Innovation in digital mobile radio (DMR) has allowed organizations affordable, functional dispatch systems complete with voice, data and other supplementary services. To gain maximum value from a DMR system, you need to complement your network with a modern and full-featured dispatch console.
Before committing to a final design for its dispatch network, your organization will need to answer a number of key questions. Omnitronics’ whitepaper – 5 Questions to Ask Before You Implement a Dispatch Solution with DMR – can help in the decision-making process, ensuring you get the most out of your digital network.
1. What Console Features Will Help you get the Most from your Investment?
DMR technology has allowed for the development of a number of innovative new features. Before choosing a console system, consider what dispatch features would add the most value to your operations, and check that the console can support them. These may include developments such as:
- Location Services
- Emergency Management
- Text Messaging
- Remote Monitoring
- Stun Kill
- Rapid Recall
- Integrated Contacts
2. How will you connect to the DMR infrastructure?
A protocol for dispatch communications has been recommended by the DMR Association, however not all radio manufacturers support this interface. There are alternative interfaces available – some including IP and some not – so it’s important for your organization to decide which method is most suitable.
- IP/Wireline: The AIS protocol for DMR allows dispatch consoles to connect to an ethernet port on base stations or repeaters to communicate using IP, simplifying installation and providing significant cost savings.
- Donor radio: An alternative to using a direct IP/Wireline interface to the base or repeater, this method is useful if your base is in an inaccessible area or is owned by a third-party such as a service provider.
3. How will you manage the migration?
The transition to digital is complex, and the cost of replacing your entire solution at once can be daunting. Fortunately, migration can be achieved incrementally, using radio over IP (RoIP) gateways.
This process involves initially connecting all of your existing analog radios onto an IP network using RoIP gateways, and upgrading your dispatch software to connect to both the legacy and DMR network simultaneously. You can continue to upgrade one site at a time by adding gateways to suit the type of radio.
4. What type of dispatch solution should you use?
The type of dispatch solution and how it is implemented can have an impact on performance, administration, maintenance and reliability. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of various architectures is essential for avoiding potential issues down the line. Here are some key considerations:
- Should you use a Direct IP console or a server-based system? Direct IP consoles are generally cost-effective and easier to install and support. However, server-based solutions offer higher performance, better redundancy, more options and support collaboration amongst multiple dispatchers.
- Are dispatchers local to a site or do they work remotely? If remote usage is required then the console system must be capable of working reliably across IP networks, whether they are VPN, microwave or even a public network such as 4G. Factors such as the type of IP and VoIP protocols that are used, and whether multi-cast is used, can affect your ability to locate your dispatch operators just where you need them.
5. What costs do you need to be aware of?
Obviously the price involved with transitioning to DMR will be a deciding factor, and that may include more than just the cost of the equipment. Here are some key considerations that can help you work out if you are getting the best value for your purchase:
- Installation and commissioning
- Software licensing
Our whitepaper addresses each of these five questions in great depth, leaving your organization in a better position to make your purchase and ensure the best return on your investment. Download it today, and reach out to Omnitronics for more information about how your dispatch network can be improved.