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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2014, 4:55 PM
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Roger on the Delay.
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Old 01-02-2014, 6:27 PM
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Originally Posted by hitechRadio View Post
I agree with you,

But VHF has it's issues also.

VHF does not perform as well in a city enviroment, interfernece from consumer electronics as example.
Interference when the band is up. (Ham Term HIHI). Does not perform well when antenna is close to body. And other issues.

I agree that 700/800 is not the cure all band. I was just chosing what I felt is the better of 2 evils, LOL

The other reason I did not suggest VHF is because it is so screwed up when in comes to frequency coordination. The 700/800 band has huge advantages over VHF when comes to orginization of the bands.
VHF worked fine for all those years before narrowbanding, for those that needed it; why do you say it's "so screwed up" with respect to Frequency Coordination? The main problem is all the businesses that either don't bother to get licensed, or use way more power than they need to do what they are doing. Many of those could easily be moved up into the 700/800 MHz range without affecting them significantly, since the local fast food place doesn't need to reach out more than MAYBE 50 feet.
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Old 01-02-2014, 7:35 PM
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VHF worked fine for all those years before narrowbanding, for those that needed it; why do you say it's "so screwed up" with respect to Frequency Coordination? The main problem is all the businesses that either don't bother to get licensed, or use way more power than they need to do what they are doing. Many of those could easily be moved up into the 700/800 MHz range without affecting them significantly, since the local fast food place doesn't need to reach out more than MAYBE 50 feet.
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Originally Posted by N8OHU View Post
VHF worked fine for all those years before narrowbanding.
Never said it didn't.

To answer your first question, here is the reason below.

VHF split=?
700 split=30mhz
800 split=45mhz

When you have multple agencies on VHF on scene together in close proximity, well you can see the problem. 7/800 does not have that issue.

Example of VHF peformance: Transmitters on same tower VHF 100watts, 800 75watts. VHF antenna is roughly the same height as the 800 antenna.

In building coverage not an issue on 800, on VHF it's crap shoot.

Mobile coverage the VHF had an advantage 5miles, on the fringe of coverage, which is well out of the area of operation anyway.
One of the problems is the noise floor is much higher on the VHF repeater. It may talk out better, but your not talking back to it.
So technically the coverage actually goes to the 800 repeater. As the 800 repeater had good talk back until you could not hear the repeater anymore. The VHF fell short of that by a mile of the 800 loosing it. As far as the mobiles, 35watt 800 vs 50watt VHF, the anteannas, both quarter waves.
Of course there are alot of veriables, and it was not exactly a scientific study both are Quantar repeaters. And it could of been a day of a band opening on VHF as most the time I compared was in the mornings. So on a good day I am sure the VHF would have better coverage, but not as consistant as 800.

As far as fastfood chains, they should move to UHF, HIHI

Again I have no problem with any of the bands, but when you way the pro's con's in my view 7/800 wins. If a band was to be mandated.

Not related to the topic, or directed at you. But I think some hams that work with Public saftey in someway or maybe not at all. May think VHF is the most superior band there is IMO. When in fact each band has it advantages and disadvantages.

Anyway back to Interoperability.

Last edited by hitechRadio; 01-02-2014 at 7:38 PM..
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Old 01-02-2014, 8:15 PM
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What does interoperabilty mean to you for public saftey?
To me, it means piles upon piles of money being wasted for a goal that is both impossible to reach and unnecessary to reach.

It's impossible to reach because a surprising number of agencies just don't want to talk to one another and they don't want to share. In the few instances in this country where they do, they are satisfied with what they already have. BAPERN for example.

It's unnecessary to reach because agencies seldom seem to need that capability and when they do, they would always just change the channel. After all these billions that have been blown, is still the channel selector knob and mutual aid channels that is how agencies talk to one another. If they even think to do it.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:26 PM
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When in fact each band has it advantages and disadvantages.

Anyway back to Interoperability.
You made my point for me.

No one size fits all can mandate interoperability. Different agencies, different land lay (terrain), different budgets- I think "MTTARadioMGR" summed it up nicely.

700/800 doesn't have near enough spectrum to accommodate everyone, network buildout and opex costs aside.

The future of interoperability (from a technical standpoint) is bridging networks and systems on demand, and more affordable multi-band subscriber radios. If Apple can get mult-band, mutli-mode digital radios on a chipset for the Iphone for a few dollars, why do radios like the APX7000, XG-100 or Thales costs THOUSANDS?

