Convincing a potential customer to purchase a wireless communications system is a tough task, but it can become significantly more frustrating, if the necessary spectrum to support the network is not available. To prevent this scenario from occurring, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) has developed CEVO (short for “coordination evolution”), a free mobile application that lets dealers and others in the industry have a snapshot of available frequencies in the four most important bands on their smartphones.

“It’s a great little informational tool to make your sales forces look very professional, and the data’s reliable,” EWA President and CEO Mark Crosby said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “Plus, it’s all free—you can’t beat the price.”

Launched at IWCE 2014 in March for Android and iOS devices, the early response to CEVO has been very positive, Crosby said.

“So far, it’s been great,” he said. “A lot of people use it. We’ve seen where some sales managers advised their sales teams to use it.

“I look at it this way. It’s to help the sales people look really professional in front of a customer. Because what does a customer know about spectrum? Usually, they know nothing about it—a lot of times, they assume the system comes with the spectrum … They don’t quite grasp it.”

To query CEVO about available spectrum, the user needs to input the geographic location for the search, antenna height, the power of the signal, and whether the proposed system is for business/industrial use or for public-safety use, Crosby said. The other key input for the query is the spectrum band being targeted—VHF, UHF, 800 MHz and 900 MHz, he said.

“If the salesman is good, they’ll go, ‘By the way, just to ensure that we have frequencies for you at this location, watch this sexy little app I have,’ and—boom—the frequencies come up,” Crosby said. “It’s really not designed for the consumer, because the consumer usually doesn’t know anything about the different bands.

“You can go, ‘I’m selling you a VHF 450 MHz system. Would you like to see the channels that are available in Milwaukee?’ That proves to you that, if I sell you the system, I can get you the gasoline to run it on. In 30 seconds, you can show them all the frequencies.”

And, thanks to an update to CEVO, the process to secure necessary frequencies can be initiated by the touch of a finger, Crosby said.

“As part of the sale, you can secure all of the licenses you need to do this, because we’ve updated that app,” he said. “You can click ‘Please secure frequencies,’ and it sends a message to our people.”

Crosby noted that using CEVO does not obligate anyone to have any spectrum coordination performed by EWA, and users do not need to be members of EWA.

In addition, while the spectral data in CEVO is accurate, the availability of spectrum can change on a daily basis, so the frequencies listed as available today “may or may not be available tomorrow,” Crosby said.

“The information’s accurate,” he said. “It just doesn’t have a shelf life that’s very long.”