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Pagers are not Obsolete – Long Live the Pager

Are pagers extinct? Thanks to their reliable coverage, you can’t count them out!

Image of a man holding a pager

Back in the early 1990s, pagers were all the rage, but as the cell/smartphone exploded in popularity, you’ve surely noticed that we don’t often see pagers anymore. Sure, many millennials might not immediately recognize a pager and most of us don’t hear much about pagers or the paging industry. That  leads many to believe that pagers are an obsolete device. However, they are still a thing!

The reality is that pager services  are still heavily used in the healthcare profession and to a certain extent in a wide range of industries for many reasons: emergency notifications, messaging on-call personnel, communicating among internal employees.  Having your telephone answering service dispatch your messages to your pager rather than, or in addition to, your cell phone or office phone is another great use.

So why haven’t pagers gone the way of the Dodo? Pagers aren’t going away for a couple of reasons. First, pager networks tend to be more reliable for receiving messages.  Often their networks do not become as congested as cell phone networks. So right there you’ve got a benefit for people who MUST have communications ability. Think healthcare professionals, people needing to communicate during emergency situations, and employees working in remote locations with poor cell coverage.

Pagers can also play an integral role when planning for communication capabilities during extreme weather and disaster recovery situations. When circumstances may disable cell phone networks or bog them down with traffic the reliability of pagers is not to be underestimated.

Pagers are also an ideal back up plan.  Imagine you are in a cell phone “dead” spot.  Your office or answering service is trying to dispatch a message to you.  You’re going to miss out on it.  But, having the message sent to your pager greatly improves the odds that you’ll receive it.

There really is something to the versatility of pagers that attracts so many to continue using them. A great telephone answering service can even dispatch a message to what is called a group pager number, and that group pager number can in turn forward the message to any number of pagers within that same group. It’s kind of like a group text for pagers.

The most common type of pagers are:

1) numeric only where you receive just phone numbers
2) one-way alpha-numeric pagers allow you to receive text messages of limited length
3) two-way alpha-numeric pagers allow you to receive and send text messages.

Be sure to check the coverage areas when selecting a pager to be sure you are getting the coverage you need.

So, next time you are wondering where to have your telephone answering service dispatch your messages to, think about adding a pager to that message dispatch strategy, just to be sure you don’t miss those important calls.

Carry on, carry over


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