ERMES

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ERMES (European Radio Messaging System or Enhanced Radio Messaging System[1]) was a pan-European radio paging system.

Technical specification[edit]

In 1990, the European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI) developed the European Telecommunications Standard ETS 300 133 for ERMES operating in the frequency band 169.4125-169.8125 MHz.[2]

Transmission parameters[edit]

  • ERMES transmits the data at 6250 bit/s.
  • ERMES uses Frequency Shift Keying (4-FSK) modulation.[3]

Transmission parameters, pager interrogation[edit]

  • Each paging transmission is divided into 60 cycles of 1 minute in length.
  • Each cycle is divided into 5 subsequences of 12 seconds.
  • Each subsequence is further divided into 16 batches, labeled A through P.

Pager interrogation[edit]

  • The pager population is divided into 16 groups.
  • Each pager group is allocated to one of the 16 transmission batches [A...P].
  • The pager needs only to be active during the period it has been allocated to, allowing it to go into sleep mode 15/16 (~=93%) of the time (a ~7% duty cycle). This scheduling allocation protocol extends the battery life of the pager by several orders of magnitude.

Aims and development[edit]

During the 1990s, ERMES aimed to achieve a standardised digital platform throughout Europe.[4][5][6] It was intended that paging systems based on the ERMES standard would be able to receive text messages transmitted from personal computers, enabling companies to contact their employees over the PSTN. Also, GSM handsets would receive ERMES messages on their displays.[7]

ERMES was most widely used in France, where around one million ERMES pagers were in use in 1998.[8] Also in 1998, an ERMES MoU organisation was set up, to lobby for its adoption as the European standard.[9]

Failure[edit]

ERMES never achieved recognition as a leading paging standard.[5][10][11] There were questions over costs[4][12] and also the ERMES standard was in competition with the US-based FLEX standard, a rivalry seen at the time as damaging to the development of the paging industry in Europe.[8][13] Ultimately paging technology was largely superseded by SMS text messaging.[12]

In 1999, it was decided that the 169.4-169.8 MHz frequency band would no longer be reserved for the sole use of ERMES[14] and this frequency band was later reassigned to different use.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ketterling, Hans-Peter A. (2004). Introduction to Digital Professional Mobile Radio. Artech House, Inc. p. 2. ISBN 1580531733. 
  2. ^ Council Directive 90/544/EEC of 9 October 1990 on the frequency bands designated for the coordinated introduction of pan-European land-based public radio paging in the Community
  3. ^ "ERMES". Telecom ABC. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b McClelland, Stephen. "That dreaded 'P' word." Telecommunications. Horizon House Publications Inc. April 1996. Retrieved April 29, 2015 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-9474992.html
  5. ^ a b Stephen McClelland. "Europe's paging process." Telecommunications. Horizon House Publications Inc. March 1997. Retrieved April 29, 2015 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-14694714.html
  6. ^ Schenker, Jennifer L. (21 November 1996). "Is the Ermes Paging System Turning Over a New Leaf?". Wall Street Journal. 
  7. ^ Taylor, Malcolm. "Converging on multimedia." Telecommunications. Horizon House Publications Inc. October 1996. Retrieved April 29, 2015 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-10335694.html
  8. ^ a b Berendt, Annelise. "Paging's window of opportunity." Telecommunications. Horizon House Publications Inc. October 1998. Retrieved April 29, 2015 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-35494408.html
  9. ^ McClelland, Stephen. "Ermes MoU raised to legal status." Telecommunications. Horizon House Publications Inc. August 1998. Retrieved April 29, 2015 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-33541948.html
  10. ^ Anonymous. "Wireless in Europe." Telecommunications. Horizon House Publications Inc. March 1997. Retrieved April 29, 2015 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-14695093.html
  11. ^ Ofcom's Public Wide Area Paging Information
  12. ^ a b Quigley, Paul. "Paging's Last Stand In Europe.(Industry Trend or Event)." Wireless Week. Advantage Business Media. August 2000. Retrieved April 29, 2015 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-64452984.html
  13. ^ Pritchard, Stephen (29 April 1997). "Network: IT Telecoms - Paging crosses the border". The Independent. 
  14. ^ Couvas, Jacques. "Is two-way paging the way forward?." Telecommunications. Horizon House Publications Inc. November 1999. Retrieved April 29, 2015 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-46730217.html
  15. ^ Commission Decision of 20 December 2005 on the harmonisation of the 169,4-169,8125 MHz frequency band in the Community

Further reading[edit]