PageMart Wireless Inc. announced an aggressive rollout schedule for its facilities-based ReFLEX 25 guaranteed messaging service, with commercial service planned for areas of 15 additional states in August as well as expansions in the inaugural state of Texas.
States expected to have service this month include Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Washington and Wyoming.
The two-way, ReFLEX 25 narrowband personal communications services network first was launched in Austin and San Antonio, Texas, last June, making PageMart the first ReFLEX 25 carrier and the second ReFLEX operator next to SkyTel Communications Inc., which operates a ReFLEX 50 network.
Although a two-way network, PageMart initially is offering only 1.5-way, or guaranteed receipt, service, called the Scout Guaranteed Messaging Service. The company said it expects eventually to offer message acknowledgement, which alerts the sender when a message has been received; canned-message response, which allows the receiver to transmit a pre-set answer to a page; and full two-way interactive paging.
“This is primarily a network buildout year, and we don’t expect significant impact on our operating results until the end of the fourth quarter, when we will start to sell nationwide service,” said John Beletic, PageMart chairman and chief executive officer.
At this point, only local and regional service is available. The company said its goal is to bring the Scout service to nationwide coverage by the end of the year, covering 60 percent of the country’s population.
The announced August rollout schedule places PageMart further ahead in the NPCS buildout race. Carriers MobileMedia Corp., AirTouch Paging, TSR Wireless L.L.C., Conxus Communications and Paging Network Inc. all have announced plans to build ReFLEX 25 networks as well.
PageMart said this and future services will mirror the coverage and availability of current one-way service in each market it launches.
The service uses the AccessMate guaranteed messaging pager from Glenayre Technologies Inc.’s Wireless Access Group. The pager notifies the network of its location, called registration, and when it receives a page, called confirmation.
If the pager is shut off or out of range, the network stores messages meant for that account for up to 96 hours until it receives the pager’s registration.