Icom wins soldier intercom award
The U.S. Army selected the F3S portable transceiver from Icom America, Bellevue, WA, for the new soldier intercom.
Chris Lougee, Land Mobile Division manager, Icom America, said, “We are honored at our selection, especially after the rigorous testing and stiff competition with other radio industry leaders. The Icom F3S had the lowest failure rate during harsh test conditions and was overwhelmingly preferred by the soldiers during combat situations.”
Icom America will deliver more than 22,000 units to fulfill the fielding plan to specific ranger, airborne, air assault, light infantry and mechanized infantry units. Other agencies may purchase the soldier intercom in Icom America’s GSA Contract.
It includes an Icom F3S portable transceiver, spare battery, AA alkaline battery pack, combat carrying case and Telex Stinger stealth headset. The Army tested several transceivers in a tropical environment because the humidity and heavy foliage represented a probable worst-case environment. The radios were inserted into standard training exercises, over a four-week period at the U.S. Army Tropic Test Center, Republic of Panama, in an operationally realistic field environment while engaged in offensive and defensive battle drills.
The report stated that the IC-F3 was favored by the soldier test participants. The F3S exceeded the performance criteria for standing and prone operations, over rolling grassland and slightly wooded terrain, in a lower power mode. The F3S also operated properly after being jumped in airborne operations.
The radio experienced only one failure in 1,167 operating hours, exceeding the mean time between operational failures criterion by a factor of three.
Study reports increase in paging in U.S.
The Strategis Group has completed a study titled A Comprehensive Analysis of Subscriber, Revenue, Operations and Competitive Trends in the Paging and Messaging Industries.
The study showed that paging penetration of the U.S. population increased by 2% during 1997, reaching 18%. Paging subscriber growth rates are strong at 15% for 1998, but the growth rates have diminished over the past three years.
At the end of last year, paging carriers served 48.1 million customers. The growth rate of alphanumeric paging services continues to out-perform all other pagers. At the end of last year, alphanumeric pagers constituted over 15% of all paging units in service, an increase from 1996 of nearly 42%. The integration of information services, email forwarding and text input, as well as Internet capabilities will allow alphanumeric paging services to extend their growth into 1998.
Alphanumeric paging services generate 85% more revenue per month when compared to numeric paging services.
Colin Powell to speak at Telecommunications Resellers Association fall conference
More than 2,200 executives involved in the resale of telecommunications services are expected to attend the Telecommunications Resellers Association’s (TRA) 1998 Fall Conference and Exposition. The conference will take place Nov. 15-18, at Marriott’s Orlando World Center, Orlando, FL.
General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret), will deliver the conference keynote address at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16.
The fall conference, “Meeting the Challenge of the Future,” will feature close to 150 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and services in the resale industry. General sessions will cover issues such as emerging new technologies, Y2K challenges, convergent billing and slamming. The conference will offer nine breakout workshops in three separate tracks and presentations by TRA’s five advisory councils.
Veridian acquires Datumtech operations
The management and board of directors of Veridian, Alexandria, VA, parent company of Calspan Operations, announced that the company has acquired Datumtech’s North American operations. The acquisition creates a provider of automatic vehicle location systems and mobile data terminals serving the public safety, commercial and consumer markets. In addition, acquiring Datumtech’s operations will strengthen Veridian’s leadership position in developing intelligent transportation systems for commercial use. Dr. Moises Sudit, president of Datumtech, will become a vice president of Calspan Operations.
Anritsu starts ATE custom systems group
Anritsu’s North American Region Operation (NARO) has established the Custom Systems Group to design and develop creative synergistic automatic test equipment (ATE) for customers. The custom systems will consist of Anritsu test instruments, computer systems, application-specific software and, when necessary, third-party hardware. Initial system development will focus on RF/microwave multiport, mixer, amplifier and up and down coverter measurements; analysis of cellular phones and PCS components and optical testing, including circulating loop and EDFA systems.
APCO, FCC sign MOU to protect land mobile communications
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International has joined forces with the Federal Communications Commission to protect the technical and regulatory integrity of the land mobile communications environment.
APCO and the FCC have completed a Memorandum of Understanding that will provide the land mobile communications industry with confidence that their systems will be vigorously protected from interference caused by non-compliant and unlicensed operators.
APCO President, Joseph McNeil said, “APCO believes this proposal serves the public interest, convenience, necessity and comports with the policy objectives of the commission.”
By taking advantage of the resources that the FCC-certified frequency advisory committees may provide, the Compliance and Information Bureau will significantly support the MOU, according to the agreement.
