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Northwestern To Update Campus Police Communications

Northwestern University is moving to an IP-based 900 MHz voice and integrated data system for the Evanston and Chicago campus police, facilities management, events staff, sports facilities management, and other support and operations staff.

Don Hlinsky, Northwestern University IT project manager, said that it was important for NU to go with a 900 MHz solution because the university is currently using an analog 900 MHz Motorola Smartnet simulcast trunked system and holds the required FCC licenses. So the University decided to go with a Motorola Astro 25 network.

"A side benefit of staying with Motorola at 900 MHz allowed us to purchase new radios immediately for use on the existing system and then migrate them to the new system," Hlinsky said.

The Astro 25 system will be simulcast from three dispatch positions with MCC 7500 IP consoles and 911 call-taking, and an MIP 5000 for remote dispatch functionality.

The new system will also include radio programming over the air, text messaging with XTS 2500 portable radios, and an expansion from six channels to seven.

Hlinsky said that UN's network engineering group is already working on the infrastructure changes that will be required to get ready for the system's rollout in the second quarter of 2011.

"We will be configuring the system to closely emulate the existing system to minimize the training effort," Hlinsky said. "We will hold orientation sessions for the users at the time we distribute the radios."

More information on Motorola's Astro 25 networks is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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