Typical radio systems designed for voice typically have very limited
bandwidth, because it is not needed to do the job.
Data systems today are no longer able to make users happy with text based
interface. Users demand access to web based resources and this leads to high
While it might be possible to combine a data device and a radio device in
the same physical package, at least for now, they will each need access to
different wireless networks.
One day last week I was looking at a Symbol (now part of Motorola) device
that combined voice and data into a device similar to what many of us use as
cell phones today. This device had a screen much larger than my cell phone
although it used the same Microsoft Windows Mobile OS. It also operated on a
variety of wireless networks, one being Nextel with its PTT capability.
As I looked at it I could not help but think how nice it would be to have
that WM OS in a device that could also function as a Police officer’s
portable radio. That evening, when I got home and my wife jumped on me about
her Windows PC and its “blue screen of death” problem, I realized why Police
and Fire people are better off with mission specific devices. No one wants
to have to wait to reboot to call for help.
Just because a thing is technologically possible, does not mean it should be
Radio System Manager
City of Durham, NC