Reposting from “Fresh Ideas in Public Safety” Blog by Michele Shaughnessy on June 11, 2012.
Are you operating in analog VHF (150-174MHz) or UHF (421-470MHz) frequencies at 25KHz? If so take out a marker and circle January 1, 2013. Not because it’s the start of a new year, but because it is the deadline to narrowband your system.
Base stations play an important role in your overall communication system evolution, whether it is to meet your narrowband requirements or to plan for ease of future migration. The Boy Scout motto "Be Prepared" takes on new meaning when you are talking about investing in mission-critical infrastructure equipment. So ask yourself: Is the equipment in your communications backpack flexible enough to prepare your organization for new requirements and the FCC’s narrowbanding requirement?
If not, there are three things you might want to consider in addition to whether a station can meet narrowband requirements.
Is Your Station Ready for the Future?
Your needs can change over the life of the system; can your base station adapt? Can the base station migrate from analog to digital without a hardware change? Will it dynamically switch on the fly between analog and P25 digital modes? Does it support the P25 TDMA standard? Can the station be easily reprogrammed to meet future requirements?
Having a station that can be reprogrammed – whether it is for narrowbanding or adding P25 TDMA – is important. A base station that is ready out-of-the-box and adaptable to future changes will best maximize your long-term investment.
Does the Station have a Flexible Design?
Would the ideal base station operate in a conventional or trunked configuration, and use IP or circuit-based backhaul? How about supporting multiple frequency bands? Will it take advantage of the benefits that linear modulation provides, such as extended coverage?
A base station that can support the latest technology and still be backwards-compatible provides the most benefit to your organization as you transition your system.
Is the Station Easy to Service?
Do you need to be able to change out a module or download software without shutting down the base station? Would a base station that is tuned directly from the factory reduce your setup costs? Does your ideal station include integrated battery revert and charging capability to eliminate a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) at the site?
An easily serviceable base station has all of these capabilities, allowing personnel to quickly perform routine maintenance without disrupting service. This can free up time and resources for other programs.
When you are looking for a new base station I recommend you select a station that can speak to these issues and provide you with the most flexibility to meet your needs today and tomorrow. Motorola’s ASTRO 25 GTR 8000 base station satisfies all of these questions and more, providing a flexible solution that will be ready to meet your needs whether they are the impending narrowbanding requirements or future P25 TDMA demands. The G-Series platform is a workhorse base station used in mission critical systems deployed across the world in over 60 countries in UHF, VHF, 700, 800 and 900 MHz.
So circle your calendar for January 1, 2013, and get started with the latest base station technology. Learn more about narrowbanding and the steps you need to take.
Michele Shaughnessy is Vice President of ASTRO 25 Systems for Motorola Solutions. Learn more about Motorola’s suite of ASTRO systems at www.motorolasolutions.com/astro25.