Ericsson PRS offers new radio products with digital modulation Ericsson Private Radio Systems has rolled out new radio communications products with digital modulation, along with adding to its conventional and enhanced digital access communications (EDACS) systems.
The new digital products, called Provoice and Jaguar, are a next generation of digital radios that accompany the company’s Aegis line. Conventional analog FM products are marketed under the Panther brand.
“As for the Provoice digital modulation, it uses the ‘improved multiband exciter’ (IMBE) voice encoder, or vocoder,” said Dominick Arcuri, vice president of engineering at Ericsson PRS.
A vocoder converts a voice into a digital code. The comparable Aegis product uses the AME vocoder.
Provoice equipment has been installed in central Virginia; Ottawa-Carlton, CA; and in Vancouver, British Columbia. Installations are in progress for Coral Gables, FL, and Albuquerque, NM. The equipment has been selected for San Antonio, but no contract has yet been issued.
Another new product, the EDACS 500M trunked mobile transceiver, straddles the EDACS and Provoice applications.
“It has mid-range features and is competitively priced,” Arcuri said. “It works with EDACS or Provoice. It will carry data communications. It fits trunked data applications, including work-order dispatch and traffic inquiries.”
Arcuri said that Ericsson has installed 450 EDACS systems worldwide. He said that Florida Power and Light had signed a contract in May for a 45-site, 900MHz EDACS system.
Some military agencies with frequency exclusivity have chosen EDACS for trunked systems. Among commercial customers, EDACS use is more common in the upper UHF-T band.
Ericsson PRS focuses on trunked radio for public safety and on conventional radio for business and industrial (B&I) customers. It does not offer trunked B&I radio, including decentralized trunking. Some SMR systemoperators use EDACS, although some others consider it to be too feature-rich and too expensive for “plain-vanilla” dispatch services.
Within this focus, Ericsson also provides trunking systems to utility companies, which can be considered industrial or public safety customers.DB
Motorola, Johnson affiliate for sourcing, licensing Motorola, Schaumburg, IL, and the EFJohnson subsidiary of Lincoln, NE-based Transcrypt Secure Technologies will work together on licensing and sourcing of land mobile radio products.
Under terms of a memorandum of understanding announced Sept. 7, Motorola will license the LTR-Net protocol from Johnson. LTR-Net provides enhanced features and wide-area networking for SMR service providers and is compatible with many LTR radio systems. Motorola already supplies LTR-compatible radios.
“We expect a favorable impact to our bottom line in year 2000 and beyond from these new business initiatives,” said Transcrypt Chairman Michael E. Jalbert. “Our companies have previously entered into agreements for intellectual property rights related to Motorola’s Smartnet, Smartzone and Project 25 technology.’
Among Transcrypt’s new products for 1999, Johnson introduced the LTR-Net system, and Transcrypt Secure Technologies introduced encryption modules for mobile radios, including the latest Motorola models. It introduced voice security modules for Nokia and Qualcomm cellular phones.
Johnson plans to introduce hand-held land mobile radios and digital mobile radios that meet the Project 25 standard. DB
FCC Notes The FCC reassessed the 45MHz CMRS spectrum cap and the cellular cross-interest rules and found that they “continue to be necessary to promote and protect competition in CMRS markets.” The commission did allow more cross-ownership and adopted a spectrum cap aggregation limit increase from 45MHz to 55MHz in rural areas. That increase, the commission said, “should facilitate the deployment of service, particularly PCS, to rural areas without presenting a significant risk to competition in those areas.” . Proposals that FCC Chairman William Kennard has presented to Congress include restructuring the FCC along the functional lines of enforcement, consumer information, licensing, competition/policy and international communications. These functional areas would replace the current industry-specific bureaus within five years. Kennard also reported that the commission is developing a plan to allocate and assign as much as 200MHz of spectrum for a broad range of new services, such as expanded wireless communications services, advanced mobile communications services and new spectrum-efficient private land mobile systems. DK
Freeman combines service, tower operation At Freeman Communications, Elmira, NY, servicing radios forms the largest part of the business.
“Some of our customers have bought radios by mail order, and we fix them,” said Greg Freeman, one of the owners of the company. Repairs primarily involve antennas and batteries on portables, and antenna components on mobiles.
The dealership, which serves the counties of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Tompkins, sells 100 to 500 radios annually for simplex and repeater communications, including business and industrial, and government customers.
Construction companies account for the largest segment of sales, along with taxi companies, towing businesses, ambulance services and police/fire agencies. The construction companies primarily buy portables.
What began for Freeman 25 years ago as a radio hobby turned into a business. He first sold CB radios with his father and soon converted to selling commercial equipment. Freeman Communications also operates three towers and provides tower space, antenna installation and repair.
Four dealers compete for business in the area Freeman serves. Yet, a spirit of cooperation exists among them.
“Each occasionally subcontracts installations and service calls with each other to accommodate deadlines and workflow. The dealers cover for each other during vacations and training seminars. We don’t steal customers from one another,” Freeman said.Competition from Nextel, cellular and PCS has had n o effect on his business, Freeman said. “The economy is doing good, so we’re doing good.”
Freeman Communications carries Uniden, Maxon and Vertex/Standard products and is a factory-authorized reseller for Zetron, David Clark and C.E.S. The company uses Vertex most often for repeaters and mobiles. Maxon usually is preferred for portables and control stations.
