Regularly reviewing and optimizing your system can identify incompatibilities and allow you to take advantage of new features and functions that make your communications more effective.
This post focuses on the importance of system configuration and optimization to protect and strengthen your LMR system. If you missed the previous posts you can catch up on those here.
The Tougher LMR Networks guide investigates every aspect of wireless communications, and considers how operators might make their LMR systems more resilient. You can also download the full guide and read it on the go.
Optimization was previously relatively uncommon in radio communications systems, which were often fine-tuned at implementation and then left alone for their entire useful lives.
Failure to upgrade software or respond to obsolescence issues can prevent you from accessing useful new features and functions, or worse, create compatibility issues within your LMR system.
Is your hardware and software up to date? Are any of your system elements facing obsolescence? Would upgrading some elements for example base stations or servers – yield better performance or lower costs?
Functional performance should be monitored, verified and improved as often as practical.
- Keep a formal logo of users’ complaints. This will shed light on emerging issues such as changes in coverage performance due to urban construction or forest growth.
- Analyze traffic reports to identify changes and anomalies in system use, sites with capacity problems. Use this information to add channels or sites proactively.
- Keep up with market development and pay attention to your vendor’s software upgrade release note. They can provide you with enhanced operational or security functions.
Where configuration changes are infrequent, the system is built, configured with assistance from the vendor, and seldom changed without external help. Whenever sites, channels or dispatch positions are added, or backhaul network altered, the vendor is likely to be involved. This can result in system operators lacking system configuration knowledge and experience.
But radio systems are changing. Instead of a set of hardware coming from a single vendor, systems are much more software-driven, standards-based and likely to include interdependent sub-systems from multiple vendors. These evolving changes make configuration skills and related processes paramount.
Every operator should have at least one person fully versed in LMR system configuration, but, due to the increased complexity of digital communications, it may be safer to contract support from vendors for any major changes.
This article is taken from the 10 part guide to Tougher LMR Systems.
If you would like to download this article and the other articles in the series you can do that on the Tait website.