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Tammy Chatwin

Fireman uses radio during emergency at night

Bi-Directional Amplifiers and Distributed Antenna Systems

By Safety, Bi-Directional Amplifiers

All Points Wireless provides Custom-designed, Bi-Directional Amplifier and Distributed Antenna Systems to extend coverage range for each unique environment.

A Safety BDA-DAS in your facility helps ensure that first responders remain in contact with each other during an emergency. All Points Wireless offers consultation and evaluation for all your coverage challenges and provides custom design services and expert level code compliance. Many localities now require Public Safety BDA-DAS installations within new buildings, and as part of renovation permits or inspection certifications.

Installing Bi-Directional Amplifiers and Distributed Antenna Systems is not only beneficial for first responders in emergency situations, they are also important communication tools that improve productivity and safety for maintenance, engineering, operations, and security teams.

Radio technician installing Antenna dish on rooftop

All Points Wireless can help amplify Public Safety communication through BDA-DAS Solutions

There are two types of bi-directional amplifiers: One for two-way radios and another for cellular phones. Public safety bi-directional amplifiers for two-way radio systems and a BDA intended for cellular phone usage cannot be interchanged. All Points Wireless provides a variety of bi-directional amplifier and distributed antenna systems to extend coverage range. Every BDA-DAS solution is custom-designed for each unique environment.

Variables such as building materials, dead spots, and signal interference offer specific challenges and All Points Wireless has extensive experience deploying in-building wireless systems to meet nearly any operating conditions.

Public Safety BDA and DAS Solutions

After the tragic events of 9/11, many localities enacted ordinances making it mandatory to meet wireless signal strength standards on first responder frequencies. Most public safety radios operate on 450 MHz, 700 MHz and 800 MHz bands.

To match wireless coverage code, many jurisdictions require Bi-Directional Amplifiers (BDA) within a Distributed Antenna System (DAS). These signal boosters distribute Radio Frequency (RF) throughout a structure.

Radio technician assembling antenna inside his truck

Benefits of Public Safety BDA/DAS Solutions

A Public Safety BDA/DAS in your facility helps ensure that first responders remain in contact with each other during an emergency — even in challenging areas such as stairwells, underground tunnels, parking garages, and pump rooms.

Boosting radio signals not only increases safety for first responders, it also helps public safety professionals better serve building occupants and visitors.

Signal Booster Code Requirements

In-building signal coverage statutes are based on standards set by organizations such as:

  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): NFPA 72 Chapter 24 code requires 90 percent in-building two-way radio signal coverage, which jumps to 99 percent for critical areas like fire pump rooms, exit stairs and passageways, and elevator lobbies.
  • International Fire Code (IFC): IFC-510 code requires 95 percent in-building wireless signal coverage with a minimum signal strength of -95 dB.
  • FCC13-21: Part 90 regulations describe requirements for signal boosters for Public Safety and private Land Mobile Radio (LMR) service operations.

Complying with wireless signal code improves personal safety, minimizes the risk of property damage and reduces the possibility of legal liability.

Defining Cellular BDA & DAS Systems

Bi-Directional Amplifiers (BDAs) are signal boosters that sustain wireless communications throughout a facility. One type of BDA is designed for cellular devices and another kind is for two-way radios. A cell signal booster will not increase two-way radio coverage, so it is best to install each as a separate system. BDAs operate within a Distributed Antenna System (DAS), and together, BDA/DAS equipment is often referred to as in-building signal boosters.All Points Wireless provides custom-designed, bi-directional amplifier and distributed antenna systems to extend coverage range for each unique environment.

Benefitting either Radio or Cellular Systems

Most facilities have lots of of people going in and out every day, from employees and visitors to customers and clients to maintenance workers and security.

Many of these people use cellular devices, which increases the need for added signal coverage. In addition, challenging areas such as stairwells, parking garages, tunnels, and underground floors may not offer any reception at all.

That’s why many facilities install Distributed Antenna Systems and Bi-Directional Amplifiers to boost wireless coverage so people can stay in touch, every day.

View of a large orange antenna from the ground

Why Do You Need BDA & DAS Equipment?

When communication comes to a halt, visitors and staff in your facility not only get frustrated – more importantly, they may be cut-off from help in an emergency. Cell signals often diminish from network overload in a crisis and signal boosters can help sustain coverage.

All Points Wireless also provides BDA-DAS solutions to boost reception for phones and other devices that operate on cellular carrier networks.

In-Building Solutions

Variables such as building materials, dead spots, and signal interference offer specific challenges. All Points Wireless has extensive experience deploying in-building wireless signal boosters to meet nearly any operating conditions.

Police officer utilizing a P25 radio

Introduction to P25 Radio Standard (Project 25)

By Safety, Education

What Is P25?

