Keep on dancing
Then the music started, and the go-go dancers (guys and girls) started dancing. Next thing I know, I’m being dragged out onto the dance floor.
First off, let me thank all of you who welcomed me to the world of mobile radio at the International Wireless Communications Expo. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with the dynamic MRT team. I’ve worked with the MRT staff for the past five years as editor for RF Design magazine. So, when asked to join the MRT staff, I jumped at the opportunity.
I am no stranger to the world of mobile radio. As a career U.S. Air Force avionics and aircraft maintenance officer, I worked with a number of airborne and ground communications systems. I have been accused of telling “war stories,” so I won’t begin here. However, if you ever see me at a conference or trade show and want to exchange “life experiences,” I’m your man. From working with legacy systems, acquiring new technology, and adapting old and new technology to old and new applications, I had my share of the good and the bad that communications technology has to offer.
Because of (or in spite of) my experiences, you will find I can be passionate about issues that affect how communications technology evolves and how it is applied. So, don’t be too surprised to see me rant in this column. I am opinionated, and I’ll take on anything I see that needs to be addressed. So, when I do rant, I want to hear from you. I actually answer my phone and my email.
IWCE was lively
If you missed this year’s IWCE, you missed an outstanding event. This was my fourth IWCE, so I went off to Las Vegas thinking I had everything well-in-hand. Wrong. This time, no one told me I needed to take dancing lessons before I got there.
First of all, the 25th anniversary celebration had a ‘70s theme. That was cool. But then the music started, and the go-go dancers (guys and girls) started dancing. Next thing I know, I’m being dragged out onto the dance floor.
Well, I survived that, only to be invited to the Kenwood event held at the Harley-Davidson cafe. What a great event. But, guess what — more music and (gasp) dancing. While the rest of the MRT staff got out there, I hid with the rest of the “too cool to dance” crowd. (In other words, the rest of the cowards.)
Both events were a lot of fun and very lively. And speaking of lively, have you checked out the IWCE Live! Web site? Just go to the MRT Web site at www.mrtmag.com and click IWCE Live!. The MRT staff, supported by the RFD editors, did a real-time, online update of what was going on at IWCE. From news events to new product releases, the site was a fun ride to keep updated. It will be online for at least another month, so check it out. You may even find a picture of an editor (who will go nameless) dancing.
Two-way or not two-way
So, is two-way radio dead? I think not. Nor did the keynote speaker at IWCE. Nor did the keynote speaker at the Radio Club of America breakfast. Nor did those of you I talked with at IWCE. While cellular has presented a challenge, two-way technology still dominates.
Although there are a number of growth areas, one of the strongest is public safety. As regular readers know, MRT has been focusing on public safety issues, applications, technology and products for a number of years. You will see us continue to address public safety and its communications requirements.
This is important to me. You see, I live in Littleton, CO, and just minutes away from Columbine High School. I was personally touched by events there. I was frustrated and upset over the lack of communications interoperability among police and other responding agencies. What really added to my ire was the fact that I saw the same interoperability issues among the services while I was in the Air Force. The military has been slow to respond to this issue (while it is a heck of a lot better, it still needs work), and I see the same slow response in public safety areas. Creating a “hub” to pass messages is not a solution. If anything, it only drags response capability down.
Are there solutions? You bet there are. In the pages of MRT, we will continue to point out how the issues are being addressed and what solutions are out there. But, let me know what you think. E-mail me directly at [email protected].