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Be in fire command from virtually anywhere

How the right device can enhance interoperability between LMR and LTE


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Be in fire command from virtually anywhere

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Sponsored by Motorola Solutions

By Laura Neitzel, FireRescue1 BrandFocus Staff

Whether you’re in the firehouse or across the county, one of your chief responsibilities is to know everything that’s going on with your department and monitor incidents your firefighters are responding to. The need for critical communication remains even when you’re out of LMR range, which is why many fire officers supplement their LMR system with their personal smartphones.

(photo/Motorola Solutions)
(photo/Motorola Solutions)

While this practice can help you stay apprised, it’s not ideal. What you really need is for your LMR and LTE device to work together seamlessly so either device can deliver all the real-time information you need to provide guidance and leadership through any situation and to keep your fire crews safe, motivated and accountable.

A consumer device like an iPhone or Android is great when you want to text, make a call, post to Facebook or check a baseball score. But when it comes to duty in the field and high intensity situations, you need simplistic workflows and ruggedized features. Consumer devices simply don’t offer the degree of functionality, ruggedness, security or audio quality required to stand up to the rigorous demands of public safety. On the other hand, your radio offers the necessary ruggedness and simplistic workflows, but in a limited range.

Motorola Solutions’ LEX L11 mission-critical LTE device enabled with the broadband push-to-talk solutions bridges this gap by essentially combining the range, features and quality of a leading-edge LTE with the convenience of an LMR. Designed for the needs of public safety, the LEX L11 and  broadband push-to-talk work together to allow fire chiefs and command staff to participate in radio communications, issue commands and direction, and oversee their agency’s responses from anywhere there is an internet connection.

The LEX L11 not only connects LTE users with each other securely and with enhanced encryption, but it also allows for integration into existing radio networks and talk groups. Voice communications talk groups can consist of both radio and LTE users with seamless communication between them. Think of it as having your push-to-talk communications as usual, but with added coverage and users to your network.

Fire officers demand a lot from their LTE devices and the LEX L11 is purpose-built with key features specifically designed to work the way you work, including the following:

1. Ruggedness

As a public safety professional, you need to be prepared for anything at all times and you don’t have the luxury of worrying if your communication device will hold up. The LEX L11 is rugged and durable enough to perform in extreme temperatures and harsh environments.

With a MIL-STD-810G rating for drop and shock, it will survive  a (probably inevitable) drop that would shatter a consumer device.  With an IP67 rating, the LEX L11 is fully protected from dust and can withstand being submerged in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

2. Enhanced audio features

Miscommunication can be as dangerous as missed communication. The LEX L11 has multi-microphone noise cancellation and feedback suppression capabilities, so even in a noisy environment, the software and microphone automatically isolate the voice in the transmission. Coupled with extreme amplified audio and dual front-facing speakers, you can always hear and be heard loud and clear, even while the device is holstered.

3. Push to talk

The LEX L11 has the sophistication and functionality of a smartphone but with the similar form and feel of a radio. Instead of having to look down at a touchscreen to use its key features, the LEX L11 has a built in push-to-talk button that lets you quickly access mission-critical capabilities and speak directly into it like a radio even when the device is locked. 

It also has a channel rocker knob, an emergency button and two programmable buttons that can be customized to execute functions like taking a picture or opening a specific program so you can keep your eyes up and focus forward.

4. Security

The LEX L11 provides security features that ensure your mission-critical communications reach their targets – and no one else. Its secure mobile platform combines multiple layers of advanced protection, including a secure boot, integrity monitoring and malware blocking. The application has its own security features, including a mobile virtual private network to ensure that data is secure in transit. The MVPN also keeps the device authenticated, so the application never drops and you don’t have to log in again as you move between networks.

5. Accessories

There are also a range of available accessories for the LEX L11, including field-swappable and fast-charging batteries as well as holsters so you can wear the device on your chest and use the programmable buttons for quick tasks like taking a picture.

As a public safety officer, you need a device that matches up to your demanding line of work. The LEX L11 device integrates seamlessly with your LMR to provide continued, secure communication with your fire command center so you can always fulfill your leadership responsibilities and stay in the know, no matter where you are.

Learn more about the LEX L11 and compare it to a smart consumer device.

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