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How do I Choose the Best Voice Pager?

Article Details
  • Written By: Mal Baxter
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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A voice pager is a pocket device that allows users to be contacted with a text or voice message. It may alert users via a recorded voice call or, for privacy, a tone that signals a voice message to be played back at the push of a button. These devices can sometimes use automated speech dialers in commercial, industrial, and residential settings.

Paging systems are often employed for use in emergency response departments because they permit direct, immediate alerts to multiple parties. A variety of types allow programmable customizations according to their intended uses. Other considerations may include multiple channels, calling capacities, and memory. Battery life and case construction are also important factors.

Using a voice pager makes sense over a standard tone beeper when it's necessary to convey more information or urgent messages. By relying on satellite networks, these units suffer less network failure than cell phones. Units can function reliably for local or long-distance messaging, or even if a local network goes down. Their small sizes make them suitable for long carries, such as personnel on 24-hour call. Purchase and operation costs, however, exceed standard paging systems; this is due to extended signals and airtime.

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Often, the types of alerts on a voice pager include tone, vibration, or a combination. Some pagers can also be alerted by computer through e-mail and Internet services. Single or multichannel units serve different numbers of users, with multiple addresses per channel possible. It's important to consider not only the current capacity you need, but also to allow for expansion if new users are added to your network.

Different pagers can operate on frequency ranges like Very High Frequency (VHF) or Ultra High Frequency (UHF). They can also be either narrowband or wideband. Other capabilities allow users to manage their channel scan, audio lock, and programmable alerts. This improves operation and response speeds for predetermined circumstances and conditions.

Sometimes it is beneficial for a voice pager to recognize busy lines and no-response calls. This is especially useful for automated dialers with multiple users. In these units, the number of prerecorded messages and number of times it can replay may factor in.

One advantage of this type of automated system is the ability to contact pagers, landlines, and cell phones systematically. Installation might be as simple as plugging in a phone jack; the interface should also be easy to navigate. Further considerations might include whether power loss affects memory, and battery monitor, type of batteries, and their requirements.

The readout display will also affect your choice. Using a voice pager allows sight-impaired individuals easy and convenient communication. In addition, menu readouts sometimes permit font size adjustments to preference. Readouts should allow for typical environmental conditions and lighting.

Certain types of pager can be set up to send an alert for automated events, such as with security systems, equipment malfunctions, or temperature threshold notifications. They can remotely alert users of the arrival of employees or children at a location. Some units allow programmable frequencies and codes, which may also be inputted from the field. Knowing the level of control you require will help you assess the most relevant features for your needs and allow you to compare products.

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