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Where Have All the Pagers Gone?

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the long-time-paging dept.


oddRaisin writes "After recently sleeping through a page for work, I decided to change my paging device from my BlackBerry (which is quiet and has a pathetic vibrate mode) to an actual pager. After looking at the websites of Cingular, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, I'm left scratching my head and wondering where all the pagers went. I can't find them or any mention of them. Pagers of yore offered some great features that reflected the serious nature of being paged. They were loud. They had good vibrate modes. They continued to alert after a page until you acknowledged them. I didn't have to differentiate between a text from a friend and a page from work. Now that pagers seem to have become passé, what are other people doing to fill this niche? Are some phones better pagers than others? Are there still paging service providers out there?"

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Where have all the pagers gone? (5, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717191)

Look out - they're right behind you!

Skytel (5, Informative)

JamesTheBoilermaker (822315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717397)

There are still pager providers. I have a pager from Skytel for work. [] I've got a Titan 3 pager. It has a heinous alert tone that would be nearly impossible to sleep through.

The 80s called (-1, Troll)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717193)

They want their story back.

Re:The 80s called (2, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717235)


my hokey pokey town had pagers in the early 2000s.. kinda hilarious.

i dunno wtf you need a pager for if you have a cell phone. Get a nice cell that does all the bells and whistles YOU desire and you're gtg.

Re:The 80s called (1)

jaygridley (1016588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717293)

Thats funny.. I still have one. And it talks!

Re:The 80s called (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717249)

Haw Haw Haaaaaaaaw!

With a sense of humor like that I'm not at all puzzled why your girlfriend sucks my dick every night.

I've got to say, I agree with this post (5, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717219)

I can't stand cell phones, I only got one out of extreme necessity (and because my work stopped using pagers). I like to concentrate - I hate how cell phones immediately "demand" to be picked up. If you don't pick up you've got to listen to some damn message - and you're sitting wondering about the content of the message until you listen to it.

With a pager, someone notified me of their desire to speak to me, I wrap up whatever I'm doing, and I call them. If it's really urgent, they put a 911 at the end and I move a little quicker. I really do miss them... I can't be the only one... right... right?!

Ted Kaczynski paged (5, Funny)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717255)

He wants his manifesto back.

Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717271)

With a pager, someone notified me of their desire to speak to me, I wrap up whatever I'm doing, and I call them. If it's really urgent, they put a 911 at the end and I move a little quicker. I really do miss them... I can't be the only one... right... right?!

Have you heard of SMS, or "texting"? :P

It can work exactly the same as paging, and is what we use at work for the same purpose.

Try YouMail... (1, Troll)

wernst (536414) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717305)

I know how you feel (I hate having to drop everything and listen to a message - especially when the freaking message is nothing more than "Call me"), and I hate to sound like a commercial but...

Youmail has made voicemail and my cell phone a lot more livable. It takes over for the voicemail functions of your provider and records the incoming message. It optionally sends you a text message with the details of the call (phone number, duration, message left or not) and optionally texts or emails you a transcription of the message. The free version uses what is at times a comical transcription, but it is still normally enough to figure out what your caller was trying to tell you (and sometimes it is spot-on), and the texts and emails are free too. The $7 a month version uses a more accurate transcription method.

It also emails you an MP3 of the message. Of course, you can also call them up and listen to your messages, or go to the website and listen to them online rather like visual voicemail. It makes voicemail almost as good as a pager in a lot of ways. ;-)

Re:Try YouMail... (5, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717347)

My voicemail goes something like this:

You have reached Hadlock. If you need to leave a message, please hang up and send me a text message or email. Thank you." I've never checked my voicemail. If it's a personal call, they'll text message me. If it's business, they have my email address. Since it's a personal phone line it's mostly text messages.

Voicemail is just a gimmick to get you to use more minutes than you really should, at no expense to the carrier since they don't actually have to connect the call to anyone. It's 100% profit.

