My earliest memory of a ‘walkie-talkie’ is of a toy one I had as a child, and using it to communicate whilst out playing with my brother. It was great to just push the button and be able to talk.
With the availability of analogue and new digital radios, the situation is much the same. It still offered immediate connectivity through the ‘Push To Talk’ button. This immediate, fuss-free connectivity became essential for mission critical users such as Police, Fire or Ambulance who depend on them to help save lives.
Move into the early 2000s and cellphone users were asking to be able to connect ‘like radio users do’. This drove the development of new (infant) technology for providing a ‘PTT-like’ ability on 2G/2.5G cellphones but it was not reliable or robust enough for mission-critical applications.
Since then, cellular networks have rapidly advanced to 4G/LTE that supports bandwidth-intensive mobile data applications. PTT over broadband was developed to meet the needs of commercial users. PTT over mobile broadband has now been evolved to support mission-critical users too. Key to this evolution has been the development of international (3GPP) mission-critical standards:
Where does Motorola Solutions fit in? We continue to contribute to 3GPP standards related to mission-critical communications and lead the industry in standards implementation and compliance. Today’s mission-critical PTT users benefit from sub-second call set-up, high voice quality, numerous advanced features, as well as multimedia applications integrated on the same device.
What does this mean for Public Safety radio users? We recognise that when it comes to push-to-talk communications, one size, or in this case, one technology does not fit all. The right PTT communication platform should fit within your existing workflows, not the other way around. Our breadth of PTT solutions include PMR solutions (analogue and digital) such as ASTRO P25, TETRA and DMR standards as well as WAVE, our broadband PTT which operates over any broadband network.
The evolution of PTT has created a world of multiple technologies, and technologies that can interoperate. This enables each user to have the right technology for their situation. An example of the collaboration between technologies is Lowland Rescue:
Out in the field the rescue teams communicated by two-way radio and thanks to the interoperability provided by our WAVE solution, were able to keep a rescue-team member (at home) up-to-date with developments via a broadband connection.
Want to know more? Check out our new White Paper ‘The Evolution of PTT’
Mike is EMEA Solutions Marketing Manager at Motorola Solutions
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Occasionally I get to feature some videos and news that have hit the spot with the Public Safety community as well as exemplifying our company philosophy of continuous innovation and quality in design.
Design Award News - TETRA Pager - news is just in won that we have won a 2018 iF Design Award for the TETRA TPG2200 Pager:
The Pager has definitely been hitting the mark as we were also awarded a 2018 Red Dot Award for the Advisor TPG2200. The award jury were impressed with their view on the product ‘Functionality, operational security, ergonomic handling – the two-way pager proves to be optimally tailored to the requirements of emergency staff.'
The recent Critical Communications World showcased some new and updated products and we shot some really great product demos that quickly capture the idea of ‘purpose-built devices’. Here are three snippets that particularly impressed:
In just 53 seconds, Paul Wilson takes you through a hands-on demo of the key features and functionality of the new LEX L11 Handheld LTE device including the dedicated emergency button, large push-to-talk button and extended life batteries:
Finally, here is a comprehensive run-through of the Avigilon Video Surveillance and Analytics demo at CCW. Steve Batt takes us through a live demo of high-resolution video surveillance and shows us how comprehensive video analytics can be used to ensure users see the detail they need and how advanced analytics such as 'appearance search' can search video footage for suspects and more:
I hope you enjoy watching those snippets.
You can watch all this year’s CCW videos on our dedicated Critical Communications World 2018 playlist
Paul Jeffs - Editor - Think Public Safety
Public Safety Editorial Lead for Europe, Middle-East and Africa at Motorola Solutions.
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Why our MTP8000Ex TETRA Series is much more than just another ATEX radio.
Fire and Rescue teams have long relied on two-way radios to provide effective communications and save lives. But when firefighters respond to an incident in a hazardous environment such as a traffic accident involving a petrol tanker or an accident at a petrochemical plant, they need ATEX radios to communicate safely and prevent an incident from becoming an emergency.
