Replacing 2-Way Radios?

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Mar 12th, 2010
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I have change in our enviornment and I would like some feedback from the community.

My Company has manufacturing facilities at 2 sites. We currently use 2Way Radios (ie Motorolas) for many of our plant people communicate with eachother. Our radios are getting older and we are looking at replacing them. Primarily, we are asking for solutions from the company that has traditionally provided 2way radios in the past.

However, I am wondering if there is a Cisco solution that can compete with these radios. We already have a Cisco Call Manager, Cisco wireless (g) networks at both sites, and have used the cisco wifi phones. There are a few areas that the coverage isn't great, but those can be easily fixed.

However, there are a few things that the 2way radios provide that I am not sure if Cisco phones can provide. First, because it's a frequency that we have been licensed to use by the FCC, we don't have to worry about competing signals in the area. Plus, the Motorola equipment is more industrial-grade, which is important becuase we are pretty hard on the equipment. Also, the plant personell can use it like a radio by using push-to-talk functionality. Many of the supervisors will leave the radio on to stay aware of what is happening in the plant. They can hear everyone else's chatter and keep updated on what is going on.

On other hand, this sometimes leaves people to carrying 2 or (including cell phones) 3 devices with overlapping purposes. Our facilities are large enough that I don't think a neighbor's wireless network is going to interfere (although we would have no recourse if it did). I don't know if Cisco equipment can simulate the radio-like experience.

At any rate, if anyone has any input on this, I would appreciate it.



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paolo bevilacqua Sat, 03/13/2010 - 06:45
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You are correct, it is not possible to convert radio users to telephones. There are too many differences and circumstances that makes that impossible.

However, it is possible to integrate radio (called LMR) with VoIP telephony, that allows you many good things, like gettint into radio from any telephone, dialing directly an extension from radio to telephone and viceversa. etc. There are a couple of good white papers on that, you search LMR in the CCO search box.

I tried that with CME and stumbled into few difficulties, then customer lost interest, hopefully I willl have a chance to get it working someday.

Benjamin Waldon Tue, 03/16/2010 - 16:10
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Thanks to both,

Are there any specific radio manufactures or solutions that would integrate well with our CME?

We have and do use the 7900 phones in our enviornment. For phone users who are mobile around the campus, it works great. But, for true radio users, it doesn't exactly work.

Leo Laohoo Sun, 03/14/2010 - 21:23
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The problem of handing people 7921/7925 Wireless VoIP phones is keeping track who has what contact number.  It's also difficult to enable broadcast to a degree similar to a radio.

I agree with Paolo, I have seen field demos of radios integrating with the VoIP.

Try handing out a few of the 7921/7925 and see what their responses are.

Benjamin Waldon Tue, 03/16/2010 - 16:22
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I would be curious why it ***** some of my words. I didn't put anything vulgar in there...


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