What Is a Pager?

What Is a Pager

A page is simply a message or warning sent or received by pager and is encoded by burst radio waves.

In the 1950s, the first calls used a crude system called two tones, in which each pager was developed to respond to a page made up of two unique sound tones (beeps) sent quickly.

If someone located you, you heard a beep twice, and you knew someone needed to talk to you, but not why or who, so you had to contact the office or home for more information (or, on some systems, turn on the headset to receive a voice message.) Such systems could reach up to 870 different pagers, which was suitable for days when the technology was very new.

In the 1970s, pagers were upgraded to use a system called five and six tones, so they responded to a unique code in a series of radiofrequency tones of five or six tones, each of a duration of 33 milliseconds and an entire page.

Take about 200 milliseconds (one-fifth of a second). Such systems could support between 100,000 and one million locators.

Pagers who receive real messages (instead of writing to warn you) work differently, primarily using one of two standard page formats (or protocols) named POCSAG or FLEX.

POCSAG (from the name of the British advisory group) Codex standardization company that invented it) can handle up to two million calls and organize them into several different groups that are “on standby” (in battery saving mode) or “in the process of waking up “(ready to receive messages.) To send a message to a specific pager with POCSAG, the system first sends an initial” wake up “message to activate each pager in the same group, then sends them chunk data called frames.

Each locator extracts only messages which are specifically mentioned. Pages at predefined intervals allow better use of radio waves and reduce battery consumption (which means that local readers can be considerably smaller).

According to Motorola, FLEX can handle more than five billion calls.

What is a Pager?

It is best to answer the question of how calls work by considering the pager not only as a single subject but also as part of a more extensive messaging system designed to inform people of important events they need to reply to instantly.

A pager is a communication device that receives messages from a search controller. It can include one or more pagers. They are mostly used in hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and other organizations where routine changes are quick, accurate, and timely.

Simply put, a wireless calling system sends messages to one or more pagers, but the area code for which it is intended can only receive one message.

Each pager has a unique address, and each message is routed to one or more specific pagers. Wireless pagers use a unique code that the entire paging system understands: they all speak the same “language.”

What types of pagers are there?

Think of the pager as what you receive and view the message. Several devices can do this. For example, the main ones are:

  • Dedicated personal wireless calls
  • Smartphones with a particular application (software or program)
  • WiFi digital phones
  • pills
  • BlackBerrys

Some of these communication devices, such as smartphones, are multifunctional communication devices. Although you can sometimes use them as an area code, there are situations where they would not be acceptable or appropriate.

The personal pager must be small, robust, reliable, and secure. There is also an element of personal choice of what and how many communication devices you can carry.

How do Pagers work in communication?

Each of them uses wireless technology. The message is transmitted by radiofrequency energy (RF) transmitted by the browser.

The pager

  • Get some of that RF energy
  • Delete encrypted message
  • Decodes it even if the message is intended for this device
  • The display

Dedicated wireless pagers are generally one-way communications, receiving, and unable to transmit. But other devices, such as smartphones, can not only receive a message but also send a search controller (indicating a “message received”).

The role of the pager

Here is a diagram of a typical dedicated wireless locator, showing its function blocks and how they are connected, answering how locators work from a “locator perspective.”


The antenna records part of the RF radiation transmitted by the research transmitter and sends it to the receiver.


The receiver takes out the information from the RF carrier (demodulates it) and sends the encrypted data to the processor.


The processor is the “brain” of the pager. It decodes the receiver information and reproduces the original data sent by the search transmitter. The correspondent checks if the message is intended for him and if


The memory stores the message in electronic memory. Pagers can store many messages, depending on the size of the memory. For example, a pager can typically store 50 messages.


The recorded message is usually displayed on the liquid crystal display (LCD). The processor will first show the most recent message, although some calls may first view the most urgent message.


Pagers have two ways to indicate that a new message has been received.

  • Audible buzzing
  • Silent vibrator

The buzzer silently warns when the beep is heard. You can set or disable these indicators or generate an easily recognizable template that tells you the urgency of the message without looking at the screen.


The command buttons allow you to browse through messages and generally configure the options that best suit your needs.

USB port

You can connect the pager to a computer with a USB cable to configure it. The computer must have the appropriate pager configuration software.


Parts that perform these functions are enclosed in a sturdy plastic case to provide a high degree of protection.

Here is another page that will go further in answering the question.

And here is an overview, how are messages generated, how can these systems help organizations that have to manage and respond to multiple events in real-time?

Types of Paging

There are two different types of paging: limited range and extended range. As the name suggests, a finite page domain sends messages over a relatively small area using a low-power transmitter.

For example, it is perfect for sending urgent messages to all doctors in a hospital. A broad-spectrum public address is more like national broadcasting.

The radio transmission system sends call messages to the whole country to hope that you are close to one of them. For example, in the UK, a network of large public addresses uses something like 500 transmitting antennas, more than enough to cover a country of this size.

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