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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — December 11, 2015 — Issue No. 687

Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

Welcome back to The Wireless Messaging News.

Medical Residents Embrace Texting, Putting Patient Info at Risk

Greg Slabodkin
DEC 8, 2015 7:41am ET

Despite security concerns, the vast majority of medical residents prefer short message service (SMS) text messaging compared with other forms of in-hospital communication, according to a recent survey conducted at the University of Chicago as well as Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill.

In the survey, about 130 internal medicine residents were given several possible communication options: telephone, email, hospital paging, and SMS text messaging. Survey results, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, show that SMS text messaging was the preferred mode of in-hospital communication by 71.7 percent of respondents due to its efficiency and by 79.8 percent because of its ease of use.

Using SMS text messages, 70.9 percent of surveyed respondents reported having received patient identifiers (first and/or last name), 81.7 percent received patient initials, and 50.4 percent received a patient’s medical record number. Yet, when it came to security, 82.5 percent of those residents surveyed said they preferred the hospital paging system, while only 20.6 percent of respondents preferred SMS text messaging for secure communication.

“People were much more willing to use text messaging because of it was efficient, but when asked about security their preference was the hospital paging system, which is kind of interesting because the paging system is not HIPAA-compliant,” says Micah Prochaska, M.D., a hospitalist scholar and post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Chicago.

Also See: Secure Texts Improve Clinician Response Time

Prochaska opines that because paging systems have been historically used by hospitals and are institutionally-supported, residents have the perception that pagers are more secure for communicating about patients. At the same time, while SMS text messaging is an efficient form of communication and pervasive in healthcare, researchers who conducted the survey warn that it may not securely protect patient information.

“For providers, it is possible that the benefits of improved in-hospital communication with SMS text messaging and the presumed improvement in the coordination and delivery of patient care outweigh security concerns they may have,” researchers conclude. “The tension between the security and convenience of SMS text messaging may represent an educational opportunity to ensure the compliance of mobile technology in the healthcare setting.”

Source: Health Data Management

New FAA Antenna Marking and Lighting Requirements

“On December 4, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) released Advisory Circular for Obstruction Marking and Lighting 70/7460-1L (AC 70/7460-1L), which cancels and replaces Advisory Circular 70/7460-1K.1 This release effectively amends the lighting requirements applicable to towers that must be registered in the Commission’s Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) system.”

Read the FCC's DA 15-1391 Public Notice here.

Now more news and views.


Wayne County, Illinois

Wireless Messaging News
  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Telemetry
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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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.

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.

Back To Paging


Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!



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The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism Systems International
Kevin D. McFarland, MSCIS
Sr. Application Systems Analyst
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Paul Lauttamus
Lauttamus Communications & Security
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Wireless Consultant
Barry Kanne
Paging Industry Veteran
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer

The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.

Advertiser Index

American Messaging
Critical Alert
Easy Solutions
Falcon Wireless Direct
Hark Technologies
Ira Wiesenfeld & Associates
Leavitt Communications
Preferred Wireless
Prism Paging
Product Support Services — (PSSI)
Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC — (Ron Mercer)
RF Demand Solutions
STI Engineering
WaveWare Technologies

RF Demand Solutions

Codan Paging Transmitters

  • The smart choice for Critical Messaging
  • Proven performance in extreme conditions
  • Trusted by the World's largest mission critical security, military, & humanitarian agencies

Flexible Modern Design:

  • Analog & Digital
  • VHF, UHF & 900 MHz
  • WB, NB, & Splinter Operation
  • Multiple Frequencies & Protocols
  • High Power Output Configuration available
  • Integrates with Motorola & Glenayre Simulcast
  • Compatible with most popular Controllers

Thousands In Use . . .

  • Utility Load Demand
  • Healthcare
  • Enterprise

Your US Distributor for Codan Radio Paging Equipment
847-829-4730 / /

BlackBerry Priv already sold out at Walmart, shares soar

Himanshu, 11 December, 2015

The world's largest retailer Walmart started selling BlackBerry's Priv a couple of days ago, and a quick look at the retailer's website now reveals that the device is already out of stock. Its listed price on Walmart is $700.

A quick bit of Googling reveals that the Android-powered smartphone went out of stock at Walmart in less than a day.

