The Brighton Centre opts for Simoco mobile radio upgrade

Simoco’s Xd DMR Tier II range of digital radios can be easily upgraded to DMR Tier III, as George Malim discovers

The Brighton Centre opts for Simoco mobile radio upgrade

Simoco has deployed its Xd DMR range at The Brighton Centre, which was the venue for this year’s Labour Party – the UK Government’s political opposition – conference. The Centre is upgrading from an existing professional mobile radio (PMR) system to the digital standard. 

The new system, which is to be installed through Simoco partner Chatterbox Limited includes base stations and portable hand held terminals providing critical communications across the 4,500-seat venue. 

Simoco Xd offers benefits for the centre including simultaneous calls for user groups with no queuing and interoperability within the system allowing extra capacity for external users during busy periods. Chatterbox will provide on-going support and also the provision of additional rental portable radios for use by conference organisers.

Coverage extensions

The Simoco Xd system has been designed to provide two-way communications to facilities management teams, catering and support staff throughout the venue. It also eradicates previous issues related to poor signal coverage in remote zones. 

Using DMR technology, the Simoco Xd provides more reliable coverage right to the edge of the signal range, which is an important factor for public safety and efficient operational management. Furthermore coverage can even be extended to provide radio communication to some of the local hotels so that delegates can stay in touch even when away from the venue.

In addition to the main auditorium there are a wide variety of meeting rooms, exhibition halls and offices at the venue that all need radio communication. 

The Brighton Centre’s business and operations manager Penny Parker commented: “Radio communication is absolutely critical to the safe and successful management of the venue. We have recently invested heavily in technology and were one of the first venues to provide free Wi-Fi. With the upgrade to DMR we will have reliable two-way push-to-talk radio communications throughout the site.”

DMR Tier III upgrade

A future benefit to the venue could be the upgrade path to DMR Tier III that Simoco Xd offers. The Centre has deployed Tier II at the moment, but Simoco has recently launched a Tier III system to follow on from the Tier II solution, which was launched last year.

“The main thing is that it’s not a hardware upgrade from Tier II to Tier III, it’s just a software upgrade,” says Jonathan Bunce, group marketing director of Simoco. “With our competitors systems, the customer has to add matching hardware to upgrade to Tier III.”

Bunce points out that Simoco has developed its products to make it easier for customers to adapt them to changing needs. “The two things that are really expensive for users are training and maintenance,” he says. “Part of that is spares holding. We have a base station that does conventional or trunked DMR – in Tiers II or III – so that reduces the need to hold different spares because the base stations are the same and from one supplier.”

“We’re completely standards compliant,” adds Bunce. “That’s a very conscious design decision for us because, as relatively a small player, we have to be as open standard as we can.”

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