Monday, December 3, 2012

Digital radio interoperability - Is it possible?

Some of our readers know that we are 100% opposed to any proprietary communications technology, and in particular MotoTRBO Capacity Plus and the enhanced versions of Motorola P25 offerings that lock out competition.  This is a bad choice when public taxpayers funds are paying the bill! Purchasing equipment available from only a single vendor is an impossibly bad choice both for the user and the  taxpayers!

Open standards, free trade, and rigid federal policies on guidelines for funding of communications is absolutely necessary if we are ever going to have true nationwide interoperability.  More often than not, the true cost of going with a closed standard is not revealed until it is too late to turn back.

Several days ago, I received a phone call from a Canadian reader of our Blog asking for some straight answers to simple questions (which he could not get locally).  Over a decade ago, this particular user had bought in to a proposal to install a county wide analog communications system based on LTR Passport with simulcast paging.  The users are now being told that they need to upgrade to digital.  Interestingly,  during that time, the users have been paying $90 per month per radio to use the proprietary system (Click here for more information on what can happen when oversight is not applied to "planning").

They are now being encouraged to move up to a digital proprietary system that will cost EVEN MORE.  Worse yet, the new system requires a five year contract agreement and they can purchase from only one vendor.  These kinds of abuses are a violation of customer trust and a waste of taxpayer dollars.  Enough is enough!

If you, or someone you know, is considering the purchase of a closed standard system, we encourage you to share this information with them!  We also have warned about the problems associated with VHF channel sharing using TDMA (MotoTRBO) technology.  This is not our personal crusade.  The concern has been expressed by no less than the Federal Communications Commission who reached out to the public safety coordinators for proposed solutions.  The standards proposed by the coordinators that are now under consideration by the FCC have been covered up by those who do not want you to know the real facts.  If you would like to know the real facts, click here. When everyone has all the facts, it CAN be possible to achieve interoperability in public safety communications!