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    • The MTP8000Ex Series - Smarter by Design - Author Mark La Pensee

      Published Dec 09 2016, 8:26 PM by Clare McFarlane



      Before we set about developing the next generation MTP8000Ex Series our key aim was to make a smarter ATEX radio that better addressed the needs of its users – the workers in hazardous environments. We listened to the challenges and frustrations these workers faced every day and did something about them. All with the aim of increasing their efficiency and improving their safety in hazardous environments whilst at the same time making the radios easier to use than ever before.

      We achieved these aims by thinking smarter about the design of the radio – and in turn produced a radio that lets users work smarter. Through a series of simple and innovative design features we have made the MTP8000Ex Series much more than just another ATEX radio.

      One of the most effective things we did was apply advanced ergonomics to make the radio easier to use whilst wearing protective clothing and heavy gloves.

      Based on our research we implemented a number of simple design innovations – the most obvious being the T-bar form factor making the radio easier to hold and harder to drop. Similarly the exaggerated control button makes it easier to select volume and talk group whilst wearing heavy gloves - and in the same way the textured Push-to-Talk button and the tactile keypad make the radio easier to use. Placing the enlarged emergency button at the base of the antenna – another simple idea - also makes it easier to locate without looking at the radio.

      We also asked ourselves how we could make it easier for the workers to see key information - such as status alerts, emergency notifications, volume, battery level and talk group - when the radio is worn on the belt or on the chest without needing to unclip it.

      The smart but simple solution to this problem was to add a display panel to the top of the radio. The user simply has to glance down to see the information they need rather than take out the radio to look at the front screen.

      We also asked ourselves if there was smart way of making sure users always know when they are in radio coverage and whether the coverage is good or not. The innovative solution to this problem was to put an LED Coverage Indicator at the base of the antenna, which clearly shows the user when coverage is poor or marginal.

      It acts much like a traffic light with green, orange and red lights showing when coverage is good, marginal or poor – and the levels can be pre-set so you are in total control of your workers’ safety.

      Our customer research also showed us that many users mark their radio in some way to distinguish it from others, often using a sticky label or a permanent marker to write a name or number on the radio. This can often compromise the ATEX certification and as a result put the safety of the users at risk.

      The solution to this problem was to add a nameplate to the back of the radios. This means users can simply write their name or number on the tab behind the clear Perspex cover and the radios can now be easily identified without compromising safety.

      Another innovative feature is the simple and intuitive user interface which makes use of icons and the familiar menu style navigation. The menus can also be configured to only show those options needed by the workers, again making the radio quicker and easier to navigate.

      A major innovation was integrating Bluetooth Wireless technology to the MTP8000Ex Series. This means a range of wireless accessories can be securely and reliably paired with the radio. And, in the future this could include ATEX certified wireless headsets and microphones as well as Push-To-Talk buttons. This will make the radio easier and safer to use and reduces the risk of dangling wires catching on equipment such as ladders or projecting structures such as pipes.

      Smarter still the integration of Bluetooth Wireless technology means collaborative devices such as mobile computing devices can securely connect to the radios for data collection or other applications such as work scheduling. This makes frontline workers more effective and more efficient, giving them access to better information when they need it.

      For even smarter safety, devices such as body worn gas sensors or heart rate monitors can also be connected to the radio, alerting the user and control automatically of rising gas levels or dangerous changes in the heart rate. In the future Bluetooth could also be used for indoor location with the installation of Bluetooth sensors in buildings allowing you to keep track of your people wherever they go. Integrating Bluetooth in to the MTP8000Ex Series opens up a world of smart solutions where the only limits are the availability of Bluetooth devices and the uses you can think of for them.

      The MTP8000Ex Series really is smarter by design from the T-bar grip to the top display, and from the coverage indicator to the integrated Bluetooth wireless technology. These simple and innovative design features make the MTP8000Ex Series safer and easier to use and the workers who use them more effective and efficient.

      Want to know more? Watch our new Youtube video here or learn more about the MTP8000Ex Series TETRA ATEX radios here.

      If you’d like to join the conversation about communication in hazardous environments, we’d be delighted to welcome you to the Motorola Solutions Community EMEA LinkedIn Group.

      Mark La Pensee
      Head of TETRA Subscribers
      Product Management
      Connect with Mark on LinkedIn at


      Published Dec 09 2016, 8:26 PM by Clare McFarlane


      The oil and gas sector has always been an early adaptor of innovations in mobile communications. Teams operating in the harshest of remote working environments have embraced DMR and TETRA radio networks but are now looking to extend their capabilities.

      Mobility is now a key issue for the industry. This is because the concept of mobile working has moved beyond just specialist, remote-working teams. We are all mobile workers now, equipped with smartphones, tablets and, increasingly, LTE/4G broadband connectivity.

      The question is, what does this mean technically and operationally for oil and gas enterprises? There is a vast choice of mobile devices, networks and operating systems, and many users want to use these devices to enhance the workplace.

      With such diversity, and the continuing evolution of the technology, standardisation is not a realistic option. Instead, oil and gas companies want a scenario in which each user has the best technology for their needs, and all users can communicate seamlessly with radio-like Push-to-Talk (PTT), in real-time, regardless of the device or network they use.

      Motorola Solutions’ WAVE Work Group Communications delivers just this. It allows you to extend your workforce communications beyond radio to include devices connected across broadband networks for seamless communications in any location. WAVE is an interoperable, broadband PTT solution that delivers real-time voice and data securely over any network, using any device.

      Two-way radios, smartphones, tablets, laptops or landlines; people can use the devices they already have and the networks they already subscribe to and communicate with other teams and individuals.

      By overcoming traditional communication silos, WAVE unlocks vast new possibilities for productivity, efficiency and cost reduction.

      Extreme situations are often used to set out the key benefits of solutions like these. In emergencies, the benefits of being able to patch everyone in and out as they are needed are obvious. But the implications of an integrated communications and collaboration infrastructure for the oil and gas industry go far beyond the worst-case scenarios.

      When project managers can speak routinely with geographically dispersed teams, each user working with their preferred device, all kinds of irritating barriers to the smooth execution of a project can be overcome.

      Conference calls no longer require everyone to gather round a single device, connected to a particular wireless standard. Everyone can participate on a shared PTT channel – no matter where they are or what technology they use – over a secure communications network.

      Radio communications has proven itself over and over as a key tool for oil and gas industries. WAVE does not replace the need for specialist communications, it rather enhances everything you do in a very natural manner.

      If the time-savings and improvements in decision-making are aggregated over the life of a project – and then over multiple projects and thousands of people – the transformation is significant.

      With profit and revenue under relentless pressure for oil and gas companies, the efficiencies enabled by effortless cross-platform communication and collaboration can make a difference both operationally and strategically.

      Better communication can accelerate return on investment and create competitive advantage by bringing in new revenue sources ahead of the competition.

      The world of apps, smartphones and touch screens has much to offer the sector. WAVE gives you an integrated extension of the traditional two-way radio systems that has been proven and will continue to be so for years.

      Motorola Solutions has published a white paper exploring these issues in more detail, which you can download here.

      Improving Safety and Productivity in Oil and Gas Operations

      If you’d like to join the conversation about how to maximise the efficiency of the digital oilfield in today's ever-changing environment, we’d be delighted to welcome you to the Motorola Solutions Community EMEA LinkedIn Group.

      Oliver Zuber, Field Marketing Manager Central Europe (D/A/CH) & UN | WAVE Solutions
      Connect with Oliver on LinkedIn: