33 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
Copyright © 2015 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.
The Telecom Digest for May 23, 2015
|You have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the falling domino principle. You have a row of dominoes set up. You knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you could have the beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences.|
|Dwight D. Eisenhower|
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|Date: Thu, 21 May 2015 18:27:08 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Does anyone remember the IMTS System? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:43:36 PM UTC-4, Bill Horne wrote: > Here's a trip down memory lane: does anyone remember the IMTS > systems that preceded cellular? In the early 1970s, a friend of mine worked for a VIP who had a mobile phone in his car. My friend would call me or I would call him on it occasionally. We kept our calls brief as it was expensive. Operationally, it worked like a regular telephone; the mobile set had a rotary dial and a ringer. Certain elite passenger trains, like the 20th Century Limited, Broadway Limited, and Congressionals had on-board mobile telephone service, though I believe it was the older manual type. Metroliner service, introduced in 1969, had a modern on-board mobile phone, with automatic handoff between radio bases, and Touch Tone coin telephone sets. If memory serves, a call was priced at $3.00 for three minutes, high in its day, but not outrageous. (FWIW, when I rode a Metroliner train in 1973, no one used the phone.) > I find myself getting nostalgic > for the "good old days" of the mobile world, and I wonder if > any of that equipment has been converted to other uses. One thing we must remember is that that service was actually an automobile telephone--one could only use it in their car. It seems that a great many cell phone users today would find that restriction extremely limiting. (Ironically today, such use while driving is illegal in some places.) Also, the phone took up space, both the dashboard unit and a unit in the trunk. When cellular phones first came out, they were automobile- oriented, and cell phone stores had a garage to physically mount the phone in the car. We also must remember that capacity was extremely limited, there was room for only a few conversations at time. The Bell System regularly sought more radio channels, but was denied by the FCC. >From the Bell Labs Switching history: "The crossbar tandem system was used to serve these mobile and other special service lines directly--a function it could perform since it could receive and send dial pulses." "Significant use of private mobile radio systems dates back to 1921, beginning with the Detroit police department. Over the years, the Federal Communications Commission has granted additional radio spectra to increase private licenses to over eight million users (and another eight million on CB). These systems for the most part do not connect to the telephone network. Beginning in 1946, the Bell System inaugurated a three-channel system in St. Louis. Over the succeeding years, additional frequencies were allocated, improvements were made in changing service from manual to automatic, and trunking was added between mobile units and available channels. However, only 143,000 customers are served by Bell and the radio common carriers (RCC). There are tens of thousands of held orders for carrier-connected mobile telephone systems, even though the tariff is ten to twenty times that of residential telephone service. Because the waiting time is so long, there are many others who need this type of service but have not bothered to add themselves to the waiting list." [evolution to cell service] "Since 1947, the Bell System has expressed to the Federal Communications Commission, in a number of review dockets, its interest in a large-scale mobile telephone system. In docket 19262, Bell introduced in 1971 a new version of the cellular system, which reuses a basic group of frequencies in nonadjacent hexagonal cells. As the mobile unit roams from cell to cell, its connection is moved from transceiver to transceiver under control of a central office switching system. No. 1 ESS was chosen to be the mobile telephone switching office (MTSO), since it has the software capability to allocate cells and frequencies as a call is "handed off" from cell to cell. In addition, the MTSO has to locate the cell for originations and provide additional conveniences for mobile customers. Initially the intent was to combine local and mobile services in the same switching office. In 1975, the FCC gave the Bell System the go-ahead for a development field trial of the cellular system but the switching office would be limited to handling only calls to and from mobile units. A No. 1 ESS, located in Oakbrook, Illinois was set up to operate a few cells and mobile units. Success of the trial is expected to lead to a larger service test and, with FCC approval, commercial service. "|
