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1 March 2006, IT infrastructure in security

The security industry is no stranger to two-way radio communication, having been a traditional user and one for which the technology has been specifically developed since its original military application. Despite innovations that have spawned myriad alternative communication devices, two-way radio has held its ground as the most efficient and robust technology in mission-critical situations.

One of the prime factors for its ubiquity is the instantaneous nature of two-way radio communication and the fact that it supports simultaneous group communication. At the push of a single button, users have immediate access to a specific user group or individual, improving response times and ensuring the right message reaches the right people. Two-way radio communication also cuts communication costs drastically, as users do not pay per call.

With over 65 years of experience in meeting the mission-critical requirements of public safety, government and enterprise customers worldwide, Motorola has established itself as a provider of innovative wireless solutions that provide a range of voice, data and video communications: seamlessly.

The addition of a range of innovative features to Motorola's two-way radio devices has provided greater functionality to improve response times and enhance user security. For example, the Professional Series GP and GM range of portable and mobile radios all offer five-tone signalling, which allows radios to be programmed to transmit critical information such as identifying the caller and the call status, allowing users to prioritise in an emergency situation.

Pre-recorded messages can be sent to a defined group of people using the emergency signalling feature and a 'lone worker' function prompts the user to respond to a signal at regular intervals, which is ideal for guards at remote sites. Failure to respond to the signal results in the radio entering emergency mode and sending an alert to the control room.

There is also a whisper mode for discreet communication and a mute option for silent alarms to be sent to the control when backup is required. Complementing this is a range of accessories which include inconspicuous earpieces and microphones for VIP protection; an emergency footswitch, which allows the user to transmit an alert without taking his hands off the steering wheel and a visor-mounted microphone for hands-free communication.

The radios are also designed to withstand harsh usage and tough work environments, having been tested according to international military standards.

High-speed linking

For remote site monitoring and CCTV applications, Motorola's Canopy system is a cost-effective, fixed wireless broadband platform that can be used to interconnect CCTV equipment and relay images to a central control station.

Operating in the licence-free 5,4 GHz band, Canopy offers a robust and scalable platform that promises one of the lowest total costs of ownership and can substantially reduce infrastructure and operating costs. Its simple network design and built-in installation and deployment assistance makes it easier and quicker to get up and running than most access systems and, in most cases, it can be installed in less than 24 hours, which makes Canopy ideal for emergency situations.

It also overcomes many of the obstacles associated with deploying traditional high-speed access technologies - such as cost, cabling, terrain and interference - as it requires no existing infrastructure.

The system comprises three core components: an access point, a subscriber module and a backhaul unit. The access point links to one or more subscriber modules in a point-to-multipoint configuration. It is connected via an Ethernet cable to a computer, server or network inside a building. Point-to-point links can be established by means of backhaul units to cover greater distances. Reliability is greatly enhanced because the integrated antennas obviate RF cables, which are frequently the cause of malfunctioning due to the ingress of moisture. Canopy is scalable for meeting user needs with each access point capable of serving up to 200 subscriber modules.

Apart from delivering superior performance using a modulation scheme that improves the quality of data delivery and mitigating interference from other systems, Canopy also offers security with over-the-air encryption that scrambles data bits and helps prevent interception.

As workforce mobility increases, technology will need to become increasingly mobile, providing seamless access to information and people. It is for this reason that wireless technology will continue to flourish and Motorola remains committed to developing solutions that help people work more quickly and efficiently.

For more information contact Nikes Patel, Motorola, 011 800 7800, www.motorola.com

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