The document provides for the protection of public safety and other land mobile operations from harmful interference and by promoting fair competition in the land mobile communications marketplace through the expedited enforcement of FCC rules and regulations.
“By conserving commission resources, streamlining administrative processes, protecting public safety operations and promoting fair competition, this proposal provides the FCC with the opportunity to enhance compliance and enforcement procedures for the benefit of both the commission and its licensees,” McNeil said.
The objective of the MOU is to ascertain that APCO, a certified frequency coordinator, will work in concert with the FCC’s Compliance and Information Bureau to protect the technical and regulatory integrity of the land mobile communications environment.
Transcrypt’s APCO 25 radio approved by DOI
The United States Department of Interior (DOI) has approved Lincoln, NE-based Transcrypt International’s APCO 25 digital portable radio for use by its agencies. The approval allows Transcrypt’s Stealth portable radio to be included on a DOI multivendor contract from which any U.S. federal agency can purchase VHF/UHF multimode narrowband radio equipment.
AMTA seeks business/industrial wireless forbearance
The American Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) has filed comments with the FCC seeking forbearance for non-consumer wireless from regulations designed for mass-market communications. The comments came in response to an FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that asked if the agency should cease enforcing certain regulations against particular classes of providers.
The association’s comments stressed the burden of regulations on non- consumer wireless, discussing issues such as whether analog SMR should be considered CMRS to the appropriate division between consumer and non-consumer wireless, using the “covered carrier” definition adopted in the FCC’s E9-1-1 proceeding. The comments included information from AMTA members on how the regulatory burden has impacted their businesses.
License application fees increase
In September the application fees charged to licensees and permitees by the FCC increased to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index-Urban (CPI-U). Section 8(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989, requires cost-of-living adjustments to the application fee schedule every two years after Oct. 1, 1991. Increases in the dollar amounts of all Section 8 application fees are based on the percentage change in the CPI-U from the date of enactment of the legislation. The new Schedule of Application Fees reflects the net change in the CPI-U of 28%, calculated from December 1989 through September 1997 in accordance with Section 1.1115 of Part 1 of the commission’s rules.
C block reauction rules adopted
The Commission has adopted a Fourth Report and Order resolving proposals in its C Block Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The commission set forth rules governing the reauction of broadband personal communications services C block spectrum. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau set a reauction date of March 23, 1999 for C block licenses. The commission concluded in the order that reauction of C block licenses will include licenses returned to the commission pursuant to the alternative payment options and all other C block licenses held by the commission that are available for reauction.
News Notes Anritsu, Richardson, TX, has broken ground on a $10 million expansion of its Morgan Hill location. The expansion will include two new buildings, a 10,000 square-foot training center and two-story 80,000 square-foot manufacturing facility behind the company’s two existing buildings.
Mark Evans, general manager of Anritsu’s Microwave Measurement Division said, “We have a long tradition in Morgan Hill and look forward to not only continuing, but expanding that tradition. The community will benefit from this growth, because we expect to add approximately 40 staff members in 1998.”
Dataradio, a mobile data network integrator of mission-critical, private wireless systems, and Cerulean Technology were selected by the Salinas/Monterey County Mobile computer terminal consortium to provide wireless information technology for the county of Monterey and the cities of Salinas, Marina and Seaside. The consortium will wirelessly link several law enforcement agencies to more than 100 cars within a 3,300 square-mile area containing a diverse waterfront, valley and mountain terrain.
Sgt. Tracy Molfino of the Salinas Police Department said, “We felt comfortable with Dataradio’s expertise to work through the difficulties represented by the complexity of a large system like this, especially covering such difficult terrain.”
The FCC has proposed forfeitures against ConQuest Operator Services of Dublin, OH, and Operator Communications (OCI) of Dallas, TX, in the amounts of $70,033 and $83,405 respectively, for the companies’ failure to pay their assessed contributions to universal service.
USAC’s records indicate that ConQuest and OCI did not pay their universal service contributions for January 1998. In addition, and despite repeated communications with USAC, neither of the companies provided any explanation for its failure to make payment. As a result, the FCC found that both companies apparently violated the Act by not making their contributions in a timely manner. The commission also noted that both companies appeared to be in arrears for February through June of this year, which could form the basis for additional enforcement actions in the future.
Thirteen of Intek Global’s officers and senior managers have purchased an additional 14,602 of the company’s shares during the second quarter of 1998 under an on-going quarterly employee stock purchase program launched earlier this year.
Intek Global’s Chairman, Robert J. Shiver said, “The objective of this program is to directly align the financial interests of management with our shareholders. The latest stock purchase is another strong vote of confidence in our rapidly-expanding company and the huge potential of the wireless communication industry around the world.”