Network Operations Center. But just because the ideal is
not achievable doesn’t mean you must accept less than
Large trunked systems with thousands of users should
be monitored 24/7, which may require some ingenuity.
• you can add your system monitoring to an existing
larger (state-wide or major urban area) NOC,
• you can pool your resources with your neighbors –
a regional NOC for a dozen county systems may
be a worthwhile initiative,
• you can work with your equipment vendor, your
local service provider or search for a specialized
For smaller systems (less than a thousand users),
your finances are likely to be more constrained and
you may have to apply a combination of approaches.
For example, you might rely on your own staff during
working hours and dispatch personnel and/or third
and harder to truly isolate a modern radio system. Every
system is vulnerable to:
• physical security (sharing premises),
• IT security (sharing links and facilities)
• user discipline (illegal/improper uses of computer
• increasing dependence on connectivity with outside
systems (PS databases, other data applications and
WHY MORE IS NOT DONE
Why are the majority of Public Safety LMR systems
under-monitored? Common explanations are cost and
denial of the need. But neither one can be defended.
Operators who deny the need for monitoring and rely
on complaints from users are unnecessarily putting the
safety of others at risk.
The majority of system operators cannot afford their
own NOC, but there are businesses that will undertake
the task at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated internal
24/7 set-up. Alternatively, there are many simple
technical means that can provide at least high-level
automatic alarm notifications via pager, cell phone,
Many malfunctions can be remedied or prevented if
they are identified early. For example, power failure due
to deteriorating transmission cables is often preceded
by fluctuation of the mains voltage. Problems with
antenna systems are preceded by increasing VSWR,
misalignment of microwave link by increasing
BER, etc. Don’t wait until your system fails to correct
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE
Technology is not the problem. The parameters for
monitoring are well known and there are many available
methods for each one. We know how to monitor for
intrusion and theft, environmental factors, equipment
malfunctions, antenna system problems, power
problems and many more.
Where monitoring most often falls short is the human
resource, the actual monitoring personnel. Very few
“THE MOST COMMON EXPLANATIONS ARE
COST AND DENIAL OF THE NEED.
BUT NEITHER ONE CAN BE DEFENDED.