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Thread: Bell Mobility/Motorola awarded emergency service contract in Manitoba Canada.

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    Default Bell Mobility/Motorola awarded emergency service contract in Manitoba Canada.

    The Manitoba government awarded Bell Mobility Inc the contract for a new P25 radio system that will be Motorola built. I read a few months back that that the tender must be for a "public safety band only", so it will be a 700 Mhz system. Sorry I don't have a better link, could not find another.

    https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/lo...490397101.html


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    And the same fucktarded fools at the VEMA (Vehicle Equipment Maintenance Authority/Agency) will be programming/maintaining the radios. So clueless. The MCS2000s in the provincial ambulances haven't been programmed/firmware updated/PM checked since 1998-2001.

    Every single one of them should be in jail for putting the lives' of citizens at risk. In January, I reported a Quik-Call II pager that was 4 kHz off frequency and severely under-deviated. The EMS agency wasn't receiving pages. The VEMA idiots didn't care whatsoever; they only wanted to know who to bill.

    The EMS agency had not received a dispatch for someone pinned under a tractor-trailer, because of the faulty pager. They had a delayed response time. This is why I reported it. The crash turned out to be a fatality (instant death), but this joke of a radio shop (VEMA) didn't understand the seriousness of the situation.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manit...rash-1.4478624

    Things in Manitoba really need to change before they implement this new system, of which no competent persons will be running or responsible for reliability, maintenance, installations, optimizing configurations, proper training, accessory selection/maintenance, etc. All the fucktards they have there now treat the current system as if it's some kind of rental system used by retarded snow plow operators or something.

    Manitoba is the biggest shithole in Canada with zero accountability. Why else would they still be running a SmartZone 4.1 system, more than a decade after Moto stopped selling parts for it? And they're currently sourcing replacement parts on eBay!

    Glad I left that crap hole. There's no hope. It'll always be that way.

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    https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.ht...ted=2018-08-08[


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    Public/private partnerships for infrastructure should be outlawed. They're just cash grabs for the business off the backs of the taxpayers.

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    Expect the system to be patterned after the Ontario VHF Fleetnet system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notarola View Post
    Expect the system to be patterned after the Ontario VHF Fleetnet system.
    God help Manitoba.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motorola_otaku View Post
    Public/private partnerships for infrastructure should be outlawed. They're just cash grabs for the business off the backs of the taxpayers.
    Just like FirstNet!

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    CODX the times I have had the opportunity to listen to the Ontario VHF Fleetnet it seemed to work OK, but i live in Manitoba. Do they have trouble with the system in Ontario or are you taliking more about Ma Bell?

    Also that system is mixed analog digital so it's not true P25. One good thing for us it being M is they don't give encryption away for free so maybe there is a chance I can still listen to something on the new system?

    Quote Originally Posted by CQDX View Post
    God help Manitoba.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPECIAL_EYE View Post
    One good thing for us it being M is they don't give encryption away for free so maybe there is a chance I can still listen to something on the new system?
    They need something to flog to the customer at a very healthy markup (99% plus profit) to make up for undocumented cost overruns which the vendors hold the govt accountable for.

    It is just another govt engagement using the PPP method, it/they will rip the eyes out of the govt as the corporates know best!
    I do not believe in political correctness BS leftest tripe
    Suck it up, HTFU and make the place great again! Work never killed anyone who did it safely

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPECIAL_EYE View Post
    Do they have trouble with the system in Ontario or are you taliking more about Ma Bell?
    Moreso MaBell.

    That said, the system is old and likely in need of upgrading quite soon. I'm not aware of any mission-critical failures but I do hear grumbling from analog users about audio quality not being what it used to be. Before Bell ran the Provincial networks, PM checks were done annually on all the equipment. Now? I'd be surprised if some radio have even been looked at since their initial installation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CQDX View Post
    Moreso MaBell.