“For mobiles, it depends on the application,” Freeman said. “Maxon mobiles are somewhat larger than Vertex mobiles.” Word-of-mouth references bring Freeman Communications more customers than any other method, Freeman said.
The company’s Web site address is www.fccusa.com. DB
LAPD upgrades with Motorola Armed with the power of a new $21.6 million mobile data system, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) can now simultaneously manage multiple emergencies, such as explosions, earthquakes and fires, in separate parts of the city without compromising communications for ongoing, routine calls. The system, a Motorola 800MHz Private Datatac with Mobile Workstation 520 (MW520) mobile computing devices, is part of the LAPD’s upgrade of its Emergency Command and Control Communications System (ECCCS). It replaces a mobile data system the department originally purchased in 1983. RI
Pricing brings curious visitors to NTX-Comm’s Web site “They see the pricing, and it gets them curious,” said Alan Jackson, owner of NTX Comm Supply, Henrietta, TX.
Jackson was referring to the steady increase of inquiries he receives over the Internet at his Web site, www.ntx-comm.com. Even so, site visitors are somewhat reluctant about ordering mobile radios because of the steps needed to program and to install them.
“A local dealer would know the frequencies and tone squelch standards for his area, and he can install the equipment,” he said.
Jackson said he sees the industry “tilting” toward product that allows users to program radios. “Installing the radios is not complicated,” he added.
NTX caters to local customers, including fire and sheriff’s departments. The company sells 60 to 70 radios per year, most of which are used on VHF repeaters by public safety users. Jackson outsources repairs.
Jackson said he got into the business about 10 years ago, responding to friends who were volunteer fire department members. DB
News Notes Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Metuchen, NJ, has won a contract from Telecell One to provide CW drive test equipment comprised of Gator transmitter and Panther four-band receivers for GSM build-out in Africa. Texas Instruments, Dallas, has awarded Berkeley a contract to provide 2.4GHz microcell test tools, including its Lizard 1W transmitters and Mongoose receivers. (www.bvsystems.com) . Softwright, Aurora, CO, conducted its ninth annual Terrain Analysis Package engineering seminar Sept. 27-29. (www.softwright. com). . Melbourne, FL-based GE Harris Railway Electronics will use satellite services from Orbcomm, Dulles, VA, as part of its Pinpoint locomotive tracking system. “The Pinpoint system is poised to transform the way in which the railway industry monitors and communicates with its mobile and remote sources,” said Kevin Clyne, business development manager, communications systems, for GE Harris. (www.orbcomm.com). Relm Wireless, West Melbourne, FL, reported higher revenues for its land mobile radio products during the second quarter of 1999, up $1 million, or 16%, compared to the same period last year, thanks to shipments to the U.S. Army. (www.relm.com) . Emergystat Ambulance Service, Vernon, AL, has installed a satellite-based dispatch radio network from SatCom Systems, Burbank, CA. Explaining why his company uses satellite service for its two-state region, Dave Robertson, Emergystat’s vice president, said, “Cellular coverage is unreliable in much of this area on any given day, and terrestrial two-way VHF/UHF radio systems require a significant capital investment in leased landlines and repeater sites for wide-area coverage.” . Motorola has appointed Andrew, Orland Park, IL,as its global supplier for base station antennas and transmission line products. . For 9-1-1 emergency dispatch system customers of its Netclock time synchronization equipment, Spectracom, East Rochester, NY, has prepared a Y2K emergency procedure for use in preparing contingency plans. It can be viewed on the company’s Web site. (www.spectracomcorp.com) . Advanced Charger Technology, Norcross, GA, has formed nine alliances to distribute chargers for two-way radio batteries in northern Europe. (www.actcharge.com) … CapRock Communications, Friendswood, TX, offers Kenwood and Motorola repeaters, mobiles and portables for rent under a new, nationwide dealer subrental program. “We’ve reduced shipping time and prices,” said John Grau, general manager of CapRock’s Wireless Division. “Kenwood dealers should find our rental program especially advantageous because of our discount program through Kenwood.” (888-482-9090) . For its nationwide fleet, Gas Supply, Tulsa, OK, has purchased the Eaton Fleet Advisor system with on-board computing, mobile communications, GPS and back-office networking capabilities. Gas Supply’s system will use the satellite-based MSAT packet-switched data mobile communications network for mobile communications; Bell South Wireless Data’s terrestrial Mobitex network is another option. Gas Supply’s challenge was to convert from regional to centralized dispatching and “still maintain good communications with our drivers and customers,” said Greg Greer, the company’s transportation manager. (www.fleetadvisor.com) . EFJohnson’s Hong Kong sales office has been closed at a cost of $523,000 for severance expenses and other costs. “We made the decision to close the office as we believe the company will be better served by increasing its focus of wireless sales in the North, Central and South American markets,” said Michael E. Jalbert, chairman of Johnson’s parent company, Lincoln, NE-based Transcrypt Secure Technologies. (www.transcrypt.com) . Nortel Networks and Harris have chosen Signalpro software for broadband system design. The software is provided by Eugene, OR-based EDX Engineering. Wireless Facilities, San Diego, has also chosen Signalpro to aid in designing broadband systems (www.edx.com). … RFS Cablewave, Meriden, CT, will supply cable, connectors and accessories for Omnipoint Communications’ expanding wireless PCS network. … Multiplier Industries, Mt. Kisco, NY, has received ISO 9001 certification. The battery-pack manufacturer worked for a year and a half to improve and to document its procedures to conform with ISO standards.