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5 Tips For Choosing Your Next Land Mobile Radio (LMR) System

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In the market for a new land mobile radio (LMR) system? Perhaps your current manufacturer no longer supports your equipment, or maybe you’re looking for a more reliable system with better coverage and availability. 

Regardless of your reason, you already know what a big decision it is. Choosing the wrong system could have detrimental consequences for both your organization and the community. On the flip side, choosing the right system and organization could make your life and your team's lives a whole lot easier—and everything under your watch so much safer.

Here are tips to keep in mind during the buying process:

Tip #1: Use An Open Platform

An open platform is based on open standards developed by one of the international accredited standardization organizations, such as the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

When LMR technology is based on open standards, you benefit from greater flexibility, more features, lower prices, and more options to choose from.

Closed platforms, however, can create numerous obstacles for organizations, including higher costs, lack of innovation, and minimal features. Also, when manufacturers decide to stop supporting the technology, you have to buy a new system. (Which may even be why you're here in the first place.)

With an open system, you choose between multiple suppliers that support your technology. So, if one company stops supporting your LMR system, you can easily transition to a new company without having to purchase new equipment.

Tip #2: Choose An LMR System with Adaptability

Traditionally, when you buy an LMR system, you’ll also need to buy add-on features and additional boxes to support your organization’s needs. You may also incur more costs if your needs change over time.

Our advice: look for an LMR system on a software-defined platform. Instead of having multiple boxes, you can buy one box that allows you to switch between FM, P25, or DMR technologies by simply changing the software.

For example, if you’re a municipality supporting multiple sectors such as the police department, fire department, and utilities company, each organization is able to use its preferred LMR technology on the same system. This saves you money because you can have different groups each with their own channel, but you only need to buy one LMR system.

Tip #3: Look For an LMR System with Reliability and Resiliency Built In

A mission-critical event can happen at a moment’s notice, and you need an LMR system that’s reliable every single time. You simply can’t afford poor coverage, breaks in communication, or low audio quality when lives are on the line.

It’s important that your LMR system is both reliable and resilient. Look for a system with failover, meaning that if one part of the system fails, backup equipment will take over.

Tip #4: Consider the benefits of leasing.

If your budget is tight for the foreseeable future, research organizations that provide the option to lease equipment. Here at Leonardo, we've partnered with Lease Corporation of America to give you the option to finance your LMR equipment through a streamlined application process and quick turnaround time. 

A few benefits of leasing versus paying up front: You'll have no or low up-front payments to make; it allows your agency to stay current with the newest equipment and technology; and it'll conserve your credit line and preserve capital.

Tip #5: Don't Settle For poor customer service.

This is a big one—there's nothing more frustrating than an unresponsive customer service team, except maybe for having to purchase costly upgrades just to keep your systems running properly.

At Leonardo, we created the Peace of Mind Guarantee, which includes a 10-Year Non-Obsolescence Guarantee, a 5-Year Parts & Labor Warranty, and an unwavering commitment to interoperability and open standards. We also offer support 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Don't settle for anything less. 

Your Next step

When it’s time to upgrade your LMR system, be sure to partner with an experienced and knowledgeable vendor. Every company has different needs, and you want a vendor that will help you find the right system and technology for yours. 

Want to learn more about how an LMR system from Leonardo can help simplify your critical communications?