Central College Nottingham Selects Radio Links
Posted 20/3/2017

When Deborah Munt joined Central College Nottingham, it was very evident that the colleges radio communications system was ready for an upgrade.  After completing an audit, Deborah discovered that she had a mixture of rented and purchased analogue radios, and most were in a poor condition.

In addition the radio system suffered from poor signals, interference between channels, frequent cut-outs and many coverage black spots. The challenge Deborah and her team were facing, to improve site wide communications was huge was huge. The college had multiple campuses across the city, many of them high towers with basements, so staff were not just moving across the city, they were moving up and down as well. There were different day-to-day challenges for staff, too. Across campus canteens, receptions, libraries, cleaning staff, night classes, maintenance teams, there were many different radio requirements.

The Solution

It was clear that the college needed to upgrade and update their radio communications to new technology digital (DMR) radio. Deborah contacted Radio Links Communications Ltd of St Neots in Cambridgeshire, an Authorised Hytera dealer, and invested in more than 50 Digital Handportable Radios, comprising a mixture of PD605 radios and PD665 radios with LCD displays. Staff working in receptions, librarians, cleaners and canteen staff took the PD605's, while security, premises officers and facilities managers took the higher tier PD665 radios.

Two-way radio coverage was tested across all campuses and all buildings, with the litmus test being the campus on Maid Marian Way – a campus which had never had consistently good  radio coverage across the site. As Deborah said, “if you can get a good radio signal there, you can get a signal anywhere.”

The End Result

The new Hytera Digital Radio roll-out has been extremely smooth, with improved communication across the sites for the site Facilities Managers and three Talk-groups for other key personnel. The improved coverage and call quality has meant that Deborah no longer has to worry about radio issues or respond to any radio-related problems.

Additionally the safety features within the radios help the College meet their Health & Safety requirements. Staff who are working at night – for instance, cleaners, security or librarians – are often on their own. With the Man Down functionality and Lone Worker features, radio users can alert the Security Department in the event of a problem or emergency.

As Deborah concluded, "The business case for our DMR radio system has been proven, and is providing us with the backbone of a future-proof communications system for the 21st Century."