The Business Case for Having Both VoIP Communications and a Land Mobile Radio Network at the Same Time

Five Reasons Why it Makes Perfect Sense

If you’re currently evaluating your communications technology, you may think you have one of two choices: LMR or VoIP. But, in reality, you can have the best of both worlds and there are a variety of reasons why this may be an excellent solution for your agency.

1. Leverage the cellular connectivity you already have to add capacity without adding cost.
Contemporary transit vehicles are a rolling technology treasure trove. From fare collection systems, APCs, AVM, video surveillance, passenger WiFi, ATIS, and CAD/AVL, cellular connectivity is imperative for real-time operational monitoring and control.   If you currently have a modern digital LMR system, augmenting the system with VoIP is simply a matter of leveraging existing resources.  A VoIP system that leverages what you already have results in enhanced capacity and a service area anywhere a broadband connection is available for a fraction of the cost of building out your LMR infrastructure.

2. Your digital LMR wasn’t designed to meet the needs of high bandwidth, high-speed communications.
In typical urban environments, finding licensable frequencies can be difficult and expensive. To make matters worse, with the termination of T Band in 2022, the largest metropolitan areas are about to become more frequently constrained than ever. LMR data services are slow (9600 baud), consume vital resources, and can have an adverse impact on LMR voice-grade of service.

3. Expanding or upgrading to a modern LMR is very expensive.
When your LMR was installed, it was designed to meet your service area needs at the time. If your agency has expanded, or if you’ve added new routes or safety and security functionality it’s quite likely that you now have two options: expand the LMR network or find a complementary alternative.  Expanding the network infrastructure is a costly, time and resource-intensive endeavor that requires adding new radio towers and purchasing expensive LMR radio handsets. When Oakland’s AC Transit found themselves in this situation and began exploring expansion and upgrade options, the double-digit price tag made it unaffordable for them. Instead, they opted to add Celrado VoIP to their system as their primary voice and data solution while keeping the older LMR online as a fallback voice solution for emergencies.

4. Modern Communications in Months vs. Years
As we’ve mentioned, your aging LMR might still be working, but if it is over ten years old, you’re likely considering your options to upgrade to meet your agency’s enhanced voice and data needs. If you have the funds to pay for it,  you can spend millions and millions on new infrastructure to meet your heightened demands. But, funding is only one consideration. When you’re physically replacing radio infrastructure throughout your entire city, the effort will likely take many years.  But, if you keep the older system online as is and complement it with a new, state of the art VoIP system, you’ll be up and running in months with a system that meets all your needs for voice and data. Your older system can stay online in the background, or work in tandem with the VoIP system to meet your agency’s demands.

5. If you’re sharing an LMR with other agencies like police and fire, you likely aren’t getting priority treatment on the network.
In many large metropolitan cities, various agencies like police, fire, and transportation share bandwidth on the city’s land mobile radio network. This scenario likely works just fine in most cases. Except when it matters. In the case of an emergency or when large crowds gather in a small geographic area (think super bowl or a parade), first responders will always get network priority. If that shared LMR is your only option for voice and data communications, your agency could find itself silenced. With a dedicated VoIP system, those concerns are alleviated and your dispatchers and operators remain in constant contact.

Learn more about how Celrado can supplement your existing communications strategy in our eBook, Celrado: One VoIP Solution for Agencies of All Sizes.

How Onboard Digital Signage Can Help Transit Agencies Improve Perceptions and Enhance the Rider Experience

As a provider of public transportation, you offer an essential service to your community –  an affordable, reliable, sustainable, and convenient way to be mobile. But as your riders continue to explore other options like ride-hailing services or increased personal vehicle use, your agency may need to take an objective look at how you can make your service more appealing in the face of shifting trends in demographics, employment, and population.

The flexibility and on-demand convenience of other transportation options may seem more attractive to riders who perceive public transit as being unsafe, unreliable, inconvenient, or otherwise out of touch with the amenities modern riders expect. Onboard digital signage can help improve the perception your riders have of the services you provide.

CleverVision Digital Signage Built for Transit

Disruptions happen, but proactive communication can change perceptions

When inclement weather or traffic impacts your route and causes a service disruption, your passengers take note. If you keep your riders in the dark, they become frustrated, and even if it’s not your fault, they will blame you. Their perception of your ability to get them where they need to go is negatively impacted.

Digital signage provides a quick and easy way to provide information to riders on the fly using a content management system (CMS). Communicating detours or service disruptions in real-time via onboard digital signage gives your passengers the information they need to make informed decisions so they can adjust travel plans. Additionally, because you’re communicating the nature of the disruption and its cause, your riders are less likely to blame you for the inconvenience.

When disruptions are the result of an emergency, digital signage can also provide crucial information to keep riders safe. Integrating real-time data via RSS feeds allows you to update your passengers on things like weather, news, emergency alerts, and other delays contributing to their perception that you’ve got their best interests in mind.

