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December 15, 20142 min read

I.T. vs Radio a matter of perspective

Mixing IT and Radio - Cover image for connection article

Connection Issue 5 – Click here to read this article online

As communication networks converge, it is inevitable that there will be some friction and misunderstanding between IT and radio experts. And yet, cooperation is essential, with many issues to be worked through together.

  • How should responsibilities be decided?
  • Who does what?
  • How separate or interdependent should they be?
  • What skill sets do you need?

At the Tait P25 round table discussions in 2013, we talked to Public Safety radio communications experts on these, and many other matters.

Here are some of the opinions they expressed.

While the participants quoted here work in Public Safety communications, the issues they raise are equally relevant to other industries.

“ IT people are not interested in radio, and believe it is not as resource-hungry. Yet it is more difficult to staff radio. ”

“Right now, radio is second fiddle to IT – we need to change focus. ”

“A hacker can bring your network down and a software update can take you offline. IT may not recognize how these issues impact on Public Safety. ”

“You won’t find IT up a mast at two in the morning with a baseball bat, knocking ice off the antennas. They will only remote in. ”

“Negotiate demarcation with IT in good faith because you need their expertise. ”

“The biggest radio subscriber challenge is managing the expectations of young, tech-savvy, cell-savvy officers. ”

“The ideal radio technicians? Young radio geeks that gobble up new technology that others find hard to keep up with. They must have the ability to learn and take on new challenges. ”

“IT managers are accustomed to requiring fewer people to monitor/manage/ administer networks. This has created an unsustainable staffing issue for radio. “

“You can teach IT to radio guys but you can’t teach radio to IT. ”

“ The IT mindset is different. From an IT perspective, it is okay for the network to be down. That is not okay for radio – 100% duty cycle is essential. The radio network simply cannot go down. ”

“Radio can approach IT with “This is what I need and I don’t think you want any part of it”. They will most likely agree! ”

“Radio needs IT for security, firewalls, sniffers for attacks plus dedicated ring for the radio network. Address their issues and needs early. “

“In a perfect world, you will have RF junkies and IT geeks working together harmoniously. ”

We want to know what you think? 

Do you agree with these quotes? Do you have an opinion on this topic?  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.


Tait Connection - Issue 5 This article is taken from Connection Magazine, Issue 5. Connection is a collection of educational and thought-leading articles focusing on critical communications, wireless and radio technology.

Share your views, comments and suggestions in the Tait Connection Magazine LinkedIn group.


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