Motorola Solutions was thinking about police on the street and soldiers on the battlefield when it developed its XTS 5000 line of digital two-way radios. Just about everything a government agency would need in a mission-critical portable radio is packed into the XTS5000, including:
P25 is the standard for interoperability among government agencies, ensuring that ambulance drivers can talk to police on the way to a car crash, and that city firefighters can communicate with county sheriff’s deputies.
Trunking allows the creation of a sophisticated network of user groups and allows hundreds of people to communicate simultaneously because computer software is constantly routing transmissions to wherever there is available bandwidth.
Advanced digital capabilities
Digital technology transforms a government agency’s radio network, allowing:
- Internet connectivity — Digital radios translate voice conversations into packets of digital data that can be delivered over the Internet, extending the range of a portable radio to anyplace with an Internet connection. Internet features, in turn, allow SMS text messaging, which can be vital in situations where talking is impossible or extremely hazardous.
- GPS location — The XTS5000 can be programmed to include global positioning satellite services, so commanders can always tell where their people are deployed with pinpoint accuracy and send help in a crisis.
- Digital data services — Every XTS5000 is a computing device producing data that government agencies can analyze to better serve their communities and save taxpayer dollars. Radios also can be programmed to perform certain mechanical tasks like opening gates and turning on security cameras.
- Encryption and sound quality — Digital transmissions enable encryption to ensure secure channels, while digital encoding ensures clear communications up to the edge of the radio’s range. (Related TWW story: Should Your Organization Encrypt Its Radio Signals?)
Three models for maximum specialization
The XTS5000 line recognizes that a radio’s feature set needs to match the requirements of individual users. The captain managing a fire scene needs a sophisticated communications toolbox while the hose crew needs simple push-to-talk reliability. That’s why the XTS5000 comes in three model varieties:
- Model I is the basic workhorse, offering up to 48 channels and featuring an illuminated 16-position rotary knob on top, three programmable side buttons, an orange emergency button and a transmit LED indictor.
- Model II adds an LCD bitmap screen with four lines of text and 12 characters per line. It also ups the channel capacity to 1,000. The backlit keypad has three programmable soft keys and three navigation keys.
- Model III has everything in Model II, but adds a full 12-character keypad, which allows the user to make calls over a traditional phone network, send SMS messages and store critical data like addresses and phone numbers on the radio for quick access.
Construction for rugged environments
Finally, XTS5000 radios are built to keep out water and dust, and withstand impacts that are bound to happen in an emergency.
Furthermore, an intrinsically safe version is available for users in volatile environments where the tiniest spark can trigger a catastrophe.
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