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What kind of radio system and radios would work best for my business?

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tampabaynews

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I'm trying to see about getting two way communications for my business. I'm more keen on scanners so radios are somewhat new to me, be easy on me please! I'm looking for the best radio and system type for a news photography business in the Tampa, Florida area. Here's what we're looking for...

Total Users: 2 (for Now)
Usage: Business, news media related
Radio Type: Preferably portables
Ideal Coverage: Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco Counties, Floirda.
(Roughly 50 miles north to south by 40 miles east to west, 2000 square miles)
(Mix of urban and rural areas with water)
(Lots of weather fluctuations and radio interference)
(I attached a map of the three counties and populated cities)
And of course, something that is very affordable, we'll be splitting the costs of the any radios/licences/airtime/ect involved.

We've looked into several system options including conventional, LTR trunking, and NexTel. If I need to provide any other information, please let me know.

Thanks in advance!
 

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bezking

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Two thousand square miles? I'm not an engineer, nor do I play one on TV, but you are looking at a massive system with *several* repeaters... You are easily looking at $25-30K after all the equipment you need. Also keep in mind you will need to find somewhere to put all those repeaters, and tower space rental fees could approach $1m per year...

If I were you I would go with Nextel.
 

tampabaynews

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Two thousand square miles? I'm not an engineer, nor do I play one on TV, but you are looking at a massive system with *several* repeaters... You are easily looking at $25-30K after all the equipment you need. Also keep in mind you will need to find somewhere to put all those repeaters, and tower space rental fees could approach $1m per year...

If I were you I would go with Nextel.

I completely understand, it's a huge area. We've looked at two companies with LTR systems with multiple towers in our area and quoted for WAY less and probably cheaper than NexTel. The companies don't quite have 2,000 miles coverage, but they are close enough that I can live with. However, I'm just looking for other options I might not have explored.
 
N

N_Jay

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Nextel unless there is a SMR or CMRS (leased system) that cover what you need.

Or just good old cellular.
 

N4DES

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It would be cost prohibitive to put up something of your own to cover that amount of square miles as you would have to deal with leasing space on towers, which currently isn't cheap. You would also need to look to get insurance for the installation and then hire the tower crew to install your hardline and antennas.

If you really need/want PTT go with NEXTEL, Verizon, or AT&T that all provide PTT services.
 

tampabaynews

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Yeah, I'm was looking more along the lines of leasing "space" on a LTR, or other shared trunked system if I decide not to use Nextel.

However I discovered simply...
Nextel - Cheap phones, expensive plan.
LTR - Expensive radios, cheap plan.

I have used radios on both of the the available LTR system providers in my area, so I have a pretty good idea on how reliable they are. But what are the cheapest Motorola models I can use on an LTR system?

Now if Nextel is really the best way to go, then I don't mind paying more in the long run, but I don't have any experience using Nextel. Can anyone provide feedback on Nextel and it's reliability?
 

tampabaynews

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We've decided to purchase a couple of pre-paid Sprint phones and we'll be playing around with them in different areas for the next few days. If we're not satisfied we'll try another carrier, I wasn't aware Verizon and AT&T had similar services. Thanks everyone for the help!
 

ab9ws

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i would try the verizon push to talk, i have had it over a year and i am very pleased with the service, much cheaper than lmr radios or nextel. it also has the feature you can see if some one is available for a ptt call. its definately worth checking into!!


AB9WS
 

nah2323

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Keep in mind..

Keep in mind that if there is a major power failure on a cell tower, you may not have any use for the cell phone based technology. This happened in my area about 6 years ago, where the entire north east was powerless, and the only technology that worked was radio communication.

I used to utilize Nextel for my business, and the coverage over distance is great. It's really like a cell phone without the ringing, just ptt. The service of Nextel in my area was mediocre. I have switched to portable vhf's and lost my Nextel plan. I have boost prepaid cards in my old Nextel phones though, should the situation arise where the distance is further than my portables will communicate reliably.

I'm currently looking at setting my vehicles up with mobile VHF repeaters to eliminate the need for the Nextel all together. Since the boost is in there, I can always call that a "Plan B". With a decent repeater setup, I would have no issue covering the distance you speak of for less than $1k. Mobile repeaters can be found in various forms, just check them out all over the web.. A system like this would be ideal if the users utilizes the same vehicles respectively.
 

stevelton

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Something to keep in mind.
If you lease time on someone else's LTR system, you probably wont be able to buy your own radio off of ebay and have it programmed to their system.
On my system, The information needed to program a radio to properly access the system is kept in the safe, no one gets access to it. You have to get the radios from me, so I dont get some wanna be radio tech screwing up my system.
Steven
 

gewecke

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Something to keep in mind.
If you lease time on someone else's LTR system, you probably wont be able to buy your own radio off of ebay and have it programmed to their system.
On my system, The information needed to program a radio to properly access the system is kept in the safe, no one gets access to it. You have to get the radios from me, so I dont get some wanna be radio tech screwing up my system.
Steven

Then there are those of us who are REAL techs who would do this just because we can! :lol:
Just kidding! :wink:
n9zas
 
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