Motorola T-900 text messaging

Motorola's T-900 device looks to resurrect pagers by giving them two-way messaging functionality. According to columnist John Shepler, the device's capabilities go beyond what you might expect.

Cross a beeper with a notebook computer and what do you get? It's the two-way messaging pager. You can hold it in your hand or clip it to your belt. It sends and receives e-mail and instant messages, and gives you weather reports, sports scores and stock quotes. Not within receiving range? Your messages are stored for up to 72 hours.

This messaging service is available in the U.S. from Extreme Pagers using the Motorola T-900 "Talkabout." The pager itself is free with two way pager plans starting at $369.99 for a year's prepaid plan. For those who are heavy messaging users, a two-way text pager is a serious competitor to cell phones that offer e-mail messaging. If you need to exchange information but don't need to talk, why pay 4x as much for a cellular plan?

The Motorola T-900 flips open to reveal a backlit 4 line LCD text display. The other half features a lighted QWERTY keyboard and navigation buttons. The memory stores up to 70,000 characters and a 250 entry address book. With its single AA battery, it weighs in at just over 4 oz.

This device goes far beyond your uncle-the-doctor's pocket pager. You can use it as a regular pager, but the real power comes in being able to send and receive text messages just about anywhere you happen to be. It's wireless mobile e-mail. You can forward incoming e-mail messages from your company's Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes e-mail to your T-900 while you are out of the office. You'll get an audible or vibrating alert when a message comes in. Reply to e-mail messages or forward them just like you do at your computer keyboard. You can even store your read messages in your personal folder.

With confirmed two-way messaging, you can be sure you won't miss your messages even if you happen to be sitting on a mountain, in an airplane or between coverage areas. When you get within range of a base station, up to 72 hours later, the system will see that you are available and deliver your messages.

Want to send messages? Enter your text on the keyboard and even include a signature with your e-mails. The address book stores up to 9 fields of information for up to 250 of your best friends, colleagues, bosses, etc. Messages have time and date stamping. E-mails can be sent to any Internet e-mail address. Get two of these T-900 devices on the same messaging service and you can also chat or send instant messages back and forth.

The Motorola T-900 Personal Interactive Communicator supports the standard (FLEXible wide area synchronous protocol) signaling standard commonly used for numeric and text paging. It transmits in the UHF frequency range of 896 to 902 MHz and receives in the range of 929 to 942 MHz, using frequency modulation. Transmit power is 0.15 watts for short bursts of 16 to 160 Msec. Since transmissions are brief and receiver power demands are minimal, battery life can be as long as a month. You also have the option to turn the device completely off to save battery power.

If you are interested in learning more about the history and technology of pagers, read "How Pagers Got Their Beep."


T1 Rex's Business Telecom Explainer offers easy to understand information about complex telecommunications and networking technology. T1 Rex explains how T1 lines work, VoIP telephone, PBX, virtual private networks, digital audio transport, Wi-Fi & WiMax, fiber optic carriers and other business telecom services.

John Shepler has been a published writer for over 30 years. With a background in electronics engineering technology, he has worked in a variety of industries including radio broadcast, aerospace and manufacturing. Involved in telecommunications since 1998, he combines his interests in writing and technology with and T1 Rex's Business Telecom Explainer.

To learn more about numeric, text and two way pager plans and see how to get your free Motorola pagers.
Copyright 2003 - 2005 by John E. Shepler
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