Is The Good Old Pager Coming Down To Its Final Beeps?

from the out-to-pasture dept

It's been nearly five years since we reported that some people were still clinging tightly to their pagers, despite their obsolescence in many ways thanks to the mobile phone. Few companies still actually make the devices, and with so few users -- just 7.4 million nationwide -- once-thriving pager-repair businesses are now dwindling as well. That's hardly surprising; what is a little, though, is that pagers have continued to hang on. Their real strength is in the medical market, where doctors and hospitals still rely on them because they more reliably penetrate buildings, and they can be used in areas where cell phones are banned due to concerns they'll interfere with medical equipment (or interfere with hospitals' revenue from high-price in-room telephones for patients). But the days of the venerable pager look numbered: hospitals' attitudes about cell phone use are starting to shift, while many are installing WiFi-based systems that offer far greater functionality than simple paging.

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  1. identicon
    Rob, 27 Dec 2006 @ 6:21pm

    Pagers are more reliable

    Our IT department uses a pager for a number reasons;

    - Easy to pass around between a group of people who each take a week with the pager
    - More reliable then SMS (sometimes I've seen SMS messages take an hour to deliver)
    - Less intrusive to the person carrying the pager. (I've got a page 10 minutes from home and simply waited till I got home, where I have my laptop and wifi, to call the person back )
    - better coverage area. My pager works at my parents home, where by Rogers Blackberry gets some service in one room and none in the other.

    I doubt we would move away from pagers unless we were forced to. We MIGHT then switch to a rotation with a small, standard cell phone.

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