E-Comm radio specialists
E-Comm radio specialists test next generation radios
With emergency service agencies scheduled to begin moving to the new regional radio system in April, E-Comm’s Next Generation Radio Program (NGRP) team has been focused on ensuring agency-selected radios are thoroughly tested prior to the start of transitions. This includes programming the new equipment to accommodate the unique needs of individual agencies and conducting extensive field tests. Having the opportunity to assess the capabilities of equipment in realistic working environments allows agencies to make informed choices in terms of the specific radio features that will best suit their organizations.
“I was surprised by how clear the audio was on the new radios compared to what we’ve been using.”
Sgt. Tim Kravjanski,
West Vancouver Police
Both handheld portables and in-vehicle mobiles were evaluated during testing, with all radios performing in a manner that met or surpassed agency requirements. Battery life for extended events is a key consideration for agencies when selecting their radios, and so as part of the field tests the team analyzed the length of time a fully charged radio would last leading up to a final transmission. The average battery life for most radios was more than ten hours. Audio quality was also evaluated, particularly with regard to the ability of a radio to effectively reduce background noise and improve audio clarity.
Results from the performance tests have been extremely favourable. Recently, West Vancouver Police Sgt. Tim Kravjanski shared his experiences after taking part in a series of tests in areas known for poor transmission quality, including a location four storeys below ground underneath a concrete slab.
“I was surprised by how clear the audio was on the new radios compared to what we’ve been using,” explained Sgt. Kravjanski. “We tested the reception strength in one of the worst locations in West Vancouver and I’m happy to report the new radios work 100% better. I honestly did not expect to see that much of an improvement—I was very impressed.”
Vancouver Police Department Sgt. Jennifer Keyes has been heavily involved with the NGRP. She emphasized the critical role communication plays in first responder safety and effective operations.
“The scope of the field tests allowed E-Comm wireless technicians to see firsthand how the radios will perform. Some of the key features that were tested included radio performance while roaming across different jurisdictions, audio quality in low-signal areas like urban high-rise buildings and battery life of individual radios.”