University of Connecticut (UCONN)

Hytera and the Huskies of UCONN partner up

With an enrollment of over 31,000 students, the University of Connecticut (UCONN) ranks as one of the largest universities in New England. The public institution boasts a formidable athletics department, particularly its men’s and women’s basketball programs that have won a combined 15 NCAA titles since 1995. While renowned as a basketball powerhouse, the school’s football team is also impressive in its own right, having garnered 26 conference championships in its history. When game day rolls around, legions of diehard fans flock to the XL Center (1) in Hartford and the Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford to see their beloved Huskies in action.

Not only does the XL Center host UCONN’s men’s and women’s home basketball games, the 15,000+ seat arena also serves as a popular venue for trade shows, consumer events, ice-skating  spectaculars and concerts performed by the biggest names in the music business. Similarly,  Rentschler Field, where the Huskies football team takes the gridiron, is a full service facility  designed to host special occasions including banquets, weddings, job
 fairs, corporate meetings, and  bar and bat mitzvahs.
 
In order to ensure successful, incident-free events, operations at both the XL Center and  Rentschler Field require wireless communication. They rely on equipment for maximum readiness and  rapid response – which is why they turned to Hytera America. As a full solutions provider of  professional wireless communications platforms that include two-way radios and wireless trunking  systems, Hytera was able to design a customized solution for each facility.
 
For the XL Center, Hytera supplied 175 PD752 portable radios and a cost-efficient XPT Digital Trunking System(2). The PD7 Series is built to the DMR Standard and is packed with robust features for both voice and data communication. Users enjoy superior digital audio clarity even in noisy environments, such as a thrilling basketball game or booming rockconcert. The PD752 also offers encrypted communication for enhanced security.
 
For  any  events  at  the  XL  center  that  take  place  there,  the  center  hands  a  couple  of  the  PD752 radios to the first responders to ensure there are no communication issues with  them  during  the  events. Craig Jankowski, Director of Operations at the  XL  Center  explains,  “We  stay  in  contact with each other...[and] work closely with the Hartford Fire Department and Police  Department as well to help our events get off, and be nice and successful.”
 
One of the primary challenges to communication at events held at the XL Center is the sheer number  of people with mobile devices, leading to dropped or even failed  calls. Fortunately,  the  PD752   offers reliable and instant push-to-talk communication  to circumvent interference in a way  previous radios could not, allowing XL Center personnel to respond to all incidents and  emergencies. Armed with radios, Mr. Jankowski communicates with staff on a minute-by-minute basis,  adding, “If there’s a safety hazard, or somebody happens to slip and fall and needs some type of  medical attention immediately, we are able to radio instantly to our medical staff.”
 
At the 38,000-seat Rentschler Field, Stadium Operations Manager Derek Miles raves about the Hytera  platform his staff has been using for just over a year. To meet their needs, Hytera designed a  communications solution that includes up to 240 PD782 (3) two-way radios and an XPT  system.  As  a PD7  Series   radio,  the PD782 ensures better audio quality across a wider coverage area, and has  data capabilities   for  sending   private   and   group   text messages.   It    has    a  rugged    design    built    for     protection     against     dust     and     water immersion    up   to   one   meter   for    30    minutes.    Perhaps    what impresses Mr. Miles most is the  PD782’s battery  life.  He saysit  lasts  “a  million times longer”  than  the  radios   his    team   used   in   the   past.   The   long   lasting battery,  along  with  its  compact  and   lightweight structural  design,  makes  it easy  for  staff  to  carry  and  operate  well  into  late double-overtime games, and beyond.
 
Like Mr. Jankowski, Mr. Miles was also frustrated  by  the  frequency  of  dropped calls he  experienced with radios prior to adopting Hytera products. “We did have quite a few problems with  calls dropping out, and with these new ones...dropped calls are down to basically nothing. Everyone  loves it.”
 
When playing host to tens of thousands of people, anything can happen – especially during raucous  college sporting events. The best way to provide a safe experience  for everyone  in   attendance  is    through    preparedness.   Crystal clear and reliable  communication enabling a quick and  efficient response is essential. Equipped with  state-of-the-art  communications  systems  from  Hytera, the operations departments at the XL Center and Rentschler Field can better ensure smooth  proceedings and a secure atmosphere come game day. The only thing    the    Huskies    faithful     have    to    worry    about?    Securing    their    next championship title. 

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