Re:Try YouMail... (2, Insightful)

TheEldest (913804) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717379)

You're right. Because most carriers don't charge you to listen to your voicemail, and being able to have messages left when your phone is turned off is a stupid feature anyway.

Re:Try YouMail... (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717451)

What carriers don't charge you to listen to your voicemail? Also when do you physically turn off your personal phone for more than 24 hours? T mobile delivers my text messages as long as I'm in service range in 24 hours.

the only time I've been out of cell phone range for more than 6 hours was during an offshore sailboat race where we were 8 miles off the coast at one point. Once we were within 4 mile reception kicked back in no problem. The phone is always on and barring that everyone knows my email is if they HAVE to reach me. I came to realize that most voicemail is pretty useless and ends with the words "call me back". When you call them back they repeat everything in the voicemail - so why bother listening to it the first time?

Re:Try YouMail... (1)

rav0 (983195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717659)

So, T-Mobile sucks with SMS delivery, but it doesn't matter because your phone never breaks and you stay in coverage 24-7?

Re:Try YouMail... (2, Insightful)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717521)

So you'd rather pay for the text message? Some of the companies charge $0.10 a message. That adds up after a month. Plus the $0.10 to send it. You're an expensive friend to get in touch with.

Re:Try YouMail... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717621)

Wait... do you PAY to RECEIVE text messages? Soon you'll tell us you charge for incoming calls as well. Oh... you live in the US. I'm truly sorry.

Re:Try YouMail... (1)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717741)

I don't know about you; but, voice mail is quite reminiscent of answering machines. Wouldn't you think? And last I checked, those were very useful devices.

Re:Try YouMail... (1)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717441)

You do realize that checking voice mail is entirely voluntary, don't you? As is answering the phone. In fact powering the phone is also voluntary. Just like a land line, except it has many more features that are are your disposal. (Not the other way around.)

Or do you just like making things more difficult than they need to be because it gets you attention?

Re:Try YouMail... (2, Insightful)

RustinHWright (1304191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717511)

And ya know what? People just don't listen. Especially the annoying lusers who you are most likely to have trying to reach you at the worst time. Once they know that you have a cell, they demand the number. Then the firm gives it to them. Then they call you all the goddamn time whether they've been told not to or not. And since the calls are routed through a pbx, there's no way to tell from the caller id if it's some annoying luser or somebody you should actually talk to until you answer the call and then it's too late.

A pager provides a narrow bandwidth channel for people to send only a small, simple message. Enough for genuine problems, not enough to waste anywhere near as much time. Cells don't even come close to doing that.

Re:Try YouMail... (1)

LRayZor (872596) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717545)

Yes, but it's also habit forming. Ring Ring, answer the phone. Beep Beep, read the text message. Pavlov's Dog, anyone?

Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (1)

Conception (212279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717323)

No, I'm right there with you. There are paging plans, google for pagers, but they are the same cost as cell plans, pretty absurd.

SMS could fill that niche, but with providers raping folks on charges it's not really there as yet, e.g. you don't want to send a text to someone as you might be costing them a dime or more.

Maybe what cellphones need is a pager mode? They might in some sort of "do not disturb" mode, then users immediately go to the leave or message or send a page note?

I miss my pager all the time. (5, Interesting)

RustinHWright (1304191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717357)

A cell phone is basically a consumer device. A pager was fundamentally a business device. The differences were legion. What I miss most is having a service where the clients were given the number of a human-staffed service and those operators then keyed in the message. Clients were also told that vague messages would get slower responses than specific ones. If they wanted my attention at 9:00 p.m. on a busy night then a "call us" message would leave then sh*t out of luck. They wanted attention, they had to manage to describe coherently and specifically why they needed my attention to an operator who knew neither of us and knew less about computers than the average modern grandma.

"I need him"
"Is that what I should write, sir?"
"Um, uh, um, no. Say, um, that, um, it's important."
"So I should say 'call, it's important?'"
"Um, no, um . . ."

It took only a few iterations to train clients to articulate the issue *before* hitting my number on speeddial.
"The archive server is down."
"Stories sent to blues are getting bounced."

