Frequently Asked Questions: DECT

Selecting the right handsets and infrastructure for your business is easy – simply identify the most suitable handset based on your work environment:

The Butterfly handset is ideal for administrative & office-based work environments. However, if you work in Retail, Hospitality or Healthcare and you’re looking for a handset that offers long term dependability and rugged protection, then the 7202 is the handset for you. Finally, if you require a highly durable handset, suitable for harsh industrial and manufacturing environments, which is addition provides alerts and man-down notifications plus integration with vertical applications, you will require the 7622.

Your selection of servers is also easy and relates to the number of users you require and the area over which you wish to provide mobility. If you require up to 30 users and 3 IP-DECT Base Stations in a smaller location, the IP-DECT 400 is the most suitable server. Increasing the installation from the IP-DECT Server 400 into mid-large enterprise organizations, requiring up to 4,000 users and up-to 1,024 IP-DECT Base Stations, the IP-DECT Server 6500 will meet your requirements.

If you are you replacing an existing DECT solution with Digital (twisted pair – Cat3) cabling and wish to reuse existing cabling or even combine with full IP for parts of the installation, the DECT Server 2500 will offer hybrid options for Base stations infrastructure for mid-sized business seeking up to 150 users and up to 16 Digital Base station and up to 64 IP-DECT Base stations.

Please download our server product overview guides, which outline the individual solution Network Topography:

IP-DECT Server 400 Product Overview (PDF)
DECT Server 2500 Product Overview (PDF)
IP-DECT Server 6500 Product Overview ( PDF)

Spectralink supports the following Cisco UC Call Control Platforms

  • Cisco Business Editions 6000 and 7000 version 9.x, 10.x and 11.x
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager version 9.x, 10.x and 11.x
  • Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solutions version 9.x, 10.x and 11.x
For all Spectralink devices, a Cisco UCS Enhanced user licence is required per device for the Cisco UC Call Control Platforms.
To provide an optimal user experience within your workplace area, a site survey is suggested to secure correct placement of infrastructure products. This is either provided by the Cisco channel partner or in cooperation with Spectralink Professional Services. For more information on our services, please visit our Spectralink Professional Services website.

DECT Repeaters are used by all DECT Base stations, extending the signal outside or in corridors, corners, staircases, or other areas where only a power supply is available.

The Media Resource card is a hardware component that increases the ability to make simultaneous calls via the IP-DECT Server 6500, which at installation, supports 30 simultaneous calls. Based on an Erlang calculation of how many handsets are installed (Server supports up to 4.096 handsets), additional simultaneous calls may be required and each Media Resource card will add additional 30 to the full installation per site.

Spectralink offers a Software Development Kit (SDK) for integration applications servers, so you can benefit from the many advanced messaging, alert, and notification features supported by the handsets. For more information on available solutions, please visit the Spectralink website for Alarm and Integration Management Solutions (AIMS).
Spectralink releases new software for all our DECT product on a quarterly basis. As a customer, you will receive these new releases, including release notes. For details on each individual product, please visit the Spectralink Support Portal.
Support is provided by the channel partner in cooperation with Cisco TAC and Spectralink Support.
If you wish to run a log or reporting program from our systems, please contact your channel partner in cooperation with Cisco TAC and Spectralink Support.
Alert and notification is a feature related to the Application servers. For more information, please visit Spectralink Support.
Please contact your channel partner or Spectralink Sales engineer (+1 303-441-7576 North America or +44 (0)7802 537909 EMEA) to register a feature request.
All handsets, servers, infrastructure options, and accessories are available from the Cisco Marketplace and please see the relevant product brochure for the Cisco SKU (Catalogue Number). Alternatively, please email spectralinkplus@spectralink.com or call +1 303-441-7576 North America or +44 (0)7802 537 909 EMEA.

