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The game changing impact of the “5th C”

Andy Chan, Country President (Singapore) & General Manager, Asia Pacific & Middle East, Radio Solutions at Motorola Solutions | Sept. 29, 2014
“The 5th C” — capabilities — is the game changer in the industry and makes the difference for those considering what type of communications system to leverage — two-way radios or cellular devices.

Clearer audio

Digital audio technology allows us to do fundamental things better. We can compress two voice calls into a single channel, improving efficiency and capacity without increasing costs. We can also use error correction to regenerate audio information lost through radio interference. Most exciting of all, we can use advanced digital processing techniques to manipulate the audio stream, resulting in incredible background noise cancellation, feedback suppression, distortion control, sophisticated automatic gain control and audio beam-steering, all at a reasonable cost.

A machine operator uses a digital radio to coordinate operations with his supply team. His headset is integrated into his ear protectors, and connected to his radio using Bluetooth to eliminate cable snags and tangles. The audio from the headset microphone goes through industrial noise cancellation software, which filters out the clatter of the machine. He is heard clearly every time he speaks.

The wedding organizer uses radios to coordinate the team. She has configured the radios with receiver AGC, so they automatically reduce their volume in the chapel, but are clearly audible in the ballroom. They also have sophisticated feedback suppression built-in, so there's no "howling" when the radios get close to each other. She can manage the event efficiently and discreetly.

Better security, better safety

There are also some basic security advantages to digital radios, such as the ability to encrypt over-the-air traffic and disable lost radios. Safety is also enhanced, with features such as emergency interrupt and location tracking. But that's just the beginning: you can use digital radios to enhance your business' safety and security in so many ways.

A school bus has an RFID badge reader at the door that can identify students as they get on and off the vehicle. Interconnected using the data and GPS capabilities of the digital radio on the bus, the central dispatcher can now see where and when each student got off the bus. More certainty means faster responses and fewer emergencies. And since this is a private system, there is very little risk of a data security breach.

A firefighter is wearing a suite of biometric sensors that use his digital radio to transmit key information to the incident manager. His heart rate, temperature and oxygen levels can be combined with location information to dramatically enhance his safety.

Transformation in productivity and efficiency

Because your private voice network is also your own private data network, your capabilities are dramatically improved. We're not discussing broadband Internet data capabilities - those are better served by Wi-Fi. We're talking about a robust, secure, wide area private data network that serves your business.

You can use your radio to connect to databases, for on-the-spot inventory queries, biometric look-ups or license plate checking. You can use telemetry to monitor remote sensors or download status reports from machinery. And you can empower your staff to be more productive, using text messaging, work order ticketing, e-mail gateways and telephone interconnections.


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