Because no one shops around and we just open up (the taxpayers) wallet.

If the ChiCommers can pump out sub $50 dual band radios by the millions why can't an AFFORDABLE public safety grade SDR exist in the sub $1000 range?

See the above statement for your answer.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: What does interoperabilty mean to you for public saftey?

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You made my point for me.

No one size fits all can mandate interoperability. Different agencies, different land lay (terrain), different budgets- I think "MTTARadioMGR" summed it up nicely.

700/800 doesn't have near enough spectrum to accommodate everyone, network buildout and opex costs aside.

The future of interoperability (from a technical standpoint) is bridging networks and systems on demand, and more affordable multi-band subscriber radios. If Apple can get mult-band, mutli-mode digital radios on a chipset for the Iphone for a few dollars, why do radios like the APX7000, XG-100 or Thales costs THOUSANDS?

Because no one shops around and we just open up (the taxpayers) wallet.

If the ChiCommers can pump out sub $50 dual band radios by the millions why can't an AFFORDABLE public safety grade SDR exist in the sub $1000 range?

See the above statement for your answer.
They can, obviously. The problem is that the manufacturers don't seem to grasp that they will make MORE money by making it affordable than they do by pricing it out of range of the average buyer.

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Old 01-03-2014, 5:27 AM
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Interoperability is more than just Hardware.
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Old 01-03-2014, 8:35 AM
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Originally Posted by MTS2000des View Post

If the ChiCommers can pump out sub $50 dual band radios by the millions why can't an AFFORDABLE public safety grade SDR exist in the sub $1000 range?
For the same reason existing hardware (monoband) in the sub $1000 range isn't as popular as it should be. Lets not pretend we don't know what's really going on here, mmmkay?

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This country is getting more corrupt every year. This kind of waste does nothing to make us safer or more prosperous and surely doesn't make our first responders safer and better enabled to get their job done.

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They can, obviously. The problem is that the manufacturers don't seem to grasp that they will make MORE money by making it affordable than they do by pricing it out of range of the average buyer.

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If there is anything the manufacturer (singular, not plural) has learned is that there is no amount of money that will not be spent on first responder communications. The deal may come at a price but they get the deal regardless of whether or not an agency has money to do it. They can apply for grants or just raise taxes or lay off some teachers but oh... they're gonna do it.


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Interoperability is more than just Hardware.
That's right. It's an attitude.
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Old 01-03-2014, 8:42 AM
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Having been a practitioner in the interoperability circus, I will have to say that "interoperability" is a manufactured crisis that purports to be a technological solution to a sociological issue.

I get that that will not be a popular thing to say, but everyone does not need to speak with everyone else. That's called a charlie foxtrot. And, all of the money thrown at all of the technology in the world can't make two people speak to each other who don't feel they need to. Case in point.

Interoperability to me means that a number of agencies operating at a common incident can function together as part of the same team. There is a ways to go, and considering a compartmentalized mentality, it may never get there.

What interoperability is not: anybody talking to anyone from anywhere. For example, the fire chief waiting for a flight at Hartsfield-Jackson should not be running a fire 900 miles away even if technology has given him the ability to communicate. We can't lose perspective on being "on scene" versus "out of position." Unfortunately politicians and moldy-oldies (people whose experience has been so long ago that it's no longer relevant) seem to think there is a nifty factor in this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N8OHU
VHF worked fine for all those years before narrowbanding, for those that needed it; why do you say it's "so screwed up" with respect to Frequency Coordination? The main problem is all the businesses that either don't bother to get licensed, or use way more power than they need to do what they are doing. Many of those could easily be moved up into the 700/800 MHz range without affecting them significantly, since the local fast food place doesn't need to reach out more than MAYBE 50 feet.
No, it didn't. VHF is a nightmare scenario at best.

