ITA conference focuses on spectrum management Regulatory issues affecting private wireless spectrum highlighted the annual meeting of the Industrial Telecommunications Association (ITA) and its independent market councils Oct. 27-30. More than 200 owners and users of private wireless systems attended the conference, held at Washington’s Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Highlights of the meeting included a question-and-answer session with Thomas Sugrue, chief of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, an address by senior Motorola executive Robert W. Galvin and the first public announcement of the introduction of the Private Wireless Spectrum Act in Congress.
The spectrum legislation, which limits auctioning of private wireless spectrum and provides for additional spectrum assignment for private business and industrial use, was introduced in Congress concurrently with the three-day ITA meeting by Senators John B. Breaux (D-LA) and Slade Gorton (R-WA). The ITA honored Breaux Oct. 29 during the closing banquet for his outstanding contributions to private wireless.
Sugrue, in the opening conference session Oct. 27, told attendees that the FCC was “not hell-bent to impose an auction regime on the bands that are already encumbered and already in use.” He also reported that the notorious backlog of pending licensing paperwork should be resolved by the end of the second quarter of 2000. Sugrue told the audience that “We need some new tools at the bureau,” and he described an ongoing comparative review of licensing techniques in foreign countries.
At the closing banquet, 60-year-veteran Motorola executive Galvin praised the service efforts of the National Association of Motorola Service Stations (USMSS), one of ITA’s independent market councils, and spoke of the need for comprehensive spectrum policy at the FCC.
Other sessions focused on technical advances in trunking and narrowbanding technology, FCC administrative activities and congressional efforts in the telecom arena. Attendees were also provided with a dedicated exhibition area for the second year running, which included exhibits by more than 25 manufacturers and service providers. DK
CAD systems target small agencies Oklahoma City-based Global Dispatch Technology continues to address the small- to mid-sized agency public safety market for computer-aided dispatch (CAD). At the November International Chiefs of Police Show in Charlotte, NC, Global unveiled its Dispatch Express system for 9-1-1 and dispatch centers serving populations of less than 100,000.
The system allows communities to uniquely identify equipment and employees. Communities can also define response districts and custom-configure information such as nature of incident, unit type, unit classification and alarm level. A single-screen display provides unit time stamping and call status. If an E9-1-1 has been completed, the system automatically fills in caller identification data. Optional interfaces to alphanumeric pagers, RMS and state NCIC databases are available. An early adopter of the system is the Clear Lake Emergency Medical Corps, Clear Lake, TX.
Simon Aleman Jr., Global founder and vice president of marketing, said the new system is a scaled-down version of the company’s CAD Assist program. Mapping functions and GIS information have been removed because some small agencies either cannot afford or simply don’t require such displays to operate effectively. Aleman called the system an “entry-level product” that allows dispatchers to match geographic codes with electronic “box cards” for response plans. A system with an RMS option can be installed for less than $30,000, he said.
Global’s recent contract awards include placing its PSAP Map system with the Sumner County, TN, Emergency Medical Services. Its CAD Assist system recently has been adopted by the Hancock County, IL, Emergency Telephone Systems Board and by the city of Saginaw, TX, for police dispatch.
FCC Notes The FCC reorganized its bureau structure at the end of 1999 to create a new Enforcement Bureau, consolidating activities within the Common Carrier, Mass Media, Wireless Telecommunications and Compliance and Information Bureaus. The Enforcement Bureau comprises four divisions: Telecommunications Consumers; Market Disputes Resolution; Technical and Public Safety; and Investigations and Hearings. The new bureau will also manage the commission’s regional and field offices in charge of investigations, inspections and audits. Chief of the new bureau is David H. Solomon, formerly with the General Counsel’s Office.
The FCC has allocated 75MHz of spectrum as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) national program. The 5.850GHz-5.925GHz band will be used for Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) applications, such as traffic light control, travelers’ alerts, emergency vehicle override of signals and electronic inspection of moving fleet vehicles.
The announced schedule for the 929MHz and 931MHz paging service auction calls for a Form 175 filing deadline of January 20. Upfront payments are due February 7. Orders for remote bidding software must be placed by February 11. A mock auction will be held on February 22, followed by the real thing on February 24.
Radio Frequency Systems reorganizes Radio Frequency Systems is consolidating two formerly separate divisions into one operation.
The new company merges, on a global basis, the product lines of the former RFS and Celwave groups. It has manufacturing, distribution, sales and service operations in Europe, North America, South America, Australia and China.
For North and Latin American customers, this change means combining Cablewave and Celwave product lines into one division to be known as RFS America. RFS America, with headquarters in Meriden, CT, will be led by Richard Tallon, previously president of Celwave. RFS America will be responsible for markets in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America.
Other regional divisions of the new global company will be located in Australia, Brazil, Germany and China.
George Gigas, previously president of Cablewave, will take up the global Radio Frequency systems corporate function of technical director.
AMTEX offers new directions for SMR operators AMTEX 99, held in conjunction with IMTEX, featured 17 exhibitors and about 100 registered attendees. The conference and exhibition was held Nov. 15-16 at the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL.
Sessions throughout AMTEX focused on new revenue opportunities for dealers and operators. Randy Wilgis, vice president of dealer and VAR markets for TESSCO, presented the first session. “Over the past year, I’ve talked to a lot of you, and the No.1 thing you’re concerned about is where your business is going in the next few years,” Wilgis said. He suggested that SMRs offer integrated solutions that might include LAN, video and Internet service as well as traditional voice.
Steve Virostek, formerly vice president of messaging and dispatch for Strategis Group, presented the “2000 State of SMR & Digital Mobile Radio Market Report” in the closing session, concluding that wireless carriers are re-addressing the business market for voice and data services, with third-generation technology looming on the horizon.NC
Go to www.mrtmag.com for more land mobile radio news Find the stories behind these headlines at www.mrtmag.com/editorial/news.htm: Project 25 approves TETRA standard for private mobile radio Project 25 has approved the TETRA standard as a Phase II option for future public safety applications in the United States. International delegates gather in Amsterdam for second TETRA World Congress TETRA event attracts record attendance for 2nd World Congress. IMTA announces name change, expands mission Recently renamed IWTA, the association embraces new areas of business wireless. ComSpace chooses Hitachi as global OEM DC/MA radio supplier ComSpace signs Memorandum of Understanding with Hitachi Denshi. Baltimore launches fully digital commumications systems City officials and Motorola representatives tour city’s new communications center and 800MHz Astro system. Colorado begins Phase II of statewide digital upgrade Next phase will enhance communications for public safety agencies in Denver, its suburbs and the metropolitan areas of Douglas and Jefferson Counties. Clermont County initiates construction of $10.6 million Motorola system Countywide system includes an 800MHz Astro Smartzone trunked two-way radio system, a Private Datatac wireless data system and an alphanumeric paging system. FCC diverts paging control channels for San Mateo public safety system “San Mateo will now be able to build a first-class public safety system,” said Art McDole. “The FCC has recognized the edicts of the Communications Act and Congress and placed the priority of public safety first.”
Also, read the entire transcript from senior Motorola executive Robert W. Galvin’s presentation at the ITA conference held in October.