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Why are millions of pagers in the USA still in use?

We've seen the articles declaring the death of the pager since 1999 and we hear it all day long...

"Do they still make those things"? "Pagers are dinosaurs". "Pagers are old school", "Who uses pagers anymore?", "Pagers went the way of Pong" and last but not least..."Why would anyone use a pager when they can have a cellphone"?

With over 2 million pagers in use today (as of 2024), Let us be the first to tell you that Pagers are not only alive and well, but are THE backup communication source relied upon by people who absolutely have to be accessible. Not everyone needs a pager these days, but specific applications as well as industries find pagers irreplaceable as an alternative form of wireless communication.

These words sum up the reason why pagers are still in use:  Reliability, Privacy, Urgency, Security, Economy, Priority


Pagers are reliable and inexpensive. While we would never say a pager is a substitute for a cellphone, just as a motorcycle is not a substitute for a car....Pagers have their place as a dependable wireless communication tool and when used in conjunction with a cellphone, you will not only have a backup communication tool, but you will also have piece of mind.

As simple as pagers are, they rarely suffer from congestion as cellphone networks, recent events have shown that pagers work even in times of natural disasters as opposed to cellphones that ring busy, dead air or all circuits are busy, and pagers have a unique facility in Group Calling where large numbers of pagers can be paged simultaneously. Many of our customers that are involved in health care report that cellular penetration in some hospitals is spotty at best where pagers are able to pick up a signal.


Pagers provide a way of getting in touch without the intrusiveness of a cellphone. Many of our paging customers prefer to shut off their cell phones at night and leave their pager turned on just in case of an urgent matter. The same is true while executives are in important meetings, professionals are meeting with clients, doctors with patients. By having their own separate phone number, pagers can provide a "barrier" to strangers calling and having "too much" access.

No GPS and No Bluetooth:

With tracking becoming a major concern in 2020, some people want to be "off the grid" 1-way and traditional 2-way pagers do not have any GPS or bluetooth capability and since they do not depend on cellphone transmitters, there is no triangulation. 1-way pagers have no way of being tracked in this manner.

Solution to Robo Calls:

Robo Calls driving you crazy? Here is the solution to a most recent problem affecting almost everyone and a modern day version of why they are using a pager. The latest feature on cell phones ALLOW CALLS FROM YOUR CONTACTS ON YOUR PHONE also known as "Known Callers". This feature is available on both Android and iOS, you can set each operating system to allow phone calls from only those people and businesses in your phone's contacts list. This is a pretty drastic solution to the problem of robocalls, and you’re almost certainly going to miss calls that you would have liked to answer. But those calls will go through to voicemail, and then you can add that number to your contacts for the future. However, some callers may need to call from outside numbers that can vary due to work or school situations. In this case, you give out your pager phone number and advise the caller to only page you if 1. it's important and 2. if it's from a phone number other than their normal home, work or cell number and 3. in an emergency situation where you are not answering you phone. Since only a handful of people will have you pager phone number and the pager number is not susceptible to spam callers, this solution has worked and when people ask why you are still using a pager in 2020...it makes perfect sense.


Pagers stand out above the crowd of ring tones, text message alerts and phone calls to alert of an urgent matter. With the barrage of alerts coming from smart phones such as texts, emails, social media and news, the sounds have almost become background noise and many times go unnoticed. A pager can become your priority alert that will get the attention required for priority messaging. Need to get in touch with a team of people all at once? A pager and/or pager app is capable of being group paged if programmed to do so. This means, you can send out one page and in an instant, all of the pagers or pager apps can be alerted at the same time. This comes in handy during an emergency or urgent matter where time is of the essence and it would take too long to text or email people individually.


I.T. teams have found that having one unified phone number and email address to get in touch with multiple people is not only efficient but critical when there is an issue at hand. Imagine calling one number or sending one email to alert the first person on the list, if they don't respond within a preset period of time, the next person on the list can automatically be alerted and so on until the last person on the escalation list is alerted. Computer system goes down at 3am? Escalation using the Zipit Confirm Smartphone app can be the answer you are looking for.


Many secure facilities do not allow cell phones for various reasons. Government buildings, prisons, and other high security buildings need to protect their property and cell phones are prohibited.  Today, many performers such as Comedians and Live Bands do not want their current acts recorded and uploaded to sites such as youtube. They will eject patrons that fail to adhere to their strict no cellphone policies. Pagers fit the bill for these types of situations.


Let's face it, money is tight these days. The cost of cellphone plans is a small fortune. If you have 50 employees and you just need to be able to get a hold of them. A pager on their belt can be the difference between spending thousands of dollars or hundreds of dollars each month. Two real life examples are property maintenance companies and landscapers. One lost phone in a 2 year contract can cost hundreds of dollars to replace...a beeper? as low as $20.

Not everyone is so important that they need backup communication, but when your burglar alarm goes off or your patient needs you or your kids need a ride home and your cellphone is in a dead spot, keep in mind that for under $12/month...you too can have an alternative communication solution for the people who rely upon you as opposed to just not getting the call in time and missing out.

Entire Industries rely on paging as a cost effective way to manage urgent and critical alerts and messaging. Healthcare, I.T. Server Alerts, Alarm Systems, Building Automation Systems, Real Estate Management and Maintenance, Landscaping, Snow Removal, Towing Services, Automated Car Wash Equipment, Casinos and Hospitality Resorts, Parking Attendants, Security, Law Enforcement, Secure Government Facilities and Prisons are just a few of the industries not to mention individuals that need an urgent notification system that stands alone from text alerts on their cellphones.


When your perception of paging changes from an "antiquated technology from the past" to an additional tool in your arsenal of wireless communication options or as we like to call it... a personal hotline... Your important friends, family and clients will be able to reach you for matters that count. The solutions that a pager service can offer, spread new light on the possibilities.

For example, there have been circumstances for many of our clients where a caller trying to reach a client for an important "time is of the essence" matter just couldn't get through for various reasons. Perhaps, the recipient was on another phone call or just didn't hear the phone or a text slipped through while the phone was on vibrate mode and the voicemail notification went unnoticed. A pager or pager app can be used as a priority messaging tool to get the attention needed for a call back. Our example of robocall blocking technology (above) is a perfect example of how a separate pager phone number that is not susceptible to robocalls / spam phone calls can be the way a caller can get in touch when you aren't responding to phone calls or texts and takes priority messaging to a whole new level.

While companies that offer pager apps exclusively will extol the benefits of their services and declare the physical pager as obsolete technology, PagersDirect offers both physical pagers as well as the top pager apps available today and they both have their place depending on the reason our clients need a pager in the first place.  Don't be swayed by biased "articles" which are essentially advertisements for pager app companies and their websites.  Feel free to reach out to us and we can explain the pros and cons of both pagers and pager apps so that you can make the right decision based on your specific needs.