Why FirstNet Is Taking So Long

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, August 22, 2016

Even by February 2013, then-FirstNet Board Chair Sam Ginn was already feeling pressure to move more quickly, as evidenced by his statement after the group’s meeting that month:

“The FirstNet Board has been hard at work now for five months, laying the groundwork for what will be one of the largest telecommunications networks ever built,” Ginn said. “We understand the enormity of our task at hand, and the urgency to get it done as expeditiously as possible. But we want to get it right.”

That was more than three and a half years ago, and people across government, public safety, the wireless industry and the public are still asking why FirstNet is taking so long. The answer is almost as complex as FirstNet itself, but let’s take a look at some of the factors – and why there’s reason to hope.

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Tags: Public Safety Communications, Interoperability

RoIP in Emergency Response: 5 Use Cases

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, August 8, 2016

Every public safety agency or safety officer has their own tragic stories of lives lost, injuries sustained or massive damage done because of unreliable or incompatible communications during an emergency response -- but ROIP is changing that.

Radio over IP, or RoIP, works the same as Voice over IP (VoIP) and adds some radio-specific controls and functionality, such as frequency change, radio identification and Push-to-Talk (PTT). Both VOIP and ROIP work by converting the sound of your voice into a digital signal that travels over your existing network or the internet.

As more agencies are considering ROIP a basic part of their public safety communications solution, one of the main benefits they say they’re looking for is a reduction or even elimination of tragedies caused by bad communications.

What that in mind, here are five emergency response use cases for ROIP:

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Tags: Public Safety Communications, Interoperability, Digital Two-Way Radios

8 Use-Cases for MOTOTRBO Applications

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, April 27, 2015

When you first start researching ways to improve your communication across your business or organization, you will typically learn that digital two-way radios are often the best answer. Whether you are looking for reliability, durability, or just a more integrated way to communicate with your staff, two-way radios offer many great benefits (read more about those here).

One of the most useful and relevant benefits offered is the ability to choose from a robust selection of customized, integrated data applications to use on your MOTOTRBO radio. These applications give you the ability to expand your communications beyond just voice and audio, and offer the convenience of having data directly on your radio device. MOTOTRBO applications span a variety of use-cases, but range from GPS tracking to alarm monitoring to SMS communication (texting). Here are just some of the areas data applications can help in:

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Tags: Interoperability, MOTOTRBO, Digital Two-Way Radios

5 Wireless Communication Topics You Should Know This Week

Posted by Kendra Newlon

Friday, February 21, 2014

We thought we’d round up some of the top highlights this week in the Communication world and give them to you in one place. Check out some buzz worthy stories happening in the wireless communication and public safety world!

1) P25 (Project 25) Communication equipment- These are the set of standards used for federal, state, and local police departments set forth by APCO.  It ensures interoperability between these levels in terms of radio communication to enhance timeliness, effectiveness, and coordination during emergencies. Why is this important? FEMA opened applications for Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) on the 18th, which is only available for “the acquisition of P25 compliant equipment”. Read more of the details about the guidelines here.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, Public Safety Communications, Motorola Solutions, Interoperability, Next Generation Public Safety, GPS

Are Ten Codes a Thing of the Past for Public Safety?

Posted by Kendra Newlon

Thursday, February 6, 2014

10-4 Good Buddy

If you’ve ever visited one of our shops here in the Chicago-land area, it wouldn’t be uncommon to walk past a work bench or over hear a conversation (particularly with Emory Ludtke) where the term “10-4” is used. Obviously this is a radio ten-code that translates to “affirmative”, but where and why did these become so popular?

These ten-codes were originally created when radio frequencies were limited in the late 1940’s for police radios. Officers would try to limit the amount of speech over the frequencies, and came up with the ten code system. Why the number 10? And why are the last numbers in these codes different?
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Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Public Safety Communications, Interoperability

Unplugging Healthcare: Wireless Communication on the Rise

Posted by Kendra Newlon

Friday, January 10, 2014

Technology evolution: we’ve seen such a transition in schools…from text books to eBooks, hand written papers to emailing assignments to professors, to text messages alerting parents of school closings. But what about healthcare? The wireless bandwagon knows no limits.