|Date: 22 May 2015 02:08:10 -0000 From: "John Levine" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Does anyone remember the IMTS System? Message-ID: <email@example.com> >Here's a trip down memory lane: does anyone remember the IMTS >systems that preceded cellular? I went to a church camp on an island off the coast of New Hampshire where for many years the only phone was an IMTS phone installed in a phone booth in the lobby. To call in, you'd dial 0, ask for the mobile operator in Dover NH, then ask the operator for JS8-3445. (The phone had a dial but my recollection is that they never automated that mobile site.) Calls were expensive and limited to three minutes. When IMTS shut down one of the campers who was an engineer in real life put an antenna on the roof with line of sight to a church steeple on the mainland and set up a remote phone repeater, which gave us a pair of normal phones with normal phone numbers, albeit somewhat hissy sound. Since then I gather they arranged to run a cable to an adjacent island where the Coast Goard had run a cable out to their lighthouse from the mainland, and now they have not just phone but Internet. The campers, of course, just use their cell phones to cell sites on the mainland since radio waves propagate easily across salt water. R's, John|
|Date: Fri, 22 May 2015 01:08:50 -0400 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Does anyone remember the IMTS System? Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Thu, 21 May 2015 19:38:19 -0400 EDT, Bill Horne wrote: > Here's a trip down memory lane: does anyone remember the IMTS > systems that preceded cellular? I find myself getting nostalgic > for the "good old days" of the mobile world, and I wonder if > any of that equipment has been converted to other uses. I can't say I "remember" it, but Google certainly responds to the IMTS bait and offers this neat catch (amongst others) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improved_Mobile_Telephone_Service for your delectation :-) . Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.|
|Date: Fri, 22 May 2015 22:30:53 +0000 (UTC) From: danny burstein <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Does anyone remember the IMTS System? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> [snip] They were, of course, Expensive Toys for the Rich and Famous. As such, in the tv show Superman (the real one in the 1950s, accept no imitiation), Perrry White had one. None of the reporters or other staffers did.. -- _____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key email@example.com [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]|
|Date: Fri, 22 May 2015 10:02:26 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Philadelphia picks vendor for mobile-payment parking system Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the PPA selected Pango USA to create a parking mobile-payment system that will allow users to pay by using a PPA smartphone app, visiting a PPA website, or calling an interactive voice system. The app will include an option for users to add time to a meter that is about to expire, with an increasing rate each time. The app can send reminders to motorists that their paid time is about to expire. For full article please see: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20150522_PPA_picks_vendor_for_mobile_parking_app.html|
|Date: Fri, 22 May 2015 18:42:01 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Norman Lear and the telephone conference operator Message-ID: <email@example.com> Televison producer Norman Lear (All in the Family, Maude, etc) wrote a memoir, "Even This I Get to Experience" (Penguin Press, 2014). He included a passage about Mary, a conference call telephone operator (page 159). In 1953, he was living in New York City, and getting a divorce from his wife, who lived in Los Angeles. It was necessary for him to have very expensive long distance conference calls which included combinations of his daughter, accountant, attorney, his wife's accountant and attorney, and others. Lear wrote: "One day I'd just hung up after a conference call when the phone rang again. It was the conference operator, inquiring as to whether my call was properly completed. She then stunned me by asking if I had talked with my daughter in L.A. that day. It seemed that she'd heard me talk about my daughter on a conference call the other day and was touched by the idea that we talked daily. And then she wondered if I would like her to get my daughter on the phone for me the next day. Thus began a four-year relationship that saw Mary--she would never reveal her last name-- become an integral member of the extended Lear clan, placing just about all of their long distance phone calls from that point on, gratis. "Over time I teased out Mary's story. She was a girl from a poor South Boston family who'd gotten a job with the phone company. She was in her early twenties when, reporting to work, she fell on ice at the building and sustained a serious injury that confined her to a wheelchair. The settlement her family negotiated was not a payoff but lifetime employment as a conference operator. With the latitude that accompanied her special circumstance, Mary sat unsupervised with the means to connect people anywhere to people everywhere, while also allowing her to listen in on--and live vicariously through-- a lot of lives. "She certainly seemed to revel in mine as it unfolded in front of her. Whether it was the attorney-client discussions that shaped my career, family matters and crises across the board, every aspect of my divorce, the fresh relationships, Mary was involved in all of it. It never troubled any of us that Mary was eavesdropping, or that we were using the phone company's services without paying for them."|
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