Motorola Solutions was demonstrating its OneForce application at PMR Expo 2012 in Cologne. OneForce allows first responders to share maps, photos and videos via a range of different devices including office computer work stations, vehicle mounted notebooks and tablets and handheld tablets and specialised smartphones, such as the company’s own Lex 700 LTE handheld device.
Richard Bennett, solutions marketing manager at Motorola says: ‘You can access these things over GPS, but you don’t get the speed and capacity an LTE network will provide.’
Controllers and teams on the ground with the right devices can see where they and the rest of the team are on a map display. Controllers can draw on the map, cut and paste images and share everything with different talk groups and different organisations via LTE.
‘If there is a big event or incident you can see the command and control, aid points, ambulance stations and so on are and direct them as necessary,’ says Bennett. ‘Or if you have a situation in a building and you need to send in a SWAT team, you can call up the building plans and mark up entry points, the rooms each team member will go into and send that information out to the team on the ground.
‘You can share photographs and video,’ he continues, ‘so you can share in the Cloud photos or clips of people you want to arrest. You can draw a circle around a perpetrator’s position on the map and let everyone know where they are. All this really shows the difference that LTE makes.’
Just how mission critical organisations get access to LTE broadband services is another matter. It might be through private dedicated networks, such as is proposed in the USA, or it could be via a commercial network, although this would require negotiating of priority access for first responders and other mission critical industries.
‘It widens the ability to send information and you can still set up priority calls/data and access rights for police, then ambulance and fire. Other organisations such as governments or utilities could also have access to the backend of public safety broadband networks. This could be done on a commercial network, rather than a dedicated private public safety LTE network,’ says Bennett
‘The point is you have a unified management core of the TETRA network and the LTE network. These can be on the same sites, although some of them might just be LTE,’ he says. ‘You can run and manage the two as one network and you can replicate talk groups with media rich communications, as well as voice.’
SL 4000 Series Motortrbo radio
Motorola was also showcasing its SL4000 Series radios in the Mototrbo DMR family. It provides a significant difference in form factor compared to its larger siblings, as it is small and light and is designed for use by those more familiar with mobile phones than two-way radios.
Richard Russell, Business Development Manager and Product Specialist - EMEA at Motorola Solutions, says: ‘It’s aimed at customer-facing jobs, such as hospitality, services, security and airport industries, but its size might also make it attractive to some public safety roles. It provides a much more discreet radio for those in smart uniforms or for those in managerial roles who don’t want to carry a bulky radio.’
The SL4000 and the SL4010 feature a slim design and weigh as little as the average smartphone. Despite its size it comes with the full range of features such as Intelligent Audio, integrated Bluetooth and covert mode, but it is restricted to digital only, and cannot communicate with analogue radios.
It is primarily intended for indoor use and as such features a 2W transmitter, rather than 5W, and has a smaller range than other Mototrbo radios. It comes with a flexible menu-driven interface and a full colour screen, which features an enhanced 5-line display allowing more text to appear on the screen.
A built-in photosensor intuitively adjusts backlighting on the screen to optimize viewing even in broad daylight. Night mode makes the screen easier to read in dark environments.
The radio offers customized data applications such as location tracking, Bluetooth data, email gateways, dispatch, telephony and man-down. It can also be used for work order ticket management. ‘You can fill in a job ticket and send to the staff radios; they acknowledge receipt by tagging the ticket when the job is done, so this provides an audit trail and proof the job has been completed and when. This helps to maximise the efficiency of work teams,’ says Russell.
For discreet communications the covert mode can be applied, which turns off the display, visible LEDs and audible tones. Vibrate alert is another option for discreet communications.
‘You can accessorise it with a single drop in charger,’ says Russell, ‘which also has space to charge a spare battery and a wireless earpiece. Or you can use the USB port to charge it. There is also a larger six slot charger version.’
Russell adds the radio is proving attractive to customers and is ‘shipping in volumes’.