Friday, March 5, 2010

Looking for the facts on narrow banding?

It's no wonder that so many are confused about the simple FCC requirement to reduce channel bandwidth from 25 to 12.5 kHz (i.e. narrow banding). An excellent report has been produced by Motorola that we are privileged to share with our readers. Click here for a copy of that report. We appreciate the fact that Motorola is taking some positive steps to help 2-way radio users in planning for this mandatory change requiring all VHF and UHF users to cease using radios (with a few exceptions) that cannot operate at 12.5 kHz no later than January 1, 2013 along with another mandate requiring that all radios sold in the USA after January 1, 2011 be capable of operating at 6.25 kHz efficiency.

We were equally impressed with Motorola's clarification on the use of MotoTRBO® radios for mission critical (i.e. public safety) communications. Apparently, many Motorola dealers, and more than a few field managers, are unaware of the fact that MotoTRBO is not designed for or intended for mission critical use.

We have more or less been the lone voice proclaiming that there is only ONE mission critical approved operating standard and that is APCO-25, otherwise known as P25. Finally, we have clarification and validation from Motorola on this subject. You'll find this information at the bottom of page three and continuing in the attached Motorola document. For now, we thought sharing of this information would be beneficial as follows:

Motorola is currently shipping two complete product families that already meet any FUTURE FCC decision for licensees to operate in a 6.25 kHz equivalent efficiency mode. The Motorola ASTRO® 25 product line for the mission critical public safety market and the MOTOTRBO product line for the commerce and enterprise markets are 6.25 kHz efficiency capable today.

I think the preceding statement should clear up the issue of which product Motorola recommends for mission critical communications. ASTRO® 25 utilizes the federal approved P25 operating system and is the right Motorola product for mission critical communications! Hopefully, those Motorola dealers who have been attempting to promote a non-mission critical technology will correct their mistake and work with the rest of us in establishing a true interoperable communications network to make the USA one of the safest places to live in the world.