Motorola has officially launched the MTH650, its new TETRA two-way radio for the emergency services market, following extensive research with public safety users.
The radio offers greater ease of use and includes features such as a screensaver, programmable keys and a multi-functional rotary knob. The radio, which was unveiled privately to customers two months ago, has already been sold to eight public safety forces.
The product is available globally to all markets that use TETRA and has been designed as "an addition to, not a replacement for any existing product in Motorola's TETRA portfolio," according to Joanne Moore, director of TETRA terminals.
Extensive research was conducted over the last nine months with more than 100 users and research teams. This identified flexibility, safety, ruggedness, comfort and ease of use as the most important features in a two-way radio.
The ability to personalise the radio is a key feature for the future of radio communications in the emergency sector as the increased functionality means that personnel use the same radio in different way.
To meet this need, the MTH650 includes a top-mounted multi-purpose rotary knob that changes functionality. Officers can use this to switch between functions such as talk groups or use it to scroll up and down the menu. In addition, the radio boasts: programmable keys for one touch access to popular functions; multiple antennae options including a small helical antenna and whipical antenna for increased coverage in fringe areas and dual mic, top and bottom, to ensure optimal audio quality whether the user is speaking directly into the radio or speaking into the top of a radio fixed to a lapel.
It is the only radio to have a screensaver, which provides increased security by preventing private information from being on display, especially when the radio is mounted on the lapel of a police officer.
The screensaver can also be customised to show the organisation's logo or the user's identification number, or even used to promote services such as 'crimestoppers.'
A "hot mic" function gives handsfree operation in an emergency and this, combined with increased microphone sensitivity, means that a user can stay in contact even if the radio is dropped.
A Personal Identification Number (PIN) option and Lithium ION batteries add to the package, while the whole screen, including the navigation keys, can be flipped up-side-down so if the radio is lapel mounted it can be read with ease. A vibrate alert and flat bottom which enables the radio to stand upright on a flat surface, complete the package. There is also range of accessories available which include all the usual items associated with the public safety market.
Moore concluded, "We have already had positive feedback regarding the size and weight, and the screen saver option has proved highly popular."