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Entries » Blog » Location, location, location. Is voice always king in LMR?

Location, location, location. Is voice always king in LMR?

Created Sep 20 2016, 5:00 AM by Diane Yakes
  • P25

 For public safety agencies, knowing the location of their personnel not only improves operational performance, it can save lives. Consider the following use cases:

  • While following a suspect, an officer is fired upon. He presses the emergency button on his radio and says, “Shots Fired”. As he proceeds into a foot chase, he has trouble describing his location to dispatch. However, Dispatch has already sent backup to the scene based on his GPS location.
  • An explosion at the local mall triggers a large response from fire, police, EMS and others, generating high traffic on the radio system. Soon after, a 9-1-1 call comes in reporting an active robbery across town. Using location data, Dispatch is able to determine the nearest patrol units to redirect to the robbery.

In Land Mobile Radio, voice traditionally has priority over any applications or services that use data. Because of its lifesaving potential, this has been a long standing rule in public safety communications. But what about location services? They can be lifesaving as well.

How do you decide which is more important, the voice or the individual’s location? You don’t have to decide - you can have both at the same time. With ASTRO 25 Location on PTT, radios don’t need to wait until after a voice transmission to send GPS location updates. Location data is embedded directly in the voice transmission and sent continuously, with no impact to voice quality or performance. The ASTRO 25 system pulls the location data out of the voice stream and forwards it on toward the mapping application.

This is especially important during an emergency voice call, such as in the example with an officer being fired upon. Since the officer had Location on PTT, backup was dispatched to the accurate location without delay. The officer’s GPS location was updated as soon as he called “shots fired”, and with each subsequent push-to-talk, providing dispatch with critical information.

Location on PTT also enhances location accuracy when the radio system is heavily congested with voice traffic, such as in the mall incident described above. Even if there are no data channels available, every time a first responder presses the PTT button, their location is updated, helping dispatchers make quick decisions based on current location data.

ASTRO 25 location services provide current location information when needed most – during emergencies and critical incidents with intense voice collaboration.

Learn more about ASTRO 25 by visiting

Diane Yakes is an ASTRO 25 Business Manager at Motorola Solutions

  • I realize that this is a bit off subject. But, I've been a die hard Motorola fan and customer since the original Droid 1. And, I've never owned any other phone. Now that Samsung's Galaxy note 7 has caused major trouble for them. This is a prime chance for Motorola to launch a note sized phone with great features/specs like the Turbo 2 with a fingerprint scanner and gain new customers from Samsung while winning back some of the market share that was lost in 2008 when Samsung released the Instinct and Omnia. And, HTC released the EVO 4G.


    Apple, and it's new iPhone 7 are seeing record profits and stock gains due to the recent launch of the iPhone 7 and now Samsung's exploding battery issues. Tons of faithful Samsung customers are switching to Apple. Lenovo and Motorola really need to "Step It Up!" I'm afraid that Lenovo doesn't understand what a great opportunity this is! Seeing that they currently own Motorola Mobility. Lenovo's Fabpro phone and the new Moto Mods were both major failures. They can redeem themselves as long as they act quickly before Samsung recovers from their most recent disaster.


    I'm a little disappointed to see that under Lenovo's direction. The Turbo 2 contains so much Samsung hardware in it that it lacks in LTE radio reception & battery life compared to the Turbo 1 which was built entirely with Motorola parts and hardware. The unbreakable glass scratches extremely easy compared to gorilla glass 3 which is nearly scratchproof. The Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is faster than the Moto X8 processor. But, it gets extremely hot while charging and under load. The Moto X8 processor could've been improved to compete with Snapdragon. Honestly, The 20 megapixel camera is the only good thing the turbo 2 has going for it.


    Unfortunately, Motorola Mobility is slowly dying. And, they still have enough loyal fans and customers such as myself to finally turn things around if they would only listen to their customers and create a great genuine mobile device with cutting edge features that people actually want to buy and enjoy. They also should expand the Droid line of phones to be sold with other carriers such as Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and US Cellular. Offering them exclusive at Verizon only benefits Big Red and not Motorola. Because they'd be earning much more profit if the droid line was sold at other carriers.


    These are simply my opinions and observations as a longtime Motorola fan & customer.