled with invalid or unauthorized FCC Identifiers are illegal to import into the United States, and the FCC has stated that it will impose significant fines on companies marketing uncertified devices to U.S. consumers.

The FCC Enforcement Bureau’s Citation notifies Panasystem that: (1) it must take immediate steps to come into compliance and discontinue the importation and marketing of uncertified radio frequency devices, such as smartphones; (2) if it continues to import and market uncertified devices, it may be subject to penalties of up to $16,000 for each model per day for each violation, up to $122,500 for any single act or failure to act; and (3) subsequent violations of the FCC’s marketing rules may also result in seizures of uncertified equipment as well as criminal sanctions, including imprisonment. The Citation contains the ominous warning that the conduct which has already occurred could lead to the assessment of a monetary penalty.

Because Panasystem is not regulated by the FCC, the agency was required to issue a Citation before the Enforcement Bureau can issue a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture.

Panasystem has thirty days within which to respond to the Citation, under penalty of perjury. The response must describe “the specific action(s) taken or plans to cease the importation and marketing of uncertified radio devices and preclude recurrence of the violations, and also a timeline for completion of any corrective action(s).”

The Citation issued to Panasystem Corp. is available at:


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AT&T Purchases DirecTV for $49 Billion; Commits to Bid at Least $9 Billion in 2015 Incentive Auction

AT&T and DirecTV announced on Sunday that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire the US and Latin American pay TV provider in a stock-and-cash transaction worth $48.5 billion. The merger will create a new telecom and television behemoth and strengthen AT&T’s competitive position against Verizon and Comcast, which earlier this year announced a $45 bid for Time Warner Cable.

Upon approval of the proposed transaction, AT&T has made a conditional commitment to bid at least $9 billion in next year’s broadcast incentive auction and to extend broadband service within four years to 15 million customer locations, mostly in rural areas where AT&T does not provide high-speed broadband service today.

The merger has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies is now subject to approval by DirecTV shareholders and review by the FCC and Department of Justice, as well as Latin American regulators. The transaction is expected to close within twelve months.

“This is a unique opportunity that will redefine the video entertainment industry and create a company able to offer new bundles and deliver content to consumers across multiple screens — mobile devices, TVs, laptops, cars and even airplanes. At the same time, it creates immediate and long-term value for our shareholders,” said AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson.

Through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in the US and Latin American countries including Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, DirecTV provides digital television services to over 20 million customers in the US and more than 18 million customers in Latin America. DirecTV also owns 4G wireless network operating licenses in Latin American countries including Brazil and Colombia.

Consumer groups and legislators were quick to raise concerns about the mega-transaction and its potential harm to competition.

“There is a lot of nervous energy in the media business,” said Harold Feld of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge in an interview on NPR. “It’s like trying to find a date before the prom. The more people get picked off, the more desperate everybody else becomes to find somebody they can go to the dance with.”

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn), a vocal critic of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, said he was skeptical of the AT&T-DirecTV combination as well.

"We're moving toward an industry with fewer competitors — where corporations are getting bigger and bigger and gaining more and more control over the distribution of information," said Franken. "This hurts innovation, and it's bad for consumers, who have been getting squeezed by higher bills."

To facilitate regulatory approvals, AT&T has made a number of voluntary commitments upon closing of the deal:

  • AT&T will extend broadband service within four years to 15 million customer locations, mostly in rural areas where AT&T does not provide high-speed broadband service today, utilizing a combination of technologies including fiber to the premises and fixed wireless local loop capabilities.
  • For customers who only want a broadband service and may choose to consume video through an over-the-top (OTT) service like Netflix or Hulu, the combined company will offer stand-alone wireline broadband service at speeds of at least 6 Mbps (where feasible) in areas where AT&T offers wireline IP broadband service today at guaranteed prices for three years after closing.
  • DIRECTV’s TV service will continue to be available on a stand-alone basis at nationwide package prices that are the same for all customers, no matter where they live, for at least three years after closing.
  • Continued commitment for three years after closing to the FCC's Open Internet protections established in 2010, irrespective of whether the FCC re-establishes such protections for other industry participants following the DC Circuit Court of Appeals vacating those rules.
  • AT&T intends to bid at least $9 billion in connection with the 2015 incentive auction, provided there is sufficient spectrum available in the auction to provide AT&T a viable path to at least a 2x10 MHz nationwide spectrum footprint.