Anybody who has done consulting will understand that this completely changed the dynamic. Among other things, this requirement to specify the problem got rid of a huge percent of the normal degree of blame game b.s. afterwards. It also taught clients that they had to reign in their panic if they wanted me to call. And sometimes by forcing them to define the problem, that act alone got them to fix the frackin' problem themselves and not waste my time at all. When I *did* get a page I could take a few minutes and think through the message and gather my thoughts about my response before having to be on the phone with them.

I'm not a consultant anymore but, gawd, if I were, I just don't know how I would do it without that glorious gatekeeper, the pager.

Re:I miss my pager all the time. (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717683)

I'm completely with you. I had pagers until 2001 or so. I sometimes still mention that I prefer them to cells, which I don't use much, anyway.

Hospitals still use pagers, right? So ... there should be some providers out there.

Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717401)

Not to be a horn tooter here, but one of my favorite features about the iPhone is the ability to visually see who a voicemail is from, and the fact that you don't have to listen-to and navigate an audible menu.

I don't know of any phones at this time other than the iPhone that offer VVM, but I sure hope it takes off.

Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (1)

Groink (887306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717409)

Pagers also fare better than cell phones when thrown against walls or malfunctioning equipment. NEC pagers are very sturdy -- much better than Motorolas for impact resistance. We use pagers at work (still). My only complaint about them is the surprise factor. Is this call going to be "I need a new mouse" or will it be "all our network volumes have disappeared"?

Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (1)

Fjodor42 (181415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717483)

Well, I don't know how it is in the states, but I heard that cell phone plans are quite medieval, or at least was, until lately. Here in Denmark, most people have been using SMS for ages upon ages, with a cost only being paid by the sender. Thus, people are used to use them instead of pages, and there are no hard feelings if one disconnects an incoming call, as we just assume the other part to be busy and text them instead. Also, I have the habit of disabling call forwarding of all sorts, meaning that although my plan includes a voicemail box, no one ever reaches it. Works fine for me...

Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (1)

LRayZor (872596) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717531)

I agree. I still have a pager. Hate mobile phones. My pager is for emergencies, network down etc. I can route urgent system notifications directly to it. It's not for my boss to ring me up any time he feels like, just because he can't get his home computer to print out a birthday card. Not sure this is any help as it's in the UK, but I get mine from here: []

Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (1)

brucmack (572780) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717593)

It sounds like you can't stand phones. Nothing you say applies only to cell phones.

If you want to concentrate, just switch the phone to a profile that doesn't react to calls, but gives you a beep when a text message comes in. Voila, you have a pager.

Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717607)

They're still around. One of my projects just got 4 NEC digi-pagers from Ameripage (I think). We need them for alerts that need to be serviced immediately and cell phones could not give us a consistent response time nor offered any quality assurance guarantees that the pager company was willing to give.

Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (3, Funny)

SteveWoz (152247) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717613)

loved my pager watch

I could look down, even from a podium, and read a message while continuing whatever

service was supposedly complimentary for a year but never seemed to shut off

but then my dog bit into it

Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (1)

RustinHWright (1304191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717743)

I hear that some guy got together with some friends and made some company called Danger, Inc, or something to try to partially address that. Afaic, they did a damn good job and I'm glad that they're out there. And afaic, they deserve some of the credit for the return of the "netbook", something that means a great deal to me.


Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (1)

Fjodor42 (181415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717617)

Oh, I forgot to answer to the sig... Thank you, I try to be. If you get too many messages about that, try eliminating the space chars :-)

Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (4, Informative)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717625)

If you don't pick up you've got to listen to some damn message - and you're sitting wondering about the content of the message until you listen to it.

I almost never pick up my cellphone anymore... I leave it on silent. My voicemail goes here [] , and if I feel like it I can check the transcription email on my phone. No tedious sorting or listening because I can read ten times faster than people can talk.

The transcription service works extremely well, and is pretty cheap. Sorry to sound like an ad but I was in the EXACT position as you and I am much happier now.

