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DMR is in fashion at clothing warehouse

Date: 27th April 2012
Topic: Switching On
Technology: Digital PMR
Manufacturer: Hytera

A digital mobile radio system by Hytera has solved a communications problem for the fashion retailer River Island, at its distribution centre in Milton Keynes.

Completed in 2010, the centre is split between two sites and occupies more than 43 000 square metres on four floors. Its 600 employees serve the chain’s 270 stores in the UK. However, River Island is now expanding its business with plans for an additional 300 stores across the UK, Ireland and in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

On moving to the distribution centre, River Island soon found problems with its analogue two-way radios. Coverage dead-spots and the use of the same frequency by two separate user groups (security and operations) often caused confusion, interference and inefficient communication.

But with the deployment of a Hytera Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) system by Cambridgeshire-based Radio Links Communications, these difficulties were immediately overcome.

“We found no one else could match the quality of the product offered and we are extremely happy with our purchase”, said David Parker, security controller for River Island Clothing Co. “I have, and would recommend Hytera to any other similar business and fully expect to use them for the foreseeable future myself.”


River Island’s main communications requirement was clear and reliable audio communication within the two main units on all four floors. And the two user groups required simultaneous communication whilst sharing their single channel.

To meet this need, Radio Links installed a Hytera MD785 base station in the control room and equipped the security and operations teams with Hytera PD785 colour display/keypad radios operating in ‘pseudo-trunking’ mode. Exploiting the dual time-slot capability of DMR technology, this system enables the two teams to communicate simultaneously, without interfering with each other’s communication or activity and without the need for an additional frequency licence. Radio users also found the DMR system exceeded the coverage requirement.

Another benefit of the pseudo-trunking feature is that the control room base radio can monitor both talkgroups without changing channel, making for more fluid and comprehensive communication and reducing margin for error or missed communications.

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