Saudi Arabia to do nationwide radio system.

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Oct 10, 2003

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wants a nationwide radio system with the key words being interoperability.
Right now the Kingdom runs an extensive VHF low system for military use and a VHF high system for police.
A VHF system that is both fully manual and automatic for mobile telephones as well as conventional radio is in place that works really well.
HF is of course an option.
Trunking is at 400 MHz with a Motorola system.
Another system is TETRA 380, shared military and government.
The plans are in the air, TETRA?, P25?, who knows?
What the Kingdom would like is a multi band radio that can do both TETRA and P25, nothing like not being able to decide,. :)
Remember, this is a country that will pay for the best, $10k for a radio is totally within reason.
But, the Kingdom wants a solution that can be supplied by several vendors.
They have learned the lessons taught by Motorola, and are not happy.
Not that Motorola was all that bad, RSS issues, service issues, and the only place for anything was circle M.
The system has never met its goals, is out of warranty, and has never had the best features working.
The consoles provided are so hard to use that everyone is afraid to do anything!
Training? who are we kidding? the people try hard, but this system was a failure from the start.
Most people prefer the conventional radios over the trunking system.
I have used both.
The real plus of the VHF system is that one can have several radios, all programmed the same way, to allow the same mobile number, radio calls, local radio (Direct), and, for some of the more advanced units, even marine radio.
Most people love the VHF system, actually several systems in tandem.
But, it is overcrowded, hundreds of users on the same 255 channels, and no frequency reuse like cellular.
Sure, the GSM system works, in the bigger cities, but once outside the metro areas, no service.
One can now have up to 3 handsets or mobiles on one number, but only one is "active" at a time.
So, is there really a single solution?
Whatever the case, it will prove to be an effort.
Communications is one of the keys to any modern society, along with transportation, and the Kingdom wants to improve on all of it, while maintaining the culture and heritage that makes the Kingdom what it is.


Premium Subscriber
Jul 2, 2004
Latham, New York
I don't know how true it is, but I was told when the Town of Colonie, N.Y. purchased and installed their new 800 MHz. Motorola ASTRO P-25 TRS, there were persons from Saudi Arabia watching the process. Also, if what the town installed worked to the Saudi's satisfaction, then they would be looking at a similiar system but nationwide. Again, I don't know how true that is; I was told that from several of the dispatchers and people working on the Town's side of the radio system.
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