Frequently Asked Questions: Wi-Fi

For an easy to read datasheet of all Wi-Fi FAQ’s listed below, please click here

PIVOT & Android

PIVOT™ is the name of the latest product series from Spectralink. The Spectralink 8000 Portfolio includes the PIVOT:SC (8744) with its streamlined design and smartphone feel and a rear-facing, high resolution, digital camera.
Android is an open-source operating system designed for devices with touchscreens. Android is widely used with modern cellular phones and tablets – designed for easy application development.
Android is a constantly evolving operating system from Google. Since 2008, it has incrementally improved with successive releases. Spectralink selected an Android version on which to base our R&D project development in early 2013. We originally selected version 4.1.2, also known as Jelly Bean, because it was the latest release and could be supported on our hardware platform. PIVOT supported the Android version 4.4.2 (KitKat) starting with the PIVOT 1.3 release. PIVOT release 2.0 is the first PIVOT release that supports the next Android release 5.1.1, known as Lollipop. The PIVOT:SC (8744) only comes with Android 5.1.1.

Spectralink has modified the Android-KitKat 4.4.2 operating system to optimize it for VoWi-Fi and for better manageability. To better understanding of how enterprise-mobility devices are different than consumer smartphones, and how Spectralink optimizes for VoWi-Fi visit spectralink.com

Given the optimization of the operating system and the frequency of updates coming from Google, Spectralink will be more deliberate and judicious in how often we deliver Android-based updates to the market. In general, we will be issuing quarterly firmware updates for bug fixes, minor enhancements, and features to our customer base. These will be deployed wirelessly with seamless over-the-air (OTA) updates. Regular updates will periodically include improvements to the Android OS in the form of security improvements and new features.

No. A Microsoft Windows application requires a Microsoft Windows operating system. PIVOT uses the Android operating system.
Apple does not license the iOS operating system so this was never an option for us. Windows Mobile constitutes a much smaller market share than Android, and thus was not considered.
This is debatable, see response above to understand the rationale behind the decision.

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Application Development

Standard web apps will work on PIVOT, just like any other smartphone. Spectralink also offers additional XML extensions that allow applications to take advantage of platform features and optimizations. Our SDK provides the necessary information to develop applications that take advantage of our platform and develop web-based applications that use our Web API. Refer to http://go.spectralink.com/Pivot_Web_API.
Yes – there will be. But there will be no emulator. The SDK will provide the necessary information to develop native applications that take advantage of our platform and develop web-based applications that use our Web API.
There are many resources available online on how to program native Android applications. Start your research at http://developer.android.com/design/index.html. You can also send an email to aims@spectralink.com or visit the Spectralink AIMS program page (http://www.spectralink.com/partners/app-developers).
API 19 Android 4.4.2 (KitKat).

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Apps Integration

PIVOT does not directly support Emergin/HL7 or other healthcare protocols directly. These can be supported using middleware e.g. Amcom/Connexall. The middleware can integrate with PIVOT via the web API or via their native middleware Android application (if available).

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Applications

PIVOT supports native Android applications and web-based applications. Native Android applications, commonly referred to as “Apps”, are programs downloaded and installed onto PIVOT.  Native applications have greater access to the platform hardware and can deliver great user experiences.

Web-based applications run via a web browser and interact with a remote web server using standard web protocols and syntax (i.e. HTTP//XML/JavaScript). One benefit is the application is not actually installed on PIVOT, instead the user navigates web pages and enters data sent to a web server, much like you would surfing the web. Refer to http://www.spectralink.com/partners/spectralink-sync

  • Spectralink SIP dialer
  • Camera
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Web browser
  • Calculator
  • Clock
  • Email
  • Gallery
  • Sound recorder
  • Search utility
  • Google collection
Yes. PIVOT:SC (8744) supports the LDAP protocol and can integrate with Microsoft Active Directory.
Google apps are available in R1.4 and later. See the GGL section for more information.
Apps are best installed using a combination of SLIC (see the OOB section below) and MDM (see the MDM section below). If you only need a few apps (10 or fewer) that do not exceed a specific size, you can install them using SLIC. For more apps or apps management, an MDM should be deployed.

No. iOS applications only run on Apple devices. But because Android is so widely used, many applications written for iOS have an equivalent Android version.

