Communications: Reach Out and Beep Someone

In the days before telephones, bosses worried about letting their workers get out of shouting range. Nowadays they fret about their employees straying beyond beeping distance. Reason: most of the electronic pagers clipped to the belts of some 4 million Americans have a range of only 50 miles or so. But long-distance beeps carried by satellite and microwave are coming soon. Last week the Federal Communications Commission chose three companies that will be allowed to transmit electronic messages anywhere in the U.S. The three are expected to offer the service in at least 15 cities as early as September...

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