With the FCC’s revised mobile spectrum holdings policies now set, analysts believe that Dish Network might also be a target for acquisition. Dish recently paid $1.564 billion in the FCC's H Block auction as the only bidder, and it also holds 45 megahertz of mid-band downlink spectrum that could be used to supplement terrestrial LTE operations.

"I know there are reports out there that we are talking to Dish," said Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam during an investor conference in Boston. "I can tell you now, that is someone's fantasy. There were not, and there are not, discussions going on with Dish."

Frontier Communications Plans Emergency-Only Landline Service for Rural Areas

Telecompetitior is reporting that Frontier Communications is planning to launch an emergency-use-only landline phone service in rural areas in the second half of this year.

According to the report, Frontier believes there is a market for emergency-only landline phones to help shore up some of the unreliability of residential VoIP service, which does not operate in the event of a power outage without an external source of back-up power. Frontier CEO Maggie Wilderotter announced the initiative at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference on May 19, but did not provide details about the upcoming VoIP offering the emergency-only service is meant to compliment.

Calendar At-A-Glance

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May 23 – Comments are due on 2014 TRS Payment Formulas and Funding Requirements.
May 29 – Comments are due on the short form Tariff Review Plans.
May 31 – FCC Form 395 (Employment Report) is due.


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Jun. 3 – Reply comments are due on 2014 TRS Payment Formulas and Funding Requirements.
Jun. 6 – FCC Application Filing Fees increase.
Jun. 16 – Connect America Fund ICC Data Filing (Access Recovery Charge changes) is due.
Jun. 16 – ILEC Tariff filings made on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 18 – Retransmission consent rules become effective.
Jun. 23 – Petitions to suspend or reject tariff filings made on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 24 – ILEC tariff filings made on 7 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Replies to petitions to suspend or reject tariff filings made on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Petitions to suspend or reject tariff filings made on 7 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 27 – Replies to petitions to suspend or reject tariff filings made on 7 days’ notice are due.


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Jul. 1 – FCC Form 481 (Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form) is due.
Jul. 1 – FCC Form 690 (Mobility Fund Phase I Auction Winner Annual Report) is due.
Jul. 15 – Comments are due on the Open Internet NPRM.
Jul. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Jul. 31 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.


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Sep. 10 – Reply comments are due on the Open Internet NPRM.

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

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XLTE: America’s Best Network Gets Even Better

Faster peak speeds, double the 4G LTE bandwidth in cities coast to coast only for Verizon Wireless customers.

By Debi Lewis on May 19, 2014

Verizon Wireless today announced XLTE – the next step in ensuring the very best high-speed data experience available on any wireless network in the United States.

XLTE is Verizon’s new way to show consumers that they will now have the benefits of even more capacity on the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network, all made possible by taking advantage of AWS spectrum.

“The industry and tech world recognize this is a big deal, and we want consumers to know, too,” said Ken Dixon, chief marketing officer of Verizon Wireless. “We continue to offer the very best network, bar none. Now, XLTE provides an even greater advantage to customers by doubling the 4G LTE bandwidth and providing faster peak speeds in cities coast to coast.”

All customers automatically benefit where Verizon Wireless has deployed XLTE, part of the company’s ongoing commitment to delivering the best experience in wireless. XLTE adds capacity in neighborhoods or areas where demand is high, especially during busy periods like rush hour, lunch times in crowded areas or during events when mobile data use is the highest.

What is XLTE and how does it work?

XLTE delivers faster peak data speeds and a minimum of double the bandwidth to 4G LTE customers in high traffic areas in markets nationwide where AWS spectrum has been activated.

While XLTE network enhancements are invisible to the customer, the mobile experience is not. XLTE Ready devices automatically access both 700 MHz spectrum and the AWS spectrum in XLTE cities. Customers with 4G LTE devices operating solely on the 700 MHz spectrum in XLTE markets also benefit from the extra capacity created by XLTE Ready device traffic moving to the AWS spectrum.

Nearly all of the devices Verizon Wireless sells, including the newest DROID devices, Samsung Galaxy S4, S5 and Note 3, and the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, are XLTE Ready when purchased. Today, more than 35 percent of all devices operating on the Verizon Wireless network can take direct advantage of the added capacity that AWS provides.