Android has over 1.3 million applications covering productivity, utilities, entertainment and specialized applications for particular work functions in healthcare, retail and many others. PIVOT is an Android OS-based device. Therefore, in general, most well-written Android applications should work as well on the PIVOT:SC (8744) as on any other Android device.
Some applications may not work well if they are written assuming specific platform characteristics. For example, if the application assumes a certain screen resolution, presence of hardware (e.g. camera), or are not written in a proper manner, Android developers need to be conscientious of supporting the many different Android device platforms and versions.

It depends. PIVOT has specific platform optimizations to provide seamless Wi-Fi roaming. And so our integrated SIP telephony application delivers high-quality audio while in-call and while roaming about the facility. However, the standard Android OS is not optimized to deliver seamless roaming between Wi-Fi access points while a user is on call. So most voice applications using Wi-Fi on a typical Android device won’t roam well, and users could lose audio during their calls.

If applications are written to use our special software APIs, then they too can have improved roaming. If applications do not use our special APIs, then the functionality will be similar to any standard Android device with a comparable hardware platform. Spectralink is working with our key partners to ensure their applications are optimized.

Spectralink cannot fix third-party applications, so issues should be raised to the application developer first. This way if the application developer subsequently identifies a platform issue, they can raise the issue to Spectralink. However, applications from our Gold partners have been jointly tested and are jointly supported.
We are working diligently to provide customers with a variety of download mechanisms that can be controlled by IT resources.

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Battery Life

Standby battery life on a fully charged Battery Pack is up to 90 hours. Talk time is about 8 hours. Factors that negatively impact battery life such as screen illumination time, SAFE, Google, location services, notifications, and other applications must be considered when setting battery life expectations.
The term Hot Swap is used when a nearly-discharged battery pack is exchanged for a fresh one without any interference with handset operation. Beginning with release 1.7, a user can perform a Hot Swap.

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Configuration Management System

The CMS is an administration tool that makes it easy to configure, provision, and manage mobile device deployment. Once the handsets associate with the WLAN, its presence is recorded in the CMS and the rest of the parameters are downloaded to the phone tirelessly. Of course these parameters must first be configured by the system administrator. Parameters are organized on the system-group-user scale to provide needed generality and granularity. The CMS also offers various management tools for administering the phones, such as maintaining the list of registered phones and providing logging tools.
The CMS can administer handsets that are at a different site. But first the handsets must be provisioned to associate with the wireless LAN at their site and “pointed” to the CMS server which they contact through the cloud. Once they reach the CMS server they will be managed through the CMS – remotely. Wireless provisioning is done manually on the Admin settings menu via the Quick Network Connection Tool (QNC).
The CMS is not designed to manage third-party applications or other types of devices.
Potential conflicts exist between the CMS and an EMM/MDM app if they both attempt to manage and govern the same settings. An MDM is best deployed to manage apps and CMS is used to manage the phones themselves.
The Quick Network Connection (“QNC”) Platform utilizes a customized version of a commercially available embedded Linux Server to simplify the provisioning of your Spectralink PIVOT:SC (8744) handset. When you web browse to it, the QNC platform provides a Spectralink software wizard that walks you through configuration parameters and produces files that can then be loaded onto a handset that is connected to the QNC via Wi-Fi or a USB cable.
QNC and CMS are optional components, but are very useful if more than a couple of phones are being deployed. They should be part of any beta or test installation that will involve more than a dozen or so handsets. It is actually easier for the customer and for support to have these resources deployed.
The CMS is the user interface between the phone and its parameters. When you select a setting in the CMS, it populates the required parameter.
Yes, we sell the software. See the price list for details. We do not sell the hardware.
Complete installation instructions for CMS are included in the Deployment Guide, which is available on our Technical & Support page.
When phone settings are configured in the CMS, they are pushed to the handsets. If the CMS server goes down, the handsets continue to work with the settings until another CMS server is deployed. No parameters are lost.
The Configuration and Management System (CMS) server is a full provisioning server that allows an administrator to remotely configure both small and large numbers (>1000s) of PIVOT:SC (8744) handsets. Using the CMS server’s web-based UI, an administrator can completely configure PIVOT:SC (8744) handsets, as well as set site, group, and individual device level configuration policies.
Configuration is by default sent between the server and handset securely using HTTPS. HTTP can also be used, but it is not secure.
The CMS software is provided as a Virtual Machine image which is run on a customer-provided server running VMware.

