Friday, May 4, 2012

Narrow Band, the sunrise approaches!

As you may already know, December 31, 2012 is the last day that wide band (25 kHz) radios can be sold, used, or MANUFACTURED in the USA! All public safety and business industrial land mobile radio systems operating in the 150-174 and 421 - 470 MHz radio bands must cease operation on 25 kHz efficiency technology (except where allowed by FCC rule) and begin operating using at least 12.5 kHz efficiency technology. This deadline is the result of an FCC effort that began almost two decades ago to ensure more efficient use of the spectrum and greater spectrum access for public safety and non-public safety users. Migration to 12.5 kHz efficiency technology (once referred to as Refarming, but now referred to as Narrowbanding) will allow the creation of additional channel capacity within the same radio spectrum, and support more users. 

While this mandate is generally assumed to focus on VHF and UHF 2-way radio users, very few of us have given any thought regarding the effect on MANUFACTURERS. Most are already in the process of phasing out 25 kHz equipment at this very moment with plans to stop manufacturing wide band radios as early as July of THIS YEAR! The question is why would they do that?  The answer is that that don't want to get stuck at the end of the year with inventory they can't sell.  What they are doing is doing what they must do in the best interest of their stockholders, their employees, and ultimately; their customers!

Our reason for telling you this is that as early as July 1st, many radio models will be available ONLY in narrow band.  Your choices for wide band radios are already limited and they are rapidly becoming more limited.  In addition, the backlog of unprocessed license modification applications is rapidly building at the FCC.  You need to be taking action NOW, not at the last minute!  We are doing our part to assist you in making this transition as easy as possible with not one, but THREE Narrow Band Planning Guides.

We now have a Guide for users who wish to continue using analog radios or for those that have not yet made a decision on whether to continue using analog or moving to digital.  For those that are considering moving to digital, we offer planning guides for both DMR, the TDMA solution offered by Hytera and Motorola as well as NXDN, the FDMA solution provided by ICOM and Kenwood. These guides are free on request by calling 205.854.2611 or sending an email to You can save yourself a lot of time and money by obtaining your copy of the Guide of your choice.  Do it today!