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  • Minitors and the future

    Ok, now on Motorola's web site I can't find any information about Minitor II's and III's. What's the deal? How is your department replacing old/ dying voice pagers? Eventually we won't be able to repair the minitors forever. Ideas?

  • #2
    Here's the deal with pagers...

    Motorola has announced that they are going to be getting out of the voice pager business. They no longer make Mini II's and are slowly stopping their production of Mini III's.

    Supposedly a company called Flextronics was going to take over production of the Minitor III's, but I haven't heard anything for sure.

    Here's some other options...

    SCA Incorporated (the old Schinwa Company) makes a pager called the Sceptar. Very similar to Minitor II.

    US Alert LLC makes a small voice pager called the Nova. Very nice, but confusing. Sort of like a combination of a Minitor II and a Motorola Advisor.

    If anyone knows of anything else, please keep this thread going.

    . Turk II

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    • #3
      Never mind...Turk posted before I did, and with better information!

      [ 10-30-2001: Message edited by: Dalmatian90 ]
      IACOJ Canine Officer
      20/50

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      • #4
        Is there anybody who couldn't see this coming a mile away, especially with the poor product quality and crappy support they've been giving us lately??

        I hope they slide painfully into bankruptcy on the sludge that is their crummy cellphone business.

        Good riddance.

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        • #5
          Bob-

          Good point. I've been severely disappointed with the stuff coming from Motorola these days. The question is, what is next? Are we going to see county dispatch offices go to digital text pagers? How long before that happens? Until then, how much longer can we keep our minitors on life support?

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          • #6
            we have a combination of minitor II's and minitor II SV's. I just gave four to my chief to send back for repair. two of them wont tone for our general alarm but will for a still, one wont tone for anything, and one just doesnt turn on. we recently purchased 20 usalert nova's (garbage), we've had them for two months and 6 have been sent put for repairs, and they all tone when they want, never all the time...
            so whatever is next i hope it comes soon
            9/11/01 forever in our hearts

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            • #7
              Did confirm who Flextronics is -- they are a large contract manufacturing firm, who probably already build the Minitor III -- they build something like $6,000,000,000 dollars worth of stuff a year for them already. (Yes, that's 9 zeros as in Billion, and that's ain't retail prices!)

              I would suspect that Flextronics if they are going/do build the Minitor IIIs, it's not going to be Flextronics brand. I'd expect some laid off Motorola salesmen & engineers would create a company that would design, market, and warranty the pagers with Flextronics actually making them. But that's just speculation...but reasonable speculation...

              To put it in perspective, figure the voice pager market is probably around 75,000 units a year, assuming every vollie in the U.S. has one and they have a 10 year lifespan. Figure we pay $300-400/unit depending on options, they probably cost $150 to design, build, and ship. That's a $11.5 million dollar a year market for a contract manufacturer...not bad, but still a rounding error to the $6Billion in other business they do with Motorola!

              Compared to $30,000,000,000+ in annual sales (in a year sales are down 20%), Minitor III probably represents, oh, 3-one-thousandths of a percent of Motorola's gross income....

              Matt
              IACOJ Canine Officer
              20/50

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              • #8
                You're right, Dal, in the sense that voice pagers by themselves are not a particularly big market (it's probably a little bigger bigger than you've got it figured, since a lot of EMS and some other services use them, too). There are, however, product pull-throughs and synergies (hand units, mobiles, dispatch center equipment, transmitters, repeaters, etc.) at stake also. When Motorloa pulls out of the traditional voice business, starting with voice paging, there are a couple of ways it can go:

                1. Everybody falls compliantly into line and buys entirely new networks based upon the latest-and-greatest crap (trunked systems, etc.) that they feel like selling, whether it fits the needs in the field or not (this is what Motorola wants).

                2. Somebody else steps up with quality products and service and captures not only the voice pager market, but everything else associated with it for the long run (this is what I'm hoping for, just on general principle).

                Motorola's performance as a company hasn't been particularly good in recent years. I think that part of their problem is that they don't really understand their markets and that they still think that they're a clear industry leader in a lot of markets where they're really just one of the big boys...and some of other big boys are better at their respective games than them (read...Nokia, Philips and Scientific-Atlanta, for examples). They also have been making a habit of hanging their hat on consumer markets where consumers stubbornly refuse to do what industry analysts tell them to do (for example, how many people do you know that have broadband cable to the home right now and actually use it? where are the 3-G and 4-G cell phone networks that are supposed to be out there? etc.). This is made even worse when your new-fangled systems get pulled from the field by high-profile clients because they don't perform as promised/needed (remember the FDNY trunk system debacle a few months back?).

                These guys worked hard to make themselves a near monopolist in our little market, and now that it doesn't suit them, they're going to try to push us to buy what's convenient for them at much higher profit margins. Hmmmm...any anti-trust lawyers out there with an opinion on that???

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                • #9
                  2. Somebody else steps up with quality products and service and captures not only the voice pager market, but everything else associated with it for the long run

                  That would be nice, I figure the whole traditional analog radio pager/portable/mobile/base station market for public safety quality systems is *easily* $75,000,000 a year...a size business I'd love to own, but one that gets lost in a huge enterprise like Motorola.

                  That market would probably be near double that if it wasn't for as many unneccessary trunked systems as there are no around. Gee, trunked radio systems...charge more for engineering, equipment, and support than analog systems AND they have to buy all the equipment forever and ever from the Big M! Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which Motorola would prefer to sell.

                  Unfortunately, the past hasn't produced any credible competitors to Motorola other than Ericsson. M & E own the high-end quality side of the market. Unfortunately, Ericsson can't seem to market with a darn...and Motorola is engaged in a race to **lower** it's standards to those of it's also-ran competitors like Kenwood and Icom.

                  Worst part is, as much as Motorola doesn't give to shakes of a rat's leg about it's analog radio business, you won't see them spin it off. If Moto spun off all their analog two-way business into a new company, and that new company put together a good -- not even great, just good -- sales & engineering force those analog radios could seriously threaten the trunked & digital systems Moto makes so much money on. Let's face it...neither trunked nor digital systems are appropriate for Public Safety from a reliability and coverage standpoint until you spend several times more money on them then equivelantly reliable analog systems.

                  Anybody got a couple hundred million to invest in a pre-IPO startup to kick some butt in the radio field????

                  Ok, I'm done Motorola-and-everyone-else bashing!

                  Matt
                  IACOJ Canine Officer
                  20/50

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