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West Metro Fire Protection District Increases Bandwidth for Advanced Technologies Sierra Wireless
For years, West Metro relied on a legacy 800 MHz radio system for mobile communications. Although this technology provided reliable analog voice communications, it did not offer the bandwidth to support deployment of the latest dispatch, medical device and data technologies. West Metro crews, like most fire crews, relied on tear-sheets for call details, paper maps for directions to incident scenes and resource manuals for information on structures and hazards. In 2006, West Metro’s IT/GIS Director, Patrick Purdy, began a search for a communications solution that could keep pace with rapidly advancing communications technologies. Commercial cellular carriers were moving to 3G networks and testing WiMax. Local communities were considering municipal Wi-Fi mesh-networks, and the Federal government was planning a nationwide 700 MHz public safety communications network.

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