Campus Radio System Upgrade

Originally called the 800MHz Radio System, the Campus Radio System is the UCI approved radio system for campus. It is used for our day to day operations, special events and emergency communications. The system was over 20 years old prior to the upgrade.

The Campus Radio System has been upgraded to a standards-based P25 700/800MHz digital radio system.  We have augmented our six 800MHz channels with four new 700MHz channels for increased capacity.  The new system provides digital voice communications, encryption security, new radio models, and IP-based features.

To enable compatibility with the new radio system, our customers’ portable and mobile radios were replaced with new units or upgraded to provide digital radio communications with clearer, static-free voice transmission.

We will continue to support our Campus Radio System with a focus on availability and reliability.  In addition, we will be introducing new features and functionality (such as integration with smartphones) and working with each radio user group to understand your needs and interest in the new options.

We are in the process of updating our radio website content to include our new naming convention, new hardware requirements, repair procedures, training documents and user manuals.  Technical details about the radio upgrade are available on the OIT website.

UCI Cellular Services

Cell phone

Cell phones are a significant component of work life at UCI, whether for reaching people away from the office, connecting to the Web and email with a smartphone, or receiving critical notifications (zotAlert) in the event of a campus emergency.

OIT works with many cellular providers to continuously improve coverage at UCI, as well as to make discounted services available to employees. A summary of providers with a presence at UCI (AT&T, Nextel, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless) as well as cell site locations can be found online.  Recently, for example, a new AT&T site was installed on Engineering Tower, significantly improving coverage for AT&T subscribers.

OIT is also researching new technologies in the field of cellular telephony.  One promising new technology is the “Distributed Antenna System” (DAS) whereby numerous small, easily-installed antennas communicate through fiber optic cable to a coordination site which connects to the cellular carriers.  This makes cellular coverage more like Wireless Internet (WiFi) in its flexibility and capacity.

We are always happy to hear from cell users on campus about their experiences so that we can prioritize proposals from cellular carriers for improving coverage at UCI.

Radio Rental Program

The radio rental program provides 800MHz hand-held radios to campus departments requiring radios for special events or other short-term use.

NACS has a pool of 12 radios available for rent. The rental fee is $10 per radio, per day. The maximum rental period is two weeks. The rental includes one radio, a battery, and a charger. A single desktop charger or a 6 pocket charger will be provided based on the number of radios rented.

Radios will be programmed with your department’s standard template unless otherwise specified. Custom template programming is also available.  Programming services are $60/hr with a 1-hour minimum.  The radios will be fully charged, tested, and ready to operate at time of pick up.

To order rental radios, please submit the NACS Service Request Form .  Select “800MHz Radio” for the type of service requested. Use the comments section at the bottom of the form to request radio rental and include the desired rental dates. Brian Chrisman, NACS Radio Systems Specialist, will contact you to finalize the rental details.

If you have any questions regarding this rental program, please contact Brian at (949) 824-8151, or email brian.chrisman@uci.edu.

zotALERT Update

The UC Irvine text-message emergency notification system (“zotALERT”) has been in place for over 1 year now.  zotALERT is intended to be one component of a comprehensive campus emergency communication system.  Faculty and staff who have not already signed up can find instructions for doing so at the zotALERT web site.

zotALERT

zotALERT

UCI conducted a campus-wide test on June 6th.  The test notice was sent to 12,500 individuals (9,100 students and 3,400 faculty/staff) who had enrolled.  NACS set up a web site so recipients could report on the test.  Almost half of the recipients reported in. 96% of them received the test message, and the majority received it within 10 minutes.

The June test was noteworthy as it went out through our new zotALERT vendor, MIR3.  MIR3 provides a robust notification system that serves many higher education institutions such as UC San Diego, many Fortune 500 companies, and numerous federal, state, and local government agencies.

NACS works with MIR3 to assess all delivery failures.  In many cases, recipients do not receive the zotALERT messages due to submitting an incorrect phone number, or in some instances the recipient has signed up using a phone that doesn’t allow or support text messaging.

The MIR3 system offers multiple methods of notification.  NACS, along with the UCI Police Department and Environmental Health and Safety, are investigating the use of additional functionality.  Such options include mass emailing, prerecorded out-call voice messaging, and automated polling.