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Technology - How Pagers Can Still Have the Edge over Mobile Phones

25/02/2017

In the modern age where mobile devices look set to outnumber human beings, it could seem easy to describe paging devices as things of the past.

One of the first myths to dismiss is the notion that pagers are just a one-way form of communication. In fact, two-way versions have been widely available since the mid-19990s. (Although it's true that most pagers are still designed for one-way communication. A good practice, however is for senders t continue to send the same message until there is a response, if the recipient doesn't reply immediately.)

But, in fact, these gadgets often beat mobiles hands down when it comes to efficiency, and are an effective way of getting an important message to someone quickly.

Another myth to dispel is that mobile phones were ever intended to be in competition with the pager. Each type of device actually serves a different purpose.

And one big advantage of the pager is that it can send messages with VHF (very high frequency) radio signals, usually transmitted in a range which is similar to FM radio programs. This means that fewer transmitters are needed, and the signals travel further.

There is also less interference from obstacles than with mobile phone signals. So you're far likelier to actually receive a message via a paging device in a remoter location, where you may not get a phone signal.

Equally, these devices are especially useful in environments like hospitals where mobile phone signals could interfere with vital medical equipment. That's why so many emergency workers, from lifeboat to mountain rescue crews, rely on paging devices.

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