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Chicomm Blog

How to Use MotoTrbo Systems to Take Communications to the Next Level

Posted by Lisa MacGillivray on Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Ask users in industries from retail, to manufacturing to healthcare, and they’ll all say MotoTrboMotoTrbo Two Way Radio Communications systems were designed just for them.

With a range of high-powered capabilities, MotoTrbo platforms are as diverse as the industries that use them. No matter the size of the team or geography, there’s a MotoTrbo two-way radio communications solution that’s a perfect fit.

It’s no wonder why so many companies and industries use MotoTrbo systems to take their communications to the next level.

Take Five: MotoTrbo Solutions of Every Size

From simple radio-to-radio communications across a floor, or radio-to-radio across a town or small campus, there are solutions that cater to the varying needs of business and industry, including:

Radio to Radio, which is used when two units are in close proximity, typically less than two miles outdoors. When you factor in obstructions such as buildings or the steel found in a refinery, you reduce the radio to radio communications coverage significantly. So in order to regain coverage, you need a repeater system.

Repeaters allow a centrally fixed radio with antenna and line to be installed on a higher structure, typically a tower, roof or water tank. The elevation and higher power of this unit allow a portable radio’s audio to be retransmitted at a higher power to other users and vice versa. This configuration is used in small manufacturing buildings when users are trying to achieve coverage throughout a building. When you need coverage across a town in multiple buildings, move on to the “IP Site Connect" option.

IP Site Connect allows two or more repeaters to be connected at different locations using a corporate WLAN network. Now users can leverage communications at two or more facilities. If the number of users becomes too large for this system, the MotoTrbo platform allows for “Capacity Plus Trunking.”

Capacity Plus Trunking can minimize radio infrastructure purchasing and enable maximizing the number of users per channel. In a typical repeater system with 125 users, managing them on one channel would be unproductive. Trunking takes additional channel capacity and breaks it into talk groups of more manageable sizes. 

With large healthcare or manufacturing facilities, multiple campus environments sometimes need connectivity. In essence, a large number of users in a multi-campus environment. This leads to the final option, MotoTrbo Connect Plus.

Connect Plus Trunking takes radio to the limit. With multiple sites and large user requirements, Connect Plus allows both communications and additional feature sets to enhance workplace efficiency. GPS, Texting, Man Down, Recording, Dispatch and Telemetry application options allow for the maximum use of a communications system for both voice and data. Leveraging the corporate network environment reduces costs by utilizing connectivity already in place.

MotoTrbo Systems Case Study: Large Enterprise Customer

The Chicago Communications team was approached by an enterprise customer looking to upgrade their communications equipment with new technology. As a large corporation with multiple sites and remote facilities, they had to keep communications open across large territories, among several departments of people.

At the time, they were using analog radios that were more than 10 years old. The repair rate was getting higher, and there was increased congestion on their radio system. Too many people trying to talk at once was resulting in busy tones that periodically prevented them from using their radios. Maximum capacity usually stands at 75-100 users per channel, depending on the duty cycle. With 300 users across three channels and more usage than an average radio system, they were well beyond their limits.

The congestion was preventing users from doing their jobs efficiently, and it could have endangered the safety and security of their operations. Beyond these urgent needs, the customer expressed plans for system integration with other office locations and the option of building a nationwide command center.

The Solution

The Motorola MotoTrbo TDMA Digital Mobile Radios were the platform chosen to upgrade equipment. The reason behind the move was the enhancement of the digital technology to lend itself to a 2:1 channel conversion.

For every one channel, you gain two talk paths, thus doubling your resources while leveraging the same infrastructure for a single channel. By utilizing the MotoTrbo platform, the same number of channels can handle almost twice as many users. This delivered solutions for all of the current needs of the customer. A digital platform also provides for growth with applications and capabilities.

The long-term growth of the end user is to build a common platform of radio equipment with a central purchasing model. In doing so, we decided to implement an alarm reporting system capable of monitoring the network and sending out critical alarms to the Chicago Communications on-call supervisor.

This method of reporting allows immediate attention and potential dispatch of system technicians to the site should some type of failure occur. With the MotoTrbo Capacity Plus system, redundancy is built in. Whether a single channel or the network switch goes down, the system has the ability to keep operating in a reduced capacity to keep critical communications operating.

As their corporate system grows, so does the platform, therefore addressing future needs. Initially deploying in one location, we will be following with two more facilities around the country. Each with the same single site design and alarm reporting. By utilizing a single location to monitor alarms, we also agreed that a single location for spares would allow a minimal investment into stock. This would allow each location to keep a handful of spares, order a loaner, send theirs in and continue operation. All records of configurations are documented at one facility. The radio is replaced with the proper configuration and template back to the end user.

In addition to the monitoring and alarming, the customer has the ability to be notified of all repair issues. Chicago Communications has a computer system that will allow a customer to:

  • Receive SMS notifications of repairs through the change of status codes
  • Log in to review billing and repair history.
  • Have all end users be able to purchase online from the same system.

By partnering with Chicago Communications, the customer gained a single point of contact for all aspects of their communications systems. Now three different offices will utilize one platform, minimizing redundancies in purchasing, equipment, repair costs and status updates. 

Tomorrow’s Technology Today

Even with the proliferation of smartphones, apps and accessories, two-way radios are still the behind-the-scenes star of business processes the world over. MotoTrbo systems deliver versatility and scalability that companies are trusting now as they plan for the future.