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Motorola Expands Two Way Radio Lines
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Motorola's XPR 7550 two-way radio features a five-line color display.
Communications technology company Motorola Solutions has unveiled two new entrants--the XPR 7550 and XPR 3500--in its Mototrbo (pronounced "moto-turbo") two-way digital radio portfolio. The XPR 3000 line is intended for lighter and entry-level usage. The XPR 7000 line is a professional tier series, intended for public safety, among other segments. These two lines fit below and above the company's 6000 series of radios, respectively.
Both series of radios include intelligent audio. As Randy Helm, direct of product management explained, "Normally, if you went from a quiet to a noisy environment, you'd constantly be adjusting the volume knob. The feature we've brought to this new platform automatically adjusts. If I'm going from a loud environment to a meeting room, it auto-adjusts that volume depending on the ambient noise conditions."
They also both feature an audible confirmation to notify the user when a channel or zone changes.
The new XPR 7550 model has a five-line color display for faster reading of menus and messages. The predecessor model sported a more modest two-line monochrome display. A day-night feature automatically turns the display brighter or darker depending on lighting conditions.
A Bluetooth data capability allows the device to transfer data between the radio and other devices, such as barcode scanners, mobile printers, or mobile computers. Integrated Bluetooth audio allows users to connect Bluetooth audio accessories without an external adapter. The company has wireless earpieces specifically designed for two-way radio users.
It also provides integrated GPS for location-aware operation. According to Helm, a dispatcher in the security center could have an application that's able to track the location of each of their users for quicker dispatch.
The XPR 3000 series includes two-line display and non-display models. The software it runs can be upgraded to add radio and system features for increased capacity and coverage.
All of Motorola's current line of radios adhere to the narrowbanding standards that go into effect on January 1, 2013. The requirement is that licensees migrate their systems from 25 kilohertz (widebanding) to 12.5 kHz channel bandwidth. After that date the Federal Communications Commission won't certify equipment that includes the 25 kHz mode or protect them from interference. The new rules went into effect in the late 1990s; the interim deadline was January 1, 2011. The upcoming deadline is the final one. Eventually, the rules will require 6.25 kHz bandwidth, though that deadline hasn't been set yet by the FCC.
Motorola also announced Linked Capacity Plus, an entry-level system that uses radios and repeaters for connecting teams through an IP network. The setup allows for system-wide calling capability to communicate with all radio users at once. Configurations can support up to six voice paths for systems with up to five sites and up to 12 voice paths for systems with three sites or fewer. On the data side, it allows up to six dedicated data paths per site, integrating voice with data applications such as GPS-enabled location services, text messaging, and telemetry.
"Mototrbo has redefined what our customers expect from a two-way radio, with the convergence of push-to-talk voice and data allowing users to communicate and work together on a whole new level," said Jeff Spaeth, Motorola's corporate vice president for radio products and accessories. "These new radios offer customers more alternatives to keep the entire enterprise connected, ultimately helping to streamline business operations and increase work group effectiveness."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.