Butler headlines crowded IWCE
As the nation prepared for war in the Middle East — again — attendees to this year’s IWCE received a dose of international politics. The medicine did not go down well.
Several attendees hammered out angry e-mails — protesting the political relevance of former ambassador and U.N. weapons inspector Richard Butler as this year’s keynote speaker.
Nevertheless, Butler proceeded to outline the dangers to America and the countries following America’s lead without formal United Nations approval of U.S.-led coalition attack on Iraq.
“I have anxiety about it,” Butler told a packed room of IWCE attendees.
As the war rages on the road to Baghdad, there’s no doubt Butler’s anxiety remains.
The dangers he listed include damage to the world economy, unrest in the Arab world that could lead to wider wars and increased terrorism, as well as a loss of good will toward the United States from many nations, including those who have been longtime allies.
On the surface, the resolution put before the U.N. Security Council — then later withdrawn — might have been simple: Iraq had not complied with the conditions to disarm itself of weapons of mass destruction.
Many nations, including several on the security council, had come to see it more as a question about the post Cold War relationships when the world has a single superpower — the United States.
France Germany, Russia and China resisted because “for them that is not what this issue is all about,” Butler insisted.
Butler is a former Australian ambassador to the United Nations and the former executive director of the Security Council’s inspection team for disarmament of Iraq.
Needless to say, the issue of homeland security remained paramount at this year’s show.
Eric Jenkins, chief of program coordination — preparedness division of Federal Emergency Management Agency, addressed IWCE attendees regarding the structure and budget of FEMA and The Department of Homeland Security.
Regarding structure, Jenkins noted the DHS has directorates of Border and Transportation Security, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection, and Science and Technology that will coordinate the department efforts in research and development, including preparing for and responding to terrorist threats.
The Emergency Preparedness and Response budget, he reported, includes $60 million for Urban Search and Rescue, $25 million for interoperability improvements, $20 million for Community Emergency Response Training, $165 million for Emergency Management Performance Grant, $745 million for Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, and $25 million for Emergency Operations Centers.
In other homeland security news, another IWCE conference speaker told attendees that companies hoping to do business with federal, state and local government agencies in the area of homeland security need to remain customer centered.
Anton B. Reut of Federal Services Inc., a market intelligence research group, advised IWCE attendees on attaining business and grants from local, state, and the federal agencies in the DHS.
Noting that many government agencies define “homeland security” in different ways, Reut recommended researching the agencies to assure that the marketing plan matches the government agency’s needs.
According to Reut, the DHS IT spending budget is estimated at $3.75 billion, but he warned that figure changed almost daily.
Reut emphasized that state and local Homeland Security offices need products and advice.
“They need networks and systems that help share information, [that] solve the incompatibility problems,” Reut said. “They need solutions, not products — partnerships to solve problems.”
Radio Club of America breakfast
More than 150 Radio Club of America members launched into a second day of IWCE 2003 activities with a crowded breakfast gathering at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Thursday morning. Following the standard dose of eggs, bacon and coffee — as well as an equally salty serving of jokes from traditional toastmaster Ray Trott — attendees received a call to arms in the form of a public safety standards update by Craig M. Jorgensen, a past president of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials.
Jorgensen began his presentation with an update of Project MESA activities.
Project MESA is an international partnership that focuses on technical standards for mobile communications technologies. The project is most targeted to standards issues affecting public safety and disaster response.
“We don’t want to get into a standard where only one manufacturer is able to provide the infrastructure,” he said. “Those of you working in public safety need to decide where you come down on this issue.”
Like others, Jorgensen focused many of his comments on issues of interoperability. Unlike many others, he pointed the finger at his own industry.
“We as users have not been clear in articulating for our political leaders the problems we have in interoperability,” he said. “I’m not blaming Congress. I’m blaming us.”
Jorgensen said that $600 million in governmental homeland security spending will soon make its way into the coffers of state, city and county governments, with $395 million of it specifically earmarked for new equipment.
“This should be used for interoperability technology. We need to make sure that money is available for our industry. Something has to happen to make sure your industry survives.”
To accomplish that, he said, “We need to do a better job of working together.”
IWCE is the ideal platform for launching new products and services. This year’s show offered no shortage of such announcements.
Kenwood Communications introduced the TK-7150/8150 LTR and conventional mobiles. These new 50-Series mobiles are compatible with FleetSync, a text messaging technology developed by Kenwood that the company says is for cost-effective fleet management.