Assuming that there wasn't an issue on Walmart's end and the retailer wasn't selling only a handful of units, this indicates a very high demand for the Priv, something which can attributed to the hype around the device as well the ongoing holiday season.

As a result the Canadian company's share price has been climbing rapidly this week (11% up to $8.15) reaching its highest level this year.

While these are no doubt silver linings for BlackBerry, it would be premature to say that the device has done the trick for the struggling Canadian company as official sales figures aren't yet in.

Source: GSM Arena  

Falcon Wireless Direct


If YOU are a 2-way radio dealer, small market AM or FM Broadcaster, business telephone system contractor, paging system provider, or sound system contractor, AND you are selling to, or can sell, to small business, churches, hospitals, manufacturers, municipalities, public safety, and schools, AND you are suffering from shrinking markets, increased competition, and declining profits, WE NEED TO TEAM UP!

More information is available at


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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

Apple iPhone 7, 7 Plus Rumors: Specifications, Features, Release Date Details Surface


Apple's anticipated "iPhone 7" could be even thinner than current models.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are the smartphones from Apple that are rumored to arrive next year. However, the rumors of both the devices started swirling even before the release of iPhone 6S and 6S Plus handsets.

Design and Display

According to Phone Arena, the exterior appeal of the iPhone 7 ad 7 Plus will not be entirely different from iPhone 6S and 6S Plus handsets. Both the handsets may continue to sport series 7000 aluminum build.

Rumors are rife that the next generation iPhones won’t feature a physical Home button. Hence, both the iPhones will have the fingerprint scanner embedded inside their display. Speculations also suggest that iPhone 7 models won’t feature a 3.5 mm audio jack. Hence, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus handsets will be the slimmest iPhones ever.

The iPhone 7 is likely to feature a 4.7-inch display with a screen resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels. The iPhone 7 Plus is expected to feature a 5.5-inch full HD display. The 3D Touch feature that arrived with iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will be also available on the iPhone 7 and 7S Plus handsets.

Chipset, RAM and Camera

The next generation iPhone 7 handsets are rumored to be powered by Apple A10 chipset that will feature a 64-bit processor built by TSMC with 16nm FinFET technology. Like the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus models, the successor models could continue to support 2 GB of RAM.

Since Apple upgraded the rear camera to 12-megapixel and front camera to 5-megapixel on iPhone 6 and 6S Plus this year, the successor models are expected to sport the same set of cameras. However, it is likely to arrive with newer functionalities and enhancements.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Release Date

Apple follows a pattern of releasing new iPhones in the month of September. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are expected to release within the first two weeks of September.

Source: IBT Times  

Product Support Services, Inc.

Repair and Refurbishment Services

pssi logo

pssi pssi

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.


Be sure your infrastructure is up and running with the ProTek Flex Site Monitor from PageTek.

ProTek Flex—reliable, adaptable, expandable, affordable—and no surprises.



WaveWare Technologies

2630 National Dr., Garland, TX 75041

Now stocking the full line of Daviscomms paging products

New Products

SPS-5v9E Paging System

  • 1 Serial Port Connection
  • 2 Ethernet Connections
  • Browser and Serial Port Configuration
  • TAP, COMP2, Scope, WaveWare SNPP, COMP2, & PET Protocols
  • 2W, 5W Option

DMG Protocol Converter

  • Linux Based Embedded System
  • Up to 4 Serial Port Connections
  • Ethernet Connections
  • Browser Configuration
  • Protocol Conversion
  • Additional Protocols Available Soon

WaveWare Technologies




Easy Solutions

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

Easy Solutions

Leavitt Communications


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

UNICATION bendix king

motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

COM motorola 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
Telephone: 847-955-0511
Fax: 270-447-1909
Skype ID: pcleavitt

A Shatterproof smartphone from Motorola?
We drop it to find out


The newest smartphone from Motorola is supposed to be shatterproof! It’s called the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 on Verizon. The company even offers a 4 year warranty if the screen does, in fact, shatter. It’s not in my tech guy DNA to drop a phone but I’m up for the challenge!

First and foremost the Turbo 2 is a great phone. It has a beautiful 5.4″ HD screen, a super fast Snapdragon 810 processor, a 21 Megapixel camera and a battery that can last for 48 hours! On top of that massive battery it also supports Turbo charging (which is amazing, BTW) and wireless charging (Qi and PMA.)

