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P25 for Utilities: Your Swiss Army Knife for Incident Management Interoperability

Stephen Nichols  (Executive Director, Project 25 Technology Interest Group)

Jim Holthaus  (SME, Wireless Communications Platforms, U.S. Department of Justice)

Justin Evans  (Radio Systems Manager, Montgomery County Hospital District)

Michael Rohrbacher  (Director of Public Safety Communications, State of New Mexico Department of Information Technology)

Location: W230D

Date: Wednesday, March 27

Time: 11:20 am - 12:20 pm

Track: Utilities, Incident Management

Topic: Interoperability, LMR, P25, PTT, Situational Awareness, Spectrum

Format: Panel Session

Vault Recording: TBD

A mature comms option traditionally limited to public safety, utilities may not realize that Project 25 offers a number of standardized "over the air" and wireline interfaces. P25 can facilitate multi-agency communications at natural disasters, provide man-down emergency calls, and flexible enough to include request-to-talk (RTT) callback.

The P25 radio to radio Common Air Interface (CAI) has been used for many years creating reliable radio to radio links between multiple organizations using subscriber units from a variety of different vendors. The newest P25 interfaces for: System (ISSI), Console (CSSI) and Digital Fixed station interface (DFSI) offer additional solutions for interoperability. Also, new multi-band P25 radios can be a successful solution for P25 interoperability between systems with different frequency bands and for end users who travel to help support other utilities during an incident.

This panel will show how each of the P25 Standard Interfaces can be used alone or in combination to facilitate interoperability illustrated by real-world case studies. Best practices for the Management P25 Unit ID designations will be presented. Radio programming for the effective use of P25 multi-band radios will be included. P25 Encryption application best practices will be covered including proper definition of Storage Location Number (SLN) and Key ID programming.

Key Takeaways:
• How P25 interfaces facilitate interoperable communications for Incident Management and RTT callback
• P25 Unit IDs, Shared Mutual Aid Talk Groups, Encryption SLNs and Key ID management
• Programming P25 multi-band radios with established Interoperability channels.