DENVER--The Genesis Group this week announced a new feature in its software-based monitoring system that helps Motorola SmartZone users identify unwanted clone radios operating on their networks.

Using Genesis’ CloneWatch solution, network administrators can monitor whether a radio ID—something that is supposed to be unique—is being used more than once at the same time, meaning a clone is present on the system, said Genesis President and CEO Phil Burks.

“Every place we’ve tested [CloneWatch], we’ve found clones,” Burks said.

This time-overlap monitoring functionality has been available for several months for both SmartNet and SmartZone systems. New to CloneWatch is a feature—available only for SmartZone users—that lets administrators spot suspect clones even without simultaneous usage.

This feature maps the location of the radio transmission and flags instances of “impossible drive distances,” or IDDs, Burks said. For instance, if a radio ID is on the network and then appears on the network five minutes later at a location 20 miles from the first transmission, CloneWatch notes that one of the radios is a clone.

There typically are two types of clones, Burks said. The worst-case scenario is that a criminal has managed to manufacture and program a clone that lets him monitor police action or steal air time, which can reduce network performance and cause administrators to make expansion plans based on inaccurate information.

A more common occurrence is that a technician programming a legitimate radio made typing error when programming the unit. Although they represent “honest mistakes,” these clones can lead to improper identification of the radio user, Burks said. In addition, in the current rebanding environment, the presence of these clones can lead to inaccurate unit counts at the all-important inventory stage, he said.