JACKSON, Miss., March 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Vincent D. Kelly, president and chief executive officer of USA Mobility, Inc. (Nasdaq: USMO), a leading provider of wireless messaging services, today described the significant advantages of paging technology during emergencies in testimony before the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks.
Kelly told panelists USA Mobility's paging networks performed exceptionally well during Hurricane Katrina and other major storms last summer due primarily to their unique network architecture, which combines digital satellite signaling to the transmission facilities (as opposed to landline control used by many mobile phone providers), an extensive system of high- powered terrestrial transmitters and switches, and simulcast technology that allows wider coverage and strong in-building penetration compared to other more expensive forms of wireless communications.
"Paging services withstood Hurricane Katrina and were fully restored faster than wireline, cellular or broadband services," Kelly said. "In areas hardest hit by the storm, we restored service within 48 hours while most other providers took much longer. Put simply, our use of satellite technology makes paging more reliable for emergency communications than other wireless technologies."
Kelly's remarks were made to a panel established by the FCC to review the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the telecommunications and media infrastructure in the areas affected by the hurricane. The panel, which heard testimony at Jackson State University, is expected to make recommendations to the FCC by mid-June regarding ways to improve disaster preparedness, network reliability and communications among first responders.
During his testimony, Kelly said paging services continue to play a critical role for first responder organizations throughout the country due to their reliability and cost advantages even though mass market appeal for pagers has declined in recent years in favor of mobile phone users. "Paging devices are still used extensively by police officers, fire fighters and rescue workers," he noted, "and they are heavily relied upon by hospitals, health clinics, government agencies and numerous other mission-critical organizations and businesses with high priority communications needs."
Kelly provided panelists with specific details about how USA Mobility prepared for and responded to the Hurricane Katrina crisis, which included supplying thousands of additional pagers to federal, state and local emergency teams. He added that USA Mobility and other paging carriers reacted similarly during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when other wireless technologies failed.
"As the nation's largest provider of paging services," Kelly said, "we appreciate the opportunity to share with the panel our experiences and observations ... as well as underscore the public safety benefits offered by less- prominent but valuable technologies like paging. Moreover, because we believe paging is the most affordable, redundant and reliable emergency communications solution available today, we encourage the panel to consider making paging a required form of communication for all federal, state and local emergency service personnel.
"USA Mobility is proud of our network's resiliency and our contribution to the restoration of communications in the area," Kelly concluded. "We commend the work of this panel and look forward to partnering with other communications providers to learn from this disaster and to improve our ability to respond to any future emergencies that our nation may face."
Additional information about today's hearing is available at the FCC's website www.fcc.gov under "Advisory Committees" and "Hurricane Katrina Independent Panel."
About USA Mobility
USA Mobility, Inc., headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a leading provider of paging products and other wireless services to the business, government, healthcare and emergency response sectors. USA Mobility offers traditional one-way and advanced two-way paging via its nationwide networks covering more than 90% of the U.S. population. In addition, the company offers mobile voice and data services through Sprint Nextel and Cingular Wireless, including BlackBerry and GPS location applications. The company's product offerings include wireless connectivity systems for medical, business, government and other campus environments. USA Mobility focuses on the business-to-business marketplace and supplies mobile connectivity solutions to over two-thirds of the Fortune 1000 companies. For further information visit http://www.usamobility.com.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act: Statements contained herein or in prior press releases which are not historical fact, such as statements regarding the future performance of USA Mobility's paging networks, are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause USA Mobility's actual results to be materially different from the future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expectations include, but are not limited to, declining demand for paging products and services, the ability to continue to reduce operating expenses, future capital needs, competitive pricing pressures, competition from both traditional paging services and other wireless communications services, government regulation, reliance upon third-party providers for certain equipment and services, the timely and efficient integration of the operations and facilities of Metrocall and Arch as well as other risks described from time to time in periodic reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although USA Mobility believes the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained. USA Mobility disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
CONTACT: Bob Lougee of USA Mobility, Inc., +1-703-721-3080.
SOURCE USA Mobility, Inc.
CONTACT: Bob Lougee of USA Mobility, Inc., 1-703-721-3080
Web site: http://www.usamobility.com