Additional device management, including policing applications can be performed using third-party MDMs.

Potential conflicts exist between the CMS and an EMM/MDM app if they both attempt to manage and govern the same settings. An MDM is best deployed to manage apps and CMS is used to manage the phones themselves

The CMS is a virtual machine and must be installed on a host computer. Optimally, this is a dedicated server using VMWare EXSi. Whether or not a non-EXSi host will be supported is under discussion.
Yes. Either CMS or a different provisioning server can be used for upgrading phone software.

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Features

Optional features developed by Spectralink and offered on the PIVOT:SC (8744) platform are:

  • Push-to-talk (PTT) – a group broadcast mode that uses channels to broadcast messages to subscribed handsets.
  • Panic button – a dedicated button for duress calls.
  • SAFE – personal monitoring for man down functionality, including “no movement” alarms, “tilt” alarms, and “running” alarms.
We have noise cancellation for the front microphone.
PIVOT does not have a native VPN client installed at the factory. There are no plans to add one.
Beginning in release 2.1, Bluetooth is supported on the PIVOT product line access to the Bluetooth menu can be controlled by the device administrator.
Call Server redundancy is available starting with PIVOT release R 1.5. With redundancy, a phone registered to one server (the “active” server) will “failover” to another server when the active server fails.

PIVOT supports two types of redundancy scenarios:

  • Preferred server configurations where a phone will fail back to a preferred server when it again becomes available.
  • Load balancing configurations where several call servers in a pool of servers share the phone traffic load.
A second SIP registration that is specifically designed for nurse call system integration is available in R1.6 and later.
Custom ring tones can be made available to users. Certain call servers support custom ring tones for their specific alerts that come in on the second registration.

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Google

Google Mobile Services are applications and various services that flank and utilize the Android operating system. These include Google Play Store and a collection of basic and familiar Google apps plus other services. GMS is separately licensed from Android. Spectralink is now licensed to provide GMS.
Google icons are displayed at first boot-up per Google certification requirements. Phone administrators are free to make any changes they want to after that.
After Google Certification which is R1.4, we will no longer support R1.2 or earlier. You will not be able to buy or downgrade phones to a version prior to 1.3. R1.3 will still work but will not be maintained. Bug fixes will be done on R1.4 and later. Only Google enabled releases will be available.

Most definitely. Several new solutions are now available. If the admin does not disable Google Play, then end users can load apps directly from the Play Store using a Google Account. However, inappropriate apps may then find their way onto corporate phones so this solution might be problematic for enterprise deployments.

Enterprise-friendlier methods of loading apps on a group of phones are:

  1. Use an EMM/MDM to host and distribute apps;
  2. Use QNC to load apps at initial deployment;
  3. Use a Google Play Private Channel.
The Google Play Private Channel for Google Apps allows Google Apps domains to distribute internally developed Android applications to their users through the Google Play Store. It is supported by R1.4 and later.

Please see Google Play Private Channel documentation for more information.

Disabling Google Play and using an EMM/MDM is the best choice if you want to maintain complete control over application deployment and maintenance. See the Spectralink AIMS Partner matrix for a list of MDMs that work with the PIVOT:SC (8744).
All apps are managed within the Admin menu. Through the Admin menu you can disable the Google Play Store and other apps. Disabling the Play Store will prevent Google apps and some third party applications from updating as well as prohibit user access to download those applications. You can then use another method for updating apps, such as an EMM/MDM. Disabling apps does not affect Google Cloud Messaging (GCM).
When you use an enterprise system (MDM/EDM/MAM) to manage apps, Google Play Store is not accessed directly by the phone. The MDM client app is loaded on PIVOT and apps are retrieved by the phone through the MDM. Apps must be updated on the MDM and then they are available to the phone.
If the Play Store icon is available, a user can set up a Google account if he doesn’t already have one and simply log in. The logout is under Settings> Accounts> Google.

