Many of our readers are aware of the numerous accusations of unfair competitive practices by Motorola in the public safety marketplace (Click here for recent comments by an industry executive and senior government officials). Most of us in the industry know that the Department of Homeland Security require radios with P25 operating capability, not compatibility, or upgradeability. The key word is CAPABILITY using open standard technology.
Numerous radio equipment dealers, supported by factory support personnel, are loudly proclaiming that the only way to go is with either a proprietary Motorola standard using five thousand dollar radios or a subordinate technology which can be requested under special circumstances when budget limitations are a factor. It should come as no surprise to anyone than both the anti-competitive, cost excessive enhanced P25 solution offered by Motorola and the lower cost MotoTRBO system with enhanced features are BOTH based on proprietary technology.
The fact that the enhanced P25 system is NOT compatible with federal interoperability standards and the MotoTRBO system does not meet the SAFECOM technical standards required by DHS and FEMA. Unfortunately, this seems to deter neither Motorola, uninformed users, or even is some cases; FEMA officials responsible for the proper administration of grant funds and compliance review of both federal and state interoperability operating plans.
If you are planning a system upgrade to narrow band and/or digital operating capability, we urge you to get all the facts before making a costly mistake that will cost us ALL money. While you are at it, be thankful that there are people like Dave Storey, President and CEO of Relm Wireless who are not afraid to stand up and tell it like it is.
If you don't know how it is and would like the real unbiased facts, give us a call at 800.489.2611. Let's work together to see that our taxpayer dollars are spent effectively and with common sense - not in response to sales pitches by those who benefit by suppressing fair and open competition.