High Capacity Wide-Area Paging

Motorola

Pioneered city-wide paging systems and “wearables”

In 1971, Cooper and his team at Motorola Florida introduced a high-capacity, automated, spectrum-efficient city-wide radio paging system that could alert individuals and groups over dedicated radio channels. The FCC allocated slivers of radio spectrum for this purpose that were previously unused “guard bands”.

Prior to this, telephone operators or business-based dispatchers alerted their employees by voice on “wearable” devices.  Later, more efficient technology allowed operators to selectively dial up pagers, provoking a “beep” (hence the name “beepers”) and a user in the field would respond using a landline phone. Further evolution resulted in pagers that could receive and display alpha-numeric messages. 

During the 1970s and 1980s, paging became a multi-billion dollar global industry, dominated by Motorola, but including many others. Several paging systems continue to serve customers.