Updates to the Android operating system are not tied to GMS, or the Google Play Store, and are completely within the control of the administrator.

When Spectralink releases new code, the administrator can decide when to load that on their provisioning server for distribution.

The Spectralink recommended deployment scenario/steps:

  1. During initial boot the user is presented with the choice of using the Google Setup Wizard or the QNC Setup Wizard.
  2. QNC is specifically designed for configuration of PIVOT and Spectralink strongly recommends using QNC for deployment configuration.

What if these recommendations are not followed, can the wizards be re-run? If so, How? The wizards can be re-run by restoring the phone to the factory default. If the user just wants to re-run QNC, see the next answer.

The QNC app is intentionally disabled after using it. If it is not available in the Launcher, it can be found in the Apps library. To restore it to the Launcher, navigate to Settings> Admin Settings> Apps and swipe to the right-most screen. The QNC app will be there. Tap the icon and enable it. You will then see it back in the Apps library.

QNC will have an option to load apps. Spectralink recommends that all .apks loaded on the phone using QNC are publicly signed .apks. Up to 120 MB (combined) can be loaded. The .apk files are installed on each PIVOT as part of the usual QNC configuration procedure. First .apk files are installed and then the wireless configuration is applied. Note that the installation of .apks may take some time.

The final step in the sequence is that the QNC Wizard app is disabled on the phone and the user is taken to the Google Account setup screens of the Google Wizard. These can be stepped through. QNC is best used to install .apks when phones are initially deployed. However, QNC can be re-enabled if apps need to be loaded later.

When using an MDM that can install apps, Spectralink recommends that you use QNC to install the MDM client itself and let the MDM handle any further app deployment.

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Enterprise Mobility Management and Mobile Device Management

Enterprise Mobility Management & Mobile Device Management (from Wikipedia) Mobile Device Management (MDM) software secures, monitors, manages and supports mobile devices deployed across mobile operators, service providers, and enterprises.
EMM/MDMs are widely employed for managing enterprise mobile & tablets. EMM/MDM vendors have cooperated with cell phone & tablet manufacturers to provide comprehensive device management of their devices.
We do not recommend any particular EMM/MDM.
Yes, we work with EMM/MDMs such AirWatch and SOTI. They view PIVOT as another Android device. From the EMM/MDM you can see the PIVOT device, monitor applications, etc., but cannot configure it. Some mobile manufacturers have worked with some EMM/MDM providers to develop extensions that allow device management and configuration directly from the EMM/MDM application. Those extensions for PIVOT are not present today, although they are being considered for a future software release. Note: you can fully monitor, manage, and configure the PIVOT:SC (8744) with the Spectralink Configuration Management System (CMS).
You can use QNC to install the MDM client but EMM/MDMs cannot provision all aspects of PIVOT’s capabilities. It should be assumed that CMS is used to provision PIVOT’s device capabilities.

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Out of Box aka QNC

The QNC Wireless Wizard for PIVOT walks you through the wireless parameters and is used to load the wireless parameters into the PIVOT:SC (8744) handset. One of the parameters is the address of the CMS server.

The Quick Network Connection (“QNC”) Platform utilizes a customized version of a commercially available embedded Linux Server to simplify the provisioning of your PIVOT:SC (8744) handsets.
When you web browse to it, the QNC platform provides Spectralink software wizards that walk you through configuration parameters and produces files that can then be loaded onto a handset which is connected to the QNC via a USB cable.

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Provisioning

The handset can be fully configured via the handset’s User and Admin Settings menus. This method is appropriate for a few handsets but would become tedious with greater numbers.

How do you provision PIVOT using QNC and CMS?

  1. For larger deployments, we recommend using QNC and the CMS in a two-step process: Use QNC to provision the wireless settings, loading these onto each handset via USB.
  2. After PIVOT has rebooted and joined the wireless network, it will look for the CMS server which is used to configure the rest of the settings.
For initial provisioning, you can list handsets in a CSV file with important settings. Upload the CSV file to the CMS and when each phone contacts the CMS, it gets its settings.