Odd (2, Interesting)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717709)

My phone has a silent mode and it doesn't go to an answering service if I don't pick it up, it just gets recorded as a missed call.

If you have a problem with cell phones it's because you let it control you rather than vice-versa.

Re:I've got to say, I agree with this post (1)

chaoticgeek (874438) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717763)

I'm not so sure that you have been using a cell very well then. My friends and myself know how to click one button to silence our phone. We can literary look at our phone make a decision and click a button to silence the incoming phone call. All in the course of a few seconds.

Also we have a silence or vibrate feature that makes our phone make a whole lot less noise when we need to not be disturbed. I've gotten it down so while I'm in my classes I have it set to vibrate and when someone forgets that I'm in class I can see who it is, silence the call so it goes to voice mail much faster. After I get out of class I can check if they left a voice mail and/or call them back.

Plus with texting I hit the same button and it stops making any noise and any vibrations. Pretty simple while I'm busy, in class, or don't want to talk.

Also the true silence mode where it makes no noise or vibrations at all. This is all relatively easy and I've only owned my own cell for about four years now. Both of the different models I've had have had such similar button layouts that I did not have to adapt or change much. Plus my new one lets me look at a text message on the outside screen for quick and easy reading.

Slide rules (4, Funny)

quarrel (194077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717233)

Why, the same place all the slide rules went, of course.


Re:Slide rules (2, Interesting)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717311)

I still have a pair of my good slide rules. One I use, one I have saved for any grandchildren. They don't need batteries, and they're very handy for teaching engineers that the last few digits of their calculator produced numbers are often a bold-faced lie compared to the real world. But they have gotten tough to get.

Re:Slide rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717359)

I don't know what became of my circular slide rule.


Re:Slide rules (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717693)

There are some categories of calculations, where you are aware of all kinds of intermediate values, derivatives, etc., by virtue of the fact of that you are computing on a slide rule. Often, a result would have other related results right there on the ruler. Translating the same computations to a calculator tends to lose some of this insight. I don't know how useful that is, but I am aware of it. I also believe it's a little more difficult to teach logarithms (and applications of logs) because, now that slide rules are out of the picture, there is one less real-world thing where logs are used. I say the same about ratios, exponential notation, and awareness of accuracy and precision.

That said, I haven't taken either of my slide rules out of the case in 12 years. And that time was to show someone how we once used LL rules to do exponentiation even after we had electronic calculators. It's not that I miss the "good old days", it's that some mathematical awareness whose constant reinforcement we once took for granted, must now be bestowed artificially.

Hospitals. (5, Interesting)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717239)

Check with your local Hospital geek. Doctors, nurses, social workers, pretty much everyone in a hospital still has one. They are starting to introduce a "cellular phone" into hospitals known by the local docs as a "banana phone" due to its yellow color that indicates its a special super-duper-won't-interfere-with-life-support-machines-phone as opposed to the iKill. But only the most important doctors have them right now, due to the advanced complexity of their magic.

Re:Hospitals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717317)

I have a bananaphone, and all I needed was a phone that can play mp3 ringtones...

Re:Hospitals. (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717381)

I was not aware of that song , before posting. but here's a better version [] of the song.

Re:Hospitals. (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717329)

Oh, my. I'd laugh the thermometer out of my mouth if I heard that in a hospital: I remember that children's song about 'Bananaphone'.

Re:Hospitals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717365)

You should see the looks I get when I pull out *my* bananaphone...

Re:Hospitals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717637)

I agree with this, hospitals in Australia still use them too. Even students/interns/residents get pagers.

P.S. if you kill someone with an iKiller they will haunt your phone and totally call you when you're on the can.

Re:Hospitals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717661)

Most of the hospitals I've been in have started going to WiFi phones. They're great, except they drop the call whenever it loses its AP connection.


