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The Newswire

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Dual Frequency Q&A with BAPCO

The UK’s first dual frequency scanning paging service is ready for roll out by PageOne – Jose Sanchez of BAPCO Journal spoke to CEO Chris Jones to find out more.

PageOne believes the new devices could save the emergency services significant sums of money by eliminating the need to extend and maintain existing on-site paging networks. Further resilience is ensured where there is an overlap in coverage, but more significantly the addition of wide area paging extends the scope of communications even further afield, allowing Responders outside the remit of the on-site channel to be reached.

Why has PageOne developed a dual frequency scanning paging service?

The fire brigades are users of onsite paging and many are at the moment contemplating refreshing their equipment as a result of the vacuum left by FiReControl. We think we can help them reduce their costs, consolidate devices, and extend their coverage using dual frequency scanning. Retained fire fighters are living further and further away from fire stations, and fire brigades face the challenge of having to extend coverage.

The idea of having dual frequency is that it enables you to capitalise on both channels without the need to extend coverage, because the alert will either go out on both channels or whichever is within range of the device.

How does it work?

In practice, the alert goes out from the command and control centre to the on-site network and PageOne’s network simultaneously. The dual pager then scans the two channels and delivers the message either via the on-site network, if within range, or via the wide area network. If the pager receives two messages the duplication function will prevent the second message from alerting the user again.

Is this technology used elsewhere?

It is used in the US where you have doctors in hospitals that then go home at night, so the same problem exists. In this country hospitals could also benefit from dual frequency scanning, however the situation is a little more complex as various several frequency bands are used. But fire brigades are on a frequency band that is very close to PageOne’s, which is why dual frequency scanning is much more viable for this sector.

Are dual frequency scanning pagers more expensive?

They are slightly more expensive than traditional pagers because of the increased capability of the device, but not dramatically so; particularly when comparing this cost to that of extending on-site paging services.

What work is required for implementation?

All that would need to happen is for a link to be made from the command and control centre to PageOne’s paging network, which is a straightforward connection and one which is probably there already.

At what stage are you with the launch?

We are working with several Fire Services who are carrying out feasibility studies where fire fighters will be carrying two devices – a traditional one and a dual frequency scanning one. We are happy if other brigades wish to trial them too.

Click here to download the Q&A