Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Special Message Concerning Interoperability

Recently, a senior official of a large communications manufacturer stated that under certain conditions, users can circumvent the P25 public safety communications standard in open defiance of the concerted efforts of hundreds of dedicated professionals over almost two decades. Another major manufacturer is allowing the indirect distribution channel (think dealers) to promote a competing technology while the direct sales force is advancing the P25 standard. NEITHER of these technologies (DMR or NXDN) is compatible with P25. Clearly, there is something wrong with this picture.

Personally, we think such actions are counter productive, not in the best interest of public safety users, and totally self serving. Unfortunately, most 2-way radio users rely on their communications suppliers, which generally will be a local dealer. The typical public safety user relies (think TRUSTS) their supplier to guide them in doing the right thing. To abuse that trust is a violation of moral, ethical, and possibly even legal responsibility.

Over 15 years ago, a technical operating standard known as APCO-25 (P25) was developed for the purpose of defining a standard communications platform. This platform allows public safety users to plan their communications system for efficiency, interoperability, and long term cost benefits based on the economies of an open system.

We understand that in some cases, to ignore the P25 standard may be the result of lack of knowledge. In some cases, it could be for personal gain. In either case, lack of knowledge is inexcusable for any professional, and to put personal gain above the customers long term needs is unconscionable. The information is there for anyone who takes the time to do a few simple searches on the Internet. The fact is that there is only ONE approved federal communications standard and there is only ONE standard approved for FEMA grant funding. Check it out for yourself at

If you are involved in public safety at any level in Alabama or Mississippi, please call us for additional information of a public safety information program that we would be pleased to present in your community. Our phone number is 205.854.2611 or you can email us at We also have a presentation package which we will provide for users outside Alabama and Mississippi that is free on request.

We urge you to get the facts and check them out. You may ultimately decide that you don't care about federal interoperable plans. Maybe you don't need federal grant funding. Then, by all means, consider alternative technology. We have one of our own. If you would like more information on a very affordable alternative, send us an email to In the meantime, additional information is available by clicking on the Digital Radios archive section at the top right hand side of this page.

Whatever you do, get all the facts before making a decision based on what someone tells you. Get the facts for yourself, then make your decision. We would consider it an honor to assist you.