Re:Hospitals. (1)

GoodNicksAreTaken (1140859) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717669)

I worked as a geek for a hospital a few years ago. We had a TAP server and Motorola pagers. The vibrate on them was super powerful. On breaks we'd line them up on a table and send a department page and race them. With the cost of cell phones and SMS messaging what it is now they've been replaced. All of the features you couldn't get at the time such as the ability to convert a network alert email in to a alphanumeric page or send a page from a web interface can all be done through SMS. The hospital I'm told now issues blackberries to everyone and the pager provider has gone back to just providing trunked radio service for the city and small businesses.

Re:Hospitals. (2, Interesting)

QuincyFree (147705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717701)

I had not realized that I've never actually had to call someone's pager before until my wife went into labor at three in the morning and I had to call the ob-gyn. The pager rang once and then beep! Silence. I'm confused, rattled, sleep deprived; I leave a message (words that will never find human ears) and phone the hospital. Get the switchboard operator to track the guy down.

While my wife's in labor, the ob-gyn actually has the whatsit to pull me aside and spend a solid fifteen minutes showing me how to work a pager. :-/

Incidentally, most of the physicians I work with have iPhones.

Why don't you get a second cellphone? (2, Insightful)

neurosis101 (692250) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717257)

Why don't you get another cellphone? Look at online reviews to find one with a more intense vibration, and if you want, you can set the notification tone to be something longer than a beep.

Of course since is /., I can alternatively be super obnoxious and say get the OpenMoko phone and then you can program it to behave however you want on the reception of a text message.

Re:Why don't you get a second cellphone? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717297)

Because this is slashdot, he should build a robot which can receive and parse incoming messages and wake him up if the message is important. The robot should be designed to make coffee and pancakes as well, why not? Building a robot shouldn't take long, and it'll be a lot cooler to have your own robot than some silly pager. Build a robot to do it!

Re:Why don't you get a second cellphone? (1)

JJman (916535) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717435)

I'm going to go ahead and be not super obnoxious and recommend the Neo anyway. The software's only growing and it's a solid hardware platform.

Re:Why don't you get a second cellphone? (1)

fyoder (857358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717755)

Look at online reviews to find one with a more intense vibration

Or get a hardware geek to "pimp your phone" to give it a beefier vibrate. []

Software problem (2, Insightful)

sodul (833177) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717259)

It looks like the 'features' you are missing can be solved by software. Now that Google has opened the door for truly customizable phones you could write an app that would ring really loudly until you acknowledge the page/sms/email based on filtering rules.

If you really want an actual pager, just try a popular search engine, you'll find plenty of stores that sell them.

ask Izzie and Lexopedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717279)

Pagers are found with all interns, residents and attending surgeons in Seattle Grace Hospital.

As a doctor... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717285)

Myself and some co-workers spent quite a while recently researching this; except for a few people in our group, we agreed that the best substitute for a pager was to have a large-breasted secretary in a nurse-like outfit mind our phones and repeatedly slap our face with their titties if we got a page - sort of like motorboating, but with them doing all the work.

Pagers? I havn't seen, ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717287)

Pagers appear to have been one of those things that America went for with great gusto but Europe and Asia moved passed pretty quickly as cell phones became cheaper and more accessable. Outside of the movies I haven't seen an actual, real, pager. Ever. Pagers are basically SMS capable mobile phones but crappier. It's push-only for crying out loud! You may as well have a steam engine strapped to your back.

tl;dr: I can't believe this is even an Ask Slashdot. Seriously, this is such a "Dur" question I'm ashamed to be associated with it in case I catch the stupid.

Re:Pagers? I havn't seen, ever (5, Funny)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717367)

in case I catch the stupid

Too late.

Seen maybe 4 in the past few years. (1)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717291)

I just saw a janitor with a pager on at work the other day and my brain went "woah a pager!". I've seen a few other people wearing them but it's pretty rare. I wonder if there's some business trade show where they're being advertised.

Change (sms/text) ringtone? (2, Insightful)

buchanmilne (258619) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717321)

I didn't have to differentiate between a text from a friend and a page from work.

Mabybe you need to assign a different ring-tone to your work numbers ?

