30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for December 10, 2011
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Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 07:27:17 -0800 (PST) From: Wes Leatherock <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: History: Cell phone early days Message-ID: <1323444437.97250.YahooMailClassic@web111715.mail.gq1.yahoo.com> --- On Thu, 12/8/11, HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > On 3/17/1979 and 4/17/1980 the New > York Times reported some interesting tidbits about mobile telephone > service and the transition to cellular systems. > The cell phone patent was awarded to Richard Fefrenkiel of Bell > Labs, No. 4,144,411 (BSTJ on-line has an issue devoted to early > technology). > At that time, there were 40,000 mobile telephone users with a > waiting list of 20,000. The US was served by 54 channels. In NYC > there were 12 channels serving 700 users. It was difficult to > complete a call due to congestion. A central tower served a radius > of 35-45 miles. That, as you suggest, was before cellular. I had occasion to use such a phone many times in Oklahoma City. While I am sure it was not as congested as in New York, there were only a few channels (fewer than 10, I believe, in Oklahoma City) and that made for much congestion, too. The concept of cells made much more traffic possible on what were then thought of as a individual channels. Wes Leatherock email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Fri, 09 Dec 2011 00:38:38 -0800 From: John David Galt <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: MSNBC/NYT: Caller ID Forging Message-ID: <email@example.com> On 2011-12-05 10:08, Thor Lancelot Simon wrote: > Again: one major issue here is the inadequacy of the caller id display > to the end user. Within the network, there's a "network provided" bit > that indicates whether the network or the customer provided the > calling party number. The way the interworking standards are written, > if you, the originating customer, send a number that is not provisioned > on the facility from which you originate the call, that number should > be duly sent on in the network -- but marked as customer-provided > rather than network-provided. > > Unfortunately, customers' terminal equipment can't display the network > provided bit, so you cannot know whether you can trust the number > you have received. There is no reason why cellphones couldn't, and > ISDN can (but who has ISDN phones?) -- but analog CLID displays simply > can't. And cellphones aren't mandated to, so they don't. That's intriguing. Is the network-provided bit actually sent to the end user at all? If it's just a matter of processing it, maybe I'll roll my own.
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 09:28:43 -0800 (PST) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: OSHA: Two Federal DOT Agencies Ban Hand-Held Phone Use Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Dec 8, 3:42 pm, "Adam H. Kerman" <a...@chinet.com> wrote: > Plenty of regulations based on state laws continue to allow the > making of hands-free phone calls, completely missing the point that > the danger isn't from the fact that the hands are engaged but that > the brain is disengaged from driving. The following was in today's Phila Inqr: More drivers texting at wheel, despite state bans - About half of American drivers between 21 and 24 say they've thumbed messages or emailed from the driver's seat. And what's more, many drivers don't think it's dangerous when they do it , only when others do, per a national survey. full article at: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/technology/20111208_ap_moredriverstextingatwheeldespitestatebans.html
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 23:48:08 -0800 (PST) From: HAncock4 <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: I'm looking for #5XB training manuals Message-ID: <email@example.com> > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > Does anyone know when the last #5XB was retired, and where it was > located? Are there any still in service outside museums? Per the 1925-1975 Bell Labs history:  While electronic switching systems are being introduced around the world, new crossbar systems patterned after No. 5 crossbar are still being sold in significant numbers. The last W/E built No. 5 crossbar was for Birmingham, Alabama in early 1976. More than 2,700 enttiies were provided by Western Electric, 688 of the flat spring variety. A peak of 28.5 million customer lines was reached in October 1978. (At the same time, October 1978, peak deployment of community dial offices (small village step-by-step exchanges) was reached at 4.8 million lines. Overall step-by-step deployment peaked at 24.4 million lines in 1973). * * * In the late 1980s I sought to visit central offices still having electro-mechanical equipment to get photographs before it was retired. I discovered, at least in my region, everything was ESS. The Baby Bells were converting to ESS as fast as possible, including converting analog ESS to newer digital models. I also checked with small Independent telephone companies and found that they had converted to ESS earlier because ESS reduced service visits to unattended small offices and allowed introduction of profitable new services. Some offices were converted to ESS due to community growth and there was no physical room in the building to house a larger electro-mechanical switch. I dare say some of the new or expanded No. 5 crossbar hardware installed in the 1970s had a relatively short service life, especially for telephone equipment. I don't know when the last normal full service electro-mechanical exchange (of any type) was retired, but my guess is the US was wholly ESS by 1990 or earlier. Whether the last exchange was crossbar or step-by-step I don't know. I have no idea of the situation in foreign telephone companies where electro-mechanical may have hung on a while longer. The Annual Reports of the Baby Bells may contain more information on their plant upgrades.
