June 2013 Inbox
Monday, June 17, 2013 | Comments

Following are comments we’ve received from readers about recent online and print news and articles. If you’d like to comment on an article, email edit@RRMediaGroup.com.


In response to “Radio Programming Standardization Group Focuses on P25 Trunking” from June 21


I would hope that the group standardizes on an industry-wide encryption standard and prohibits manufacturer specific encryption or any other feature specific to one manufacturer. Project 25 (P25) was supposed to be a wide open standard so that users could depend on fair and open bidding for infrastructure and terminals.

Phil Bartmann



In response to “Public-Safety Coordinators Suggest Reconsideration of 2 Part 90 Rules” from June 20


The underlying problem not addressed by the Public Safety Communications Council (PSCC) or the FCC is mentioned briefly in your article: "VHF base and mobile channels are not paired."

The FCC licenses transmitters, while the frequency coordinators job is to protect receivers. Yes, the FCC licenses mobile transmitters, which correspond to the base receivers, but often one cannot determine which mobile-transmit frequency is used as the receive frequency for a given radio site. Because VHF channels are not paired, there is no way to study the license and accurately determine the base receive frequency.

One option is the daunting task of reorganizing the VHF channel plan. This has been rightly compared to trying to unscramble eggs.

The other, and more realistic, option is to include base-receive and repeater-input frequencies on the FCC license. This would mean collecting additional information from licensees but the benefit of improved frequency coordination would be worth the effort.

Tom Mahon
Communications Project Manager
Radio Operations, Facilities Section, Engineering Division
State of Washington
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)



In response to “European Community Eyes Public-Safety Broadband Spectrum Allocation in 2015” from June 5


From the article: “Next is the issue of LTE’s 10-megahertz duplex requirement. ‘LTE works better with 10-megahertz channels,’ he said. ‘How can we find 10 megahertz in both bands, uplink and downlink? We must explain where you can get it or if you can make do without 10 megahertz.’ “

What is meant here exactly? Here two things are mixed up; we have duplex shift, which is not that important for Long Term Evolution (LTE) performance, though the wider the better. But the bandwidth is important, meaning the bandwidth for up and downlink channel. Indeed, can an organization, public or private, ever claim a bandwidth of 10 megahertz for its own dedicated use?

In addition to the dilemma of the granted/allowed bandwidth for the LTE uplink and downlink for private use by a customer, is the question of how much RF power would be allowed for an LTE base station. In harsh (industrial) environments, a frequency of 2.6 GHz (the frequency band that is now “sold in auction” to large service providers here in the Netherlands) would prove to be a problem to ensure coverage in “steel” environments, such as shipping container storage yards, steel factories with buildings containing a lot of steel machinery and the (petro) chemical industry with a lot of steel infrastructure.

The benefits of the wideband LTE communications are always mentioned, but the network infrastructure needed to give coverage “everywhere” is not often mentioned or thought about.

Lex Steenvoorden
Senior Project Engineer
Koning & Hartman
The Netherlands



In response to “FirstNet Approves $50M Budget for FY 2013, Leadership Structure “ from June 5


Who owns and operates, upgrades, does maintenance and guarantees access are the real questions. Without end-to-end ownership, there is no guarantee of being able to use “the system.” Speaking of security, when was the last time a two-way radio system was “hacked?” Excuse me, my PC just froze up … I’ve got to re-boot.

Jim Swartos



In response to “Q&A” from the June issue


Firstly, thank you very much for MissionCritical Communications magazine and keeping it consistently great. I read through the June magazine this morning and I wanted to give some feedback on the Q&A session with Jim Silke. His company promotes its “FleetNet” system with email advertising and numerous other outlets and I thought the Q&A read more like another one of his advertising promotions rather than anything informative. Usually on the Q&A I find out something interesting about the individual or their company or an insightful take on the industry. You would appreciate his expertise with sales and media marketing strategies, which he does with excellence. As far as instruction that has any technical or operational system value … maybe not so much.

I think Silke is probably a marketing and sales expert. He could create an interesting article on radio communications marketing techniques, but I doubt he would give up anything that would be useful. Most people don’t want to give away the trade. Another interesting topic would be how he manages to keep operational costs so low while maintaining such a high-profile business. For the record, I do not think that Silke Communication is in any way not providing good-quality radio communications goods and services. Although I don’t directly do business with Silke, I have heard many good reviews from friends and associates. 

David Taylor
Technical Services Manager
Thurston 9-1-1 Communications
Olympia, Wash.


Click here for the May 2013 Inbox.
Click here for the April 2013 Inbox.
Click here for the March 2013 Inbox.




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