    That said, the system is old and likely in need of upgrading quite soon. I'm not aware of any mission-critical failures but I do hear grumbling from analog users about audio quality not being what it used to be. Before Bell ran the Provincial networks, PM checks were done annually on all the equipment. Now? I'd be surprised if some radio have even been looked at since their initial installation.
    I have couple buddy's who work for bell mobility radio and they do quite a bit of regular pm's on the tower sites. The ambulance just recently switched from mcs2000's with uhf VR's to apx6500 with 700 VR's. As far as I know on the p25 side of it is using astro spectra or xtl5000

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    Cheeseman is correct. My research shows the analog side is mostly mcs2000 with some newer APx being used to replace the NLA 2000s The p25 side is a mix of astro spectras with W series heads. The bulk of the fleet is is XTL5000 with the majority using W series heads. There are some newer installs using O5 heads and some APX as well since the XTLs are not available anymore. All the major users have analog VRS.

    The general system layout is P25 non encrypted for LE and analog for EMS. Reports indicate an upgrade of sometype is in the works. My speculation would be the addition of hardware encryption to the P25 radios or a upgrade to APX with encryption for LE and the existing P25 equipment being used to convert EMS to P25. The VRS would also be upgraded to DVRS. The system is non simulcast and is divided into 4 main zones. Each zone has multiple sites with users roaming from site to site as the transverse the coverage areas.

    For Manitoba I can see the analog for non LE format being used again, Its cheaper and there may be possible issues around localities using TRBO/DMR. LE should be digital ENC. The system will not be a simulcast system although they may create a few simulcast sites within the system .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notarola View Post
    For Manitoba I can see the analog for non LE format being used again, Its cheaper and there may be possible issues around localities using TRBO/DMR. LE should be digital ENC. The system will not be a simulcast system although they may create a few simulcast sites within the system .
    But if they are going to a 7.xx Astro25 system would analogue not be off the table. Anybody that has moved away from type 2/EDACS/everything else has done fully digital.


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    I am not in the planning group for the proposed system and have no connection with it. All I can do is comment on industry rumors and chit chat.

    From what I have heard there is concern about fire department inter-op as well as hoped for integration of other services like electricity and enviormental operations. Many of these services are still analog or have transitioned to public sector style systems like TRBO. The wish list is for as many services to be transitioned to the system as possible to spread out the cost of the infrastructure. The technical people are aware that if the new system is strictly P25 or P25 phase II there is going to be issues. Someway needs to be built into the system for analog operation if for no other reason than to interface with existing local networks or systems.

    The system is still in the very early planning stages but Bell mobility is aware of some of the short comings in the Ontario system and seems to have some plans to try and avoid them in the new proposed system. One thing I have heard is that large scale users will be included in the pre planning stage to see what their usage requirements are.

    Most of these concerns would go away if APX supported TRBO as well as P25 but Moto seems to have dug their heels in and will not even consider TRBO mode for APX. If some other manufacturuer were to make a TRBO/DMR and P25 unit they would be a slamdunk to supply the hardware. Of course there is no P25/P25 Phase II/DMR/TRBO trunking system in existence either but with 380 million + to play with Im sure something might be possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notarola View Post
    ...If some other manufacturuer were to make a TRBO/DMR and P25 unit they would be a slamdunk to supply the hardware...
    Well, there is this : http://comms.kenwood.com/special/nx_5000

    You can only pick 2 of 3 availible protocols. But, it exists!

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    I'm using those NX radios here, as I'm sure you've seen me say before, but only in P25 mode exclusively - the only DMR or NXDN in my area for public safety use (and these radios are strictly being used for public safety) are in VHF and UHF bands - the NX radios are 7/8.

    In my and my crews' experience, the radios operate very well on P25 - with one exception: If you manage to get into a "queued" state (i.e. you try to transmit when someone else is talking), the radio will not go out of queued state unless you either change channel or power-cycle. But, from what I've heard, that may have more to do with the particular P25 system than the radios themselves (I have heard other people suggest that Harris is doing something somewhat unexpected with the response to a queued condition, despite the fact the system is required to be "vendor agnostic" i.e. observing the plain P25 standard with no proprietary bells and/or whistles).

