Paging Networks
Paging networks were among the first wireless networks used for sending numeric and alphanumeric messages to external devices carried by mobile workers. The paging networks come in two varieties:
  • one-way paging networks
  • two-way paging networks

Two-way paging networks allow one of several pre-defined messages to be sent back by the receiver of the message.  The most famous of the two-way paging networks is SkyTel©.

Here are a few brief facts about paging networks:

Paging/Wireless Messaging Network Summary

Brief Description
  • Specialized wireless network for broadcasting a message to specific pager to call back a specific number
  • Personal paging device
  • Paging computer/server at service provider’s site
  • Paging transmitter;
  • Use of satellite for national coverage
Frequency Bands
  • Different frequencies sub800 MHz  - older paging networks; New networks are typically in the PCS narrowband 901-902, 930-931 and 940-941 MHz;
  • Many local, regional or national paging networks
  • 95 % of the U.S. is covered.
Capacity and Speed
  • Paging networks have different design criteria for delivering the message within specific time periods
  • 1200 bps for data transmission.
Communications Protocols Supported
  • TAP for numeric data;
  • TDP for 8 bit non-ASCII data.
  • ReFlex 50 protocol developed by Motorola for two-way paging.
Most Suitable Applications
  • Personal numeric messaging for call back
  • Alphanumeric messaging — dispatching and service
  • Two-way messaging — call dispatching with confirmation
  • $ 50 for pager and $5-$50 per month for messages (numeric to text to two-way)
  • Has been available for many years
  • Two-way messaging started in 1995
  • Low
  • Very easy to operate for sender (from any telephone) and receiver
  • Excellent coverage — local, regional , national, international (Canada and USA)
  • Good building penetration
  • Many options — numeric, alphanumeric, two-way, message storage
  • Some networks are overloaded causing delays
  • No acknowledgment (though slightly more expensive two-way paging is now available)
  • Very few two-way paging applications.
  • Slow data transfer rate (1200 bps) for non-PCS narrowband paging networks