Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Rapid Deployment Repeater - A Study in Economics
Once upon a time, a very recent time actually, there was a county. In this county was a municipal fire department who was a Falcon Wireless customer. In that same county was a Sheriffs Department who would not even consider Falcon as a supplier.
The reason for our disqualification was allegedly that we were to far away to provide "good" service. After all, we are several hours away, and once when the fire department repeater went down, it took us three hours to replace their repeater with a loaner. The Sheriff recently had a problem with one of his new repeaters (top of the line big brand, don't you know). His local sales and service provider didn't keep spare units. He was told he would have to wait at least three weeks for the necessary parts to repair the malfunction.
The curious thing is that this Sheriff has multiple repeaters (four as I recall), each covered by a service contract (daytime only, 5 days a week, weather related and electrical irregularities excluded - anything else is "extra"). My understanding is that he pays $100 per month EACH for this "service agreement". Now back to our story.
The fire department had asked us if we could provide a BETTER solution than a three hour response. We told them about a thing called a Rapid Deployment Repeater System. These handy little gadgets are totally transportable, can be operated from AC power or batteries and they can do some absolutely incredible things like operating on VHF, UHF, or 700/800 MHz. You can even set them up to simulcast on all three bands and they can function in either (or both) analog AND digital P25 operating modes. Did we happen to mention that it is made in the United States of America?
We showed our fire department user how to get a grant that paid for the whole thing. The net result is that he has a portable tactical repeater plus a backup repeater for any radio system in the county INCLUDING the Sheriff and it didn't cost him a dime! Within less time than it took the local dealer to diagnose the problem, the fire department rapid deployment repeater was on scene and operational with no technician required to set it up!
Would you like to know what it cost? LESS THAN $8,000! And you know something else? Even if the fire department didn't get a grant, they could have set it up on a governmental extended purchase plan which would have allowed them to pay only $200 per month INCLUDING all maintenance for five years which is less than HALF the cost the Sheriff is paying for his "service agreement".