Motorola unveils digital two-way radio system

Location-aware app integration a possibility

Motorola has announced of its MOTOTRBO digital, two-way radio system for the enterprise, which brings new application integration features and remains backward-compatible with existing analog systems.

Some new features of the digital MOTOTRBO is text messaging, GPS, longer range and better battery life.

The new equipment will be available from July 1.

Enterprise-grade two-way radio systems are typically used in campus environments where instant one-to-many voice communication is required, like manufacturing facilities, transport, construction sites, and private security operations.

This is a step down from the grade of two-way radio systems used for mission-critical operations like emergency services.

Motorola Australia's general manager of network and enterprise Gary Starr said the concept was conceived five years ago as a result of customers wanting enhanced functionality and a graceful migration path to digital.

"What comes with digital is the ability to enhance audio quality with error correction, and location-based services and text messaging bring a range of applications for customers to deploy, for example, they are able to understand where their resources are," Starr said.

Starr said the new features may attract new users, but MOTOTRBO is largely addressing the existing two-way radio market.

"Being digital and TDMA means instead of transmitting all the time you are only transmitting half the time so there is a minimum of 40 percent improvement in power consumption," he said.

A standard digital radio can last for 13 hours, with an extended battery giving 17 hours.

Digital also claims to provide clearer communications in areas where analog would give poorer levels for better voice quality up the edge of the device's range.

MOTOTRBO is packaged as a dual-mode system with portable and mobile radios, a repeater, accessories, and data applications. Motorola's API enables the development of custom applications by third parties.

The handhelds are also ruggedized and splash proof.

"Customers can improve basic functionality, add new features and increase capacity at their own pace, while leveraging existing system investments," Starr said.

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