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NotePage SMS, Paging and Messaging Blogs

11.28.03 & 11.29.03 SolarWinds & GSM

SolarWinds Orion has begun shipping version 7. The latest version uses NotePage's software to send network alerts to pagers and cell phones. The public announcement is expected in the next few days. Additional Details.

On occasion we recieve inquiries regarding GSM. Messages can be sent using a GSM phone connected via a serial port. Details on how to set this up can be found in the NotePager forum or in the documentation of NotePager Pro and PageGate.


11.27.03 Holiday Gifts in Telecom Industry

If you are looking for a gift for that techie type I'd suggest the following:
SMR - http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com/techie-gifts.htm
Ringtones - http://www.ringtones-central.com/cellular-accessories.htm


11.26.03 Newsletter

NotePage's newsletter went out be sure to check it out!

Addon's to PageGate available:
Version 5 of PageGate is on the horizon. This new version will contain a number of feature requests. As well as the following two addons; as a convenience we've made the following addons available to existing version 4 users. Contact sales@notepage.net or 781-829-0500 for additional details.

PageGate v4 has two new addons available the first is a SNPP-In gateway, which allows for messages to be sent into PageGate using SNPP and then redistributed to the appropriate individuals. The SNPP server add-on will require PageGate's Commandline/Ascii interface, and a 5000 pager license (or larger).

It will be capable of running as a regular application, or as a System Service under NT, 2000, and XP. The SNPP server will be high-performance multi-threaded server capable of many simultaneous inbound connections. It will have a configuration file a PIN number range file for configuring the server's options, and to set ranges of acceptable PIN numbers. Bad PIN numbers can be rejected or silently dropped (your choice). Because the message are accepted into PageGate, they will be able to be delivered via any of PageGate's supported protocols. The most commonly used protocol will probably be TAP with a direct connection to a paging terminal, but any of the other delivery mechanisms will be supported.

PageGate also now has a new touch-tone recognition add-on. This add-on allows users of the PageGate application to initiate text messages remotely from any touch-tone phone. Groups of recipients, and text messages can be setup ahead of time, and then initiated remotely from any touch tone phone. This new capability can be extremely handy for situations when messages need to be sent, but a suitable computer is not available. The new touch-tone add-on requires a voice modem (modems based on the Connexant and US Robotics chipsets have been tested), an operational installation of PageGate, and PageGate's Commandline/Ascii interface. There is a $50.00 charge for the new touch-tone recognition add-on.


11.25.03 Verizon, Portability, & Nextel

Verizon Wireless today finally confirmed that starting in March 2004 it will charge its subscribers an additional $0.40 each month to pay for the costs of wireless number portability.

Another commentary on number portability can be found at http://news.com.com/2030-1039-5110848.html

The head of Nextel Communications' Boost unit, Peter Adderton, resigned after a disagreement with the company's new strategy. Nextel's Boost unit offers push-to-talk (P2T) wireless service in California and Nevada targeted at the youth market.


11.24.03 PageGate & Java Integration

Frequently NotePage's software is integrated with existing software. The most common integration is via a commandline/ascii interface whet many don't realize is that PageGate with the web interface can also be integrated with Java. With the GetWeb Interface, webpage developers can send messages to PageGate from their webpages (HTML, JavaScript, Java, etc..). A CGI program, is used to accomplish this. The CGI can be used with either a POST or GET method. The GetWeb interface can be used to enable the web program to be integrated with applications running on different platforms (Unix, Mac, etc..). Please let me know if you require additional information.


11.23.03 Changing Numbers

Tomorrow the new laws regarding number portability go into effect. A word of warning, there are likely to be bugs in the system. You may want to wait it out for a month before transferring your number.


11.22.03 In House Paging Terminals & NotePage News

Many hospitals or large manufacturing facilities have paging terminals in house. We are frequently asked for paging terminal recommendations, that work with PageGate's direct connect feature. A number of customers successfully use PageGate with Zetron terminals, the software is not however, terminal specific and will work with any manufacturer.

Every few months we send out a newsletter that details tips, tricks, discounts and news related to the NotePage product line. A newsletter is being prepared to be sent in the next week. If you are interested in receiving NotePage news be sure to send an email to webmaster@notepage.net with "subscribe" as the subject line.


11.21.03 Why SMTP Delivery is the Least Desireable

The most popular Internet protocol supported by cellular carriers to send text messages to mobile phones is SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol). SMTP is standard email delivery and this is argueably the easist protocol for carriers to implement, but it is the least reliable, for sending text messages. While this protocol is popular, it was not designed for paging or wireless text messaging, as such it is not time sensitive, there can be delays in the reciept of the email depending on the routing (this does not have anything to do with the software but the design of the protocol). If your carrier supports either SNPP or WCTP we would suggest using those protocols if time is an issue!


11.20.03 Benefits to Network Software

There is a significant price difference between network software and standalone software. Why is there such a vast difference? Network software requires various security levels, and the ability for all network users to share a single database. When using network software the information is stored in a single database so that logging is combined. With standalone software users, all access independent databases and use separate, rather than combined resources. This is beneficial if there is a network failure.

You will need to determine which solution is designed best for your organizations. In many cases users will maintain a single standalone version for redundancy sake.


