Looking for Public safety wireless radios (4.9Ghz)

Posted on 2011-09-13
Last Modified: 2013-11-12
I do some consulting and contract IT work for various police departments.  Due to various reasons, some of my customers are wanting to utilize the 4.9Ghz public safety band for their wireless needs.

There are a few products out on the market, and the one that I see most often is from Ubiquiti Networks:  I have also seen a handful of Motorola PCMCIA cards.  Both of these solutions fall in the sub $200 range.

These work well and good, but newer laptops and MDC's (Mobile Data Computers) utilize PCIe and expresscards, rendering the before-mentioned options unusable.

The only thing that I have been able to come up with is utilizing a 4.9Ghz Access Point (like a Proxim AP4900) or a mobile router (Like the Oncomm Rocket -  However, these solutions cost north of $1000 per client.

I was hoping some of you experts had experience in this field and would be able to to point me towards a more affordable solution.  I am aware that I won't be able to directly source the radios without a license.  I just need a direction to steer my customer.

Question by:oldstone00
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Accepted Solution

Craig Beck earned 200 total points
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This is the only device I can think of which might be under $1000 (based on what some of my UK clients have said).  However, I think it may be too bulky for the type of implementation you require.

To be honest, if a customer of mine wanted to use a band which was not publically available (for availability and security reasons I assume) I would insist that some decent kit be purchased.

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From the US distributers, it looks like I can get it for sub $1k, although it is still sticking an AP in the trunk, which i am hoping to avoid.  I am wanting something to hang off the laptops as a peripheral, instead of having to buy/install/support a separate AP/antenna/configuration.

I agree with suggesting a decent solution, for instance 4.9 PCMCIA cards are usually several hundred dollars (which is not cheap!), but with a fleet of 150 cars, the costs add up.  Also, this 4.9ghz cost became un unexpected hurdle on the computer upgrade path (since the PD didn't think of it).  I actually didn't furnish their existing equipment, but was asked about my opinion since I work on the computers.

What i am really looking for is something like an expresscard, usb device, etc.  I'm surprised there isn't one readily available on the market (at least based upon my searching).  I guess the demand isn't high enough...
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Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
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I think you're right - the demand isn't high enough, and cost is usually indirectly proportional to the demand. :-(

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Only person to repond with useful information.

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