Ok, that’s all good and plenty but what about the shatterproof claim? I took the Droid Turbo 2 into our Fox31 stairwell with a black tile floor. I dropped it over and over again. It feel on the corner, flat on the face and the other way around. I dropped it from about 4 or 5 feet. Nothing! Not even a scratch. This is insane! I wouldn’t recommend dropping it on purpose but it’s good to know you don’t have much to worry about.

On top of this if you do figure out a way to crack or shatter the screen, Motorola has your back. They offer a 4 year warranty to back up their bold claim.

I love this phone. It’s not too big, it’s not too small. It’s packed with power, a great camera and one of the best batteries you’ll find. The shatterproof protection is icing on the cake. I didn’t even get into the fact that Motorola lets you customize it with your specific colors and textures before they ship it. If you’re on Verizon and you prefer Android, I think this is the phone to get right now.

The Verizon Droid Turbo 2 is available right now on Verizon for $21.83/mo for 2 years or $624.

Source: KDVR Fox 31 Denver  

STI Engineering

sti header

250W VHF Paging Transmitter

STI Engineering’s RFI-148 250 high performance paging transmitter features true DDS frequency generation that enables precise control and flexibility for a wide range of data transmission applications.

The transmitter is particularly suitable for large simulcast POCSAG and FLEX paging networks and can be used as drop-in replacement of older and obsolete transmitters. The unit has a proven track record in large scale critical messaging systems.

sti tx
  • High power output
    (selectable from 20 W - 250 W)
  • SNMP Diagnostics and alarms
  • Full VHF Band coverage
    (138-174 MHz)
  • DSP precision modulation
  • Integrated isolator
  • Sniffer port for in-rack receiver
  • Remote firmware upgrade capability
  • Software selectable frequency offset
  • Adjustable absolute delay correction
  • Front panel diagnostics
  • Hardware alarm outputs
  • High frequency stability
  • External reference option
  • FCC and ACMA approved
  • CE compliant version in development
sti 22 Boulder Road Malaga 6090 Western Australia
Telephone:  +61 8 9209 0900
Facsimile:  +61 8 9248 2833

Alert Standard Creator Shares FCC Comments on Wireless Emergency Alerts

With the deadline approaching for giving the FCC suggestions about improving Wireless Emergency Alerts, the original creator/promoter of the Common Alerting Protocol offers comments on a wide variety of WEA issues.

Rick Wimberly
December 9, 2015

The deadline is fast approaching to comment on possible changes to rules governing Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). It’s an excellent opportunity to influence changes in an important alerting channel. Art Botterell, the original architect and proponent of the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) that made WEA and other alerting enhancements possible, was kind enough to give us a sneak peek at the comments he’ll submit. We summarize them here because they astutely cover major WEA issues such as geo-targeting, rich media via WEA, two-way information, multiple languages, training, and less-than-emergency alerts.

Geo-targeting: Botterell says, “At a stroke, we remove many of the complexities and costs of limiting transmission precisely by selecting cell sites or sectors” by providing the boundaries of an alert via CAP so capabilities in mobile devices that identify their location could be tapped. Botterell says creation of CAP anticipated a time when location-aware devices would be common. As it stands, location targeting of WEA messages is controlled by reach of cell tower signals.

Rich Media: Botterell says the standards allow more information such as “binary” rich data to be transmitted via CAP, but creators realized not all alert dissemination channels could accommodate the payload. He suggests that consideration be given to transmitting digital information, such as a picture of the missing child, one time via WEA.

Multiple Languages: Botterell says CAP supports “full internationalization” of messages. However, he’s concerned that regulations might require alert originators to send messages in multiple languages. He warns that if forced to generate multilingual alerts, originators might rely on pre-scripted alerts that are inflexible and insufficiently specific.

Alert Simplicity: Any additions to the complexity of WEA alert authoring, or any heightening of originator’s fears about getting alerts right, is undesirable. The inhibiting force of of “alerting anxiety” among responsible alert originators should not be underestimated.

