The Wireless Technology’s Future Has Just Begun


Prof. Gerpott Analyzes Innovative Potential of Paging White Paper Indicates New Applications Beyond Broadband Trends. 11/26/2012. In a new white paper first publicly presented at the BITKOM trend conference in Berlin, the telecommunications expert Prof. Torsten J. Gerpott examines fields for innovative paging applications. Whether for population alerting in case of hazards, for smart energy use, or for dual-purpose devices, paging offers forward-looking solutions beyond the scope of broadband trends.

The Wireless Technology’s Future Has Just Begun

Because of the huge increases in the sales and numbers of users of digital cellular wireless services, Prof. Gerpott finds, people tend to think mobile wireless means just GSM or UMTS, and ignore paging. Yet paging is special among mobile wireless technologies, and “clearly superior in certain fields of application to the quantitatively dominant GSM/UMTS/LTE networks”.


Paging is mainly used for applications in which time and reliability are critical. But it also has clear advantages when it comes to informing, alerting or warning great numbers of people at the same time. One such application is the fast, reliable alerting of emergency personnel anywhere in Germany. “GSM/UMTS/LTE networks have severe deficits particularly in emergencies and disasters,” Prof. Gerpott finds. Paging is not a replacement for those systems, but a useful complement. Specialists take on cases that the generalists can’t handle, or can’t handle very well – mobile networks are growing up.

“Intriguing Potential Use” for Population Alerting

In this situation, the author points out the “intriguing potential use of paging applications for population alerting” in emergencies. To increase the effect and range of warnings – and not merely for reasons of cost or power efficiency – Prof. Gerpott advocates integrating paging modules in technical consumer goods, such as smoke alarms, vehicles, smart phones, tablets and the like. For comparison, a UMTS module would need 113 batteries for the same application scenario that a paging module can fulfill with just one battery.

Prof. Gerpott sees more potential applications of paging modules in the transmitting information of general interest, such as weather forecasts or time-limited electric utility rates, and sending control signals to power consuming or producing devices in homes. The latter case is an application in which paging services have the potential to “accelerate the introduction of active load and demand management for electric power utilities in Germany, thanks to low communication costs and fewer data privacy problems.”

The feasibility of such applications is proven: more than 2.5 million households already receive dynamically updated weather forecasts on satellite-based radio weather stations with integrated paging modules. All of this information is transmitted over e*Message’s nationwide paging network. As the example shows, the repositioning of this long-existing technology makes it a catalyst for innovative developments.

Prof. Gerpott, head of the Department of Enterprise and Technology Management with emphasis in telecommunications management at the University of Duisburg-Essen, has published a white paper on “Narrow-band Information Distribution via Paging: Potential Fields for Innovation in a Sometimes Overlooked Mobile Wireless Network”. In the paper, Prof. Gerpott analyzes numerous areas for innovative applications “that will make paging still more attractive from the user’s point of view”. The expert finds the future of paging technology extremely promising.

Prof. Torsten J. Gerpott

Prof. Torsten J. Gerpott has headed the Department of Enterprise and Technology Management, with emphasis on telecommunications management, at the University of Duisburg-Essen’s Mercator School of Management since April, 1994.
Before his appointment as a professor, he worked for six years in a US top management consulting firm. In all he has gathered nearly 25 years’ experience as a consultant in the telecommunications industry, and nearly 20 years’ academic expertise in the field. Since 1998 Prof. Gerpott has been a member of the Academic Working Group on Regulation in the German Federal Network Agency. He is also Executive Chairman of the Center for Telecommunications and Media Management Sponsors’ Association (ZfTM), and serves on supervisory boards and advisory committees of several companies in the telecommunications industry. He has published more than 320 articles and books in German and English, and contributed to national and international conferences with over 360 lectures on telecommunications-related topics.

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