Icom wins the FCS Gerald David Award
Written by: Land Mobile | Published:
L-R: Itret Latif, CEO of the FCS; Bob Stockley, Icom UK's managing director; Sam Fenwick, editor of Land Mobile; and Tim Cull, head of business radio, FCS

Icom has won the Federation of Communication Services (FCS) 2019 Gerald David (OBE) Award for Innovation in Business Radio for its IC-SAT100 Satellite PTT Radio Solution.

The award was presented at the Business Radio Gala Dinner which took place at the Chateau Impney hotel following the FCS Business Radio ’19 conference and exhibition. The Gerald David (OBE) Award for Innovation in Business Radio was established in 2004 and recognises innovation within the business radio industry. This year, for the first time it was supported by Land Mobile.

The 2019 Award Contest was closely fought between two contestants – the Icom IC-SAT100 and GlobalView Systems’ Android Dispatcher. Both entries were extremely strong and very much impressed the five independent judges, who assigned scores against a series of criteria, which were then totalled to determine the winner.

The Icom IC-SAT100 is the world’s first dedicated satellite push-to-talk (PTT) radio and offers real-time communications between groups of individuals, each of whom can be anywhere on the planet. The IC-SAT100 uses the Iridium satellite communication network which covers the whole earth including both poles, allowing its use in remote and isolated areas where there is no mobile phone or landline network infrastructure. Icom claims that Iridium’s constellation of 66 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites provides broader and more reliable network coverage compared to Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit (GEO) satellites.

Bob Stockley, Icom UK's managing director said, “I'm very proud to have received this award and the recognition it represents to both Icom and Iridium and also that the FCS team saw the innovation behind the IC-SAT100 when choosing their winner.”

Tim Cull, the FCS's head of business radio, said, “Using satellite to expand coverage is a great approach to a difficult problem. Of course, Iridium is a resilient system and so this approach preserves the mission-criticality that business radio customers need. The entries for the 2019 Gerald David contest were extremely strong. Icom UK is a worthy winner.”

During a speech at the Business Radio Gala Dinner, Sam Fenwick, the editor of Land Mobile highlighted the importance of innovation, given the many challenges our society faces, together with the need to collaborate with other organisations and to work closely with end users. The two entrants are prime examples of what can be accomplished through doing so, given that Icom and Iridium worked together to produce the IC-SAT100, while GlobalView Systems’ Android Dispatcher owes its creation to a request from one of the UK’s largest energy providers for a solution to assist a team of dispatchers, in the wake of a highly publicised on-site incident.

The Android Dispatcher is a simple, highly expandable command and control dispatch solution, which uses a space-saving telephone hardware platform with an integrated 7" touchscreen and intuitive user interface. Straight-forward centralised management of the system is possible via a unique server application. The system connects via IP to conventional and XPT based Hytera radio systems. The Android Dispatcher is designed to improve communication and enhance safety in the workplace.

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