With the blistering cold taking my health from warrior to wounded status in a matter of a few days, it came to no shock that I found myself at the doctor’s office to start off 2014. But what I noticed next took me by surprise.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Motorola Solutions, Wireless Communication, Interoperability, Safety Solutions, Healthcare

Get your grant money before it's all gone!

Posted by Kendra Newlon

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

As we wrapped up Customer Service week here at Chicago Communications just a few weeks ago, it was hard not to notice the corporate responsibility that Motorola displays throughout the year with police, fire departments, and other safety sectors.

The public safety communication company is a big advocate for helping these agencies offset many costs that are vital to improvements of systems and equipment that keep us safe 24/7. As the end user, we don’t see the thousands of dollars it takes to keep a 911 center up and running – we just know we should be able to count on them whenever we have an emergency.

Motorola Solutions has helped out the Public Safety sector in numerous countries.  Some examples include providing fire alarms to low-income households in Taiwan, training citizens in local communities for disaster relief in the Philippines, providing training on investigative crime analysis in South America, helping citizens report crime information anonymously in New York, and worked with border patrol to help keep the Canada/US border secure. Motorola also pulled through for various natural disasters throughout the United States last year.

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Tags: Chicago Communications, Public Safety Communications, Motorola Solutions, Interoperability, Grant Funding, Education, National Customer Service Week, Safety Solutions

Interoperability = Bridging Wired and Wireless Networks Together

Posted by Jill McNamara

Monday, April 8, 2013

     Communication interoperability is a well-recognized imperative for public safety, homeland security, law enforcement, or any other organization that has a need to share intelligence, coordinate plans, and mount successful joint operations with others operating on disparate systems.

   So wouldn't it be great if you could access your radio system from a Smartphone? Or what if you were able to remotely create interoperable radio communications, enable basic dispatch functionality in remote locations, remotely control radios, or connect your phone into your radio system? Federal, state and local agencies with incompatible voice systems can communicate with a MOTOBRIDGE radio over IP interoperability solution.

The MOTOBRIDGE solution, by Motorola Solutions, enables you to add these capabilities and more to your existing analog, digital, conventional or trunked radio system.

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Tags: Motorola Solutions, Wireless Communication, Interoperability

$30 million Emergency Dispatch Interoperable Radio System is Launched

Posted by Jill McNamara

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Last week the ETSB of DuPage County formerly announced the launch of their $30 million interoperable radio system made possible by a statewide radio network, STARCOM21.  STARCOM21 is Illinois’ statewide digital public safety radio system and provides coverage for over 98 percent of the State of Illinois. The network currently provides public safety communications for state and local public safety agencies. The STARCOM21 network is a public-private partnership between Motorola Solutions and the State of Illinois.

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Tags: Public Safety Communications, Motorola Solutions, Interoperability

Do You Want To Drive Momentum in 2012? Here's How...

Posted by Jill McNamara

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What we discovered at this year's Motorola Channel Partner Expo

It was a momentous year at the Motorola roadshow in Las Vegas. Our yearly trek to understand products, goals and networking with colleagues really put a vision in our minds. As a follow up to my notes on the Public Safety (Future of the DBlock) aspect of the Motorola Expo this year, we also looked into the future with Digital Mobile Radio (DMR); and for Motorola this means MOTOTRBO. A technology that lends itself to gain two voice paths for one channel, it effectively doubles the ability of a customer’s radio system for voice traffic. In addition with Application Developers who write software to these radio platforms, we had a chance to review the concepts and systems that allow unique platforms such as GPS, Texting, Personal Location systems and Interoperability to be displayed in one location.

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Tags: Motorola Solutions, Interoperability, MOTOTRBO