Everything You Wanted To Know About Paging

We hope the information presented here will help you make an informed decision when purchasing a pager.

Paging Terminology
Sending Pages
Traditional vs Assured (Two-Way) Messaging


Able to reply to received pages with canned responses. The response is sent back to the source of the page such as email or other two-way device.

2-Way or Two-Way
Able to reply to received pages with custom responses. Responses are typed on a built-in keyboard. The response is sent back to the source of the page such as email or other two-way device. In addition, two-way pagers can initiate messages which can be sent to emails, cell phones or other two-way devices.

Assured Messaging
A paging system that virtually guarantees accurate delivery of every message. Assured messaging is used with 1.7 and full two-way paging devices.

Able to receive and display both numeric and word (text) messages.

Assured Messaging
Guaranteed delivery of both numeric and text messages. This service is supplied automatically on 1.7 (ex. PF1500) and Two-Way pagers (ex. T900). These pagers transmit back to the tower system to confirm that pages have been received. These pagers can also reply to messages by using canned (1.7) or custom (Two-Way) responses. In addition, Two-Way pagers can initiate messages by using a built-in keyboard.

Coverage Area
The geographic area in which your pager will receive signal. The pager must be within reception range of one of our towers. A local coverage area consists of several towers, each having a range of 25-30 mile radius, which create a local coverage pattern. Statewide coverage includes all of the local coverage areas within a particular state. Nationwide coverage includes all of the local coverage areas in the US, but is still limited to the coverage patterns created by the local coverage towers. Do not confuse coverage area with the location of the local access phone number assigned to the pager, which is usually within the coverage area, but not necessarily.

Email Address
All of our alphanumeric and two-way pagers are automatically assigned email addresses. The email address will be ther pager's access phone number @arch.net and/or @usamobility.net . Example: 2136521234@arch.net

Able to receive and display numbers only (numeric messages). Some numeric pagers have built-in canned messages that allow them to display short, pre-determined text phrases in response to a numeric code sent by the caller (ex. Apollo 777 and T2000).

Pager Access Telephone Number
The phone number assigned to a pager by which callers can send numeric messages to the pager using a touchtone telephone keypad. Callers may also be able to leave voice messages (voicemail customers only) via the pager access number. Voice messages are stored in an electronic mailbox at the terminal. When a voice message is recorded, the terminal transmits the pager's own access number to the pager as notification of voicemail. The user calls his pager number to play back the recorded message. The pager access phone number is usually within the coverage area but not necessarily.

The switching system that receives phone calls and sends digital signals to the transmitting towers.

The equipment that generates radio waves which are emitted by the towers and received by the pager.


Numeric messages are sent using a touch-tone phone. Simply call the pager access number and enter the numeric message on the keypad when instructed.
Word (text) messages can be sent in a variety of ways - via e-mail, over the Internet ("Send A Page" on our web site), or as text from a 2way pager or a text-enabled cell phone or blackberry. 


Traditional Paging refers to one-way paging devices and systems. With one-way paging, a caller sends either a numeric or word message to your pager. Transmitters in the pager's designated coverage area broadcast the signal. If the pager is turned off, is out of the range of the tower system, or for any other reason unable to receive a satisfactory signal, the information will never be received or displayed by the pager. With Assured or 2-Way Paging, message delivery is virtually guaranteed.

Two-Way and Assured Messaging devices have transmitters which communicates with the paging network when they are within range of the tower system. When a page is sent over the 2-Way system, an acknowledgement must be received back by the network to confirm that the pager received the data. If confirmation is not received, the network will store the information and resend it to the pager when it re-establishes contact with the network.

Two-Way Paging provides the following advantages over Traditional Paging:

  • Text and Numeric Messaging - All Assured or Two-Way pagers accept both text and numeric messages.
  • Coverage - All Assured and Two-Way standard service includes nationwide coverage, while standard One-Way service only includes local coverage.
  • "Guaranteed" Message Delivery - With 'message delivery confirmation', accurate delivery of every message to your pager is virtually guaranteed. Because every message must be re-sent until confirmation is received back, you and the message sender will have confidence that the message will be received.
  • Automatic Store and Forward - If the pager is turned off or is out of the coverage area, the network stores your messages for up to 96 hours. Once the pager re-establishes communication with the tower system, within the 96 hours, stored messages are automatically transmitted.
  • Message Timestamp - Stored messages are transmitted with the date and time of when the message was sent and are marked "stored".
  • Single-Number Access - Only one phone number to remember. Your pager number is part of the e-mail address for self-dispatched text messaging.
  • Messaging Options - Messages can be sent via Internet, email, phone (numeric), or operator dispatch (optional). The pager will also notify you of voicemail messages received in your mailbox.
  • Error-Free Messaging - Messages are received accurately every time because the system automatically corrects transmission errors.
  • Longer Messages - Assured Messaging and Two-Way messages can contain up to 800 characters. One-Way Paging is typically limited to 100 characters per message.
  • Reply Capability - All Assured and Two-Way pagers can respond to messages sent from e-mail, our web site or any other Two-Way Messaging device with "canned" responses (1.7 paging) or custom responses (full Two-Way paging) transmitted with the original message. For custom response instructions, see our Two-Way Reply Guide.
  • Initiate Messages - Two-Way pagers can initiate messages and send them to any e-mail address. Two-Way pagers are equipped with full alphanumeric keyboards allowing you to compose and send messages.
  • Cost - Although Assured and Two-Way service costs more than traditional One-Way local service, they cost substantially less than One-Way nationwide numeric or text service.