Digital radio communications at the PGA tournament
Last year, Motorola Solutions (MSI) in Malaysia had commemorated the 10th year anniversary of their digital radio portfolio, MOTOTRBO, with a lavish event for their partner ecosystem, at a hospitality suite at TPC Golf and Country Club.
Vice President of Radio Channel Sales, for Motorola Solutions in APAC, Mike O’Connor described how MOTOTRBO has evolved to now being a digital-based business-critical and mission-critical communications platform, with features that can be further developed by their ecosystem of over 1000 partners into a wide variety of software applications, in their respective specific verticals.
“With radio frequency being a scarce resource, we needed to be more efficient (with how we use it), so we moved to digital,” he said, adding that Motorola created the DMR (digital mobile radio) technology, as a replacement of analogue professional mobile radio (PMR) products.
Motorola is the founding member of the Digital Mobile Radio Association (DMRA), and its MOTOTRBO platform of two-way radio handsets, systems, repeaters, and software, enables one of the industry’s largest application developer programmes.
According to O’Connor, MOTOTRBO has been growing with a CAGR of 47-percent since 2007. But, that isn’t enough.
“There are over 17 million radios in use worldwide, and two-thirds of them are analogue-based.” He revealed that the number of radios is set to increase to 20 million by 2020, and this presents a huge opportunity for Motorola to convert them to digital.
There are many advantages to using digital over analogue. For one, digital two-way radio communications can cover a wider network area, and quality of voice conversations, besides being simultaneous, is also better and will not deteriorate, the further users are from the transmitter.
Digital radio will also omit background noise, which makes it very suitable for usage in noisy environments like construction, retail, manufacturing, and more.
The biggest advantage however, would have to be the software applications that come with it, like GPS, data tracking, text messaging, alarm notifications and more.
Over the years, MOTOTRBO has grown considerably, with a next-generation portfolio being launched last year, that features more innovative features like indoor location-tracking, longer battery life, WiFi support, a Capacity Max digital trunking solution, and WAVE.
WAVE 5000, is a workgroup communications software, and the latest version of WAVE 5000 allows support of push-to-talk services on desktop machines, or any IT communications device like a mobile phone or tablet. This software is an important communications bridge between Motorola two-way handsets, and other type of communications devices.
It also considerably expands the ecosystem of devices that can be supported by the MOTOTRBO platform, and this in turn expands the number of possible scenarios, MOTORTRBO solutions can be relevant in.
O’Connor shared findings from a survey which revealed factors IT decision makers take into consideration when purchasing IT infrastructure like surveillance cameras, sensors, networks and so on. Ninety-one percent responded that safety is a factor, while 87-percent viewed productivity and efficiency as factors they would consider also.
O’Connor explained, “Workers being able to communicate or send alerts when they need help, is important for 87-percent of IT purchasers. “
For example, geo-fences are zones whereby only people with a level of access, can enter. Non-authorised entry would trigger alerts to relevant parties like security, to act upon.
“That’s the kind of things, I’m hearing IT is trying to enable for their business.”
The CIMB Classics event
Motorola’s 10th anniversary for MOTOTRBO was held right smack in the middle of a live MOTOTRBO implementation. The specific venue was the Champion Club, a high end TPC hospitality suite, with an advantageous view of the golf fairway and the 4-day CIMB Classics golf tournament.
The four-day CIMB Classic is the PGA Tour’s only event in Southeast Asia, with 78 players competing for the prize of USD1.26 million.
PGA Tour’s regional commercial director, Jeffrey Ong, said, “As you can imagine, at a world-class golf event such as the CIMB Classic, communication is key. We have to make sure all the players, officials, sponsors, partners, vendors, staff and volunteers are constantly kept in the loop with the latest updates and developments, both on and off the course.”
The two-way radio project at the CIMB Classics comprised of a base station which covered a radius of 10 kilometres (with one repeater unit) and included 180 units of two-way radio handsets to ensure smooth operations of the golf tournament.
“The radio operates on a lower frequency, so it works for further distances,” O’Connor described.
These two-way radios work within what is called an operator network, and for wider coverages, companies like Electcoms Berhad builds operator networks or MOTOTRBO wireless network systems.
Motorola Solutions Malaysia, is the largest two-way radio manufacturing and research and development centre for Motorola Solutions. A fully integrated team in Penang, is responsible for manufacturing, design, development, and distribution of mission critical communications products and technology, for the first responders and public safety agencies.
This made MOTOTRBO’s 10th year anniversary milestone, all the more sweeter for Motorola Solutions in Malaysia.