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    I will investigate the NX5000. the queued state may also be firmware based with the radio not resetting a flag in the OSW buffer or what ever it uses to remember its last TX state (awaiting response from controler??)

    I dont want to hijack the thread about possible configurations but this might make an interesting topic of its own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notarola View Post
    From what I have heard there is concern about fire department inter-op as well as hoped for integration of other services like electricity and enviormental operations. Many of these services are still analog or have transitioned to public sector style systems like TRBO. The wish list is for as many services to be transitioned to the system as possible to spread out the cost of the infrastructure. The technical people are aware that if the new system is strictly P25 or P25 phase II there is going to be issues. Someway needs to be built into the system for analog operation if for no other reason than to interface with existing local networks or systems.
    I remember the "promise" of true interop when Fleetnet first went live, until potential users saw the price tag. At the time, they were asking something like $50/month/radio for analog service, for a municipal fire department. Not sure if that has changed, but I wouldn't be surprised.

    The most recent news I heard from a source was that the system would be mixed VHF/700 (and the fact that they're starting to roll out APX8500s should be indication of that, as well as 700MHz DVRSs up in Zone 4), fully encrypted for all LE and EMS users with MTO having an option to encrypt. Of course, time will tell. Buck-A-Beer has higher priority right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CQDX View Post
    Buck-A-Beer has higher priority right now.
    And so it should LOL.

    I believe with fleetnet testing is being done in zone 4 as you say. The slow potential rollout is because the system admins are waiting for long term commitments from MOH and OPP before inverting $$ into new infrastructure and hardware.

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    I found this tonight on the VEMA website while browsing, so much for the hope of listening to fire or EMS ;

    https://www.vema.gov.mb.ca/public-sa...t-departments/

    "Is there a requirement to have my radio configured with encryption?
    Yes. If you are a Category 1 user (police, fire, and emergency medical services), you are required to have encryption. Encryption provides secure transmissions between emergency first responders and dispatch centres. Encryption will ensure protection of personal information, personal health information, incident location and first responder identity. Encryption will also have an impact on interoperability in large-scale events or situations that may need coordination from different levels of the government (federal, provincial, municipal)."

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    Let's break down the "benefits" which the system is claiming: (I'm very familiar with the existing system and the politics there, having lived in the area for nearly 40 years)


    Expanded coverage - Sure, with more sites, absolutely. But are they going to install VHF at some of the sites in challenging terrain up north and in the bushes? 700 MHz will suck up there. It's already proven 800 MHz is crap for those regions.

    Geographically redundant core for high availability Do they mean CORES (plural)? Also, this isn't something you advertise for security purposes.

    Enhanced core and tower site security Again, you don't advertise this. And what security could they possibly have? Intrusion alarms? IP Cameras? Big deal. The majority of Fleetnet sites are in rural locations with absolutely no reasonable police response times to investigate alarms. Further, police generally will not respond to unconfirmed break-in alarms. At least in Winnipeg -- they've shifted this role to private security companies. Police WILL respond if remote IP cameras indicate an intruder is on-site.

    Higher level of encryption – managed by the RCMP Higher level of encryption? Is there something beyond AES-256 we don't know about? Marketing crap. Also NONE of the other agencies should allow the RCMP to manage, create or store their keys. Key management should be handled by a crypto officer for each agency. Those crypto officers should be tasked with creating, loading, secure storing and sharing keys (mutual) with other partners. Global key management, handled by the federal government (RCMP is an extension of the feds) is a major concern. It's also a critical point of security failure, in the event there's a compromise (disclosure) of key data, or an employee who goes stupid.

    Radio spectrum reserved for public safety and public service entities 700 MHz. But what about VHF?

    Standard Operating Procedures Ugh...VEMA (provincial government shop) doesn't create SOPs. Those are up to each individual agency.

