Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems like the ICOM IC-7020S are professional, push-to-talk wireless communication systems that public safety groups often utilise for vital communication. LMR systems are widely employed in the commercial world – including in industries such as fishing – in addition to public safety. Handheld portable radios, vehicle-mounted digital mobile radios, stationary base stations, repeaters, and other LMR accessories are all common components of LMR systems.
A user makes a call over LMR by pressing the push to talk (PTT) button, speaking, and then releasing the button to switch the radio to receive mode. Many public safety agencies have since transitioned from basic analogue LMR systems that only supported speech to more powerful digital LMR systems that can handle both voice and data.
There are numerous LMR standards available today, including Project 25 (P25), Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA), Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), Digital Private Mobile Radio (dPMR) and Next Generation Digital Narrowband (NXDN).
This article will discuss the pros and cons of digital land mobile radio (LMR) for mobile critical communications.
Benefits of Land Mobile Radio
1. Reliable and robust nature
Because of the sturdiness of land mobile radio communication equipment and the multiple failsafe mechanisms incorporated into LMR radios and networks, LMR communications have an excellent reputation for reliability. This makes them ideal for crisis communications as well as outdoor-based professions. Some models like the ICOM IC-455 even come with loud-speaker-microphone functions to better help the user take charge during an emergency.
Modern LMR technologies like DMR, P25, TETRA and NXDN are all open standards that can function over regular IP networks due to their digital nature. In addition to speech, digital LMR allows users to transport a specific amount of data for more precise communication.
2. High-grade security and encryption of transmitted data
Because of its tight ties to law enforcement, land mobile radio systems typically contain robust security features including military-grade encryption of all speech and data transfers. As a result, public safety agencies and commercial entities alike can be assured that their communications are secure at all times.
Disadvantages of Land Mobile Radio
1. High power usage
While a major benefit of land mobile radio is its wide network coverage, this comes at the expense of high power usage as more battery power is required to transmit across great distances for extended periods of time. High-power digital mobile radios thus require large batteries to keep working around the clock which not only have a large electrical footprint but can take up space too.
2. Limited spectrum usage and user-friendliness
Land mobile radio is a poor consumer of scarce radio spectrum, which may make it difficult for inexperienced users or professional groups to locate accessible frequencies. As a result spectrum regulators have lowered LMR bandwidth in order to cram more users into the available spectrum – leading to deteriorated data transmission results.
3. Limited bandwidth
Land mobile radio can only supply low-capacity data with its restricted bandwidth, which is fine for brief text-oriented data services but excludes high-bandwidth data applications such as videos or images. As a result, LMR users may have difficult accessing internet data to retrieve important information in the field.
Finding a reliable Critical Communications Supplier
Despite its disadvantages digital land mobile radio is still an excellent piece of radio communication equipment for first responders, emergency response teams, and public safety organisations, among other scenarios. LMR enables you to immediately and directly connect to key personnel as quickly as possible in a crisis situation, especially when the issue at hand may be time-sensitive.
Tecomart has been one of the top and most reliable radio communication suppliers in the Asia-Pacific region since 1994. We believe in offering our clients cost-effective and high-quality communications solutions for both communication and navigation. Unsure which form or brand of LMR to buy to suit your needs? Contact us today to learn more about our products and services, or read more in our FAQs.