Over a decade since its initial development and ratification, Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) has proven itself as a much more secure, efficient and reliable means of radio communications than its analogue predecessor. Along with improved voice quality and accessibility, the protocol developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has allowed previously impossible innovations to improve dispatch solutions the world over.
In many of the industries in which voice communications are essential, greater efficiency and functionality are welcome developments. Whether improving the safety of people on the network, keeping an eye on the movements of users or simply offering updated methods of contact, many new applications are now available thanks to DMR.
Let’s take a look at the ways increased functionality can benefit dispatch centers.
Improvements to Calling
One of the key drivers behind the development of the DMR standard was increasing security and privacy on networks. When operating a DMR-compatible dispatch console, operators are able to speak to specific individuals rather than broadcasting to the entire network, ensuring privacy of communications and reducing distractions and complications of radio traffic.
Meanwhile, the ability to manage a crisis is a hallmark of a good dispatch operator, but without effective equipment the potential for grave consequences is immense. Receiving and transmitting emergency calls between radios can be done right in the DMR dispatch system, allowing operators to process and respond in whichever way they judge is best.
More Options for Communication
When actually speaking to a user over the radio is unnecessary or inappropriate – for delivering non-urgent instructions or reports, for example – a DMR console allows the transmission of text messages similar to what you would experience with a mobile SMS. The function works in the other direction as well, with some radios capable of sending messages to remote PCs.
A further innovation incorporating other communication methods, email functionality can relieve radio users from needing access to a computer. Whether they need to email someone in the dispatch centre or elsewhere in the outside world, it’s an additional means of contact for DMR console operators.
Being able to keep track of where your users are at a given time is a hugely beneficial feature available on DMR. Dispatchers can observe the real-time GPS position of vehicle or user activity, improving safety and efficiency.
GPS technology can also help operators to manage where users on the network are permitted to go, and the rate at which they can move through authorized areas. By establishing a geofence, a notification will be sent when a user has travelled outside a predefined geographical area or is travelling faster than a predetermined limit. The operator can then easily contact them for details.
Better Monitoring of Specific Users
Lone workers exist in many industries, and understandably there are certain risks involved. DMR consoles are able to monitor such situations and raise an alarm if necessary should contact with the worker be lost. Concerns for user wellbeing can also be addressed by discretely connecting to a radio’s microphone to monitor audio without the need for remote user intervention. Dispatchers can even disable a unit on the network that is functioning incorrectly or has gone missing.
While DMR has a number of advantages over other radio network technologies, it’s by no means the only option. Making the transition to a completely DMR-based communication system can also be a large undertaking, so understandably some organizations may choose to migrate over time from PMR to DMR. Bridging the two protocols is possible, however, thanks to operator-controlled patching.
By using a digital radio gateway, operators can ensure these features are interoperable across radio manufacturers. Ultimately, DMR gives dispatch centers the opportunity to increase their operational efficiencies and the safety of the radio users.