Project 25 (P25) is a suite of standards developed to provide digital voice and data communication systems suited to public safety and first responders. Project 25 was initiated by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, or APCO. APCO International is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals.

Since 1935, APCO International have run a series of projects aimed at solving unique problems telecommunications professionals encounter. Project 25 concerns the development of a standard for digital radio equipment embracing the public safety-focused features of interoperability, spectrum efficiency, and cost economies.

An important feature of P25 is that the development is user-driven. The needs of public safety professionals are paramount. Project 25 is not finished, as the standards are constantly being enhanced and refined as new requirements are identified.

Public safety vehicle

Another key aspect of P25 is the importance of migration strategies and backwards compatibility with existing equipment. Digital P25 radios even include an analog mode of operation that is compatible with existing FM radio equipment.

The Telecommunications Industry Association, or TIA, formulates and maintains the TIA-102 series of standards for APCO P25, on behalf of APCO International.

The Project 25 standards enable interoperability among multiple manufacturers of P25 products. This results in a greater range of products, both mobile and portable radios used by front line staff and also the network equipment, stored on hilltops and in dispatch centers.

Multiple manufacturers allow for price competition, both during the initial tender for a new radio system and throughout the life of the system as it’s expanded and maintained. It also allows for different agencies to communicate together, even if they’ve purchased their P25 equipment from different vendors.

Police Officer utilizing P25 radio to call in the arrest of a perpetrator

P25 Pros and Cons:

1) Open Standards:

P25 is an open standard, and this provides choice and price competition. An open standard also means interoperability. This is the ability for different vendors’ radio equipment to work together, but it also means that different agencies and teams can communicate.

2) Price Competition:

 Having a range of vendors to choose from results in price competition, both at the time a new network is installed, and throughout the life of the system as it expands or parts get replaced.

3) Migration path:

Phase 1 P25 digital radios included an analog FM mode of operation, allowing communication with older analog FM radios. This allowed P25 to be rolled out in a staged process. Perhaps the network equipment was upgraded first, and mobiles and portables rolled out later, or vice-versa.

4) Frequency efficient:

One of the benefits of moving to digital is frequency efficiency. The IRF spectrum was getting very full, and digital allowed more radio channels to be made available in the same physical location. P25 Phase 1 uses the same bandwidth as narrow band analog FM channel. P25 Phase 2 will be twice efficient as P25 Phase 1 because it uses TDMA.

5) Frequency re-use:

 P25 equipment is available in many different frequency bands including VHF, UHF, 700 and 800 MHz bands. Because P25 occupies the same bandwidth as a narrow band FM radio channel, many agencies can keep their existing radio channels, and simply upgrade their equipment to P25. Alternatively, if a new radio system is being deployed, there is a large amount of flexibility to choose the frequency band that best suits the requirements of the new network.

6) Digital radio standard:

This means you get the benefits of digital audio quality. An analog FM radio system will sound more noisy and distorted, the further away from the repeater that you move. P25 digital radio systems can be designed so that within the normal operating area of the system, the audio quality is maintained at the same high level.

7) Encryption:

One of the key requirements is to encrypt communications, so it cannot be intercepted by a third party. This is crucial for police and tactical teams, where interception of their communications could give away their position. It’s also very important for health professionals, where medical records or medical data has to be transmitted over the air to the front line responding staff.

8) P25 Features and Services:

Many of the features and services provided by P25 are direct replacements for existing features used by public safety professionals on their existing radio network. This means that there is no change to standard operating procedures and very limited retraining on the new equipment for staff.

Front view of man engineer with walkie talkie standing on construction site.

New Features with P25

P25 offers many new features to meet the evolving and changing needs of public safety agencies, such as the ability to carry IP data for advanced data applications, and support for GPS and location services, enhancing user safety by being able to immediately locate them in an emergency situation.

Another benefit of P25 is that it can be designed and deployed in a number of different configurations. To meet the end user needs, P25 supports simplex radio to radio operation, repeaters for expanded coverage, wide area voted or Simulcast systems, trunked operations, and can interface to a wide range of dispatcher solutions, voice recorders, and other third party applications, such as location services.

Construction engineer using a radio

Difference Between UHF And VHF Two-Way Radios

By Education

Understanding the differences between UHF and VHF two-way radios can help ensure that your team has the right equipment to get the job done.

The industry you operate in, factored in with the location of your jobsite, and the frequency range you use will affect which radios are best suited for your workforce.

Our team will help you understand VHF and UHF two-way radios. We offer custom systems of the best two-way radios for any budget. You will find the right Motorola solution for you at All Points Wireless.


