Mobile Voice & Paging | Services

Mobile Voice

The most well known application for wireless communications is voice communications. Voice communication can be telephony; wide area (cellular), business location (wireless office) or home cordless (residential) or voice paging, dispatch (fleet coordination) or group voice (audio broadcasting). Service rates for voice applications typically involve an initial connection charge, basic monthly minimum fee, plus an airtime usage charge. When the customer uses service in another system than their home registered system, there may be a daily fee and/or a higher per minute usage fee.

Figure 1 shows that mobile telephone charges include recurring costs and usage costs. Mobile telephone systems also offer advanced features. In many cases, the advanced features are offered for free (e.g., voice mail) as they increase usage costs.

Figure 1: Mobile Telephone Costs


Paging services include tone paging, numeric paging, alpha (text) paging, and voice paging. Tone paging service notifies a paging customer that a message has been sent via a tone. This tone usually is designated to mean a callback to a single location is requested. The original “beep, beep” tone pagers that started it all have become very popular as entry-level private communications systems, including restaurants (beeping servers when orders are ready) and in other centralized locations where a tone page necessitates a choice in response to only one.

While the popularity of these types of pagers has decreased overall, some retailers continue to offer tone pagers as “loss leaders” allowing the publication of low prices in print ads to attract attention. Still, for dispatch operators or other industries that only need a response to a central office, tone pagers offer a cost-effective solution.

Numeric paging is the sending of paging messages, typically telephone numbers that are displayed on a small paging device. After the message is received, the user calls back the displayed telephone number to talk to the sender.

Figure 2 shows that the typical cost for numeric paging service typically involves signing up for local, regional, or nationwide coverage. Rate plans start with a monthly service charge that allows pages using a local telephone number. Additional charges may be assessed for 800 toll free and 0800 freephone access numbers. Paging carriers usually offer a maximum number of pages per month and pages that additional per-page charges may apply for pages that are sent beyond the pre-defined limit.

Figure 2: Paging Cost

Alpha paging displays numerical and textual information. This can take many forms, from verbatim text messages to weather reports. Messages can be recorded into voice mail where operators type them up and send them out, or callers can dictate messages to live operators directly. Many carriers bundle free news, weather and sports feeds from other sources. While some carriers offer unlimited numeric usage, many charge for additional pages (both numeric and text message) beyond a pre-defined limit. Some carriers charge so much per character while others simply charge by the message.

Voice pagers broadcast messages through a built-in speaker in the paging unit. Message volume settings can usually be set to loud, soft or private, through an earpiece.

Two-way pagers allow fully interactive capabilities, permitting users to respond to pages by sending an original or canned alphanumeric message. Additional hardware must be purchased (or leased). Customers can lease the paging device for about $15 per month or purchase it for around $399.00.

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