Another Category: WEA messages are now restricted to Imminent Threats, Amber Alerts, and Presidential Emergency Messages. There’s been talk about adding another category, “Emergency Government Information.” Botterell doesn’t think another category is necessary, saying the Imminent Threat category gives public safety practitioners sufficient flexibility. He says, “A misunderstanding seems to have arisen in some quarters that the ‘Imminent Threat’ category is not available to local emergency managers or public safety officers. This perhaps indicates a shortfall in user education.” Botterell notes that information such as boil water advisories and shelter location information would be appropriate Imminent Threat messages, as long as an emergency situation was underway.

Alert Training: Botterell likes giving mobile device owners the option of receiving test alerts. That way, he says, it’s more practical to give alert originators hands-on experience in activating alerts.

Recipient Feedback: Botterell is not bullish on suggestions that alerts solicit recipient feedback or confirmation. First, he says, there’s no evidence that people are more likely to take action in response to an alert if they confirm delivery. And, he says, “Neither is it clear what usable information could be extracted from a massive stream of acknowledgment messages, nor what expectations the provision of an individual response mechanism might raise in members of the public.” He notes that the law that created WEA did not suggest that WEA “was ever intended to impinge on the role of next-generation 911.”

Comments must be received by the FCC by December 19. Background information can be found here. The website to upload your comments is here. Some tips for filing:

  • Click “Submit a Filing in 15-91” and fill out the form
  • Enter the Proceeding Number, which is “15-91”
  • Enter your name as Name of Filer
  • Do not click the “Ex Parte Presentation” box
  • The type of filing is “COMMENT”
  • Enter your business address (not your personal address, as your comment and information will be publicly available)
  • Save your comments in a Word document or similar format, and upload the file to the FCC site by clicking the “Browse” button

We realize the deadline is fast approaching. Responding is not time-consuming. Please speak up!

Rick Wimberly

Alerts & Notifications by Rick Wimberly covers best practices for emergency notification programs.

Source: Emergency Management  

Leavitt Communications

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 250s, 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

Hark Technologies

hark logo

Wireless Communication Solutions

USB Paging Encoder

paging encoder

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

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

Other products

Please see our web site for other products including Internet Messaging Gateways, Unified Messaging Servers, test equipment, and Paging Terminals.

Hark Technologies
717 Old Trolley Rd Ste 6 #163
Summerville, SC 29485
Tel: 843-821-6888
Fax: 843-821-6894
E-mail: left arrow CLICK
Web: left arrow CLICK

Hark Technologies

Preferred Wireless

preferred logo

Terminals & Controllers:
4 ASC1500 Complete, w/Spares
3 CNET Platinum Controllers
2 GL3100 RF Director
1 GL3000 ES — 2 Chassis — Configurable
1 GL3000 L — 2 Cabinets, complete working, w/spares
35 SkyData 8466 B Receivers
1 Unipage — Many Unipage Cards & Chassis
10 Zetron M66 Transmitter Controllers
10 C2000s
15 Glenayre Complete GPS Kits
1 Glenayre QT6994, 150W, 900 MHz Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
Link Transmitters:
6 Glenayre QT4201 25W Midband Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
1 Motorola Q2630A, 30W, UHF Link TX
VHF Paging Transmitters:
19 Motorola Nucleus 125W CNET
6 Motorola Nucleus 350W CNET
11 Motorola Nucleus 350W NAC
14 Motorola Nucleus 125W NAC
1 Glenayre QT7505
1 Glenayre QT8505
3 Glenayre QT-100C
UHF Paging Transmitters:
16 Glenayre UHF GLT5340, 125W, DSP Exciter
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
2 Glenayre GLT8200, 25W (NEW)
15 Glenayre GLT-8500 250W
4 Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
  Nucleus Power Supplies
  Nucleus NIU, Matched Pairs
  Nucleus GPS Reference Modules
  Nucleus GPS Receivers
  Nucleus Chassis
  Glenayre 8500, PAs, PSs, DSP Exciters
  Glenayre VHF DSP Exciters


Too Much To List • Call or E-Mail

Rick McMichael
Preferred Wireless, Inc.
Telephone: 888-429-4171
(If you are calling from outside of the USA, please use: 314-575-8425) left arrow

Preferred Wireless


Critical Alert

spacer cas logo

Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

Formed in 2010, CAS brought together the resources and capabilities of two leading critical messaging solutions providers, UCOM™ and Teletouch™ Paging, along with lntego Systems™, a pioneer in next-generation nurse call systems. The result was an organization that represented more than 40 years of combined experience serving hospitals and healthcare providers.

CAS was created to be a single-source provider for hospitals and healthcare facilities in need of advanced nurse call and communications technologies.

Unlike our competitors, our product development process embraced the power of software from its inception. This enables us to design hardware-agnostic solutions focused on built-in integration, flexibility and advanced performance.


Nurse Call Solutions

Innovation in Nurse Call

Innovative, software-based nurse call solutions for acute and long-term care organizations.


Paging Solutions

The Most Reliable Paging Network

To this day, for critical messaging, nothing beats paging. It’s simply the best way to deliver a critical message.



© Copyright 2015 - Critical Alert Systems, Inc.

BloostonLaw Newsletter

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.

BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 18, No. 47 December 9, 2015


Court of Appeals Hears Net Neutrality Arguments

On December 4, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard oral arguments on the FCC’s latest Open Internet Order. The debate covered the primary arguments proffered by both sides, with the industry firms arguing that broadband companies should not be subjected to monopoly-era telephone company regulations, and that the FCC abused its authority in imposing Title II regulations (particularly when it extended regulation to mobile Internet, which is not part of the public switched network).

Topics that provoked probing questions from the judges included the FCC’s decision to move away from its original “light touch approach” intentions (public demand, said FCC attorney Jon Sallet) and whether mobile and fixed Internet should be regulated differently ("So if I’m walking in my house with an iPad — at one end of the hall I connect to my Wi-Fi, at the other end, my device switches over to my wireless subscription — did Congress really intend these two services to be regulated totally differently even if I can’t tell the difference?" said Judge Srinivasan).

According to the Washington Post, “Dozens of court-watchers began lining up before dawn to hear the case, with some having spent the night in frigid temperatures outside the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.” For the more patient, audio recordings of the oral argument session can be found here, under 12/04/2015.

Opinions differ on which way the judges will decide the case, but most predict it will get appealed up to the Supreme Court either way.

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Releases Impairment File Formats for Forward Auction

The FCC Wireless Bureau has released specifications for impairment file formats for the broadcast incentive auction. The Commission previously determined that qualified bidders in the forward auction of 600 MHz licenses (Auction 1002) will have access to detailed impairment information upon receipt of their registration materials. The specifications (available HERE) set forth the file formats in which this information will be made available to qualified bidders, and enable prospective forward auction bidders to begin familiarizing themselves with the auction process.

As prospective bidders in the Incentive Auction should be aware, the incentive auction process will involve “repacking” of the remaining broadcast TV operations in a smaller portion of the TV band, and this repacking may result in a limited number of full power and Class A television stations to be assigned to the 600 MHz band. This creates the potential for inter-service interference (or “ISIX”) in markets where broadcast TV stations and wireless services will be operating in close geographic proximity on the same and/or adjacent frequencies. Because new 600 MHz wireless operators have an obligation to protect broadcast TV receivers from ISIX, 600 MHz licenses in certain markets, and under certain repacking scenarios, will be subject to “impairments.” In this regard, the FCC’s ISIX rules (1) prohibit a 600 MHz wireless licensee from operating base stations within the contour of a co-channel or adjacent-channel full power and Class A television station, (2) require the 600 MHz wireless licensee to use OET-74 to predict interference to television receivers within such a station’s contour prior to deploying base stations within a specified culling distance of the station’s contour, and (3) prohibit operating base stations within that distance if harmful interference is predicted.

The impairment data will be released by the Commission prior to forward auction bidding and will allow bidders to identify licenses that have impairments, to view their impairment data in a map that can be viewed using a Tableau Reader (free to download on the Tableau website) and to choose between frequency-specific license blocks in the “Assignment Phase” of the forward auction.

The specifications provided by the FCC include, for each data file, an overall description of the file, the data fields that are included (with definitions of the data elements in each field), the data type, and notes or examples. Sample data is provided at the end of each file. We note that the specifications released by the FCC include sample data only; they do not reflect the actual impairment information that will be made available to qualified bidders during the auction.

