UBARoyal Belgian Amateur Radio Union

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Photo: Couloir

PMR-Expo Cologne Germany

Important exhibition

PMR Expo Cologne hosted more than 230 European and international exhibitors, from all continents.
The internationalisation of PMR Expo resulted in a record number of more than 4.600 visitors, with a strong increase of visitors from outside Europe.
Many visitors have excellent technical knowledge which is growing steadily, both in quality and quantity.
For the first time a dedicated space was reserved for start-up businesses.
More than ever before, PMR Expo is the leading trade fair in Europe for secure communication.

Of vital importance

The police, fire brigade and emergency services cannot function properly without reliable telecommunications.
This became clear when we visited the stands of various professional manufacturers during the PMR Expo.
We learned from an exhibitor, that in Germany, the emergency services make more than 50 million secure calls and establish connections via 4.800 base stations every month. They also cover 99.50 % of German territory.
In Belgium it is the ASTRID network which offers these services.

German radio amateurs

It was nice to meet with the German radio amateurs again who, like previous years set up their stand there.
They showed their trailer, fully equipped with everything that is useful in the event of disasters.
DL1ITU/KX4FT Rüdiger Stingel and his friends, showed the visitors what Notfunk Deutschland and Katastrophenshutz mean.
Equipment operating on the LTE network, the DAPNET a UHF paging network of radio amateurs and of course the DMR repeaters connected to Brandmeister.
An exchange of views was held on a possible extension of the DAPNET in Belgium.
Such an emergency service network is a generally accepted idea in Germany.

Hybrid with more options

The ideal situation is a combination of narrowband digital TETRA with a broadband POC-radio.
POC or Push-to-talk On Cellular was totally unused until 2 years ago.
In many countries, POC became almost indispensable for emergency communication.
Wireless digital connections for the emergency services are typically narrow-banded.
Broadband alongside 4G introduces the possibility of live exchanges of all kinds of data, including footage from body cams and localisation data.
Amateurs frequently use free apps such as Echo Link, Zello and Team Speak.
Also present at PMR-Expo was Real-PTT, which offers its services by means of servers, which it operates globally and charges 12 US Dollars for an annual subscription.


The ultimate, recently introduced, hybrid device for certain emergency services and radio amateurs is the Boxchip S900A Plus.
It works in both analogue and digital mode and is available in VHF or UHF versions.
This all-rounder runs on Android 9.0+. It is also a real smartphone.
One very interesting feature of this device is that it establishes an internet connection with the Brandmeister network.
A complete overview of available DMR repeaters is always available.
The Boxchip is also a gateway between the POC internet connection and DMR and works in both directions.
The device can also be used as a hotspot to give other devices access to the internet.
The best of both technologies combined in a beautiful device.

Specifications S900A Plus

Android 9.0+ operating system
1000 channels
TX-optionally 1 or 2 watts.
RX analogue  -121dBm, digital  -117dBm.
TDMA – 2 slots
Encryption – ARC4 / AES128 / AES256
Battery – 4.500 mAh
Wi-Fi – 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz
GPS and Bluetooth
Camera  - 5 MP / 8 MP + possibility to connect bodycam
Highlight Flash
Certificates – CE / FCC / MIL810G / MSDS / UN38.3
EU Version – LTE bands B1 / B3 / B5 / B7 / B8 / B20 / B26 / B28A / B28B
Total weight 375 g

Ella from Boxchip with the new S900A Plus, sophisticated complete device with unexpected possibilities.

Rüdiger Stinger and his team of radio amateurs showed the telecom professionals in Cologne that radio amateurs are very passionate and competent.

Fully equipped trailer for emergency communication from German radio amateurs.

PMR Expo Cologne is a professional trade fair, at global level with equipment that is also used by radio amateurs.