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[aprssig] An amusing aside (Text Pagers)

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Sat Jan 30 01:07:36 UTC 2010

On 1/29/2010 2:50 PM, Robert Bruninga wrote:
> Yes, the pager idea is just one more potential side project.
> But the DTMF keypad is never going to go

I'm not so sure about that.   AT&T has recently broached the possibility 
of doing away with analog POTS service entirely in favor of VOIP.  [The 
upcoming "4th gen" cellular a.k.a. "LTE" (which is being adopted by ALL 
the cell carriers and 700 MHz public safety land mobile) is basically 
TCP/IP extended to RF with some very tricky multi-carrier modulation 
schemes to achieve high data rates. As this becomes dominant over the 
next half decade or so, the pressure to convert the remaining land lines 
to IP also (so that they can be seemlessly integrated) will become 

If so, phones will only have numeric keypads pads tied to digital 
encoders; not tone generators.    Given that already one-fourth of the 
U.S. population no longer has a traditional "land line" at all, it's not 
that far fetched to see analog phones and "Touch Tone" disappear within 
the next decade.   (This trend is being driven by "all-you-can-eat" 
unlimited flat-rate local & long distance cellular service for as low as 

> away and 99% of every
> mobile or handheld operators has one.  That is why I think that
> APRStt is well worth the investment of time for someone that can
> do it.

Perhaps 99% of hams have DTMF in North America.   Not true elsewhere.  
Have you ever looked at the service manuals for Kenwood or Yaesu 
radios?   They usually have a table breakind down the differences in 
models shipped to various parts of the world.  These usually deal with 
differences in frequency coverage (i.e. 144-148 vs 144-146), CTCSS vs 
tone burst repeater access, 2.5 vs 5 KHz FM deviation, etc   Virtually 
all the Japanese radios sold in parts of the world outside North America 
come only with basic mics without tone pads.  (Handhelds may have 
numeric pads to enter frequencies, program the radio, etc but they don't 
generate tones.   It's very unlikely APRStt would ever take off as a 
world standard.

>> I do not see APRStt as IMPROVEMENT of any kind.
> Ah, too bad.  Every kid with a cell phone can use a keypad to
> communicate,
Because you can see what your are typing before you send it!!!    Not to 
mention that smart phones are rapidly moving to full QWERTY keyboards 
either virtual touch (iPhone, Droid, GooglePhone) or physical 
(Blackberry and similar devices) resulting in no need for kludges that 
involve a million key-presses to enter the simplest one-line message.



Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
EchoLink Node:      WA8LMF  or 14400    [Think bottom of the 2M band]
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