At some point in every WWII movie there is a dramatic scene where a soldier gets pinned down by gunfire, grabs his two-way radio and makes a plea for help. Although this may be a corny example, it does illustrate that two-way radio has been the first choice for instant communication by mission-critical organizations for quite some time.
Although military personnel have used radio communication ever since it was introduced back in the 1940’s, Community Emergency Operations and thousands of businesses soon followed. This made two-way radio the “go-to” choice for anyone seeking a robust communication system for over 60 years.read more
Two considerations that organizations face when switching from analog to digital are: one, the potential loss of investment by decommissioning analog radios that still have a use-value; and two, the potential interruption to normal operations during the transition period.
To address these concerns, radio manufacturers engineered their new radios to provide both analog and digital voice communication in the same unit. This dual operation capability allows companies to keep their legacy analog radios in use along side of the new analog/digital radios. They can also continue to use their existing analog infrastructure with the new radios until the company is ready to switch over to a fully-digital system.read more
In Part Three of this series on Digital Migration, we cover Voice and Data.
Part Three: Voice and Data
Today’s digital two way radios have enhanced voice and data capabilities. This gives radio users the ability to run productivity-enhancing applications directly from their hand held radios.
Current applications include messaging, location based services, bar code reading, and form applications. And according to radio manufacturer information, the growth potential for new application development looks very promising as third-party developers report interest in developing more applications for the industry.read more
In Part Two of this series on Digital Migration, we discuss Better Capacity.
Part Two: Better Capacity
Regulatory pressures and real-world needs are driving a demand to expand the capacity of the business designated slice of the RF spectrum by leveraging new technology. As it happens, digital two way radio technology is very bandwidth efficient and actually allows two separate “channels” to operate on a single 12.5 kHz frequency. Effectively doubling its capacity. (See chart Above)
In addition to making efficient use of the RF spectrum, this feature helps minimize licensing costs associated with operational expansion because the additional channels do not require additional frequencies. For a fast growing business that is expanding its radio operations this can mean significant savings while expanding communications.read more
Mall of America (MOA) is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. Minutes from Minneapolis and St. Paul, it is the biggest mall in the U.S. with 520 stores, 50-plus restaurants and
attractions galore, including the nation’s largest indoor theme park.
Over 40 million visitors pass through its doors each year – almost eight times the population of the entire state of Minnesota. At 96 acres, the size of seven Yankee baseball stadiums, and over 12,000 employees, the scale of MOA presents significant communication challenges. Like many operations with older analog radio systems, MOA was experiencing persistent coverage and frequency issues. Employees were interrupted by interference and loud static blasts over their analog radios. This was particularly annoying for team members who wore earpieces. Certain areas of the massive mall were punctuated by dead zones, forcing employees to walk to another location to communicate on their radios or use personal cell phones.read more