UHF two-way radios operate from 403 to 430 MHz, 450 to 470MHz, and 450 to 527 MHz. The trade-off for ultra-high frequency for distance is in building penetration or densely wooded areas. Ultra High Frequencies are most commonly suitable for industries such as:

UHF radio communications are commonly equipped with shorter antennas. This makes it easier to store radios on belts or under jackets. Fitting the same radio with a longer antenna can boost range for building structures that have heavy concrete or denser building materials.


VHF (AM: Amplitude Modulation) This band is most commonly referred to as the “Victor or VHF” band. The frequency range is from 118 MHz to 136 MHz. These frequencies are normally used for outdoor operation and in rural areas. Offering a maximum range of 35 miles in an open field. Typical industries that use these frequencies include:

  • Farming and agriculture
  • Road and bridge construction
  • Volunteer Public Safety
  • Paging Systems
  • Long-haul trucking services
vintage radio
All Points Wireless Logo


Choosing the correct two-way radio frequency is essential to clear communication on your jobsite. Knowing your environment will help determine which two-way radios your workforce needs for unceasing and smooth operation.

Our team can help you decide which two-way radios are best for your business. Here are three questions to ask yourself first:

  1. What is Your Existing Radio System Frequency?

In order for your two-way radios to operate effectively, you must stay within the same frequency band. If you are currently using UHF two-way radios and want to add more to your fleet, purchasing new UHF two-way radios is essential. Our UHF two-way dealers can help you determine what two-way radios will operate on your dedicated frequency.

  1. Is Your Radio System Analog or Digital?

Although newer systems are digital, it is important to confirm what radio system your current fleet operates on. Even different digital brands can be incompatible with each other. Taking stock of your current equipment will help determine which Motorola UHF or VHF two-way radios are right for your business.

  1. Where Will You Be Using Your Two-Way Radios?

Lower frequency means longer wavelength. VHF radios are suited for long distances in and outdoor use. UHF radios operate at a higher frequency. This makes them ideal for wireless communications that need to penetrate through buildings, walls, or concrete. UHF radios are suited for indoor communication solutions, where obstacles are easily penetrable.


With advances in wireless technology, the ability to deliver messages quickly and effectively is better than ever. Your team can communicate within the same location or even across multiple worksites.

Advanced noise-canceling technology and digital voice enhancements are a few features that help messages come across crystal clear. Other features include:

  • Extended battery life for long shifts
  • Easy-to-use interfaces GPS tracking for fleet management
  • Multiple channels for business communications within various departments
  • SOS and panic buttons when emergencies occur

The right communication system helps keep your team informed about the latest information, alerts, or security threats. With Motorola UHF and VHF two-way radios, your workforce can stay productive, efficient, and always have the connection you need to get the job done.

Our All Points Wireless radio dealer team is ready to help you find the right equipment that your workers demand. Your team will be able to easily connect no matter what industry you  are in, where your job site is located, or what frequencies you normally operate on.

Our Shop has two-way radios, accessories, and coverage options to meet all your business needs. Have a short-term project or event coming up? Ask about our Radio Rental Service.

Public Safety Official tunes his radio to a specific frequency
Bodyguard using a two-way radio to keep security

Inside Look at the FCC Licensing Process

By FCC Licensing

One of the trickiest decisions about two-way radios is clarifying which specific models have the features you and your team depend on. Getting those radios licensed with the FCC should be the easy part, and it can be — provided you leave licensing complexities to the professionals.

Radio Basics: Organizing required Paperwork

What information does the FCC require?

  • Business Name
  • Address
  • Federal Tax ID

The FCC needs to know how many radios you are buying (or using) as well as the latitude and longitude in which they will be operating. If you are installing a large network, the FCC will need to know about your base stations, repeaters, and tower heights. There are all sorts of fine-print requirements that are easy to overlook (Fun Fact, the FCC must have your email address, because approved licenses are delivered electronically, not by traditional mail.) That is why the FCC works with official coordinators who work as intermediaries between the users and the regulators.

The coordinators at All Points Wireless take all the essential data from our customers and compare it to entries in the FCC database. That way the coordinator can pick the most available frequencies, which are the ones least likely to experience or create interference with other users. Since the airwaves are shared, you may never have them all to yourself, but the coordinator can limit or even eliminate the most significant conflicts. For instance, the duty of official FCC coordinators, if your business is next door to a huge manufacturing factory, you will not have to communicate with your staff on the same channels used by the manufacturing plant’s security guards.

How Much Does FCC licensing Cost?

The cost of an FCC license involves three fees:

  1. Directly to the FCC
  2. FCC coordinator
  3. Dealer of FCC license

For example, fees for a small setup of a half-dozen radios might total only a few hundred dollars. It is about the cost of a single portable radio; and the license does not require renewal for 10 years. Think about it, if you can afford to purchase the radios, you can afford to purchase the required license.