So what exactly is a hazardous environment?” What is an ATEX radio? And why would I need one? Well, hazardous places are classified in terms of zones on the basis of the frequency and duration of the occurrence of an explosive atmosphere. (You can learn more about the ATEX and the zones here: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2000:023:0057:0064:en:PDF ) Given the nature of a firefighters work, they could well be working in the vicinity of explosive dust, gas or liquid - so it’s important that their radio doesn’t contribute to igniting it. ATEX radios are radios that have been designed to be intrinsically safe in such environments and are classified as to which ATEX zones they are safe to work in.
So how did we build an ATEX radio for a firefighter? We started off by listening to the challenges and frustrations they face every day and asking what firefighters needed from an ATEX radio. We then designed an ATEX radio that addressed these issues, 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.
EASY TO USE
Firefighters need a radio that is easy to use during an incident and when wearing protective clothing and heavy gloves. The MTP8000Ex series radios have a “T-bar” grip that makes the radio harder to drop and easier to hold, even for long periods. The exaggerated control knob to select volume and talkgroup, textured PTT button and tactile keypad make it easier to use.
We added a display panel at the top of the radio to make it easier for firefighters to see key information such as status alerts emergency notifications, volume, battery level and talk group. The firefighter can glance at the top of the radio to see key information rather unclipping it from their belt or chest.
For simplicity, the interface makes use of icons and the menus can be configured to only show the options needed for particular groups of users.
LOUD AND CLEAR AUDIO
They need a radio that can be heard in the heat and noise of a fire, against the loud background noise of fire engines, or industrial machinery. We gave our radio 1.2 watts of audio power and howling suppression technology so that the firefighters can hear and be heard when it matters with loud and clear audio.
LONG BATTERY LIFE
Radios need to last for a whole shift and the duration of an emergency - so we provide an extended battery life in excess of 16 hours, firefighters can be confident that their radios will be ready for a longer shift in the event of emergencies or unplanned situations.
The radios are going to be used in harsh conditions and need to be able to cope with tough and hazardous situations that the firefighters will face. The MTP8000Ex Series radios are rugged to comply with MIL-STD 810 D/E/F/G and have IP65, IP66 and IP67 ratings, so they will work in the cold and wet or the dust and heat.
KEEP IN CONTACT
It’s important for firefighters to be able to communicate and high receiver sensitivity and high transmit power gives the MTP8000Ex Series greater coverage and enhanced in-building performance. They also need to know how good their signal strength is, so that they can ensure they can communicate. Our innovative solution was to add a LED Coverage Indicator at the base of the antenna, which clearly shows the user when coverage is good, poor or marginal.
IDENTIFY YOUR OWN RADIO
Our customer research 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. So we added a nameplate to the back of the MTP8000Ex radios so that firefighters can write their name or number on the tab behind a clear Perspex cover enabling the radios to be easily identified without compromising safety.
Firefighters also need a complete ATEX communications solution which means they need ATEX audio accessories such as the ATEX active noise cancelling remote speaker microphone or an integrated microphone and earpiece to enable them to focus on the incident while keeping them safe.
With over 20 years of experience providing intrinsically safe two-way radios, and by understanding the needs of the firefighter we were able to think smarter about the design of the radio.
Built to the latest ATEX and IECEx safety standards, the MTP8000Ex Series radios have been specifically designed for people who need to work in hazardous environments with potentially explosive gases or chemical vapours, flammable liquids or combustible dust. These radios provide firefighters with the ability to work safer, work smarter and work anywhere with powerful audio, enhanced coverage, extended battery life, greater ruggedness, advanced ergonomics and increased usability.
Through a series of simple and innovative design features we have made the MTP8000Ex Series much more than just another ATEX radio.
Mike is EMEA Solutions Marketing Manager at Motorola Solutions
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This year the Critical Communications World event celebrates its 20th year. The event is still relatively young compared to how long we, as a company, have been involved in critical communications. That’s 50 years in Germany, where the event was held this year. And 40 years? I was reminded of this when I watched a video interview that Julian Foster did at the event in Berlin.
Julian managed to catch up with industry expert Jeppe Jepsen and discuss his personal experience and perspective of how the industry has changed over the past 40 years of his service - and the similarities that TETRA / LTE coexistence has with changes of the past.
