Specialized Mobile Radio Systems, SMRS


Introduced wireless voice dispatch technology for businesses to communicate with field service personnel

Specialized Mobile Radio Systems (SMRS

The Specialized Mobile Radio Service (SMRS) was created by the FCC concurrently with new cellular radio telephone service.  The intent was to introduce higher spectrum efficiency into the land-mobile radio service which served private dispatch users such a police departments, taxi dispatch, and tradespeople who managed mobile resources. Until that time, dispatchers used individually-licensed radio stations to provide push-to-talk calling, often using a single radio channel shared among companies. 

Cooper and his Motorola team created a highly spectrum-efficient system that allowed multiple users and companies to efficiently share groups of radio channels.  He demonstrated to FCC engineers the superior efficiency of providing separate spectrum for new cellular phone and private dispatch services, in contrast to AT&T’s proposal to monopolize all such services within the cellular service. As a result of Cooper’s leadership, the FCC allocated separate blocks of spectrum dedicated to shared land-mobile private radio and designated the SMRS.  

These innovations allowed Motorola to build systems that were deployed by entrepreneurs worldwide. Many were ultimately bought and aggregated by Nextel, which provided a further advanced service using the new Motorola iDen system.  Nextel was later acquired by Sprint and its spectrum combined into Sprint’s cellular systems.