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Has P25 Abandoned the Conventional Public Safety Market?

John Facella  (Principal, Panther Pines Consulting LLC)

Jon Paul Beauchamp  (Senior Manager, Icom America)

Andrew Seybold  (CEO & Principal Consultant, Andrew Seybold, Inc.)

Neil Horden  (Principal Consultant, Horden Technology, LLC)

Ernie Blair  (Chief Executive Officer, Madison County Communications District)

Location: N260

Date: Thursday, March 24

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Track: Interoperability, Emergency Comms: LMR, LTE, 5G

Format: Short Course

Vault Recording: TBD

The current development of P25 is primarily concerned with adding features for large city trunking systems. P25 Phase 2 trunking is already capable 6.25 kHz channels, despite the fact that many such systems are at 800 MHz which has no likely FCC mandate to become 6.25 kHz spectrum efficient. Meanwhile, conventional systems throughout rural and suburban American and Canada, will never have the critical mass of users and number of radio calls to make the efficiencies of trunking worthwhile for the added cost and complexity. Also most of those conventional systems for public safety operate on VHF or UHF frequencies, which in the U.S. are subject to an eventual 6.25 kHz spectral efficiency mandate. Yet despite some discussion decades ago, there are no plans to create a 6.25 kHz standard for conventional P25. The result of all of this is that many public safety agencies, who are modernizing their outdated conventional analog or P25 systems, are moving to DMR technologies which offer a 2 slot in 12.5 kHz solution, making them "future ready" for the eventual FCC mandate to 6.25 kHz operation. Thus those rural and suburban public safety systems will GO BACKWARD in terms of interoperability, to a time before the P25 standard was devised 33 years ago, when we had disparate systems that would not talk to one another.

Takeaway

The audience will learn: - About the FCC's spectral efficiency future requirement for 6.25 kHz or equivalent operation at VHF and UHF - The fact that the FCC has said they will NOT rescind that requirement - That although there is no date certain for this future requirement, it will impact LMR systems being replaced or refurbished today -Of this apparent omission in the P25 development process - That absent a standards roadmap, no vendor is going to take a chance on developing a conventional 6.25 kHz P25 solution - That 6.25 kHz operation can ONLY be accomplished with digital (not analog) technologies - That using DMR or other non-P25 digital technology is NOT the solution, because this will set public safety interoperability back to where we were before 1989