Things Gone By (2, Funny)

capt.poetry (1403193) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717331)

They once, perhaps, were the rage.
But now it's time to turn the page.

-capt poetry

Custom Ringtones (4, Informative)

Nightbane (21511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717339)

Custom Ringtones are you friend here.

When I use to be on call I setup a ringtone for calls from the overnight answering service. Reveille was usually my choice as bugles blaring full blast usually woke me up from even my worst alcohol induced slumbers. With the Blackberry I know you can set these rules to override your sound profile. So you could set your profile to silent and avoid all other calls\txts but the custom rules would still come through.

Man I miss my BlackBerry....stupid WinMo pos smartphone, Oh well I'm not on call anymore :D so it isn't as bad.

From Google Sponsored Links (2, Informative)

Igmuth (146229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717343)

Along with a few dozen other companies dedicated to this service. It's one thing if finding the answer takes some serious searching, but this is just silly.

Re:From Google Sponsored Links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717591) as well. Simple search terms are simple.

I work for an answering service, many many of our clients (doctors, hvac techs, funeral directors etc) all use simple alpha numeric pagers.

We send the text of the message; "name called from X Re: this."

Its really not that hard to find.

I carry one... (5, Funny)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717349)

I have an old defunct pager that still lights up when pressed. I keep it on my belt when I want people to think how important I am. Sometimes I'll bump the button so it lights up and I can then say: "They really need me, sorry but I have to go."

Not gone, just more niche (4, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717351)

Pagers definitely have not gone, they just have become unpopular among consumers as two-way messaging replaced it. Hospitals and the US Government use one-way pagers still a lot. Our company was apparently taken over by another larger one, []

Nokia 6310i? (5, Informative)

fe105 (146603) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717355)

My nokia 6310i has a "pager" mode, when you receive an SMS, it keeps beeping as loud as it can until you do something.

Very annoying, but can also be very useful.


Re:Nokia 6310i? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717635)

Whoa, a 6310i. Hadn't seen one of those in years. I had one circa 2000. Great phone, but now a pathetic antique. Is anyone still using one of those things? Why? The bluetooth stack was riddled with bugs, the screen was tiny, no internal memory to speak of, nada. Talk about being a masochist.

Re:Nokia 6310i? (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717723)

Is anyone still using one of those things? Why?


Very annoying, but can also be very useful.

Pagers Still Have Their Uses, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717369)

The pagers that are unable to transmit and store information are still useful for use in government secure areas and in any environment where a transmission would be bad. Take that as you want. And yes they don't carry that annoying e-leash and oh-my-yahweh-what-if-I-break-it-500$s!! quality of modern cells.

Additionally it does it's job well (usually) and its simple enough to be modified. Kinda like another thing hmmm... The linux cmd line maybe? No, that doesn't have enough expensive rigid feature creep to be cool.

Seriously though I like the new cells but I really like pagers.

Pagers are absolutely still out there (1)

A Life in Hell (6303) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717375)

They definatly still exist - they provide a much more robust service than SMS (delivery conformation>? SLA's, you say? Ha!).

Orange/3 provide them at least in australia, at least, and a quick google revelead a pile of pager providers in the US - ymmv. but they're definatly out there (and they do definantly provide advantages over SMS if your service is important. Yours may or may not be...)

WTF is wrong with Ask Slashdot? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717385)

Where the fuck do we get these questions from? "What is my name?" "Where am I?" "How do I open a jar of pickles?" "How do I use a penis?" Fuck's sake.

Google for "pager"? (1)

cunkel (111089) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717393)

After looking at the websites of Cingular, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, I'm left scratching my head and wondering where all the pagers went.

Of course they don't offer pagers—they're much too busy selling cell phone service at 10 times the cost of pager service to 1000 times the people.

Try Googling for "pager".

Google is too hi tech too... (2, Informative)

Foo2rama (755806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717411)

Really this is an ask slashdot?

type pager into google and a whole bunch of services pop up...

