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Radio systems have long been used as one of the most efficient ways of one-to-one communication in enterprises as well as workplaces such as airports, freight offices, warehouses, factories, manufacturing units and much more. However, up until now the radio landscape was dominated by bulky analog radios. For most of the two-way history of radios, analogue has always been the most preferred transmission methodologies when it comes to communicating in smaller areas.
One of the latest transformations which the radio communication industry has undergone is the shift from analogue to digital radios. Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) is being increasingly adopted by companies and these radio devices are gradually replacing their analogue counterparts. There are several reasons which have contributed towards the worldwide adoption of Digital Mobile Radio Systems. In this article we will try to have a look at a few of them.
Developed in 2005, the DMR is an open Radio Standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for professional mobile radio users. The cardinal aim of DMR is to provide the users low complexity and affordable digital radios capable of facilitating two-way communication while meeting the complete set of data and voice standards along with conformance testing.
Since the initial ratification of DMR, several companies have developed products, delivering robust communication systems for a wide array of radio applications. Moreover, DMR provides an excellence oriented solution for the analogue based radio users seeking to upgrade their radio systems. As a result there are a lot of benefits of Digital Mobile Radio. DMRs not only facilitate a clear two-way communication but also provide an array of advanced functionalities including voice dispatch, SMS messaging, GPS, and a higher level of encryption.
Undoubtedly, DMRs offer a comprehensive and advanced set of services, most of which their analogue counterparts fail to offer, but apart from these functionalities there are a multitude of reasons which support the adoption of DMRs. Following are the main reasons to opt for Digital Mobile Radio.
The DMRs simply double the capacity of a 12.5 kHz channel with TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) technology. While the conventional analogue counterparts of DMR use a 12.5 KHz narrowband channel for providing a single path for communication, DMR enables the users to make two independent calls simultaneously through the same channel.
The open standard of DMR signifies its non-proprietary nature and thus, there is no licensing fee or proprietary software to be used. The DMR standard specifies the compatibility requirements for DMR equipment in order to ensure hassle-free operations, improved availability of options, and low prices.
The cost of DMRs is quite affordable and above all, predictable. Furthermore, there is no additional airtime fee like the one associated with mobile phones usage.
While there is a plethora of benefits of DMR v/s Analogue, but the advanced control features are among the most significant ones. DMR leverages the second time-slot TDMA technology for facilitating reverse-channel signaling. When the first channel is indulged in a call, the instructions are sent over through the second channel. This enables features including remote control of transmitting radio, priority call control, emergency call-preemption, etc. In an addendum to this, DMR proffers a higher level of control over the system requisites including called ID, features, priorities, design and operation, allowing custom configuration of the system for a specific environment.
DMR supports better ways for protecting the privacy of the user, as most contemporary authentication and encryption methodologies have been deployed for DMR. These features ensure that others are not able to listen to a call on a particular frequency and thus, the communication stays strictly private.
One of the problems encountered in analogue radios was the relaying of every sound. But, DMRs completely eliminate this problem and deliver crisper & lucid audio with significantly less background noise, distortion or static. One of the newer features in DMR is intelligent audio, which automatically adjusts the radio volume to fit in an environment’s noise level. For instance, if you are using the radio on the roadside and a truck drives up, the radio will automatically boost up the volume level and after the truck passes, it will again decrease the level of volume to the same level that was being used earlier.
Also, DMR uses the innovative signal processing algorithms for actively managing distortion. Once the background noise is removed, the communication becomes clearer.
DMR offers relatively better coverage, whether across a multisite or single operation. With more range as compared to the analogue counterparts, the DMRs are capable of delivering clear communication even in the low signal strength areas.
Digital technology is known for being much more energy efficient as compared to analogue technology. Owing to the deployment of the TDMA technology, the usage of the radio in DMR is much lower than the narrowband analogue radio. Thus, DMRs are capable of delivering higher battery life and better performance.
One of the biggest benefits offered by DMR is its integrated data and voice capabilities. Many apps including text messaging, GPS location, telemetry, SCADA, job ticketing, radio programming and improved safety features make DMRs much more than mere two-way radio devices.
These radio systems can be easily integrated into many line-of business applications such as CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) and work order management.
Most analogue radio devices used to be heavy weight and bulky. But, as the technology is advancing, every discomfort in such conventional devices is being eliminated. DMRs are much lighter in weight and are compact in size. In industries, such as security and hospitality, the discreetness and size of radio hold the utmost significance. Ultra-light and ultra-thin DMRs provide a bigger set of benefits to the user and ensure convenient operation.
All the aforementioned reasons for adoption of DMRs highlight the benefits offered by these over their analogue counterparts. Ranging from the better battery life and clearer communication to the integration of other sophisticated features, DMRs have a lot to offer. Undeniably, the future of Digital Mobile Radio is not only bright, but it won’t be wrong to say that these devices are here to stay.
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