Just found out that it's really easy to send text messages to a pager using a simple #raspberrpi. It works and it's really easy.
Software used: https://github.com/F5OEO/rpitx
I work in healthcare and although we use LTE based apps for mobile staff they aren't as time critical as blue light operations; the apps are notorious for acting up as the device flips between 3/4/5G LTE and wifi.
London Fire Brigade recently spent about 2 years evaluating an LTE based callout system but couldn't get the same level of reliability as the VHF pagers - the rest of the blue lights want to move to LTE but the Emergency Services Network is still under development..
LFB are still using Motorola FLEX for callout but Airwave (an encrypted TETRA scheme) for messaging back to Brigade control. Some other Brigades use POCSAG, but they generally now all now use Airwave for anything transmitted back from appliances.
There is less need for secrecy for the Fire Brigade as isn't exactly a secret when something is clearly on fire..
A wider problem for blue light services here being that the Airwave infrastructure is nearing EOL..
I worked at the bat wings when FLEX was developed. It allows for 2way with reFLEX but can be used as broadcast only. I was never a fan of FLEX but reFLEX caused the cellular providers to see that there was money to be made selling data instead of just voice minutes. It was good for that reason.
in UK Motorola Solutions run Airwave *and* are the only main provider for the planned LTE-based Emergency Services Network (no other tech company in the entire country really wanted the business, nor has the expertise to deploy such a system, other then British Telecom who are providing the LTE infrastructure via EE (it is shared with the civilian network but with higher priority)
@vfrmedia well, security isn't only about privacy or secrecy. The fact that you can easily spoof messages is a big problem in many scenarios.
@madcap the UK services only give away "one piece of the jigsaw" on their remaining pager messages so it would be very difficult to create false calls that way as there are other authentication methods - its far easier for malicious folk to just make a hoax 999 call (or even just start a real fire)
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