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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Pagers in Technical; Two senior members of staff asked for pagers the other week. I didn't give it much thought as I assumed ...
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    Pagers

    Two senior members of staff asked for pagers the other week. I didn't give it much thought as I assumed they were joking (they have iPhones) but they really do think they need them - apparently so they can be pinged in the event of an out of hours emergency (that wouldn't involve calling them for some reason)

    Do any other schools have pagers for their staff - is this request as bizarre as I think it is.

    I'll confess that I didn't think anyone but NHS hospital staff still used them

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    No, as said on another near identical thread it's a daft idea in the days of advanced communication systems, smartphones etc. Especially when the exact function of a pager can be replicated on a 10 mobile phone. Sounds like someones been to a seminar where some fuppet has been trying to flog their million old pagers. Tell them to get with the times.

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    Fire services are big users of them for officer paging, NHS use short range systems in hospital with masts in house and for those who need longer range they use something like PageOne or Vodapage.

    Surely a mobile would be suffice these days?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Pager coverage is a heck of a lot better than mobile coverage. So, they are more reliable than phones for receiving messages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    No, as said on another near identical thread it's a daft idea in the days of advanced communication systems, smartphones etc. Especially when the exact function of a pager can be replicated on a 10 mobile phone.
    The function might appear to be replicable, but if you are on a hospital trolley and you rely on the message the nurse is sending to the consultant getting there in minutes rather than hours or even days, then you want them to be using a pager. SMS delivery time guarantees (SLA) are measured in days. Pager subscription services such as used by emergency services have guaranteed delivery times measured in a few minutes.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    We're not saving lives. Can the stupid cost of a pager system be quantified in a school because a member of SLT is worried their colleagues tea may go cold? We have phones, fixed and mobile, email, gophers; why a pager in a school?
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 17th March 2014 at 02:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewL View Post
    Fire services are big users of them for officer paging, NHS use short range systems in hospital with masts in house and for those who need longer range they use something like PageOne or Vodapage.
    Surely a mobile would be suffice these days?
    The number you are trying to contact is on the phone, please leave a message...

    It's not about range - it's about the reliability of the communication. Can you guarantee that the message will be delivered as quickly as you need it to be? Can you guarantee that you KNOW when the message has been delivered (or not)? Can you guaranteed that you KNOW the message has been picked up? Pagers should tick all the boxes. Consumer phones do not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    We're not saving lives. Can the stupid cost of a pager system be quantified in a school because a member of SLT is worried their colleagues tea may go cold? We have phones, fixed and mobile, email, gophers; why a pager in a school?
    I'm not saying it is justified or not. I'm pointing out that your statement that they are functionally equivalent is wrong.
    Last edited by pcstru; 17th March 2014 at 02:52 PM.

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    People on our out of hours emergency list are expected to answer their phones to other members no matter what time it is.
    They also all have deputies (though some of the deputies are drawn from the same group).

    If the situation is such that cellular and internet is down, it is likely that higher powers than the school incident team will be running the show!

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    That's true, badly worded on my part. No doubt you can get similar SLA's on mobile phone contracts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    That's true, badly worded on my part. No doubt you can get similar SLA's on mobile phone contracts?
    If you are thinking SMS then I don't think you can. SMS relies on agreements between networks and those agreements tend to have SLA's that allow messages to take days (typically 3 days) before anyone has any basis for complaint. With pagers you are paying for that guaranteed reliability. There's also no risk that the function you need will be being subverted by someone having a long chat with their Mum! Pagers just deliver a simple message. you know it has been delivered and a single button press by the recipient will inform the system that the message has been received and understood - even if they are on the phone to their Mum!

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    round2it's Avatar
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    I had the same question from slt.


    Told them rental price all in is 8.50 per month per unit thats the pager and messages sent via web portal.



    If you want a laugh ring vodaphone. Ask about paging service
    Last edited by round2it; 18th March 2014 at 12:17 AM.

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    If you are looking for on-site paging, then this might fit the bill.

    Scope DataPage Lite UHF desktop paging transmitter

    It has a couple of dry-contact inputs, so it can be connected to the doorbell or an alarm and page the site manager or whoever.

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    How do you know a person has read the message? That's something to consider, especially as you mention emergencies.
    I had a pager in my first job and missed messages when I left the pager in the car. At least with a phone call you get immediate confirmation that the person has understood the message and is able to act (or not).

    And don't forget the old wheeze of sending the message "LOW BATTERY" once in a while.
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 19th March 2014 at 01:54 PM.

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