Oxford University college supports lone workers with MOTOTRBO multi-site communications solution

Keble College have chosen to deploy a MOTOTRBO network rather than rely on mobile phones

Seventeen years ago, experienced communications company and Motorola Solutions platinum partner Radiocoms deployed a fleet of Motorola Solutions PMR446 radios at Keble College, for communications across its main campus. However, with the opening of the new H B Allen Centre, their required coverage area had expanded.

Keble decided to look at a long-term upgrade alongside the expansion of its campus. Keble trialled a range of MOTOTRBO DMR two-way radios, which offered a wider coverage footprint, multi-site linked communications and safety features such as ‘Lone Worker’.

The solution deployed was a three-site MOTOTRBO IP Site Connect system, linked by the college’s IP network for seamless wide area coverage and automatic roaming, with no need for manual intervention.

Grounds staff, maintenance teams and porters, are now utilising the MOTOTRBO DP4401e and DP4601e with display giving them access to a phone book to make individual calls. All users have long-life IMPRES batteries and the option to activate an emergency button to summon help with one touch.

Keble’s head of maintenance, Jodi Thomas, explains why Keble chose to deploy a MOTOTRBO network rather than rely on mobile phones: “We work in rough environments, often outdoors, and mobile phones just aren’t cut out for that type of usage. We need hard-wearing, IP-rated, reliable, and rugged devices. Motorola ticked all the boxes. Moreover, you don’t get a mobile signal in many of our basement areas and it can be intermittent at the sports fields, whereas, with the MOTOTRBO system, we know we’ll always be in range.”

Another key element for Keble was one-to-all calling. This is ideal for sharing real-time information from different locations when coordinating incidents, for day-to-day operations, organising on-site contractors and fire alarm practices. ‘Lone Worker’ is also enabled – this gives a tone at regular intervals to which the user needs to respond to by pressing the PTT button. If the worker fails to respond, within the pre-defined time, the radio will then go into ‘emergency mode’ and help is sent to them.

The radio system is protected by a comprehensive five-year service and support package, should any issues arise. Radiocoms also provided personalised training to all the relevant staff at the deployment stage.

Given the challenging circumstances of the Covid-19 lockdowns Radiocoms was able to deliver a successful, albeit socially distanced, deployment. As always, MOTOTRBO is easily scalable, as and when the college needs to grow the numbers of users. Users have praised the ease of use of the system, the improved, crystal-clear audio across the three sites and the freedom that the wide area coverage and roaming affords them.


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