It is possible to work directly with an FCC coordinator, but you are better off letting your dealer handle it. Dealers know you do not want to hassle with a lot of regulations, so they try to keep their application fees reasonable. Your two-way radio dealer should also know every radio, repeater, and antenna in your configuration, so they can batch and forward everything in the coordinator’s favorite format, thereby streamlining the process. Plus, the dealer can store all your records in one place.

FCC Coordinator graphing details for radio network

What’s Next after I Apply?

The FCC may take up to 6 months to process the application. These lead times can limit how soon you can get your network up and running. However, in most cases, applicants can begin operating 10 business days after the certification date while waiting for the approval to come through. This all-important certification date can be provided by the FCC coordinator you are working with. Once the approval is received, you are required to file a “construction letter” with the FCC telling the agency that you have in fact installed the system for which you applied. Again, your dealer can help make sure this gets taken care of properly. After that, it is just a matter of renewing your license every 10 years. The real value of licensing is more than staying within the letter of federal laws and avoiding ruinous penalties. It is about being good neighbors and recognizing that the system works best when everybody follows the rules.

All Points Wireless Can Help!

At All Points Wireless, we have a department devoted to FCC licensing applications. Depending on the type of license needed, we work with various coordinators who serve as advisers and liaisons with the federal agency. In addition, as part of the FCC services that we offer to our two-way radio customers, All Points Wireless keeps archived records for future reference. For assistance with your FCC licensing, contact Support Services at 801.679.9865 or email:

Why Going Unlicensed is Not Worth the Risk

Man tearing contract in half

Every market has rule-breakers, those people who cannot be bothered with getting their two-way radios licensed by the FCC. Even though the product packaging states explicitly and plainly that FCC licenses are required for most two-way radio configurations, it is too common for people to ignore the requirements. Perhaps, if you keep your head down and stay out of trouble, you it is possible to be able to use unlicensed radios for years. If your signals are not interfering with anyone else’s, there is a chance the FCC will never find out. The truth is, going unlicensed is not worth the risk.

What Can Go Wrong if Your Radios are Unlicensed?

Let us imagine that you run a small mining business in your town, and you need a few mobile radios in your trucks and half-a-dozen portables for your work crews. If the FCC does not know you are using these radios, it could assign the channels you depend on to someone else without warning. One day your radios work fine, but the next day you cannot get through because other people are using those same channels. And you have no recourse because you are operating outside the law. If you have your license, the FCC will do its best to make sure your frequencies do not overlap with someone else. There are only a finite number of channels for others to use and conflicts can easily happen, but the licensing system works far better than trying to fly under the radar and hoping for the best.

What Happens if You Get Caught?

In the case that you are using unlicensed radios from the start until somebody gets assigned your frequency, and they file a complaint against you because your employees are stepping on their transmissions. Since that is not your assigned frequency, you can no longer use it and your transmission on it is forbidden by federal law. The party who has been assigned your frequency is legally in the right if they report you to the FCC and you not only lose that frequency, now you are in a bind to find a replacement. Normally the FCC will simply mail you a Cease-and-Desist letter demanding that you stop using the radios illegally until you get your license. If you do not respond in a timely manner, the FCC could decide you are willfully disobeying the law. You can be fined thousands of dollars each day, enough to hinder your business if you own a small company.

Could I Just Use One of Those Unlicensed Radios?

The inexpensive walkie-talkies you take on hikes or shopping trips are not built for commercial use and have extremely limited range and functionality. The FCC has set a few channels aside for these radios, but you would not have channels reserved for your business. You would have to share the airwaves with others who have no regard for your need to serve your customers and make a profit. It is worth noting that some two-way business radios operate on MURS frequencies or the ISM band that do not require licensing. While these radios may be adequate for light-duty use in some enterprises, they generally do not provide the functionality and durability needed for most professional uses. Forget about using ham radios, as they require a license, too. The hobbyists and enthusiasts who sustain the ham radio industry are zealous guardians of their channels. Since business use of ham channels is forbidden, if you try to use ham channels for commercial purposes, it is likely you will be reported to the FCC.

What if You Don’t Want to Hassle with the Federal Government?

Dealers are an excellent resource to work through the process for you. And generally, the life of an FCC license is 10 years. When you get your two-way radios from All Points Wireless, your salesperson can not only help you pick the right radios, but our team can also work with intermediary coordinators to figure out the cleanest possible spectrum(s) for you to use. As the end-user customer, you simply fill out some basic paperwork. Once the intermediary clears the channels with the FCC, which generally approves the submission (when done properly), All Points Wireless can program the right channels into your radios, and then you are all set. Additional information about FCC Licensing Services.

For assistance with your FCC licensing, contact Support Services at 801.679.9865 Or, email:

Radio telescope dish transmitting and receiving frequencies