XLTE is yet another signal of Verizon Wireless’ network leadership as the company continues to innovate on the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network and deliver a superior network experience for its customers.


DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license.

Source: Verizon Wireless

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Friends & Colleagues

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Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

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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.
Dallas, TX 75248-3112

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Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

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Wireless Network Planners

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Wireless Network Planners
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R.H. (Ron) Mercer
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Cellphone: 631-786-9359

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Wireless Network Planners

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T-Mobile lights up VoLTE in the US, AT&T to follow tomorrow

By Chris Welch on May 22, 2014 01:33 pm

For wireless customers in the US, the road to Voice over LTE (VoLTE) has been long and filled with false promises from carriers, but it's finally here. T-Mobile has flipped on VoLTE in Seattle, with plans to expand the rollout through 2014 and beyond. But at least at the start, it's slow going. VoLTE is only available on three T-Mobile devices right now: LG's G Flex, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and the Samsung Galaxy Light — a phone most people have never even heard of. CTO Neville Ray announced the milestone in a blog post today while highlighting some of the benefits that come with VoLTE. Those include including faster call connection times and, in Ray's own words, "the ability to enjoy lightning fast LTE data speeds while on a call."

HD Voice is another perk typically associated with VoLTE, but T-Mobile is quick to point out that it's been offering the higher-quality voice feature across the US for some time now. Just what is VoLTE? GSM and CDMA networks use old-fashioned circuit switching to handle voice calls, but VoLTE takes a more efficient approach by turning your conversations into another type of data that's transmitted via a carrier's IP technology.


AT&T is set to launch its own VoLTE-powered HD Voice service beginning tomorrow, trailing T-Mobile by only a day. But to its credit, AT&T is launching in more markets: HD Voice will be available in areas of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Unfortunately, device selection is even more limited. If you want to use HD Voice with AT&T on day one, you're stuck with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. Like T-Mobile, the company aims to expand availability to new markets as the year progresses.

As for Verizon Wireless, the largest US carrier is still sticking to an unspecific "this year" timeframe. On a call with media earlier this week, Verizon executives revealed that they'll have numerous phones ready for VoLTE when it's eventually turned on. And unlike its rivals, Verizon is going big out of the gate and promising a nationwide launch. HD Voice and a Facetime-like video calling service were the two main points that Verizon highlighted during the call. Both will be easily accessible in the native dialer of compatible smartphones, the executives said. Verizon is also promising to update existing devices already on the market to support VoLTE so long as they contain the required technology. Smaller carrier MetroPCS beat everyone to the punch when it debuted VoLTE in 2012.


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Prism Paging

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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, Voice-mail, 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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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
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  • Load Shedding and Electrical Services Control

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PDT3000 Paging Data Terminal

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  • Built-in POCSAG encoder
  • Huge capcode capacity
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Paging Controlled Moving Message LED Displays

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  • Variety of sizes
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PDR3000/PSR3000 Paging Data Receivers

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  • Network monitoring and alarm reporting

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Specialized Paging Solutions

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  • Emergency Mass Alerting
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  • 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
WiPath Communications

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

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Other products

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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
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hark David George and Bill Noyes
of Hark Technologies.

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Hark Technologies

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Click on the logo above for more info.

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This Software Glitch From The 1970s Could Suddenly Affect Every Computer On The Planet In 2038

Business Insider By Rebecca Borison
MAY 23, 2014

Remember how panicked we all were about the Y2K crisis back in the year 2000? Everyone freaked out because computers only used two digits to represent a year in their internal clocks, so Jan. 1, 2000 would also be 1/1/00 — the same apparent date as Jan 1. 1900.

In 1999, this problem looked as if it might derail modern life, as computers reset themselves as if it were the beginning of the century and not the end.

Now there's a new, even bigger global software coding fiasco looming: A huge amount of computer software could fail around the year 2038 because of issues with the way the code that runs them measures time.

Once again, just like in 1999/2000, every single piece of software and computer code on the planet must now be checked and updated again. That is not a trivial task.