Settings can be tagged at the user, group, or enterprise level. User level settings go to an individual phone.

Groups are established and group member phones can be provisioned all at once with the group settings. Enterprise settings affect all phones. Settings take effect immediately when Save is clicked and the changes are sent OTA to the appropriate handsets.

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Quality of Service

QoS is dependent on the wireless infrastructure. It is a complicated subject that is well- explained in the Spectralink PIVOT Best Practices Guide, available on the PIVOT support page.

WMM-AC (Wi-Fi Multimedia Access Control) is a Wi-Fi QoS feature that provides for prioritization of voice over data and other types of transmissions.
Starting with release R1.5, WMM-AC can be enabled on the APs utilized by PIVOT and PIVOT transmissions will be prioritized according to WMM-AC standards.

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Jailbreaking and Rooting

Generally, no. We have taken extra steps compared to a standard Android device to put the administrative accesses behind administrator password control, to disable “side access” methods, and to only allow Spectralink signed system software loads.
The strict definition of “rooting” is gaining privileged control, i.e. root access.
Root access can be dangerous, as this can allow a user to change administrative settings and the installed software, or install other software.  The device manufacturer or administrator would not allow this and, therefore, prevent a security risk.

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Security

PIVOT supports the following methods; WEP, WPA-Personal, WPA2-Personal, WPA2-Enterprise with 802.1X (EAP-FAST, EAP-TLS, PEAP-MSCHAPv2) with Opportunistic Key Caching (OKC) and Cisco Client Key Management (CCKM).

EAP-TLS is supported with revision 1.1. SRTP is not supported at this time. Note that EAP-TLS is not supported in PIVOT release 2.0.

Web-based browser traffic can be secured using HTTPS. Whether web traffic is encrypted is a function of the remote web-server’s capabilities and their application.

Native applications can use SSL sockets provided by the Android OS on PIVOT to encrypt communication such as for messaging applications. This of course is a function of the application and far-end capability.

Recording is a function of an application which typically stores messages and calls on a server, not on the phone. This type of functionality is usually governed by a policy issued by facility management. The Android version we use can be locked down to prevent any local applications from being downloaded that would allow recording on the device itself.

Yes the PIVOT:SC (8744) (8744) has a camera. However, Healthcare and other environments that deal with sensitive information must manage use of the camera. Typically, the application controls PHI information, not the device.
Therefore the handling of PHI is a function of the application and the control of that application, which are governed by policies and processes managed by the customer.

Further options for securing data are using the encrypted file system for on-phone storage security, and EMM/MDM methods (like wiping) as further options.

Customers may have the impression that Android is insecure after reading articles about mobile malware targeting Android devices. Please understand that the security topic is complex and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Customers must understand and analyze THEIR risk of data exposure and potential liability in order to evaluate what safeguards they require.

Disclaimer: The information below does not eliminate the need for a customer to develop their own security strategy/policy based on their risk assessment. In practice, administrators can mitigate many risks with careful device and application management and implementing security best practices such as keeping software and patches up-to-date. The 1.4 release includes Google’s new “Verify apps” capability that can help filter out malware so it is not installed. Later releases continue to implement improved security capabilities. The KitKat release also contains the SEL inux kernel that makes Android even more secure.

With PIVOT 2.0 and the Lollipop code from Google, a Security patch option provides you with the exact date of the most recent security patch included in the PIVOT software.

Google delivers patches for discovered issues that are then incorporated into Spectralink code. The Heartbleed issue is fixed in R1.1 and Stagefright is fixed in R1.6.1.
PIVOT code releases incorporate Android security patches released by Google up to the point of code freeze before Spectralink tests and releases the software. Within our quarterly release schedule, PIVOT code is kept current with all Android patches that Google releases.

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Troubleshooting

Like any Android device, we have a “recovery” mode always allows the administrator to re-load the software to recover from any corruption.

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