There are definitely some key points that Jeppe makes in the interview that I found particularly interesting:
Jeppe was asked what the ‘last comparable big change’ that happened in the industry. Jeppe identifies this as the move to single ‘one network per country’ TETRA networks from multiple analogue systems. He believes this type of technology shift takes a long time and 'it's not just the technology, it's the organisations that need to adapt to new possibilities’…
Jeppe believes that our end customers should already be using broadband offerings from cellular operators, not for ‘life and death situations’, but they should start using it today, to take advantages of new tools it can enable and to make their organisations more effective. Jeppe points out an excellent example from the conference – Harris County using their messaging during flooding. Jeppe believes end users should be testing and implementing using today’s ‘best effort networks’ as long as you have ‘TETRA service as the backup’ and ultimately ‘there is absolutely no reason not to start with it now’…
You can check out the complete interview below:
Clearly as Jeppe says - 'there are two worlds that need to come together and understand each other' to deliver what our end users need.
90 years? Well that’s how long we’ve been innovating in critical communications – ever since we were founded in Chicago in 1928.
Even though CCW is over you can still catch up with all things ‘Critical Communications World’ on our dedicated microsite: www.motorolasolutions.com/ccw
Ricardo Gonzalez is MSSSI VP EMEA Strategy and Marketing at Motorola Solutions
Wow, what a show. In case you couldn’t make it or didn’t see everything, here’s my top pick of Public Safety focused videos from this week’s show.
Welcome to CCW2018 - Critical Communications is the lifeline for many of our customers. Tunde Williams gives us a short brief on new product launches and enhancements at the show - including the new LEX L11 handheld LTE device.and TETRA enhancements:
LEX L11 Handheld LTE – Paul Wilson introduces the new LEX L11 handheld LTE device and highlights its unique design for Public Safety users:
The CTO Interview – Julian Foster interviews CTO Paul Steinberg about his CCW conference session on 'How technology will support tomorrow's first responders':
Ultra Portable LTE Infrastructure - Martin Whitcroft gives a quick and comprehensive overview of the features and functionality of the new LXN 500:
Dimetra X Core - Steen Petersen explains why Dimetra X Core meets the needs of TETRA for years to come:
Si500 Bodyworn Video Demo - Paul Wilson takes us though a hands-on demo of the Si500 body-worn video camera including how it can work with TETRA and ASTRO radios:
Hands-on Fingerprinting with Pronto Biometrics - Chief Inspector Ian Williams takes us through a detailed, hands-on demonstration of the Pronto Biometrics application and more:
Hands-On Cybersecurity Demo - Paul Hill takes us through a hands-on cybersecurity demonstration:
Disaster Relief Scenario - Tunde Williams explains how new techniques including real-time video augmentation can be used to help incident commanders:
Critical Communications World 2018 Highlights - As the show draws to a close Tunde Williams shares his highlights:
If you are receiving this blog post by email, the links to individual videos may be missing. You can access them in our YouTube Playlist instead – Critical Communications World 2018
I hope you enjoyed this selection.
You can also catch up with everything CCW on our dedicated microsite at www.motorolasolutions.com/ccw
Paul Jeffs is Public Safety Editorial Lead for Europe, Middle-East and Africa at Motorola Solutions.
Paul is on LinkedIn
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Critical Communications World 2018, 15-17 May, Stand C10, Berlin Messe Expocenter City
Digital technologies are changing the world. In this new age, rapid advances in digital technology have had a profound impact on our lives, enabling a digital economy and fundamentally reshaping the public safety landscape.
We are pleased to be Platinum Sponsors of this year's Critical Communications World event and we will be taking an active part in the conference too.
Come and visit us on stand C10 where we will have experts ready to demonstrate how public safety organisations can help to build safer, thriving communities by addressing five key challenges of the digital age:
I look forward to seeing you there.
You can keep up-to-date with all-things CCW – news, videos, speaker details, book stand tours, download our event guides and more, by visiting our dedicated CCW microsite – ccw.motorolasolutions.com
Tunde Williams is Head of Field and Solutions Marketing for Europe, Middle-East and Africa
Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter and look out for #CCW2018 and #CCWorld