Private Mobile Radio (PMR) – was developed for business users who need to keep in contact over certain distances with a central base station which communicates wirelessly with portable receivers. Private Mobile Radios are widely used by companies offering emergency services, taxi operators, and security companies.
PMR networks consist of one or more base stations and a number of mobile terminals. Such systems generally provide facilities for closed user groups, group call and push-to-talk, and have call set-up times which are generally short compared with cellular systems. Many PMR systems allow Direct Mode Operation in which terminals can communicate with one another directly when they are out of the coverage area of a network.
PMR systems may also be developed to allow public access (by subscription), and they are then known as Public Access Mobile Radio (PAMR). The users of PAMR systems are usually not the same as the system’s owner and operator. In Zimbabwe, PMR systems are usually based on European standards (ETSI) for the equipment, but operated under licence and subject to the Zimbabwe National frequency Allocation Plans (ZNFAP). For more information on ZNFAP, refer to the section on ZNFAP’.
PMRs mainly operate within three frequency ranges; namely HF (High Frequency), VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) ranges.
HF Range – Covers the longest distances that go up to several hundreds of kilometres. Examples are those used by cross border truckers.
VHF– This covers average distances of up to about 70 to 100 kms Typical uses are urban taxi services, security alarms and emergency services.
UHF– This covers shortest distances of up to a few kms. Typical uses are communication within mines, airports and farms.
For one to operate a PMR in Zimbabwe, one has to ensure that the particular PMR model is type approved first and then a PMR licence has to be obtained from POTRAZ. For more information on the type approval processes and PMR licensing, refer to the respective sections on type approval and licensing.