Alberta Provincial Radio Systems

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Feed Provider
Feb 15, 2002
Bragg Creek, Alberta
I've got some news regarding various provincial endeavors for Alberta in terms of communications.

The Kananaskis region is, this very weekend, undergoing definite changes regarding comms. The radio channels historically in use are being decommissioned - the Elbow region channel, known as Channel 2, has been said to be "off the mountain" already, meaning the repeater is offline and gone. Channel 4 (Bow/Crow) is still operational, but one might expect it to go in the same direction shortly.

The channel has been replaced by the Firenet network, which is in heavy use by both ground crews and aircraft alike in the region. The information in the RadioReference database for Firenet appears to be quite current and accurate, despite earlier warnings otherwise.

MDMRS still appears to be active, though its point is slowly becoming less and less relevant. Better cellular coverage and other technologies (satphone, etc) make radiotelephone patches unnecessary. While MDMRS is still on its indefinite reprieve, I don't see its usefulness for much longer.

Sheriffs in the city of Calgary, in the courts system in particular, have jumped on the 753f digital trunk radio system. It only makes sense that further elements of the sheriffs, and other provincial agencies, will use pre-existing networks rather than purchase and erect new infrastructure. I see no evidence that iDEN will be selected nor preferred - interoperability and cross-communication between agencies is high on the list of priorities, something which iDEN cannot offer at this time.

I'm trying to not be a cheerleader for the Motorola Smartzone platform, although you all know my preference, having used the same for many years - but the continued expansion of the 753f system, adding groups such as ENMAX, Airport Authority, and now the Sheriffs' contingent, is a clear sign that agencies are strongly considering this option.
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