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    • Live from PMRExpo 2015 - Videos and Pictures Author: Jennifer Rolfe

      Published Dec 09 2016, 8:10 PM by Paul Jeffs

      If you didn't get the chance to visit the event, here are some of the highlights in video and picture form:

      Welcome - Tunde Williams

      Smart Public Safety - Christoph Thomas

      You can also see Christoph's overview in German here.

      Two Way Radios - Featuring the MTP8000Ex TETRA ATEX radio - Richard Russell

      The Conference - featuring Public Safety Intelligence


      A CyPhy Works drone feeding live video...

      The_drone_1200.jpg a LEX L10 handheld LTE device


      The Connected Police Officer


      The Connected Firefighter


      Turning Data Into Intelligence


      Services - Managed Mobile Virtual Network Operator


      The Team


      Follow the news on our event microsite


      Jen Rolfe is Channel Marketing and Communications Manager for Europe and Africa.

      Jen is on LinkedIn

      Follow #PMRExpo2015 and @MotSolsEMEA and @MotSolsDE (auf Deutsch) on Twitter.


    • Drive Testing When There Are No More Roads – Ensuring Secure Communications Coverage for Norway’s Public Safety Users Author: Hilde Holte Eriksen

      Published Dec 09 2016, 8:10 PM by Paul Jeffs

      Nødnett is the new digital TETRA network for emergency and rescue services in Norway. The radio network is built and approved for operational use and the official opening of nationwide Nødnett is taking place in Kirkenes, Norway in December this year.

      Although Norway is scarcely populated, it is the sixth largest country in Europe with a rugged topography of fjords, mountains and glaciers.


      Norway has one of the longest coastlines of the world after Canada, with 1200 fjords and almost half of its land area is covered by mountains.


      The landscape makes it extremely challenging to design and build radio coverage everywhere it is needed. When Motorola Solutions' engineering teams designed the radio network for Nødnett, we needed to consider the special requirements of the emergency agencies. They need a reliable and secure communications system at all times with predictable radio coverage.

      The stringent coverage requirements comprise radio service in over 300 road tunnels including the world’s longest tunnel of 24,5 km and the deepest undersea tunnel constructed at 287 meters below sea level.

      In total, the Nødnett radio network has 2100 TETRA base stations. Many of the locations are extremely remote, requiring towers and technical equipment, and even our installation teams, to be flown in to the sites by helicopter.


      After installation and integration to the network, comprehensive coverage testing must be carried out to measure the quality and coverage and making sure the system is ready for daily operational use. The testing distances driven by our engineers in custom made test cars add up to 817000 km - or 20 times around the equator.


      But drive testing is not enough. The TETRA system in Norway includes a number of AGA (Air-Ground-Air) base stations providing coverage to rescue and police helicopters assisting the on-ground rescue operations and operating in alpine and remote areas.


      The terrain of Norway poses many challenges to the designers of radio communications to aircraft because many parts are mountainous with deep valleys. The agencies sometimes fly at low altitudes along the valleys and sometimes at high altitudes. To achieve good radio coverage, the aircraft radios utilise normal terrestrial coverage sites when flying low and automatically change to dedicated sites for high altitude use. This is to ensure good quality communications, avoiding interference from other sites in the region. The Nødnett network has successfully been built, tested and meets the requirements of the agencies who use aircraft in their daily work.

      Last year, Norway saw over 1800 helicopter rescues and ambulance flights, which means that we need to ensure that also coverage from the air meets the standards. It took a team of engineers, hundreds of hours and 13 500 kilometres of flying while testing coverage in Norway’s beautiful scenery.

      Nødnett has been put to the test. It’s all about providing secure and reliable communication enabling the emergency services to do their job. Saving Lives.

      See more about Nødnett here and our customer The Directorate for Emergency Communication (DNK) here.


      Hilde Holte-Eriksen is Communications Manager for Nødnett and the Nordics region

      Hilde is on Linkedin

      Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter and look out for #Nødnett

      Jon Are Pettersen of DNK is speaking on 'Norway‘s control centre network' next Thursday at PMRExpo.


    • Smarter by Design - ATEX Radios for Firefighters Author: Mark La Pensee

      Published Dec 09 2016, 8:10 PM by Paul Jeffs

      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. These workers include Fire and Rescue teams who may, for example, have to respond to traffic accidents involving petrol tankers or attend incidents at petrochemical plants. 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 **** 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.

      topdisplay.jpgTOP DISPLAY
      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.

      userinterface.jpgINTUITIVE USER INTERFACE
      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 connected 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.


      Find out more about the MTP8000Ex series here or watch the key features video here

      You can see the MTP8000Ex series in action at this year's PMRExpo.


      Mark La Pensee is Head of TETRA Subscribers Product Management

      Mark is on LinkedIn

      Follow @MotSolsEMEA and #MTP8000EX on Twitter.