TelePacific Files Petition for Reconsideration of Copper Retirement Report and Order

On December 4, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that U.S. TelePacific filed a Petition for Clarification on November 18, 2015, of the Report and Order on copper retirement “to resolve an apparent unintended consequence” of the reform process. Specifically, TelePacific seeks clarification circumstances where the ILEC retires copper but does not discontinue TDM services in the relevant community.

According to TelePacific, where a CLEC provides broadband service via Ethernet over Copper and the ILEC announces the retirement of those copper loops or feeder, it is possible that even while the CLEC is working to complete its Section 214 discontinuance and transition customers to alternative service providers, the CLEC could be forced to discontinue retail broadband service before Commission approval if the ILEC retires its copper.

Although TelePacific styled its filing as a Petition for Clarification, the FCC determined that the petition is more properly treated as a Petition for Reconsideration. As such, oppositions to the Petition will be due 15 days after publication of the notice on the Federal Register, and replies will be due 10 days after that.

Law & Regulation

Comment Deadline Extended for Protected Contours of Grandfathered 3.65GHz Licensees

On December 9, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice extending the deadline for filing comments and reply comments in response to the Public Notice released on October 23 regarding an appropriate method for determining the protected contours for grandfathered 3650-3700 MHz band licensees. Comments are now due December 28, and reply comments are now due January 12.

The Bureau’s Public Notice seeks comment on a two-pronged approach to defining Grandfathered Wireless Protection Zones around “grandfathered” base stations. Under this two-part approach, the Grandfathered Wireless Protection Zone around each base station would be defined by: (1) sectors with a 4.4 km radius from each registered base station, and the azimuth and beamwidth registered for that base station with associated unregistered customer premises equipment (CPE) to encompass the operational area of unregistered subscriber stations; and (2) sectors (centered on each base station with the registered azimuth and beamwidth) which would encompass all registered subscriber stations within that sector.

The Public Notice also seeks comment on other issues related to the establishment of the Grandfathered Wireless Protection Zone, including: (1) procedures for determining compliance with the Commission’s construction and operation requirements for the band; and (2) an implementation strategy to ensure that an accurate definition of the Grandfathered Wireless Protection Zone is available to the authorized Spectrum Access Systems (SASs).

Existing networks in the 3650-3700 MHz band in the majority of cases are constructed to provide last mile wireless broadband access. Generally, a base station is constructed in the center of the area intended to be served and then as subscribers are enrolled, CPE is put in place at various points around the base station. CPE that operates below the mobile power limit of 1 watt/25 MHz EIRP does not have to be registered in ULS, while all equipment that operates above that limit must be registered.

Our law firm’s clients with registered 3650-3700 MHz band operations should let us know if they want us to provide them with a more detailed report on the Commission’s proposals.

Revisions to Form 498 Implemented

Last week, USAC announced that a revised version of the FCC Form 498 had been deployed in its E-File system, and highlighted some of the revisions that might lead to confusion. Particularly, the term “Service Provider Identification Number,” or “SPIN” for short, has changed to "498 ID." According to the announcement, this change allows Schools and Libraries Program applicants to receive reimbursement directly from USAC rather than through their service provider. The only section of the form that has changed for service providers is Block 12, the Schools and Libraries Program section. In this block, there is no longer an option for service providers to select an alternative bank account for BEAR payments, as applicants will receive them directly.


NECA Releases Latest RLEC Report

NECA has released the latest edition of Trends, its report on the state of telecom technology deployment among its Traffic Sensitive (TS) Pool members. According to the report, TS Pool members have made steady progress over the past year, including:

  • 96 percent of their loops are capable of providing broadband service with downstream speeds of at least 200 kbps;
  • 89 percent offer broadband services with downstream speeds of at least 4 Mbps;
  • 73 percent offer broadband services with downstream speeds of at least 10 Mbps;
  • converting 92,500 subscribers from copper to fiber loops;
  • increasing middle mile bandwidth capacity year-over-year by 72 percent;
  • expanding their fiber networks to serve their anchor customers; and
  • transitioning their local switching networks from Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) to Internet Protocol (IP) enabled.

