While smartphones have virtually taken over day-to-day personal communications, paging and pagers are still the preferred choice for Critical Messaging industries like healthcare and public safety. Paging offers a unique simulcasting one-to-many protocol for simultaneous messaging to multiple devices, combined with the Reliability, Convenience and Cost Effectiveness of a paging device.
Commonly referred to as Group Paging - the paging protocol allows a single incoming message to be delivered to an unlimited number of pagers with a single outgoing message. No other protocol offers this simulcast messaging. To send the same message to several SMS text devices requires sending an individual outgoing message to each SMS device - each outgoing message is not delivered simultaneously and is delayed depending on the number of devices in the message chain, network congestion, carrier throttling, etc.
Paging networks outperform cellular networks due to the increased power and penetration of the paging signal, unlike multiple cellular carriers, with varying levels of voice and data availability. SMS text messaging travels over the voice network, making it vulnerable in the case of mass voice calls paralyzing the cellular carrier network. Paging networks are not affected by bandwidth and congestion issues like cellular networks - at times, smartphones are all fighting for bandwidth, resulting in decreased availability. The paging network is also not affected by a mass number of devices in close proximity the way smartphones are at a concert, sporting event or amusement park.
Paging is the most cost efficient messaging platform. While a cellular/data service plan costs more than $50 per month, a paging plan costs pennies a day. A smartphone device typically costs 10-20 times the cost of a pager. Typically, pagers are rented rather than purchased and much less costly to repair. Pagers are also more durable, have a much longer lifespan and require no additional accessories.
Pagers have a simple interface, ideal for the delivery of critical information in the fastest, most efficient way possible. The pager is a small form factor, can be carried easily on a belt or in a purse and can be handed off or rotated to on-call personnel. Pagers also operate on disposable alkaline batteries - available everywhere with no charging requirements - unlike a smartphone. A pager only requires a new battery every 2-4 weeks, depending on usage.