Expertise and innovation
Written by: Motorola Solutions | Published:

(Advertorial) Sam Fenwick asks Daniel Scotney at Motorola Solutions what is the best solution for business customers who need critical communications for their mobile workers

You joined Motorola Solutions at the start of this year. Tell me about your new role

In January I joined a newly-formed team of sales specialists with the objective of growing sales of our two-way radio system to business customers. I am based out of our London office and cover the UK and Ireland, as well as Belgium, the Netherlands and the Nordic markets.

The focus of the team is on our MOTOTRBO Capacity Max and DIMETRA Express solutions, which we sell through our extensive network of channel distributors and resellers.

Before joining you worked for UK-based resellers selling two-way radio solutions. How will your background help you achieve your objectives?

Because of my 20-year career in the UK market working for resellers, I have in-depth, hands-on experience of the Motorola Solutions portfolio. More importantly, I understand what our customers need to ensure their mobile workforce stays safe and productive. I also understand the challenges our resellers face. An important responsibility of my new role is to make it easy for them buy and sell our systems solutions.

Two-way radio is certainly not a new technology and there are many other mobile communication options. Why do you think it continues to be the best solution for business customers?

As you say, our customers have many choices to help their mobile workforce stay in touch, but nothing does critical business communication better than two-way radio. At Motorola Solutions we explain the unique benefits of two-way radio in terms of the ‘6 C’s’, starting with ‘criticality.’ Two-way radio systems are typically designed to meet the specific requirements of individual customers, to remain operational even in the worse-case scenario.

The next C is ‘control’. A customised two-way radio communication system enables customers to manage their mobile workforce efficiently and utilise their resources to give them competitive advantage. Two-way radio systems provide high levels of security and access control to ensure that communications are heard only by the intended audience. This is an important consideration for private security companies and shopwatch schemes.

Next up is ‘coverage’. A two-way radio solution provides cost-effective coverage, in-building, on-site and across wide areas. Because systems are typically designed to meet the needs of individual customers, mobile workers can be confident of real-time communications wherever they work. That means the likes of security guards patrolling underground car parks, construction workers deep inside tunnels, and oil and gas operators working amongst complex metal structures can keep communicating.

Then there’s ‘capacity’. Two-way radio systems are designed to cope with extreme situations when usage increases way beyond the norm. For example, in the case of a security situation at a shopping centre, two-way radio keeps communicating regardless of increased loading on the public cellular network.

The next benefit is ‘capabilities’. Our customers value fast call set-up, group communications and clear audio quality. Although the fundamentals of two-way radio are not new, the technology has continued to evolve. For example the migration to digital has enabled new applications and data capabilities such as indoor and outdoor location tracking, work ticketing and telemetry.

And last is the benefit of ‘cost’. A privately-owned two-way system ensures predictable costs with no surprises from ongoing call charges. On the other hand our customers may chose to subscribe to a service from one of our channel partners who will deliver and maintain a complete solution at an affordable price. In short, two-way radio is the best solution for ensuring mobile worker safety and efficiency.

Why do you offer two-way radio systems based on different technologies? Which is best for UK-based businesses?

Offering different technologies enables us to provide the right solution for our customers. Across Europe, and within the UK, we have two main systems offerings: MOTOTRBO and DIMETRA. Both are digital two-way solutions based upon global standards defined by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). MOTOTRBO complies with the ETSI Digital Mobile Radio standard, DIMETRA complies with the ETSI Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) standard.

The DMR standard defines different modes of operation and we provide different MOTOTRBO solutions to support these modes. MOTOTRBO Capacity Max is our solution which complies with the DMR mode III – digital trunking.

Last year we launched a new TETRA portfolio – DIMETRA Express –, and we are continuing to enhance its capabilities through this year. Before taking on my new role I had always thought that TETRA solutions are difficult to deploy and manage. DIMETRA Express has proven me wrong. I am very impressed with the ease of installation and configuration – it literally took me 14 minutes to get a system up and running from scratch. The web-based network manager and radio configurator are also very intuitive and easy to use.

There are differences between MOTOTRBO Capacity Max and DIMETRA. The best choice for our customers depends upon their individual requirements. For example, spectrum availability is a key consideration. Licensed frequencies are assigned by the national regulator, which is Ofcom in the UK. Typically a wider range of spectrum in the UK is available for MOTOTRBO Capacity Max deployments.