11.19.03 TAP Numbers discontinued

As many are aware both AT&T and T-Mobile have discontinued their TAP numbers in support of sending text messages via SMTP. Due to the time sensitivity of paging many subscribers are dissatisfied with this solution. The alternative, AT&T's suggestions are to use SMPP over a dedicated AT&T frame relay circuit ($500+ per month), or use TAP through a partner of theirs ($1000+ per month), has resulted in a number of unhappy customers. We have heard from a handful of large public safety subscribers that there are a couple of private TAP numbers still available. Be sure voice your concerns to your carrier if this is an issue for you.


11.18.03 Value of Additional Dialers

The use of additional dialers is often misunderstood. When multiple messages are sent into the paging engine, the message sending can be facillated by sharing the work between multiple dialers. This is most helpful when using a modem to send messages, but its also helpful with the other protocols to a lesser extent. Additional dialers allows for messages to be sent to multiple carriers simultaneously.

When evaluating your setup to determine if additional dialers would be beneficial consider the number of carriers that you are sending to and determine if there are frequently messages sent to multiple carriers at the same time.


11.17.03 Affiliates

We received an inquiry about marketing NotePage's software in specific organizations or market sectors. This can be done very easily either through NotePage's affiliate or reseller programs. If you are familiar with the NotePage product line and have an interest in receiving revenue, consider signing up. Details can be found under the "reseller" navigational tab.


11.16.03 More on Number Portability

Many of the carriers have websites detailing how number portability will work on their network, details for each carrier can be found on each of the following websites.

Alltel http://www.alltel.com/wlnp/
AT&T http://tinyurl.com/uiqg
Cingular http://tinyurl.com/uiqs
Nextel http://www.nextel.com/services/wlnpp/
SprintPCS http://www.sprintpcs.com/wlnp
T-mobile http://www.t-mobile.com/switch
Verizon http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/lnp

*If* you change carriers be sure to update your software to reflect the new carrier modem number, SNPP, WCTP or SMTP settings or your text messages will not go through.


11.15.03 Out of Style, Out of Date
Many people think that the time of pagers has passed but what they may not realize is that both pagers and cell phones have a place in the future. Building control systems and monitoring applications can be automated to send text alerts detailing outages or system problems. Staff can be both remote or working in other parts of the building and will receive instant notification of urgent situations. Regardless of how technology has progressed the process doesn't have awhole lot of room for improvement. So though they may be out of style they still get the job done and have a very real place in the business world.

11.14.03 Signs, Signs, Signs,
When you are driving along the highway and you see a message on a large portable LCD that says "slow accident ahead, traffic stops" you may not realize how that message got there. Believe it or not many of the LCD signs have "pagers" inside of them. Ok, well its not exactly a pager but it has a reciever and the LCD acts as a diplayer just like the screen of a pager posting the message that is sent to it using software.

11.13.03 SMS Messaging Confusion
One of the most frequent comments we receive is how much does SMS messaging software cost for each message sent. This comes from customers not quite understanding how sms messaging works. In Europe many people use existing gateways to send SMS messages, and they pay a per message charge to have the message sent through that gateway. What people don't understand is that when you are using software to send SMS messages you *are* the gateway. There are no per messages charges to send using software that deals directly with the telecom provider.

11.12.03 Home to Cell Number Portability

According to the Washington Post the FCC has given the go ahead for consumerst to switch their home phone numberrs to their cell phones.

The Federal Communications Commission said people will be able to transfer their numbers as long as their wireless coverage area overlaps the location of their conventional phone. The FCC also said it wants to allow people to transfer cell numbers to conventional phones but needs to gather more information first.

The new home-to-cell number rule takes effect Nov. 24, the same day wireless customers will be able to keep their numbers when they switch cell phone companies. The rules govern customers living in the 100 most populous metropolitan areas and take effect six months later for all others.

Perhaps one day the rule will be that we will have personal numbers that follow us regardless of where we are located ....


11.11.03 Public Safety
We are seeing more and more public safety sites using paging as a communication method. It seems while voice communication is convenient, when the lines are full it is not considered as reliable. We've heard multiple reports that when communication systems are strained public safety departments rely heavily on text messaging as a means sof communication.

11.10.03 More New Laws and Specifications
In the future some house phone numbers will have the ability to be ported to cellular phones. Details on the rules that govern portability will be emerging in the near future.

We frequently we receive queries related to the protocols used for messaging the most commonly used protocol is the "old" fashioned TAP or telelocator alphanumeric protocol details on the TAP specificiation can be found at http://www.tap-ixo.info . The newer popular protocols are known as the "Internet" protocols, they are SNPP, WCTP and SMTP. SMTP is standard email delivery and it is not specifically designed for wireless messaging or time sensitivity and can cause delays. The other protocols SNPP and WCTP are defined on the following sites: http://www.snpp.info and http://www.wctp.info .

11.09.03 Ringtones
Mobile phone carriers are often looking for ways to change their "ring" sound. Only certain manufacturers support melodic tunes, to determine if your carrier/phone supports custom tunes or melodic tunes simply click on the manufacturer name and look for your mobile phone in the list at Ringtones Central


11.08.03 Changing the Rules for Cellular Providers
New laws mean that cellular users can change providers and keep their cellular phone numbers. Details on the law changes and the implications of the changes can be found in the article called Cellular Number Portability

11.07.03
We've recently updated a number of TAP, SNPP, WCTP and SMTP settings. If you come across any carriers not listed please feel free to contact us and we will add the listings to our support section.

11.06.03
We are working with SolarWinds , who just released a beta of their latest Orion application. The latest version of Orion will be using NotePage's software to send alerts to pagers and cell phones. Orion is SolarWinds low end network monitoring application.

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