Let's go!

Safeguarding Students at Cambridge University with MOTOTRBO™

Security patrols protecting staff and students at one of England’s flagship universities have the reassurance of instant and reliable communication with the control room, following the installation of a MOTOTRBO™ wide-area digital radio network. The system provides continuous coverage across the entire city of Cambridge, and offers increased functionality to enhance safety.

The University of Cambridge spans a rich history of tradition dating back to 1284. Renowned as one of the world’s leading institutions of learning, the university’s eminent affiliates include Isaac Newton, Lord Byron, Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking.

Today it attracts over 18,000 students and employs nearly 6,000 staff. There are more than 150 Departments, Faculties and Schools dispersed across Cambridge, and the students live in 31 colleges situated in the city.

Customer Profile

CLIENT: Cambridge University

SECTOR: Education

The Challenge

Cambridge University ‘s existing two-way radio system was susceptible to interference, with the result that communication between security guards and the control room was unclear at times, and certain areas had dead spots where there was no coverage at all.

With students and staff travelling between colleges and faculties across the city, it is imperative that security patrols have clear and reliable communications at all times in order to perform their duties effectively. Missed calls or garbled messages can severely impact on efficiency, particularly in an emergency situation.

Personnel safety is also a high priority, especially when guards have to patrol areas alone at night. The radios are their first line of communication with the control room, therefore knowing that guards can maintain constant contact is vital for their peace of mind and protection.

Thus, the need for continuous, high-quality and reliable wide-area communications prompted Cambridge University’s decision to evaluate alternative technologies.

The Solution

The MOTOTRBO™ digital radio system was chosen due to its two-slot TDMA technology, which doubles the capacity of the existing licensed channel. It enables two conversations to take place simultaneously on a single channel, thereby reducing equipment overheads.

Using the industry standard IP protocol, MOTOTRBO™ provides a converged voice and data platform that supports a range of applications to further enhance productivity. Channels can also be allocated for simultaneous voice and data communications as required.

Motorola Solutions Reseller DTS.Solutions UK Ltd integrated the university’s mobile alarm system into their radio network, so that guards can receive alarm notifications via their two-way radios.

When guards are patrolling areas alone, the radios can be programmed to prompt them at set intervals, improving safety by alerting the control room if they fail to respond.

Another major benefit of digital radio technology is its built-in error correction capability, which is able to reconstitute the voice throughout most of the coverage area. This provides clearer communications across a wider area without the need for multiple repeaters to boost signal strength. DTS Solutions UK Ltd was able to provide coverage across the entire city of Cambridge using a single MOTOTRBO™ DR3000 repeater.

The University opted for Motorola Solutions patented IMPRES™ smart energy system, which automates battery management to ensure optimum performance and longer life cycle. Remote speaker microphones allow hands-free operation, so guards can focus on the job at hand, and two-wire earpieces with acoustic tubes provide more discrete communications when they’re on patrol.

The Benefit

With coverage now extending throughout the city of Cambridge, security personnel have clear and continuous communications, improving the
coordination of operations, providing reassurance that calls won’t be missed and summoning back-up immediately in the event of an incident.

The IMPRES™ automated battery management system ensures that guards can work extended shifts without worrying about losing contact with the control room, and provides a greater return on investment by maximising battery lifecycle.

So, as an added precaution, Cambridge University now has a digital fall-back channel which they can automatically switch across to in the event of a disaster, such as a lightning strike, at their main repeater site. The system has been programmed to receive a coded message from the radios which switches off the main repeater and re-routes operations through the standby control system located at a remote site, to minimise downtime.

Customer Review

We have worked with DTS Solutions for over 10 years and in this time have found them to be extremely helpful, knowledgeable and easy to work with. The Motorola Solutions digital radio system implemented has helped the University Security Section from a health and safety and communication point of view. Our security patrollers know that they can rely on their radios. We have previously used the Motorola Solutions DP3400 and DP3600 portables for many years and recently upgraded to the compact DP3441e digital radios. During this time the radios and the radio system have been excellent. If we ever need help or support, we know we can rely upon DTS and that they will deliver every time. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend DTS Solutions.


Peter Hardy, Senior Security Operations Manager

Case Study Download

Contact DTS