Forget Cell Phones: 3 Replacements Your Agency Needs to Embrace

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

When we talk about cell phone replacements, we don’t mean replacing the cell phone whose screen just cracked, whose battery mysteriously stopped charging or whose model was recalled because it kept catching fire. We mean cell phone replacements that will allow your agency to stop relying on cell phones for your vital communications once and for all.

For consumers, cell phones are king, and for good reason. They offer the perfect mix of features and functionality to meet people’s personal needs. But consumer-grade cell phones for agencies? Forget it.

Here’s a rundown of 3 replacements your agency needs to embrace.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, MOTOTRBO, Digital Two-Way Radios

The Biggest Two-Way Radio Problem, And How You Can Fix It

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, November 14, 2016

The biggest two-way radio problem isn’t related to the devices themselves: it’s all about the user, more specifically a lack of proper user training. Too many businesses, campuses and agencies think that simply outfitting their staff with radios will solve their communications issues, and they skip an important preparation step.

While it’s true that two-way radios are an excellent wireless communications solution for a range of circumstances, just getting the devices isn’t enough. Staff – even staff who use the radios infrequently -- need to be trained, with time for regular refresher courses.

By working with your experienced two-way radio dealer, you can come up with training that makes sense for you and your team. Here is our insight into the biggest two-way radio problem, and how you can fix it:

Make sure all relevant staff are trained

If you already have staff who are using radios and you’re looking to expand your deployment, it can be easy to forget that not everyone knows how to use them. Make training a mandatory requirement for staff who are getting a radio.

All new users should get trained not just in how to handle the devices but in best practices for communicating with them, including things like keeping their sentences short. You should also remind them that radios aren’t like cell phones in that their conversations won’t always be private.   

Also don’t’ leave out users who will be given radios during an emergency situation but who don’t use them regularly. When seconds count and communication is key, you don’t want to lose valuable time because an inexperienced user is fumbling with their radio.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, MOTOTRBO, Digital Two-Way Radios

Where Will Two-Way Radios Be One Year From Now?

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Two-way radios have come a long way since their first use in public safety decades ago, and with wireless communications technology evolving more rapidly all the time, it’s exciting to think about where radios will be even one year from now.

Interoperability and convergence continue to drive the biggest trends for two-way radios, and with more industry-specific functionality being offered all the time, you can imagine that even more kinds of users will embrace two-way radios over smartphones or other devices.

Peering into our crystal ball, here are some educated guesses about where two-way radios will be one year from now.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, MOTOTRBO, Digital Two-Way Radios

5 Core Wireless Communication Solutions: With Video

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

As wireless communication solutions are constantly evolving, it’s a challenge to keep up with the latest and greatest devices and functionality. While it would be impossible to keep up with every update or product that’s made available, it is worthwhile to conduct an occasional appraisal of your existing systems -- and your current challenges -- to see if a boost, replacement or new investment makes sense. 

To help with your once-over of your equipment, systems and challenges, here are five core wireless communication solutions to keep in mind that you may need to deploy, upgrade or replace. (Bonus: Check out our latest video, below, to find out how Chicago Communications helps companies and agencies meet their comprehensive communications needs.)
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Tags: Two Way Radios, Chicago Communications, Public Safety Communications, Bi-Directional Amplifier, Maintenance/Installation/Service, Wireless Networking

Two-Way Radio Repair: Tips and Tricks, With Video

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Two-way radio repair is a fact of life for any company or agency that uses radios as part of their communications solution. Even the best equipment requires maintenance from time to time. And while professional repair and replacement is something you need to budget for, some two-way radio repairs can be made internally by your staff. Following the steps below should clear up the most common problems that occur with two-way radios.

For reference purposes, this blog refers to the parts, features, and functions of the Motorola CP200d and XPR3500 portable radio. For helpful visuals and more details, check out the step-by-step video below.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, Two Way Radio Accessories, MOTOTRBO, Digital Two-Way Radios, Maintenance/Installation/Service

Can Two-Way Radios Be Hacked?

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Can two-way radios be hacked? As the formidable New York Police Department recently found out the hard way, the answer is yes. And, unfortunately, it’s easier than you might think.

According to media reports, a man familiar with police lingo and language made his way on to the department’s radio frequency and asked to be patched through to the duty captain for the Midtown South Precinct in Manhattan. Once he had the captain’s attention, the man issued a chilling death threat, one that he repeated to other captains across the city in the same manner.

While officers wondered whether the man had somehow gotten his hands on a police radio, experts in the radio field had another theory – he’d hacked a store-bought device.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, Public Safety Communications

New Wide Area Network Features Include Private Address Book

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The makers of DispatchPlus, our wide area network application for MotoTrbo radios, have been busy this quarter with some new features we’re pretty excited about, including private address book. The address book functionality allows private calls between MotoTrbo users and Motorola’s Wave Mobile Communicator.

pdvWireless developed DispatchPlus as a go-to work management solution for dispatch-driven mobile workforces: The wide area network application gives dispatchers real-time information on drivers’ current location, route and communications, enhancing the power of MotoTrbo radios.

The application’s existing features already have customers talking, including superior voice quality, private and group calls, and text messaging – all for less than the cost of a cellular plan. The chairman and vice chairman of pdvWireless are the co-founders of Nextel Communications, a legacy that gives customers confidence in the application’s effectiveness.

The new functionality promises more of the same, so let’s take a closer look.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, Radio System, MOTOTRBO, Digital Two-Way Radios, Product Spotlight

Crafting the Perfect Facilities Manager Job Description

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

There's no use building the perfect wireless communications solution if your facilities manager isn't prepared to support and maintain it. To attract, identify and hire the best fit for your business, you’ll need to craft a facilities manager job description with the right amount of detail about the technology and processes you need the person to be familiar with, and the skills you need them to have.

When it comes to crafting the perfect facilities manager job description, keep these pointers in mind:
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Tags: Two Way Radios, Manufacturing, Facilities Management

Chicago Communications' Wide Area Network Two-Way Radio System

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

When ChiComm Account Executive Todd Niccum talks to customers about DispatchPlus, our wide area network application for MotoTrbo radios, they all have the same reaction: “I can't believe how clear the communication is between the radios.”

DispatchPlus was developed and brought to market by pdvWireless, whose chairman and vice chairman are co-founders of Nextel Communications. The strength of the Nextel brand has helped win over both cell phone customers looking to make the sensible switch to radios as well as non-Motorola radio users looking to step up their service, Niccum said.

“The superior voice quality isn’t matched by any other radio or cellular system,” he says. And when customers hear of pdvWireless’ history, they say, “’Ooh, I used to have Nextel, they work great.’”

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Tags: Two Way Radios, Radio System, MOTOTRBO, GPS, Digital Two-Way Radios, Push to Talk

Ericsson, Motorola Mobile Radios Could Incorporate Push-to-Talk Communications

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray

Monday, March 14, 2016

There’s exciting technology news from Down Under: A newly announced pilot program in Australia by Motorola Solutions and Ericsson is looking to bring next-generation push-to-talk communications to mobile radios, starting with the quickly evolving public safety market. The project builds on the major role Motorola mobile radios and Ericsson communications technology have played in the communications marketplace.

The trial technology is a key to forging a way for traditional radio voice communications to integrate and expand via mobile broadband.

Ericsson and Motorola are working alongside Telstra, the leading telecom and information services company in Australia with nearly 17 million mobile subscribers. The trio is also collaborating on creating global standards for a solution that would meet the unique needs and requirements of public safety users.

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Tags: Two Way Radios, Public Safety Communications, Technology