PSCS FAQ for Manitoba Government Departments

 

What does PSCS offer subscribers?

The service is based on a public safety grade P25 network that is specifically designed and operated for the public safety and public service community in Manitoba. PSCS will provide reliable voice communications to support public safety and public service activities and to help coordinate services during emergencies (e.g. fire, flood). PSCS will enhance interoperability, coverage, security and reliability to more effectively respond to emergencies in an efficient and coordinated manner.

 

What are some benefits of PSCS? 

  • Expanded coverage;
  • Geographically redundant core for high availability;
  • Enhanced core and tower site security;
  • Higher level of encryption – managed by the RCMP;
  • Radio spectrum reserved for public safety and public service entities;
  • Standard Operating Procedures;
  • Centralized Contract Management;
  • Governance model with business, technical and service assurance committees;
  • Services Level Agreements and penalties;
  • System reporting;
  • Training and training materials;
  • Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Planning. 

What is P25 technology?

Project 25 (P25) is the standard for the design and manufacturing of interoperable digital two-way wireless communication products. Developed in North America with provincial/state, local and federal representatives and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) governance, P25 has gained worldwide acceptance for public safety, security and public service applications.
 
The published P25 standards suite is administered by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). Radio equipment that demonstrates compliance with P25 is able to meet a set of minimum requirements to fit the needs of public safety. The P25 standard was created by, and is intended for, public safety professionals.
 

What is a public safety radio system?

A public safety radio system is one that is specifically designed and operated for the public safety community. Systems are constructed to address the demanding requirements of public safety communications such as coverage, interoperability, enhanced security and reliability.
 

Who owns the PSCS?

The infrastructure and equipment are owned and maintained by Bell. All handheld, base and vehicle radios, accessories will continue to be purchased and owned by Government Departments.
 

Is PSCS centrally managed on behalf of Government Departments?

Yes.  Manitoba (PSCS Team) is responsible for contract management of the Master Services Agreement with Bell. Management of PSCS includes –management of various governance committees that provide direction on issues of reliability, functionality, dispute resolution, system serviceability and service level accountability.
 

Who will be the users of PSCS?

PSCS may include a broad range of Government and Non-Government agencies, all of which contribute to public safety for Manitobans.
 
In order to qualify for PSCS, each PSE must first meet the requirements set by Industry, Science and Economic Development (ISED) in RP-25 – Policy Principles for Public Safety Radio Interoperability - Spectrum management and telecommunications.
  • Category 1 users (police, fire, and emergency medical services) permitted to use the 700 MHz radio service on the PSCS System.
  • Category 2 users (forestry, public works, public transit, hazardous material clean-up, border protection and other agencies contributing to public safety).
  • Category 3 users (other government agencies and certain non-government agencies) may be permitted to access to the PSCS System during emergency situations where their access is controlled by a Category 1 user.
 

Do Manitoba departments have to sign an agreement for PSCS?

No.  All Manitoba departments are included in the Master Services Agreement between Bell and Manitoba.
 

What is the cost of PSCS subscriber fees?

There are no PSCS Subscriber fees effective July 1, 2021.
 

Will Radio Services processes change with PSCS (i.e. portable, base, mobile check/repairs, removal/installs)?

Yes.  All Public Safety Entities (PSEs) are to engage Bell for any radio repair or service, as well as radio acquisition in relation to the use of the Public Safety Communications Service (PSCS). 
 

What should I do with my old radios?

The radios being replaced should be returned to VEMA-Radio Services to be removed from inventory (if applicable) and arranged for proper disposal.
 

Is the Manitoba Justice (Corrections) Ultra High Frequency (UHF) network used in correctional facilities included as part of PSCS?

No.  The Justice UHF network was not included in the scope of the FleetNet Replacement Project. However, existing FleetNet radios used by Justice are included.
 

Will there be training available on the features of PSCS?

Yes.  For radios purchased through Bell, Bell will provide training at no cost on the PSCS network and operation of their radio model(s) to new PSE’s that are joining PSCS.  Upon request from a PSE that has transitioned to PSCS, Bell will provide additional materials and training to the PSE’s training coordinator or other personnel on a time and materials basis.   
 

Is Motorola radio the only radio authorized for using PSCS today?

Yes.  Bell has a list of Motorola radios approved for PSCS network. These radios have been specifically engineered for the authorized use on the PSCS network. All radio of other makes and models would need to be authorized by Manitoba for using PSCS, and would require additional programming and set up of which the costs are at the expense of the PSE.
 

What is the warranty coverage for Motorola radios and accessories?

The warranty on equipment follows the one (1) year manufacturer's warranty.
 

What happens if there are issues with the newly issued/purchased radios and accessories (e.g. batteries, chargers, cases)?

Departments should call Bell's Service Desk for warranty repairs or replacement of radios and accessories except for batteries. With regards to issues with radio batteries, please follow the IMPRES Battery Care Guidelines first to see if the battery issues can be resolved. If battery problem persists, please call Bell Service Desk :   BMRadioCC@bell.ca or 1-833-551-3925.

Who pays shipping cost for the radios/accessories to be repaired or replaced?

The department is responsible for the cost of shipping the radios/accessories to repair depot; Bell is responsible for the cost of shipping back to the department.
 

If I have further questions who do I contact?

For further information please send your request to PSCSSupport@gov.mb.ca.