Police PDAs to have national connectivity

Airwave O2 has signed a contract with Motorola to provide personal digital assistants (PDAs) that can work on the UK police forces' national TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) network.

Airwave O2 has signed a contract with Motorola to provide personal digital assistants (PDAs) that can work on the UK police forces' national Tetra (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) network. 

The agreement is the world’s first commercial contract for Tetra PDAs, with Motorola providing the first handsets by the end of the year.

The Airwave network already in place can support small amounts of data sent by users equipped with existing Tetra devices, but the PDAs will vastly increase the level of data connectivity for officers, said the suppliers.

Running a suite of applications developed by O2 Airwave, the PDAs will help deliver critical intelligence to frontline workers in the police and other emergency services, to enhance safety and effectiveness, said the pair.

The Motorola MTC100 Tetra PDA will host a number of mobile applications intended to help police officers spend more time on visible, active patrol and increase productivity. 

Software applications will be developed by O2 Airwave and will operate through its existing mobile applications gateway, helping to achieve the aims outlined in the police’s 2002 UK National Strategy for Mobile Information.

Officers will be able to use the secure Tetra network to access criminal intelligence databases such as the Police National Computer and other sources, as well as compiling and submitting crime reports without having to return to a police station. 

Officers will also benefit from rapid information transfer with the MTC100 through the use of Tetra’s multi-slot packet data capability.

All the devices come loaded with Windows 2005 Mobile Edition, and an integrated camera and flash to allow pictures to be taken and circulated quickly.

Other options include wi-fi radio, Bluetooth short-range wireless connectivity, and integrated GPS.

The first forces to use the new PDAs have yet to be announced.

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

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