A copy of the full report can be found here:


JANUARY 15: HAC REPORTING DEADLINE. The next Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) reporting deadline for digital commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers (including carriers that provide service using AWS-1 spectrum and resellers of cellular, broadband PCS and/or AWS services) is Friday, January 15, 2016. Non-Tier I service providers must offer to consumers at least 50 percent of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the M3 rating, and at least one-third of the handset models per air interface, or a minimum of ten handset models per air interface, that meet or exceed the T3 rating. Month-to-month handset offering information provided in annual reports must be current through the end of 2015. With many of our clients adjusting their handset offerings and making new devices available to customers throughout the year, it is very easy for even the most diligent carriers to stumble unknowingly into a non-compliance situation, resulting in fines starting at $15,000 for each HAC-enabled handset they are deficient. Following the T-Mobile USA Notice of Apparent Liability (FCC 12-39), the Commission’s enforcement policy calls for multiplying the $15,000 per-handset fine by the number of months of the deficiency, creating the potential for very steep fines. It is therefore crucial that our clients pay close attention to their HAC regulatory compliance, and monthly checks are strongly recommended. In this regard, we have prepared a HAC reporting template to assist our clients in keeping track of their HAC handset offerings, and other regulatory compliance efforts. ALL SERVICE PROVIDERS SUBJECT TO THE COMMISSION’S HAC RULES — INCLUDING COMPANIES THAT QUALIFY FOR THE DE MINIMIS EXCEPTION — MUST PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL HAC REPORTING. To the extent that your company is a provider of broadband PCS, cellular and/or interconnected SMR services, if you are a CMRS reseller and/or if you have plans to provide CMRS using newly licensed (or partitioned) AWS or 700 MHz spectrum, you and your company will need to be familiar with the Commission’s revised rules.

FEBRUARY 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1.

FEBRUARY 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT. Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks—including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks—from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by February 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers are required to include their FCC Registration Number (FRN). Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.

Calendar At-A-Glance

Dec. 9 – Comments are due on FirstNet Incumbent Relocation Proposal.
Dec. 9 – Reply comments are due on Removal of Cuba from FCC Exclusion List.
Dec. 18 – Comments are due on Sumotext Petition for Declaratory Ruling on Automated Text Messaging Consent.
Dec. 20 – Form 323 (Biennial Ownership Report) is due.
Dec. 21 – Reply comments are due on Regulatory Status of Mobile Messaging.
Dec. 28 – Comments are due on Protected Contours for Grandfathered 3.65 GHz Licensees.
Dec. 31 – Reply comments are due on the “Totality of the Circumstances” test.

Jan. 8 – Reply Comments are due on Sumotext Petition for Declaratory Ruling on Automated Text Messaging Consent.
Jan. 12 – Reply comments are due on Protected Contours for Grandfathered 3.65 GHz Licensees.
Jan. 15 – Annual Hearing Aid Compatibility Report is due.
Jan. 26 – Comments are due on Wireless Broadband Above 24 GHz.
Jan. 31 – FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline ETC Certification Form) is due.

Feb. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Feb. 1 – FCC Form 502 (Number Utilization and Forecast Report) is due.
Feb. 9 – Forward Applications for 600MHz PEA licenses due. (6 PM EST).
Feb. 23 – Reply comments are due on Wireless Broadband Above 24 GHz.

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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“A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.”

—Grace Hopper


USS Zumwalt

By Dan Lamothe
December 8
The Washington Post

The Navy’s futuristic destroyer USS Zumwalt traveled down the Kennebec River in Maine on Monday, maneuvering toward the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a path that many vessels have taken after being built at the Bath Iron Works shipyard, but it also signals the start of something significant: sea trials that will begin to reveal the unusually designed ship’s abilities afloat.

The long anticipated 610-foot-long, 15,480-ton destroyer has an unconventional pyramid-shaped hull that slopes out at the bottom with a stealthy “tumblehome” design, rather than sloping in like most warships. That should make it harder to find on radar, but also has long raised questions about how stable it will be when facing tough seas.

The vessel cost more than $4 billion to design and build, and is the first in a $12.3 billion, three-ship class named after Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, who served as chief of naval operations during the latter years of the Vietnam War. It also includes a new all-electric power design in which the ship’s gas-turbine engines power generators, rather than propellers, providing it with electrical energy that could be used to power high-tech weapons never before seen at sea. The propellers are powered from the electricity through electromagnets, conserving energy for other tasks.


Source: The Washington Post

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