The direct approach

John Swarbrick, founder and CEO of Andromeda, a company focusing on LTE devices and PTT over Cellular (PoC), speaks to Sam Fenwick about the organisation’s development of a PoC device with direct mode

Five years ago, John Swarbrick had a potentially life or death problem while sitting in an event control room as a volunteer for St John Ambulance. He and the other volunteers were providing medical cover for a long-distance family-orientated cycle ride. They received a message saying that a cyclist had collided with a car and urgently needed medical support. “We traditionally use standard VHF radios but we couldn’t contact the crews we needed to because we couldn’t get the coverage that we needed on the route, so we were forced to use mobile phones. Those were okay, but we had problems with missed calls, going to voicemail and things like that. The question that went through my mind right then was ‘Why can’t I have a two-way radio that has that immediacy of communication with the coverage of a mobile phone that always seemed to work?’ That’s where the idea [for Andromeda] came from – a very personal problem I’d encountered that really needed to be resolved.”

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