Fortunately for radio, usability and reliability remain the leading
purchase deciders. “Reality proves again and again that users
actually can’t work with mobile when it comes to reliable
infrastructure.” he says.
Voice communication continues to be very important in this
market, and he emphasizes that Tait voice quality is unbeatable.
“Potential customers just need to listen, to understand the value.”
Nova Funk customers are very aware of the promise of the Internet
of Things (Io T) and communications convergence. “They want it,
but they don’t really know yet the current reality and the promise
for the future,” he says. “As a vendor today, we have an eye on
the future but we also need to satisfy customer needs with what
they trust today. Personally, I think it will be five years before we
truly experience seamless communication in this market.”
That said, he acknowledges the place that Io T and smart
cities already hold in Switzerland. For example, buses not only
transport passengers, but also trace air pollution.
Rainer Grob’s passion for radio goes back to his
early years; even as a child, he identified electronic
engineering as a hobby, and soon learned to fix and
adapt portable devices to increase their performance.
This lead to summer holiday internships at a small radio
vendor shop nearby, and later, as a radio engineer with
the Swiss military, he studied electronic engineering
at NTB Interstaatliche Hochschule für Technik Buchs
“In 1993, the owner of the shop I interned in decided to sell
his business. I bought it, and founded Nova Funk Engineering
AG.” he says. In those early days, the business sold radios
to construction companies, ski fields, firefighters and road
workers. In 1997, Nova Funk established a dealership with Tait.
“Over the years since then, we have put Tait radio systems
into fire departments, bank security companies, military, power
plants, road service, public transport, mountain railways,
chemical plants and refineries, taxi companies and many more,”
“I built a five site analog simulcast system for Credit Suisse
bank”, he recalls. It involved a scanner for underground
channels, and ran specialised, dedicated, custom firmware.
“This was the early days of the internet, and during the night
while I was asleep, my computer would download the Tait
firmware from the other side of the world. Next morning, I would
test it. We repeated the process until everything ran perfectly.”
Switzerland’s small size, high technology uptake and
concentrated population distribution creates a unique
communications environment. Without the broad coverage
distances many other nations contend with, it boasts a
world-beating mobile network. However, Rainer has a clear
vision of the part that radio continues to play.
“It’s a fact that mobile users don’t want to use radio, whereas
radio users don’t want to use mobile. Today, a lot of IT guys are
involved in radio communication, and many would like to change
to mobile. Mobile phones with apps are years ahead of radio, and
in Switzerland the GSM mobile network is really good.”
“… usability and reliability
remain the leading