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 14:56:11 +0000 (UTC) From: "Adam H. Kerman" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: OSHA: Two Federal DOT Agencies Ban Hand-Held Phone Use Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Adam H. Kerman <email@example.com> wrote: >Robert Bonomi <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >>Wes Leatherock <email@example.com> wrote: >>>On Mon, 12/5/11, John Stahl <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >>>>US Occupational Health & Safety has reported on their web site >>>>(www.ohsonline.com) that "Two DOT agencies, the Federal Motor >>>>Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous >>>>Materials Safety Administration, published a final rule Dec. 2 that >>>>will prohibit use of hand-held mobile phones by commercial drivers >>>>while on the road...." >[Moderator snip] >>>Do these rules also apply to CB use, which is mostly truckers now? >>The cited rule applies to "hand-held mobile phones". It would seem >>obvious that this does not include 2-way radios (of any sort), where >>the radio is mounted to the vehicle body. >>***** Moderator's Note ***** >>I wonder: would this law apply to a cell phone that was mounted to the >>vehicle? I know that AMPS phones mounted in the trunk are passe, but >>there must be a zillion vehicle-mounted "Onstar" phones out there. >Plenty of regulations based on state laws continue to allow the making >of hands-free phone calls, completely missing the point that the danger >isn't from the fact that the hands are engaged but that the brain is >disengaged from driving. >***** Moderator's Note ***** >Maybe the state legislatures which passed those laws decided that >forbidding "hands free" use would be unenforceable, or placed the >language in the bills to solve a safety problem without inviting a >fight with the FCC, knowning that hands-free use is a negligible >percentage of the potential violations. But it's not a negligible share of the collisions. Later studies showed hands free was just as distracting, but state legislatures were lobbied extensively to ignore the studies. A great deal of legislation was passed after the results of studies of hands-free were well known, so it was really just inexcusable. >To my mind, the bigger question is whether using two-way >(non-cellular) radios while driving is inherently dangerous. I don't >think it is, but I don't know what, if anything, the statistics say: >the first hard data about the dangers of cell phone use while driving >came from countries that allow their police to access cellular call >data without court orders, and that means that those police forces had >access to enough data to make justifiable statistical inferences. In >the U.S., AFAIK, it's a different story. I think drivers behave differently. They don't act like they are having a private conversation on a land line, no lengthy personal calls and chatting, no lengthy business discussions. Nextel's cellular walkie talkie-like service probably isn't inherently dangerous. Maybe if cell phones were set up to appear to be the radios that they are, requiring the user to hold in the button to talk, the problem would be solved. >In any case, there's no equivalent mechanism to track use of two-way >radios during or preceding an accident, since there's no way to gather >the data in the first place. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Please cite the studies that showed "... hands free was just as distracting". Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 21:52:15 +0000 (UTC) From: email@example.com (Thor Lancelot Simon) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: I'm looking for #5XB training manuals Message-ID: <email@example.com> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, HAncock4 <email@example.com> wrote: > >Does anyone know when the last #5XB was retired, and where it was >located? Are there any still in service outside museums? Northeastern Ohio or Northwestern Pennsylvania, I think. I vaguely remember a discussion of it here, including the reasons why -- though I don't remember the reasons themselvefs... -- Thor Lancelot Simon firstname.lastname@example.org "All of my opinions are consistent, but I cannot present them all at once." -Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On The Social Contract ***** Moderator's Note ***** IIRC, this info is in the LERG. Come to think of it, I once compiled and edited the "Redbook" Interconnect listing when I was at Verizon, so that's another possible source if other companies had similar publications. Does anyone have the back issues? Bill Horne Moderator
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