My career was based on these devices back in the 90s. I kinda miss them.

@Tay0 @madcap

they are still very much in use in Britain, particularly the wide area VHF network, as they remain more reliable for business/safety-critical messaging than LTE!


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..


Are they using 2way pagers or still running old POCSAG?


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..


@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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