Vendors Showcase New Products at IWCE
February 23, 2012
Several vendors announced new products at this year’s International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE), Feb. 22-23 in Las Vegas.
Motorola Solutions added two mobile radio control heads to its APX Project 25 (P25) TDMA-capable two-way radio series. The APX O2 Mobile Control Head is designed for extreme environments and has exaggerated controls and a rugged housing. Ideal for firefighters, marine units, utilities and mining, the product features a large color display with intelligent lighting and an integrated speaker for loud and clear audio. The second new mobile radio control head, the APX O7, is a flush-mount design with integrated keypad, siren, lights, public address and gun-lock controls. The product has a large color display and an enlarged rotary knob to control talk groups and volume settings. In addition, the company is expanding its Bluetooth portfolio to include additional earpiece options for its APX and XTS series portable radios.
Motorola also announced its APX 4000 P25 TDMA-capable portable radio is now shipping in North America. The radio features a two-microphone design that reduces background noise, an easy user interface and an enlarged multi-function knob that controls power, volume and talk groups.
EF Johnson Technologies plans to unveil its rugged Viking VP600 portable radio, which includes advanced audio and visual features like top display with backlighting, a 1-watt speaker for loud and clear sound and an advanced multiband excitation (AMBE)+2 vocoder to eliminate background noise. The radio is compatible with P25 Phase 2.
Harris introduced its XG-25 portable radio for the public-safety and mission-critical markets. The radio operates in VHF P25 conventional and analog modes in both narrowband and wideband frequencies. The rugged unit provides improved audio quality, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, a large screen and lightweight design. The product will begin shipping in May.
Harris also showcased its new microMASTR P25 Cell Site, a signal-enhancing solution that extends radio system coverage for government and public-safety agencies. Ideal for areas with inadequate system coverage, low population density or difficult terrain, the cell site consumes 80 percent less power than traditional sites and requires no additional shelter. The product operates in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, VHF and UHF frequency bands in both P25 trunked and conventional modes. The company also announced it has fully integrated P25 conventional operation with its VIDA network, which is a unified IP-based voice and data communications platform. P25 conventional operation offers features such as dispatch, emergency calling, over-the-air-rekeying (OTAR), group calls, GPS capabilities, data transmission and encryption.
Daniels Electronics introduced a P25 simulcast solution that builds on its P25 Voter product. The simulcast solution allows a P25 signal to be simultaneously broadcast from two or more radio transmitters in different locations. Multiple receivers can be tuned to the same frequency, and the voter product then determines the best signal from all signals received. The best signal is rebroadcast from the base station transmitters, improving talk-back capability between mobiles in the field, said company officials.
Zetron announced its next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) i3-ready MAX Call-Taking system is now shipping. Features of the system include an intelligent user interface, advanced call-handling capabilities and nearly 99.999 percent availability. The system also consumes about 5 percent of the power traditionally used by conventional servers, reducing energy costs and increasing reliability. The system can be combined with Zetron’s MAX Dispatch system to provide a comprehensive communications solution, said company executives.
Zetron also announced its IP-based MAX Dispatch system now includes an interface to Harris M7300 radios and an interface to Motorola’s SMARTNET/SmartZone turnking system. The interfaces expand the system’s ability to connect to multiple radio types and improve its ability to support interoperability across agencies and jurisdictions.
Catalyst Communications Technologies announced its Propulsion console, a voice dispatch and interoperability solution for Digital Mobile Radio (DMR). The product is a graphical tool that drives voice dispatch and interoperability between P25 and DMR LMRs as well as other push-to-talk (PTT) devices. The console supports radios from multiple vendors and supports features including emergency, unit ID with a centralized alias database, multiple layouts and SimulSelect. A variety of accessories, including a PTT footswitch, also are available with the console.
Etherstack launched a narrowband voice P25 over Long Term Evolution (LTE) solution that facilitates the migration of narrowband to broadband solutions and works in hybrid LTE and P25 networks. The LTE25 solution includes the company’s LTE25 softswitch residing in the LTE evolved packet core (EPC) and a native P25 push to talk (PTT)-over-cellular (PoC) client application running on LTE handsets. Company officials said the solution uses the same P25 mobile software that resides on a traditional P25 handset with enhanced graphical user interface, allowing end-to-end encryption of calls between the LTE handset and a radio on a traditional P25 network. The softswitch supports both P25 inter RF subsystem interface (ISSI) and P25 console subsystem interface (CSSI).
Raytheon announced a new interoperability server that includes the ability to bring in P25 users directly over IP and to connect 4G/LTE system users by a Bluetooth link to a system handset. Both features include the ability to transfer data. The server allows P25 talk groups to be dynamically linked to any member agency, including other P25 talk groups. The server relies on other gateways, such as Raytheon’s ACU-5000, for local interoperability and to convert non-IP communications from radios and telephones for transfer to the server via IP. The system also will include mobile applications optimized for laptops and smartphones, said company officials.