In many ways, we define ourselves by the work we do. When introducing ourselves, whether in business or on our own time, our job and company are often mentioned soon after our name.

Within our industry, we often define ourselves by how our company and products are different and better than that offered by the competition.

No complaint here. We work in a free economy, open to competition, and aggressively distinguishing our unique value proposition is part of the marketing game.

But just for a moment, let's step back and consider our industry from a larger perspective, in terms of what we all share in common. Despite our differences, how are we alike? What are our mutual interests and values?

First, at the most basic level, we are toolmakers. The tools we produce serve a practical purpose, and we are still finding more practical uses for mobile radio communications every year. Let's not make too little of this fundamental truth. Think of what some other people do for a living, and let's be glad we're fortunate to be in a business that serves a noble purpose.

For many of us, our highest-spec product lines provide essential mobile radio communications for the public-safety, law enforcement, firefighter, emergency response, homeland security and government markets. Not a day goes by without our equipment being used in emergencies.

We make life-saving tools. This is a source of our pride in what we do.

It also is our primary responsibility. Public safety — and the safety of those who serve and protect the public — depends on us.

Constantly improving the quality, performance and reliability of our products is at the core of our shared values because we know that radio communications can save lives.

Would any of us disagree? We know what's important in our business. Performance on demand. Just push to talk — every time.

In the new world of APCO Project 25 requirements for digital public radio systems, functional interoperability means that all products, regardless of manufacturer, that meet the P25 standard must be able to work together and talk to each other.

Let us take a lesson from this technical requirement in our respective business relations.

The title of this publication says it all. Mobile radio technology is what we are all about, what we are all most interested in. While some of the technologies (and some of us) have been around quite a while, we are still learning.

We are each of us applying our intelligence to developing even better solutions. Ours is not an easy and simple field of engineering, and our achievements may often be ingenious.

Those achievements, however, are not well known, and the work we do is not in the public eye. Many people still refer to our products as “walkie-talkies.” They have no idea about land mobile radios, and where we are taking mobile radio technology in this new era of emphasis on public safety and homeland security.

We need to do something about that. Because we do have quite a story to tell. Practical, high-tech, important, vital to our society. That's our business. Let's spread the word — together.

David P. Storey is president and chief executive officer of RELM Wireless Corp., a manufacturer and marketer of mobile radio equipment for public-safety and government agencies, as well as business-band radios serving a wide range of commercial applications, for more than 55 years.