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PageSync – The Quest For The Ultimate Pager Continues?

RIM9502I always used to think that pagers were a thing of the past. Especially after the debut of cheap cellphones and the T-mobile Sidekick for drugdealers.  I do know certain professions that still rely on pagers such as doctors and other medical professionals. Certain doctors I know, who will remain nameless, don’t give out their cellphone numbers because they don’t want interns calling them every time they have a question. It seems like a backwards solution for a problem but name the last doctor you saw without a pager.

I guess this is the target market that USAmobility is trying to hit with their upcoming PageSync application for BlackBerry devices. Essentially the company is trying to make your BlackBerry act exactly like a pager. The whole point of the application seems to be designed around the fact that certain people do not want to give people their cellphone number. Sounds exciting right?

Personally this just seems to be devolving the BlackBerry into the pager model. Remember the RIM 950? Maybe they should just release the 950 series again.

Read the press release below:

Alexandria, VA – USA Mobility, Inc. (Nasdaq: USMO), a leading provider of wireless messaging and communications services, today announced a handheld version of PageSync, its customized paging solution for customers using BlackBerry® smartphones from Research In Motion (RIM).

In December, USA Mobility announced an enterprise version of PageSync that uses software provided by Onset Technology to integrate (or “synchronize”) devices between RIM’s network infrastructure and USA Mobility’s PageSync service. Unlike the enterprise version, the handheld version can be used on both BlackBerry smartphones as well as other SMS (short message service)-enabled smartphones. The handheld version also allows customers with BlackBerry smartphones the ability to directly download an application from www.usamobility.com to their smartphone. The application on the BlackBerry then enables a pop-up box on the device’s screen that mimics the functionality users get on their pager. USA Mobility will begin offering the PageSync handheld service in March 2008.

Similar to the enterprise version, customers will retain the reliability of paging technology in addition to the benefits of a voice and data smartphone. They would also have access to such key features as special pager alerts, reminder alerts until a page is read, as well as confirmation of message delivery. The PageSync service also allows users to receive pages from multiple sources, identify the source of an incoming page, track message delivery (i.e. dates and times) and send longer messages in alternative formats (e.g. rich-text).

Importantly, PageSync ensures user privacy because customers are not required to give out their BlackBerry/SMS cell phone numbers to contacts since a page will also be received on their BlackBerry/SMS smartphone. In fact, a person sending a page is not even aware that they have sent a message to a user with a BlackBerry/SMS smartphone. In addition, the PageSync service allows users to keep their pager number since incoming pages can be received on their BlackBerry/SMS smartphone as well as their pager. This benefit also allows users to avoid having to distribute a new pager number to their contacts, patients or clientele.

“We are pleased to introduce an enhanced and convenient paging solution for users of BlackBerry and other SMS smartphones,” said Vincent D. Kelly, president and chief executive officer. “The new PageSync service will allow smartphone customers immediate access to the simplicity and reliability of paging in a single multi-functional wireless device.” Kelly added, “We believe PageSync is especially well suited to customers in our core market segments of Healthcare, Government and Large Enterprise, as well as first responder organizations of any kind, many of whom rely heavily on both paging and cellular communications to meet their varied and timely communications requirements.”

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