Making rider safety and security a top priority

A study from the University of Minnesota of female public transit riders found a clear link between insecure surroundings and their perceptions of waiting time, creating a needlessly stressful passenger experience for a large portion of the population. Despite the unfortunate reality that criminals will try to take advantage of public transit to break the law, digital signage can help combat both negative perceptions and unsafe situations for your riders.

By streaming live security footage from the vehicle onto your onboard display, you increase the perception of security. Riders will feel more confident that their safety is a priority, and potential criminals, knowing their actions are recorded are deterred from committing onboard crimes.

Digital signage also allows you to continuously project safety messages (“If you see something, say something”), PSAs about rider etiquette and public safety contact information to alleviate rider anxiety.

Public Transit PSA CleverVision

Mitigating the modern passenger’s aversion to waiting

In our culture of instant gratification, no one likes to wait, and studies show that your riders often perceive wait times to be significantly longer than they actually are. While on-time performance issues cannot inherently be solved with digital signage alone, riders’ perceptions of wait times can be altered with the use of real-time information.

By communicating transparently about delays, digital signage can be an attractive and cost-effective way to help reduce rider frustration caused by construction, traffic, or other delays. Occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time, and this holds true in public transit as well. In addition to providing service updates, onboard digital signage can also be used to entertain passengers and help them pass the time onboard by viewing engaging content.

Showing your ridership that you care

Another effective way to leverage onboard digital signage to improve your riders’ perceptions of the job you’re doing is to use it to showcase the many ways you’re positively impacting the passenger experience. Not only is the investment in new technology an exciting service improvement itself, but that signage can be used to announce new service enhancements, community-related service updates (like free shuttles to summer concerts or sporting events) and provide riders with information on how to share their feedback with the agency.

CleverVision- Digital signage that delivers the right content at the right time


Your onboard digital signage solution has the power to connect your agency to your riders in a way that no other technology can. With CleverVision, you can provide your riders with the information they need to navigate their journey, deliver critical information, communicate service enhancements, connect your riders to local businesses and provide entertaining content that enhances their onboard experience. With a variety of features and functions built with transit in mind, CleverVision is the superior solution for onboard digital signage.

Learn more about CleverVision here or download our eBook, Connecting with Your Riders.

CAD-Agnostic VoIP – The Affordable Communications Solution You Need to Know About

Communication is key when it comes to connecting operations control with your fleet on the street. However, if your agency currently depends on a costly, yet aging land mobile radio (LMR) system to relay important information between operators and dispatch, you understand all too well the frustration of dealing with unavailable frequencies, dropped signals, and limited coverage areas. And, if you’ve looked into replacing that aging system, you’ve likely been shocked by the exorbitant cost of doing so.

Celrado- an affordable alternative to traditional LMR systems

Fortunately, there is another path forward for flexible, reliable, and cost-effective communications.

Celrado is an IP-based unified mobile communications system that supports API integration with any CAD/AVL system and offers all the functionality and features of a traditional, modern LMR system at a fraction of the cost, making it an affordable option for agencies of all sizes. With radio-like features and a similar console, your end-users will find a friendly and familiar user experience with all the features and functionality of previous systems, making for an easy transition and all but eliminating the need for time-consuming training.

Integrating a CAD/AVL System with Celrado for Seamless Communications

Of course, Clever Devices’ own CAD/AVL system, CleverCAD, integrates seamlessly with Celrado, but what if you use another CAD/AVL solution?

You can still leverage all the advantages of Celrado for your mobile communications without the added investment of overhauling your entire LMR system. Built to be flexible through the use of licensed API’s, any CAD/AVL system can integrate with Celrado, allowing you to take advantage of all the benefits of our IP-based mobile communications solution while minimizing the impact of disruptions on your existing processes.

Decreased Costs and Reduced Coverage Interruptions

When you deploy an IP-based solution like Celrado, in addition to reducing the capital costs associated with infrastructure maintenance, there are other significant benefits to be realized as well. For instance, if you’re paying for contract employees employed by your LMR vendor, those costs go away; costs for facilities maintenance and IT are significantly reduced or eliminated entirely.

Furthermore, if you’re LMR system is outdated and prone to frequent dead spots and coverage issues, Celrado offers a significant improvement in coverage interruptions leading to quality of life improvements for your agency staff.

Move to new age technology from an aging network- without driving up costs

Whether you’re looking to complement, enhance, or replace your traditional land mobile radio system or find an affordable alternative to an LMR, Celrado is your only choice. With full voice and data redundancy, a flexible and familiar user interface, and traditional radio-like features at an affordable price, moving from an aging LMR network to new age technology has never been an easier choice.

Learn more about Celrado or download the eBook for a deeper dive.
CAD-Agnostic VoIP – An Affordable Transit Communications Solution

Clever Devices uses cookies on our website to, among other things, fulfill user requests, provide enhanced functionality for our users, and enhance web content. If you continue to use this site, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device. For more information, please review our Privacy Policy.