In 2000, we bypassed the Y2K problem by recoding the software. All the software — a fantastically laborious retrospective global patch. Although Y2K was not a disaster, it was a massive disruption to the tech industry at the time. Virtually every company on the planet running any type of software had to locate their specific Y2K issue and hire someone to fix it. Ultimately, Y2K caused ordinary people very few problems — but that's only because there was a huge expenditure of time and resources within the tech business.

The 2038 problem will affect software that uses what's called a signed 32-bit integer for storing time. For those who aren't well-versed in computer science, bits are how memory is stored; they are how computers save documents.

When a bunch of engineers developed the first UNIX computer operating system in the 1970s, they arbitrarily decided that time would be represented as a signed 32-bit integer (or number), and be measured as the number of milliseconds since 12:00:00 a.m. on January 1, 1970. (For instance, the value "919642718" is 919,642,718 seconds past that date in the 1970s — or Sunday, February 21, 1999, at 19:18:38 ET.)

UNIX time coding has since been incorporated widely into any software or hardware system that needs to measure time.

This system makes a lot of sense when you need to see how much time has passed between two dates. The problem arises because 32 bit software can only measure a maximum value of 2,147,483,647 seconds. This is the biggest number you can represent using 32 bit system.

To understand this, consider that the biggest number you can represent with one digit is 9. The biggest number with two digits is 99. The number system we're used to uses a base of 10. So two digits can represent all of the numbers up to 100, or (10 x 10)-1, which equals 99. And three digits can represent numbers up to 1000, or (10 x 10 x 10)-1 = 999.

The binary system that computers use works the same way, but with a binary base of two, instead of 10. And since we're dealing with signed integers — positive or negative — you need one extra digit to indicate that. So for a 32-bit system counting in binary base of two, the highest number it can represent is (2 to the power of 31)-1, which equals . . . 2,147,483,647.

On January 19, 2038 — 2,147,483,647 seconds after January 1, 1970 — these computer programs will exceed the maximum value of time expressable by a 32-bit system using a base 2 binary counting system, and any software that hasn't been fixed will then wrap back around to zero, thinking that it's 1970 again.

To learn more about this problem, we checked in with Jonathan Smith, a Computer and Information Science professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

According to Professor Smith, this is a real problem that will affect a specific subset of software that counts on a clock progressing positively.

"Most UNIX-based systems use a 32 bit clock that starts at the arbitrary date of 1/1/1970, so adding 68 years gives you a risk of overflow at 2038," he explains. " Timers could stop working, scheduled reminders might not occur (e.g., calendar appointments), scheduled updates or backups might not occur, billing intervals might not be calculated correctly."

Thankfully, though, the solution isn't technically difficult. We just need to switch to higher bit values like 64 bits, which will give a higher maximum. In the last few years, more personal computers have made this shift, especially companies that have already needed to project time past 2038, like banks that need to deal with 30-year mortgages.

In reality, the 64-bit system just pushes off the problem to a later date when the new maximum is reached, but they do extend the maximum date to 292 billion years from now — which seems like a pretty good deal.

Apple claims that the iPhone 5S is the first 64-bit smartphone. But the 2038 problem applies to both hardware and software, so even if the 5S uses 64 bits, an alarm clock app on the phone needs to be updated as well. (If it's using a 32-bit system in 2038 it will wake you up in 1970, so to speak.) So the issue is more of a logistical problem than a technical one.

The problem does not seem too urgent — we have 24 years to fix it it! — but its scope is massive. To give you an idea of how slowly corporations can implement software updates, a majority of ATM cash machines were still running Windows XP, and thus vulnerable to hackers , until April of this year even though Microsoft discontinued the product in 2007.

And the Y2K fiasco suggests that the tech industry will, by and large, ignore the 2038 issue until it becomes too expensive not to — i.e. the very last minute.


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The Wireless Messaging News

Best regards,
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Newsletter Editor

Brad Dye
P.O. Box 266
Fairfield, IL 62837 USA

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Skype: braddye
Twitter: @BradDye1
Telephone: 618-599-7869
Wireless: Consulting page
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“That's the wonderful thing with nerds: they're enthusiasts. Not having a life means you get to love things with a passion and nobody bothers you about it.”

― John Burnside, The Glister

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“Why is being a nerd bad? Saying I notice you’re a nerd is like saying, ‘Hey, I notice that you’d rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you’d rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?”

― John Green

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