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From Analog To A Digital LMR System: Tips To Help You Make The Switch

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Whether your aging LMR system is facing obsolescence or a merger is driving a need for one common communications system, you’re likely not going to buy analog again

Digital LMR systems offer increased capacity plus features like call priority, call forwarding and ambient listening.

But if you’ve worked with an analog system for a long time, you likely have some concerns about the transition to digital. Here are some tips to help make the switch:

Analyze Your Current LMR System

Start by asking some foundational questions:

  • What do you like and not like about your current system? Why?
  • Does coverage meet your current and evolving needs?
  • Does capacity meet your current and evolving needs?
  • How have your requirements changed over time?
  • What do you need to make up for any shortcomings?

Often, the need for a new solution comes down to unifying communications across multiple operating groups, improving coverage and increasing capacity.

Consider How You’re Connecting Sites Together

Traditionally, you’d lease T1 circuits from a telephone company, but telephony is also transitioning to all digital and IP. As a result, the circuits you once used to link sites are difficult to find, expensive and unreliable.

This means that when transitioning away from legacy equipment, you must take into consideration making digital upgrades to link your sites for reliable capacity and coverage. Likewise, if your sites haven’t been touched in 15 years, remediation work must be done.

Historically, LMR linking systems were designed in a star network. Contemporary LMR systems lend themselves to distributed topology. When redesigning your linking system, linear or other topologies should be considered.

Develop An Implementation And Cutover Plan

Software-centric LMR technology can bridge older analog technology to digital, configuring the system to meet your cutover planning criteria for who, where, when and how. Some formulations for rollout include “talk group to talk group” or “work group by work group.”

Analog To Digital: Software Configuration Is All It Takes

LMR manufacturers that don’t offer a software-centric solution for your system network sell based on the products they have rather than your capacity and coverage needs.

With a digital LMR solution, you aren’t locked into one system. You can marry digital to analog based on your current needs and requirements. Plus, because the software easily expands its capabilities through configurations, it evolves alongside your needs.

Discover even more benefits of a digital LMR solution based on open standards.