The Colombian Red Cross (CRC) has chosen Hytera DMR equipment following its decision to migrate from its existing analogue system to a digital radio solution. The CRC interacts with various governmental and private institutions, and in some cases runs its own communications systems to enable it to cope with emergency situations together with the other agencies.
However, in order to guarantee timely and appropriate communication in its work the Colombian Red Cross decided it needed to upgrade its analogue VHF network to a digital one.
The key requirements included: the ability to integrate communication the networks of different cities to provide simultaneous communications; higher communication security; an improved method of access to the network for a greater number of simultaneous users; the ability to send text messages; and the capability to manage applications with full-digital communication.
The Colombian Red Cross chose Hytera DMR infrastructure for its new network. Hytera DMR RD98X repeaters were selected for their higher efficiency of coverage, IP interconnection, and continuous cycle and power capacity fully compliant to the DMR digital standard.
Hytera portable terminals PD78XG-V1 and mobile terminals MD78XG-V1 were chosen for different teams to realize simultaneous and point to point communication. The terminals provide higher levels of protection, the ability to deliver terminal location information on the screen, along with wider coverage over longer distance between radios.
The new system was deployed in seven departments of Colombia with installations decided in a strategic way to support events and emergency situations that might occur at each site.
The Summit of the Americas presented a major opportunity to test the network and identify its strengths and weaknesses. The Hytera digital radios were configured and used on a seven-day/24-hours-a-day basis throughout the seven-day event to ensure total coverage and no lapses in communication with Bogota via an IP interconnection. The IP connection allowed two different networks to be connected for follow-up and monitoring of the work.
Salinas Buitrago Marinson, deputy director for operations in the National Relief Department of the Colombian Red Cross, commented: ‘The support and availability given by Asecones, Hytera’s dealer in Latin America, for Hytera products allowed five specialists of the Colombian Red Cross to be able to set up and programme the network used by the institution for this event.
‘In addition to this, we can say that we use a product with good technology, robust for continuous, heavy work, and moreover, that does not show any failure taking into account the demands of working 24 hours, with temperatures between 16 and 32 degrees Celsius. It is also noted that the team is very friendly to the user, which facilitates easy handling and manipulation. We believe that Hytera teams and radios add quality to our humanitarian action.’