Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Jan 20, 2005
Info-Tech - Telecommunications
Beware! Cops may soon go mobile
Thomas K. Thomas
New Delhi , Jan. 19
THE noisy walkie-talkie in Police Control Room (PCR) vans could soon become passť.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) is proposing to offer cellular phones to all PCR vans across the country, which will also allow the beat constables to make and receive calls apart from using it for internal communication in a closed user group environment.
Mr T.V. Ramachandran, Director General, COAI, said, "The proposal is being initiated by the business development committee in COAI.
"The committee will discuss the proposal with the police authorities on behalf of the entire industry. Then it will be up to individual operators to bid for the project at the State level."
However, the cellular operators will have to work out the security issues before it plans to connect the PCR vans so that secrecy is maintained.
"The idea is not to replace the radio walkie-talkies but to give an option to the police for effective communication.
"Mobile technology has developed so much and this should be harnessed by the cops," said a cellular operator.
Mr Ramachandran said that the proposal was at initial stages.
While security issues could be a stumbling block, the advantages of using a cellular technology are many.
The Global System for Mobile (GSM)-based solution will allow the cops to avail themselves of facilities like picture messaging, which could be an effective tool in investigation.
"The possibilities with technology are unimaginable. The beat constable on ground will be able to take pictures of the crime scene using his mobile phone and send it immediately to the police station through multi media messaging.
"It will be up to the police to choose the facilities they would like to have.
"Operators can also devise special packages for the cops," said a cellular operator.
The GSM technology also allows for walkie-talkie type facility within a group.
The other advantage is that the police will be able to pay as per use compared to a fixed fee for the radio being used at present, which according to COAI will result in cost savings for the State authorities.
Of course, the numerous PCR vans across the country will also mean new business opportunity for the mobile operators.
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