Reflecting on a busy 2017 summer...


For many years, National Radio Bank, Roadphone NRB’s hire division, has supported countless major events across the UK and Europe. 2017 proved to be no exception, with the world’s biggest sporting event of the year, national events such as UK Armed Forces Day, product launches and music festivals all relying on our experience and expertise to ensure everything ran smoothly.

It was already set to be an extremely busy season for our team, with over 1,000 of the latest digital radios from Motorola Solutions and Hytera purchased ahead of the season to facilitate demand. Threat of a terrorist attack in the UK increased the security levels across the country, meaning the spotlight was on the events industry to help ensure the safety of everyone attending major outdoor events, which naturally led to an increased demand for two-way radios.

“Almost overnight, orders that were placed for 100 radios increased to 120, then 140, then 160, as event organisers and security contractors implemented additional plans to address the increased security threat”, writes Roadphone NRB’s Matt Bostock. “Although challenging, we were pleased to be able to meet this increased demand during what was already an incredibly busy period for us”.
With many years’ experience in the events industry, our Project Management team are able to fully integrate with event organisers, working closely to understand their challenges, and ensure that the communications solutions we provide are designed to address their requirements.

The requirements of individual events often vary greatly, and therefore our technical approach to each event often differs. Some events, such as music festivals, often require simple ‘push-to-talk’ solutions, where the battery life and durability of the radio are often key. Others, such as conferences and exhibitions, require more complex solutions, with individual dialling, text message and emergency call functionality, which is where digital trunked systems, with display, full-keypad radios are needed.

Recently, during a major conference in Barcelona, our team deployed a DMR Tier III system, fully integrated with a show comms matrix. Using the integrated group and private calling gave organisers ultimate flexibility in their approach, therefore ensuring the whole operation ran smoothly.

Coverage and capacity is another big consideration for events. Through our discussions pre-event with organisers we can work out the coverage area required, which user groups need to talk site-wide, and how many channels (or groups) need to be supported. We can then work out the best way to deliver this; either providing back-to-back radios, repeaters or even multi-site repeater solutions. When thinking about capacity, we need to ensure the radio network has enough capacity to cope both during normal event operations, and also during an incident.

Matt continues: “A good example of our close collaboration with organisers is our work for Liverpool City Council. Liverpool adopts a proactive and forward-thinking approach to organising events, and so our approach to providing communications needs to be the same. We regularly provide site-wide PA systems, integrated with two-way radio for Liverpool’s events, and also operate a multi-site radio system for use by the events team”.

On-site support is another big part of Roadphone NRB’s service to the events industry. Whilst on-site our engineers can use our computerised asset tracking system, Checkpoint Charlie®, to fully manage all equipment allocation whilst on-site. Furthermore, we’re on-hand to provide technical support, both to the system infrastructure we install, and also to end-users who require support with their radio.

There is lots to consider when planning event radio communications. You need to ensure that your system has the reliability, capacity and functionality for you to safely and efficiently manage your event. Whatever your challenge, our expert team are on-hand to discuss your needs and design a solution that is right for your event.

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