Marylebone Cricket Club

Marylebone Cricket Clublords-cricket-ground

Lord’s Ground’s staff use two-way radios all year round. On fixture days the number of staff and demand for radios increases. Working in partnership, Chatterbox and Sepura have provided a cost effective, future proof solution to the MCC’s DMR requirements.pdf_download_icon



The Customer

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is the world’s most famous and active cricket club, playing around 480 matches in the UK and a further 20 or so overseas each year.

MCC is the proud owner of Lord’s Ground, where it has been in residence since 1814. In addition to the thousands of spectators who come to watch matches at Lord’s every year many also come to see the comprehensive collection of cricket artifacts and books housed in the museum and library. To these visitors, to members and to many others Lord’s is the official home of cricket.

The Challenge

Lord’s is a busy venue. On a day to day basis two-way radios are used by stewards, the estates team, and museum, security, academy and catering staff to ensure the smooth running of all the facilities offered and the safety of staff and visitors. On fixture days, when more stewards and estates and catering staff are needed, demand for radios increases significantly. With the increase in spectators and the need to move them safely in, out and around the grounds it is essential for health and safety that the stewards can communicate effectively. Audio clarity and reliable coverage are key.

In 2014 MCC made the decision to upgrade from analogue to digital two-way radios to take advantage of the superior audio quality and product improvements that digital radios offer. MCC also decided to change the way they sourced radios moving to a more formal arrangement, putting the contract to tender to ensure consistency of supply and service. Chatterbox won the tender.

A Winning Proposal

Chatterbox carried out a full site survey before preparing and presenting their tender proposal, which they developed in partnership with UK manufacturer Sepura.

Chatterbox sold MCC 78 keypad Sepura handsets and MCC hired a further 367 non-keypad Sepura handsets, for use by stewards etc. on match days,under a five-year managed service contract.

Rental for the Season

MCC had been using short-term hire equipment to cover seasonal increases and specific events but Chatterbox proposed that they rent all of the required additional equipment for the full season.

The Advantages of Seasonal Rental

  • Spare handsets are available on site between events to replace any critical equipment that might fail in the interim
  • Any failed equipment can be returned to Chatterbox for repair or replacement under contract or warranty with less urgency attached
  • Provision of radio communications is not compromised at key events by non-delivery of equipment, through courier failure, because it is already available on site, confirmed to be tested and working
  • Avoidance of transit charges, which will apply to each event. If the equipment is already on site, no additional carriage charges will be incurred.


Ensuring the Right Licensing

Existing licences owned by MCC, provide for four UHF channels. Chatterbox, on instruction from MCC, has taken responsibility for the renewal of these licences, a service Chatterbox offers to many customers.

Sepura specific digital tier II Dynamic Technology enables Chatterbox to split the four existing frequencies to provide two simultaneous channels per frequency, doubling the number of available channels.

Additionally, the licences Chatterbox holds specifically for hire equipment provide up to 32 additional channels in UHF.

Working in partnership with Sepura

In the UK, every police force and ambulance service uses Sepura digital radios. There are more than 180 000 radios in everyday use, giving Sepura over 60% market share of the UK public safety market. Sepura’s robust digital hand-portable radios, designed for this core market, perfectly answer the MCC’s requirement:

  1. Robust – IP67 (waterproof, submersible and dustproof) rated and proven
  2. Battery life of 12 hours, according to standard industry measuring methods
  3. Easy to use. Although all Sepura handsets are easy to use Chatterbox recommended the use of non-keypad handsets for the seasonal fleet, which are simpler to operate and therefore require less training.
  4. Replaceable coloured bezels (on full keypad handsets) and flashes (on non-keypad) in a variety of colours offer easy visual differentiation, with different colours assigned to different departments.

Both full and non-keypad Sepura handsets offer the potential for advanced supervisory and health and safety features like transmit interrupt, lone worker, and man down to be programmed, allowing MCC the option to upgrade to a CALM system in the future if required.

All handsets were supplied with an antenna, battery, belt clip and charging station as standard. MCC also purchased a number of Impact headsets.

Working in Partnership with Sepura Chatterbox was able to offer MCC brand new radios for the entire seasonal rental fleet.

“We are proud that our innovative approach to the tender, working in close partnership with one of our key suppliers, paid off and are delighted to have this prestigious client.”

Gary Leatherby, Managing Director, Chatterbox

Service and Support

The transition from analogue to digital was as simple as Chatterbox delivering the digital radios, and personnel were offered the option of retaining their analogue radios for a transitional period (the digital radios can interface with analogue so this was not a problem).

The radios are extremely easy to use so training is quick and easy. Chatterbox produces online videos and training manuals for staff training. The training videos, which can be bespoke if necessary, are very popular as they can easily be easily be accessed by staff via YouTube whenever required.

Chatterbox is located in the London area so able to respond quickly to requests for assistance. Chatterbox operates a web-based support ticket system, enabling notified problems and questions to be handled by any member of the team, and all responses and actions to be tracked online by Chatterbox and the client, in this case MCC.

During the term of the contract Lord’s Crocket Ground will be undergoing substantial redevelopment. Chatterbox will make bi-annual site visits to ensure that any coverage issues arising from the work are identified and addressed so that full coverage is maintained.

Working with Chatterbox

 “Chatterbox approached the tendering process in a totally professional way – they were thorough and innovative and the experience of the team is clearly evident in the solution they presented. They appreciate the commercial realities and health and safety requirements faced by facilities like Lord’s Cricket Ground.”

Robert Ebdon, MCC Assistant Secretary (Estates)

“The team at Chatterbox offer an excellent service, reacting quickly and effectively to any issues that occur.”

Robert Ebdon, MCC Assistant Secretary (Estates)