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4 posts

Wannabe Geek
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# 175680 8-Jul-2015 11:48
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With the pending (no official announcement yet) termination of the Spark paging network likely sometime in the next 2 years what are the alternatives options?

 

Paging is good as it is reliable & cheap but as a platform the underpinning technology is no longer favoured and apparently expensive to maintain/replace.

 

I currently use paging to send account information to customers.  I will now need to start thinking of alternatives solutions to do this.  A webapp, push notification seems like the best alternative but I can’t guarantee my customers have internet / smart device access.  Does that leave me with SMS as the only option?

 

Thanks

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Uber Geek
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  # 1339191 8-Jul-2015 11:56
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Yep.

SMS is the only really ubiquitious option we have found. App/Push is great but requires internet access and compatible devices.

You can integrate with a web gateway (Voda MultiTXT, a bazillion internet companies) but make sure you test compatability across mobile networks and have agreed SLAs (we have had MultiTXT fail with no notification for several hours at least twice, as well as having international delivery delays).

Or you can buy an SMS transmitter and put a SIM in it - but a lot of these have throughput issues (max 1 message per second) and most telcos aren't happy with you using unlimited txt plans to send automated messages in this manner.



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  # 1339192 8-Jul-2015 11:57
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Who says paging is being canned?

Depending on the requirements there are often no replacements.



 
 
 
 




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Wannabe Geek
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  # 1339197 8-Jul-2015 12:05
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No one is officially saying that paging is being canned?  But Spark are saying that it is not a mid to long term option and alternative options should be considered. 

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  # 1339203 8-Jul-2015 12:14
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Considering the large organisations that still heavily rely on paging (for instance the Fire Service, DHB's, Police etc) I'd be highly surprised if paging were to disappear in the next few years. Nothing moves quickly in local/national government.

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  # 1339228 8-Jul-2015 13:17
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So getting back to the topic, is there any alternative other than SMS?

Is the any Telco SMS product offering:

 

  • priority delivery of SMS (for emergency services etc)?
  • a delivery receipt?

I believe the technology is capable of doing both of these requirements but does any NZ Telco offer a product with these features?

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1339242 8-Jul-2015 14:02
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Elastech: No one is officially saying that paging is being canned?  But Spark are saying that it is not a mid to long term option and alternative options should be considered. 


Last I was told this is not the case. Emergency Services still rely on this and there has been firm indication from Spark that they are keeping for the long term. Even onboarding new customers... 



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Wannabe Geek
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  # 1339268 8-Jul-2015 14:57
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Last I was told this is not the case. Emergency Services still rely on this and there has been firm indication from Spark that they are keeping for the long term. Even onboarding new customers... 

ResponceMediaNZ, are you connected to the emergency services in anyway?  Maybe you can help clarify whether or not the Emergency Services have an RFP out for an alternative solution?

 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1339270 8-Jul-2015 14:58
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Elastech: Last I was told this is not the case. Emergency Services still rely on this and there has been firm indication from Spark that they are keeping for the long term. Even onboarding new customers... 

ResponceMediaNZ, are you connected to the emergency services in anyway?  Maybe you can help clarify whether or not the Emergency Services have an RFP out for an alternative solution?


PM you

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Uber Geek
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  # 1339278 8-Jul-2015 15:11
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The NZFS have been looking at solutions for a number of years - one solution of which was to issue every volunteer in NZ a new phone to replace their pager.

The simple real world reality is that there is not, and will never realistically be a replacement that can offer the convenience, performance and reliability of a pager. SMS is not a solution. Mobile data is not a solution. Both offer some very significant advantages but when you look at the bigger picture they are not a suitable replacement.



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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1339280 8-Jul-2015 15:13
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sbiddle: The NZFS have been looking at solutions for a number of years - one solution of which was to issue every volunteer in NZ a new phone to replace their pager.

The simple real world reality is that there is not, and will never realistically be a replacement that can offer the convenience, performance and reliability of a pager. SMS is not a solution. Mobile data is not a solution. Both offer some very significant advantages but when you look at the bigger picture they are not a suitable replacement.




Has very much depended on the CIO at the time too Steve... There has been some interesting solutions. 

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  # 1339281 8-Jul-2015 15:16
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ResponseMediaNZ:
sbiddle: The NZFS have been looking at solutions for a number of years - one solution of which was to issue every volunteer in NZ a new phone to replace their pager.

The simple real world reality is that there is not, and will never realistically be a replacement that can offer the convenience, performance and reliability of a pager. SMS is not a solution. Mobile data is not a solution. Both offer some very significant advantages but when you look at the bigger picture they are not a suitable replacement.




Has very much depended on the CIO at the time too Steve... There has been some interesting solutions. 


Yup.. There have been some crazy strategies come out of National HQ, especially the focus on P25 which took resources away from other solutions that should have been pushed.



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  # 1340037 9-Jul-2015 14:48
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I am really hoping that Spark does not start phasing out paging. We use it extensively as it has better coverage then cell coverage. It runs over different networks and I believe it has something to do with Marine bands. I will be talking to our Spark contact to make sure it is not going any where.

We do have a solution for less critical communication, we use Spark's eTXT system which works very well but goes over the cell network in the end. 

Pagers may be old technology but sometimes it is nice to have something just work.

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Uber Geek
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  # 1340054 9-Jul-2015 15:15
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fishandchips: Pagers may be old technology but sometimes it is nice to have something just work.

 

 

Just like AM/FM radio, but when a disaster strikes, its the tried and true that get things through...

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  # 1340173 9-Jul-2015 19:23
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fishandchips: I am really hoping that Spark does not start phasing out paging. We use it extensively as it has better coverage then cell coverage. It runs over different networks and I believe it has something to do with Marine bands. I will be talking to our Spark contact to make sure it is not going any where.

We do have a solution for less critical communication, we use Spark's eTXT system which works very well but goes over the cell network in the end. 

Pagers may be old technology but sometimes it is nice to have something just work.

The paging coverage should mirror the old 025 network.



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Wannabe Geek
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  # 1358758 4-Aug-2015 15:19
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Does this become more relevant now that Spark have announced the termination of paging in March 2017? 

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