Avoid fierce bumping... (1)

partypants69 (1294046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717429)

I don't know what would happen, but the user manual warns against it. (scroll to the bottom) Pager Manual []

Same Place as all the Pay Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717433)

In the rubbish heap mate.

Anyone ever have to carry 3 or more pagers? (1)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717445)

You know.. the unix group one, the general IT/boss asking WTF?!/ one and of course the rotating idiot user support one for two weeks at a time. You felt like an ass/ubergeek carrying around 3 pagers (all of different eras/technologies).

Down the flush! (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717463)


Battery Life (3, Insightful)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717469)

You also didn't have to recharge your pager once a night. I remember two AA batteries going for months in my old pager.

Page companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717489)

InfoRad, which makes a program that you can use to page has a list of pager companies on their website under "resellers"

Also, talk to your local real estate agents and see what they're using. Many have switched to blackberries, but many aren't since there could be up to a 24 hour delay in receiving messages (I've seen a lot of lost business because of this - could be provider related, and probably is).

American Messaging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717503)

My work is too cheap to let me have a crack berry, so I have a 2 way pager, from a company that is alive and kicking, American Messaging, which is old old Verizon Messaging company (Pager still has a Verizon badge on it)

Friends? (1)

tonytnnt (1335443) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717533)

Google is your friend... They still exist. Doctors still hate them. Just you don't get them from Verizon, ATT, Sprint, etc. But as Google can show you, there are paging services still out there. might be a better place to look as metrotel's website wasn't working for me...

American Messaging? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717537)

Check out American Messaging for paging:

The original Pac Bell / Airtouch pagers in Calif. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717553)

were folded into the creation of Verizon with the other US Vodafone assets, then eventually sold to American Messaging ( These folks appear to have bought out other US Bell pager networks like SBC.

Pagers are still around (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717577)

Pager coverage is actually pretty damn good. Come to think about it, I had less issues with pager coverage than cell coverage even though it was obvious they broadcast pages cross a given region, a few states or cross the nation wide network. Service was pretty damned reasonable, about $8/month or so IIRC, about the same as unlimited texts on t-mobile.

Why did I ditch it? Well the pager networks got bought out by other people, changed hands, and they no longer offered some of the handy dandy services they once did, which would include web->page and or e-mail->page without adding a ton of formating data. As in, one could attach a pager to a page reader via TTL serial and issue commands remotely. Mucking with the system resulted in too many garbage characters, and I could either revamp the system or go with something internet based.

But pagers still have their use. Coverage is still pretty damn good.

Too old... (1)

Coldness (829686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717601)

Eh, I just don't see a place for pagers in today's world. I'm able to set a separate ringtone (including a separate SMS-tone) for my work numbers and it works just fine. But then again, I'm the kind of geek that likes to have an all-in-one device, hence why my next phone will be wifi-capable once my contract with Verizon expires.

No problem - we can help (5, Funny)

uncqual (836337) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717605)

I mentioned your problem to my wife.

She graciously has offered to send you her pager. Just post your address in response to this post. We will even, as a public service, pay for shipping.

I can attest to the fact the unit is plenty loud. As a bonus, you will get plenty of pages for problems that an engineer should never be called for and should have been handled by customer support.

Re:No problem - we can help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717731) ..Sorry, bad habit.

Grammar Nazi called (0, Troll)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717615)

After recently sleeping through a page for work

Where do I get a job where I get paid for sleeping through pages? Some of my code may look as if I was asleep on the job, but that excuse doesn't really work.

Page is a noun referring either to printed material or to a human being paid to take messages, pager is a noun meaning a paging device.

They are obsolete (1)

z_gringo (452163) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717629)

I think that pagers have been obsolete for more than 10 years now.

Where have all the pagers gone... (4, Funny)

LunarEffect (1309467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717645)

Great, now I have this song going through my head: "Where have all the pagers gone? Long time passing. Where have all the pagers gone? Long time ago..."

Wrong number (4, Funny)

FTL (112112) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717677)

When carrying a pager for one of Google's farms I occasionally get messages from unknown numbers saying things like "WHERES THE STUFF YOU DIDNT SHOW". So obviously some people still use them.

