PCIA fights CMRS mobile service fees on two-way paging services
In the FCC regulatory fee Report and Order issued in June, the PCIA successfully persuaded the FCC to categorize two-way paging services under its commercial mobile radio services (CMRS) one-way paging regulatory fee category, and not under its CMRS mobile services category.
In their comments, PCIA and member companies Paging Network and Arch Communications Group each argued that a two-way pager is more similar to a one-way pager than the more general CMRS mobile services, which includes broadband two-way interactive voice communications.
“The commission’s ruling dramatically reduces regulatory fees imposed on two-way paging carriers, from 24 cents to 3 cents per unit,” said Rob Hoggarth, PCIA’s senior vice president, paging and narrowband PCS. “This will significantly aid in the nationwide deployment of narrowband PCS, as well as increase the number of telecommunications choices offered to consumers.”
Hoggarth added, however, that, “Our battle to roll back fee hikes continues. The commission’s order failed to justify fee increases across the board. We intend to challenge the order on that basis for all members of the wireless industry.”
SBT seminar focuses on FCC rules, spectrum, and technology issues Opposition to 800MHz auctions, allocation of recaptured UHF TV spectrum and interference issues were topics at Small Business in Telecommunications’ June seminar. The regional seminar,held in St. Louis, was attended by about 75 individuals representing 50 companies.
Mike Hamra, legal advisor for the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, discussed proposed SMR partitioning and disaggregation rules for 800MHz. Discusssion with attendees covered SBT’s opposition to auctions and the likelihood that SBT will support any court challenge to 800MHz auctions.
Regarding allocation of spectrum from TV channels 60-69 (746MHz-806MHz), SBT has urged the FCC to reduce geographic licensing to areas no larger than a Basic Economic Area (BEA). As explained at the seminar, this would reduce inherent market-entry barriers to small business.
Association counsel Dennis C. Brown reviewed the FCC refarming docket and discussed co-channel interference from digital systems experienced by analog operators.
Association counsel Robert H. Schwaninger Jr. discussed SBT’s filing of separate reply comments in the FCC refarming docket and in the FCC rulemaking on future protection of 220MHz incumbent licensees. SBT has opposed new restrictions on UHF trunking and requested greater protection for 220MHz systems.
Jerry Ulcek, of the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) discussed updates to RF emissions and human exposure guidelines.
The two-day program included technical presentations by two of the association’s industry sponsors, E.F. Johnson and Standard Communications, on repeater and trunking technology.
SBT Executive Director Steve Eldridge said the association will hold a legislative forum in Washington, DC, Oct. 27-28 which will include presentations from federal policymakers.
PCIA revises Telocator Data protocol (TDP) suite of protocols for both one-way, two-way paging Technicians who troubleshoot paging systems may find datascope analysis of network problems easier as version 3.0 of the Telocator Data Protocol (TDP) is adopted by manufacturers. Released on July 8 by the Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA), Alexandria, VA, the suite of protocols is an open systems standard that supports both one-way (traditional paging) and two-way (narrowband personal communications service or NPCS) paging.
“Most paging infrastructure products use Telocator Alphanumeric Protocol (TAP) as an entry method for digital information,” said Ralph Tomeoni, chairman of the TDP committee and president of TekNow, Phoenix. “TDP is to replace TAP.”
Tomeoni explained that the committee had identified 50 varieties of TAP. The protocol was loosely developed, and implementations differ, a fact that has inhibited major software vendors from adapting their applications for wireless use. “For example,” Tomeoni said, “Lotus Notes has a gateway that uses TAP, but it only works on certain systems.” TAP was developed 15 years ago as a basic protocol, and it has gone off in different directions, he explained.
In contrast, TDP uses standard protocol layers defined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Standards Organization (ISO).
“When you are troubleshooting an infrastructure product that uses a standard protocol, a datascope across the line makes troubleshooting easier,” Tomeoni said. “With equipment that uses a TAP program, when a technician tries to ‘scope all the information across line to see why it is not handling the protocol correctly, he has to know the ins and outs of many variations to try to adjust the equipment to fix the problem.” With TDP, every manufacturer follows the same standard, which simplifies interpreting the datascope display. Technicians can work on a single understanding of the protocol to work on every company’s equipment.
The TDP suite has five protocols: Telocator Message Entry (TME) is used with wireline entry devices to send information to the paging company. It converts binary codes to codes compatible with existing paging systems. Telocator Format Conversion (TFC) converts 8-bit computer data to the 7-bit data used by most paging systems. Telocator Radio Transport (TRT) breaks the 7-bit data into small packets. Telocator Mobile Computer (TMC) defines how a wireless PC card transfers information between the card and the computer so the computer can download information from the wireless device. Wireless Message Format (WMF) allows applications at the sending or receiving end to communicate, regardless of the system between them.
The TDP suite is intended to work not only with paging systems, but with narrowband personal communications service, wideband PCS and equipment used by RAM Mobile Data, Ardis and Nextel.
“Version 3.0 represents a major milestone for PCIA and wireless messaging,” said Tomeoni. “By reaching a consensus on this broad standard, the leaders in wireless messaging have set the course for the industry’s future.”
New technology recharges batteries in five minutes, no overheating If there is one complaint mobile radio or cellular phone users have, it is the time it takes to recharge the battery. In most applications, batteries require from one hour to overnight to be fully recharged. However, this may be changing. Advanced Charger Technology (ACT), Norcross, GA, has demonstrated a new technology that fully charges cellular phone batteries in five minutes without overheating.
ACT’s Ultra-Rapid is based on a process known as dynamic electrochemical waveform (DEW). Using an imbedded microprocessor, the system monitors how well charged particles in the battery move during the recharge process. As the battery increases its charge, this movement changes. DEW adjusts the recharge waveform to accommodate this change, and by employing conventional and proprietary means, the system determines when the battery is fully charged. This eliminates “cooking” (overheating) the battery, which can shorten battery life. Yury Prodrazhansky, a Russian engineer, invented the technology because he was frustrated by having to throw away so many batteries from his son’s toys.
Because overheating can degrade battery life, DEW has demonstrated it can extend battery life. In a series of independent tests DEW was evaluated on nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries and nickel cadmium two-way radio batteries. At the University of Pittsburgh Battery Research Center, NiMH computer batteries were fully charged in less than 26 minutes and battery life was evaluated at as much as three times normal.
Conventional NiMH charging typically takes between one to three hours. The nickel cadmium batteries were tested by the Naval Surface Warfare Center and showed similar results.
Although the five-minute charger is not yet available to the consumer, ACT is producing a two-way radio charger that can recharge a battery in as little as 16 minutes. The five-minute capability is expected to be available later this year. ACT is also developing a charger for cellular phones that is similar to the 16-minute two-way radio charger. It, too, will be available by the end of 1997.
PageTap to develop Motorola paging receiver engines PageTap, Denver, has signed an agreement with Motorola, Schaumburg, IL, to be an OEM developer for the DataLink family of paging receiver engines, the latest technologies from Motorola.
PageMart Wireless to carry Philips’ Cobalt numeric pager PageMart Wireless, Dallas, has entered into an agreement with Philips Consumer Communications, Irving, TX, to carry Philips’ Cobalt numeric pager.
The numeric pager now accompanies PageMart’s Motorola and Uniden lines of pagers. Offering distinct paging designs, Philips’ Cobalt pager features capabilities such as three-button interface, large backlit display screen with 20-digit message, 12-digit display and 32-message memory; selective message deletion, 20 protected messages, silent vibration options, nine user-selectable audible alerts, time and date display, alarm features, low battery alert and a 25-week battery life.