Monday, December 20, 2010

Another product review: Comms

Communications, or comms, play a vital part in our line of work. As such, the equipment we use needs to be robust and reliable, usable in an overt or covert role. I've been looking at some options regarding radio communications and have started trialling "the radio you want by your side for Mission Critical Communications" (corporate wankspeak from brochure) - the Motorola MTP850.

Well, it's going to be a short blog post as I'm pretty much sold on it.

The handset is about the size of a typical cordless phone but the comparison ends there. This unit has several hard-to-beat features, the first being the security and reach of a digital network (which extends some 60-90km from the centre of town).

Secondly, it also is a mobile phone so can receive or make calls as well as send and receive SMS messages.

Thirdly, it is GPS-enabled so that the location of all units can be checked at a glance, particularly if the emergency call is activated.

Fourth, the size is somewhat smaller than other RTs on the market making covert use easier.

Lastly, there are a range of available peripherals such as covert 2- or 3-wire kits etc, as you would expect from Motorola.

I've been trialling several for almost a week and I have to say I was immensely saddened that I had to return them today.

Despite the salesman's claim that being only 1W handsets, reception might be a little 'patchy' indoors - I found that even from inside the concrete bunker that is "The Fortress" reception remained generally strong and clear when communicating with someone around 30-40km out of town (not to mention at various locations within the city).

On the downside, they aren't cheap and the cost of some of the peripherals will have you selling an organ or two (yours, or someone else's). It's all well and good if you are employed in a large company who are paying for your toys tools but the rest of us have to eat grass for a month or two to cover it.

Well, it's just lucky that I like eating grass.

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