Regarding spectrum availability – and this is an especially important consideration for UK-based customers – are frequency licences available to deploy TETRA systems in the UK?

The short answer is yes - commercial TETRA systems are deployed in the UK. Although there is no dedicated TETRA-specific business radio spectrum defined, licence requests for TETRA deployments (as for all technology types) are assessed by the Ofcom assignment team on a case-by-case basis.

Apart from spectrum availability, how should a customer decide between DIMETRA and MOTOTRBO?

If a customer has a legacy radio system already in use they will need to decide whether to implement a replacement or migration strategy. There are pros and cons to both approaches and the best route depends upon the legacy technology and the goals of the individual customer. There are options to migrate to both DIMETRA Express and MOTOTRBO Capacity Max but Capacity Max typically offers the most cost-effective migration path from a legacy analogue system, for example.

Each customer must also consider what other communication systems they need to connect with. Both of the Motorola Solutions technologies interface smoothly to a range of other technologies. If a customer needs to interface to a nationwide TETRA public safety solution for example, DIMETRA Express is the best option.

Customers should also take into consideration what level of resilience they require. Where two-way radio is absolutely critical to operations, they obviously need to deploy a highly resilient solution which will provide communication in the event of power outage, natural disaster, sabotage, cyber attack, etc. Our unparalleled experience in critical public safety solutions means that DIMETRA Express may be the optimal choice.

Our customers should also consider the level of protection they require around their communications, from avoiding casual eavesdropping to preventing malicious attacks. Both of our solutions provide high levels of security with DIMETRA Express offering the highest.

In addition to voice communications, MOTOTRBO Capacity Max and DIMETRA Express support a wide range of data applications. For example, geolocation tracking for transport companies, work ticketing for hotels and machine-to-machine telemetry for utilities providers and pipeline operators. DIMETRA Express, supporting higher bandwidth, may be the best solution for customers using data-intensive applications.

So, you’re saying the best choice for business customers comes down to what they need...

Yes, exactly. Some business customers will benefit most from MOTOTRBO whereas others will get more value out of a DIMETRA Express solution. Motorola Solutions has a comprehensive portfolio of two-way radio solutions to match all of our customers’ requirements.

In the UK, our nationwide public safety TETRA network is transitioning to LTE technology. What is the future for two-way radio within the commercial markets?

Two-way radio is the best choice for business-critical mobile voice communication today and into the foreseeable future. Two-way radio is being augmented by broadband-based services to offer enhanced data applications, extended coverage across multiple networks and increased collaboration across a wider range of user types with smartphones and tablets.

Motorola Solutions is at the forefront of Push-To-Talk (PTT)-over-broadband integration with our suite of WAVE solutions. For example WAVE interfaces directly into our MOTOTRBO and DIMETRA infrastructure and extends the reach of traditional two-way radio to new users. Using a client installed on their Android or iOS smartphone, a customer is able to communicate seamlessly with radio users over public or private WiFi or cellular 3G/4G networks.

Consider a large hotel where the day-to-day on-site staff are equipped with two-way radios. WAVE can be deployed to provide offsite communication for the hotel’s management or security teams, as well as the shuttle bus and limo drivers.

Also, WAVE can be issued to visiting event management companies who use the hotel as a temporary venue, enabling them to communicate easily with the hotel workers onsite.

Manufacturing is another market where WAVE is being successfully deployed to provide offsite and out-of-hours communications for travelling executives, sales personnel and maintenance teams. The WAVE client is also issued to suppliers and logistics partners to ensure an all-informed supply chain.

There are many opportunities to enhance the value of traditional two-way radio with broadband-based services, and a very exciting future lies ahead.

I’d say choosing Motorola Solutions means less risk for our customers.

We are the global (and UK) market leader in providing critical communications. We have an unmatched heritage, and 90 years of delivering best-in-class solutions. None of our competitors has this experience.

We deliver unparalleled support to customers, direct from Motorola Solutions and through our extensive network of expert channel partners.

Motorola Solutions supports these channel partners, and we also reward excellence through our global PartnerEmpower program.

Our investment in research and development is greater than all of our competitors combined. This means ongoing innovation and product roadmaps which evolve with our customers’ requirements.

In an uncertain world, our solutions offer proven best-in-class security and resilience to ensure communications continue and our customers operate at their best in the moments that matter.

Daniel Scotney
Northern Europe channel systems sales specialist
Telephone: +44 (0)7540 300697


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