The TK-7150/8150 also offers a single head remote option for space saving installation. These 50-Series mobiles operate on conventional systems with dual priority scan or LTR trunking systems or a combination of both types of systems. The TK-7150/8150 has a data compatible input port for integration with mobile data equipment, capable of data speeds of 4800 to 9600 bps.
The VHF model offers 50-watt operation, while the UHF is rated at 45 watts. In conventional mode, the 50-Series offers 128-channel operation and in LTR mode, a maximum range of 32 zones X 250 talk groups. The radios have a high-resolution 12 character alphanumeric display and also include six Programmable Function keys, each programmable for one of 24 functions.
Microwave Data Systems unveiled at IWCE its latest series of radios that will support customers in the 700 MHz guard band.
The new MDS LEDR 700S is a full duplex, point-to-point, digital radio operating in the 746-794 MHz frequency range. The MDS LEDR 700S provides maximum data throughput and is scalable from 64 kbps to 384 kbps. It supports point-to-point transmission applications, public safety, long-haul telecommunications links, cellular backhaul and SCADA communications.
The MDS LEDR 700S is one of the few radios available today that operates in the 700 MHz guard band spectrum. The 700 MHz guard band is open for use in both fixed and mobile services. It consists of six megahertz of paired spectrum allocated to protect public safety operations from harmful interference coming from immediately adjacent bands.
In response to the increasing demand for spectrum and to promote efficient use of this spectrum, frequencies on this guard band are available through licensees called Guard Band Managers. Guard Band Managers, such as Maryland-based Access Spectrum, must adhere to specific technical and operational measures designed to minimize interference to the public safety licensees.
The radios have yet to be approved by the Federal Communications Commission. They cannot be sold or leased until the FCC approves.
Mobile Satellite Ventures announced at IWCE that the two and three axis SpaceCom antennas have been approved for use with mobile terminals on MSV Satellite Network.
The SpaceCom tracking system is based on a patented technology that the company said ensures rapid and accurate tracking. The unit is self-contained, and needs no outside input form outside sources to acquire and track satellites.
SpaceCom, based in Denmark, designs, develops and manufactures satellite tracking antenna systems for use on mobile platforms.
Anritusu Co. introduced the Cell Master at IWCE, a handheld field test for maintenance, troubleshooting and optimization of 2.5G and 3 G base stations and networks.
The instrument combines the functionality of a cable and antenna analyzer, spectrum analyzer power meter and T1/E1 analyzer in an instrument that weighs less than five pounds. Cell master allows users to perform a wide array of verification tests and signal analyses.
Cell master is designed to conduct diagnostics and verification of base station RF cable feed-line and antenna systems over the air signal identification, interference analysis, power measurement, voice and data traffic error and fault location of T1 and E1 circuits. Most functions are available with the press of a button.
The interface can be displayed in any of six languages.
Sinclair Technologies Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of fixed and mobile antennas, announced the release of its SC481 omni antenna. Designed specifically to provide enhanced coverage for cities, towns and highways, Sinclair says the SC481 delivers a gain of 10.5 dBd, a voltage standing wave ratio (VSWR) of 1.3:1, and passive intermodulation (PIM) operation of -110 dBm.
Sinclair’s family of SC481 antennas also incorporate a parallel feed design to deliver improved pattern control and a higher null fill of -20 dB, the company says. Made with rugged components, SC481 antennas are designed for simple installation and resistance to harsh environmental conditions. The antennas are enclosed in fiberglass radomes to minimize tip deflection and coverage variations in severe wind conditions, the company says. Heavy-duty fiberglass radomes are also available for deployment in extreme weather conditions.
Radiall/Larsen Antenna Technologies, a developer of small antenna products for wireless communications, introduced four new antennas for wireless local area network (WLAN) at the international Wireless Communications Exposition (IWCE).
The first new product, a radome omni antenna, is a high-gain, omni-directional antenna for subscriber unit applications, the company says. It delivers a gain of 10 dBi with a small footprint of 14.1 inch length × 0.9 inch diameter. The antenna is available in three frequency ranges: 2.4 GHz, 5.2 GHz, and 5.8 GHz.
The second new antenna is an omni-ceiling mount antenna designed for wireless local area network (WLAN) indoor coverage applications. Radial/Larsen says its patented Rad-Slim design provides low profile with a gain of 2 dBi.
The third new product is a wall-mounted, directional patch antenna designed to improve indoor communications that experience poor reception. It delivers a gain of 7.5 dBi with a footprint of 4.7 inch × 3.5 inch width.
The fourth new product is a family of planar array antennas for point-to-point applications. The antennas use a Radiall/Larsen proprietary silk-screen patented process to obtain accurate performance and long life, the company says.