I'm sometimes tempted to text back "Double dumbass on you" or something else inflammatory -- then sit back and watch the 6 o'clock news. But that would be evil.

Skytel (1)

Dice (109560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717691) []

Our pager team carries Skytel pagers because they have guaranteed delivery SLAs. We have tried SMS with all of the major providers over the years and they cannot reliably deliver messages in a reasonable amount of time. It's the best option short of having a NOC staffed 24/7/365.

Come on... (1)

Amiralul (1164423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717707)

Whining about your BlackBerry vibration level is just lame. Just get another cell-phone if BlackBerry doesn't suit you. I have a SonyEricsson W800i that can ring as loud as I need (and from time to time I work in a very loud environment) and it's small enough to fit into my jeans' pocket. I never had a pager. With a cell-phone you can talk, SMS, MMS, take pictures, listen to MP3s, check mail or news. For a little extra, you can get GPS navigation and TV shows (I'm thinking at the insanely Nokia N96). WTF is wrong with a good cellphone?! It wouldn't be long until I hear people complaining about lack of wired phone, horse-cars (environment-friendly!) or CP/M.
And you know that a pager doesn't have the email capabilities of a BlackBerry, right?

Why would you carry another little brick? (1)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717717)

Unless you completely reject a cellphone, deliberately reducing the functionality of the device you are carrying, why would you want to carry both a cell phone and a pager?

Simply because the cellphone's pager is not good enough? It always puzzled me, why would people carry more than one of pager and cellphone (much like why would anybody mix grep, sed, and awk in one command line, but I digress). My guess was, it had to do with the status, an attempt to derive importance from the number of gizmos carried...

I guess, I'm not the only one wondering, why carry more than of these devices — and that's why pagers are going away — as you found out...

The only plausible reason I can see, is when one of the devices is employer-provided and the employer's policy prohibits (or discourages) personal use. That's a sign of a silly employer, though — in appreciation of the employee being always reachable, they should allow personal use of the device (save for outright abuses).

USAMobility 2Way w/ Motorola T900 (1)

millisa (151093) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717721)

We still use pagers for our notification systems. Most cell providers do not do guaranteed delivery/receipt of text messages while 2 way paging service will. It often has a much larger range than cell towers will give you and works further inside building that cell phones die in. Regardless of what many say here, pagers are not obsolete.

I personally have found the USAMobility [] people responsive enough, generally knowledgeable and the times the device has broken, they've had a new one to me in 24 hours.

Others have mentioned Skytel and Metrotel, which offer similar services and models. (Quite a few of the paging companies have been bought up or been consolidated, but generally I've found the coverage areas have not reduced).

Landfill (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717773)

sms and gsm has replaced pagers in Belgium a long time ago.

You can see who is calling you. You can ignore it and let the anwering machine pick it up and call that a minute later to decide wether or not it is importand enough to take action on.
People can send you an SMS and describe better what they want to say.
You can have people call your fixed line, use selection and then send an SMS so that you get the same information you got previously. This might be good for you. It is lousy customer service.

sms and gsm is superieour in any way.

Anonymous coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717777)

You could tell people to text you. Just have to find the right phone that has the setting that will keep annoying until you respond to the text or call that you got. Verizon phones I know have that option to page people. You can set your phone to take them directly to voice or text option as soon as it rings once. That allows you to weed out the texts and calls.
And need I remind you of a small invention called eBay? Or even some 7-11's still have Metrocall pagers for sale.

Outdated devices (1)

Bog Standard (743863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25717783)

They went the same way as typewriters.

Pagers for the privacy conscious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25717793)

Pagers do not use a cellular network and consequently don't report their position, like cellphones necessarily do when they associate with a BTS. Real pagers never send. That makes them ideal for RF sensitive environments (e.g. hospitals) but it also makes them ideal for people who are fed up with being trackable. (Alternatively, you can use a satellite phone.)

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