    Centralized Contract Management Oh great, more of the same nonsense. VEMA has a history of completely disregarding and ignoring any and all maintenance of subscribers and infrastructure. They do not care about public-safety. They have incompetent staff (hi Ted, and Chris) and they absolutely DO NOT do remote service/trouble calls to resolve faults with subscriber equipment. I once drove 840km round-trip in one day, volunteering my gas/time, to replace an antenna on a northern ambulance, which had been operating without an antenna and wondering why their service was compromised/not working whatsoever. The crew had reported this to VEMA months prior, and nothing was done about it. One of dozens of issues I logged with VEMA over the years. ZERO FARKS GIVEN about the safety of the public or the subs.

    Governance model with business, technical and service assurance committees Who on those committees will be qualified or competent to create, contribute or sign off on the policies? What experience do they have? Not one person I dealt with in Manitoba had a clue about anything. The ergonomics of the radio programming (button configuration, ease of use, how crews with gloved/frozen hands use the radios, etc.) were never taken into consideration. Two very pertinent examples:

    - Paramedics told me they found it excessively difficult to retrieve their radios' from their belt and scroll through the MSG --> RTT menu, then PTT that message to get dispatch on the channel. They were expected to do this while wearing PPE (medical gloves), contaminated with bodily fluids, while working outdoors in harsh conditions (winter temperatures of -15 to -35 C). Their fingers were paralyzed. This brings us to issue #2:

    - The paramedics were told the orange emergency button (MTS2000 Model III) was programmed to send a distress signal to dispatch, should they find themselves in an emergent situation requiring police backup. Indeed, the radios were programmed to send the emergency status, however the dispatch consoles at the Medical Transportation Coordination Centre (MTCC) were programed to IGNORE emergency activations. The reason? "We don't have a protocol on how to deal with receiving them". I'm not joking. There were multiple incidents where legitimate emergency activations went unanswered. Dispatch also didn't not/refused to acknowledge the common Manitoba-area radio code "200s" for police. "We need the 200s now". Dispatch would say, "I'm unaware of what that means". The medics, while dealing with an already agitated, ARMED patient, had to say "WE NEED THE POLICE HERE NOW!". That action further agitated the patient. This is unreal incompetency.

    - With respect to the ignored emergency button activation, I'm aware some medics reconfigured their MTS2000s so the orange button was mapped to OT1 (One Touch 1) to send the RTT status. That way they could use RSMs and either use that button, or call dispatch much easier, without taking radio out of case. This is what I mean about ergonomics and consultation with the actual users of the system.

    Services Level Agreements and penalties SERIOUSLY FFS??? "Well, Stonewall Fire Dept. hasn't paid their bill yet this month, so we're going to cut their service off". Yeah go get F'd, VEMA. This is EXACTLY WHY these morons should not be in charge of this system. Anyone who would even think of penalizing a public safety user (cut off their service?) should be marched to the gallows.

    System reporting Assuming this means network health/fault monitoring. This is good. But what's the point of monitoring the data if they aren't prepared to do anything about it? This is the current problem. Also, Manitoba's geography isn't suitable to having techs hired for each region. Many of the service calls to sites will be to fly-in-only locations, via helicopter. Many locations in Manitoba are only accessible via winter roads or chopper.

    Training and training materials Again, are the people authoring/distributing these materials competent to do so? And does this imply the current system has no training or materials available? If so, why not? (The current system is a total joke)

    Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Planning This is the second time I've seen the word BUSINESS mentioned. PUBLIC SAFETY is not a business. Business = profit model. We don't profit from public safety customers, especially when the entire system has been paid for by the provincial (and I believe to and extent) federal government(s). They need to fix this immediately. If by "business" they simply mean "administration", then they need to word it as such.

    I highly recommend their "disaster recovery planning" not involve ARES or any of the VEMA "techs".

    It's quite obvious this "benefit" section of the website was written by someone with an MBA who knows absolutely nothing about emergency services, the technology, security or the challenges the current users of Fleetnet face.

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