Here's how I see it (not to pick on you, Matt, that's not my intent):
  1. The 7.5 kHz channelizations are too narrow to allow local reuse of adjacent frequencies for systems using the most common emissions.
  2. There is no standardized pairing. My output can very likely be your input and will limit your system's performance. Just because it can't be heard on a scanner or HT does not necessarily mean it won't impact a system 50 miles away.
  3. New technologies are more singularly consumptive, meaning they hang on the air longer (if not all day and night) and create havoc in the shared environment.
  4. Sales people sell VHF systems without ever looking at whether the resources exist to implement them. So, a frequency coordinator can get a request for 40 exclusive discrete frequencies (20 channel pairs) in an area where VHF is heavily used.
  5. There is a less than 10 MHz span usable by public safety. Combiner and site management restrictions sharply limit choices.
  6. Industry Canada and the (infamous) "Agreement of October 24, 1962 make it nearly impossible to effectively share VHF frequencies north of "Line A."
  7. The FCC does not track receivers, only transmitters, so defining a protection criteria to minimize blocking to existing systems is nearly impossible.
  8. Applicants ask for way more resources than they need for day-to-day communications needs. Their implementation, especially in conventional, is inefficient and singularly consumptive, and usually involves excessive height, gain, and power.
  9. And, most of that has gone on for at least 50 years. It won't be fixed anytime soon.
So, VHF is not all it's cracked up to be. These days, the business coordinators have been very vocal about public safety encroaching on business frequencies. They are typically not shared and everything else has to be exhausted first before they can be considered by waiver. Then, we have auctioned frequencies that lie fallow. In some cases, entrepreneurs rebroadcast "stuff" on them to make them look active until they can be leased out to some commercial interest. And, the higher frequencies (700 and 800) are more responsibly coordinated because of rules that require such.

Our discussion is academic anyway. There are a lot of people who believe that we will be using radio apps on 700 MHz LTE at some point soon. At that point, in theory, anyone/anything can communicate with anyone/anything else.

(My opinions are solely mine)
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Old 01-03-2014, 9:29 AM
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Default Radio Interoperability

Radio interoperability is only what you make of it. It means different things to different people. Bottom line here is that there is no definition that seems to fit everyone.

Another issue is that there is the never ending problem of politics. You can provide all the frills, equipment and what ever. But if the chief dog in charge of an incident doesn't want to use it, your going to end up with a mess. Either you end up using the radio system the chief dog has or you don't talk with everyone.

Mutual aid to an incident can bring many agencies that could be on all 4 bands of our radio abilities. Without some sort of bridge, patch or cobbed together black box, these different agencies will never be able to communicate directly.

Am I a supporter of patches and gateways? That answer is yes, but it has to be done carefully and not on the normal dispatch channels. The intent is to supply communications between multiple agencies at a common incident. It is not the intent to fill up and overload the normal daily dispatch channels.

Way back a number of years, I am talking way back, the FCC managed to pull off one of their better moves and create the "National Interoperability" radio channels. Most consultants and the better radio shops will try and get all agencies to put these channels into all the radios being used. These channels are not to be used for daily communications, but for incident communications. They provide free, open channels for emergency communications use.

How you use these interoperability channels is up to the incident commander. Problem is the POLITICS generally get in the way of these channels being used as they should. Many times they just lay there unused. The incident communications suffers when multiple agencies are at the incident and they can't communicate between each other.

Not trying to stir up anything on the use of one band over another, but I will say from being there and using 2 different bands (VHF and 800), the VHF has always out performed the VHF inside buildings. Others will say just the opposite. but have they been there and done that, or are they just saying the same thing as others. I am one that has to see it for myself and have. To add to the conversation, UHF will hold it's own on in building use. Much of this it works or doesn't work will depend on how far away you are from the radio towers supporting the frequency your using. The closer to the towers, the better it will work. I will leave it at that.

A short comment on gateways and patches. How good they work and sound will depend greatly on how well the radio tech set them up. I have heard some really good adjusted patches and gateways. I have also heard some really bad adjusted patches and gateways. Why people put up with crappy sounding audio through these devices makes me wonder. the clarity of the audio is important. If you have a hard time trying to understand what is being said, then the patch or gateway is not doing much good for the incident. Your better off using a cell phone.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:27 AM
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" I hear from people all the time we ain't going to that 800 or 700 crap. People say it takes more sites to cover a given area with 800 than VHF, That is not neccasarily true. It would actually take about the same number of sites,,,,Y you might ask. Because you CANNOT put a VHF site at 500 600 feet on a tower and not expect to not get interference from someone. Thats y most vhf sites are at a lower height on the tower typical around here is less than 300feet most only 150 feet due to interference issues.
At 7/800Mhz a height of 500, or even 1000 feet i would not be worried about much interference. Not saying that there are no exceptions to this rule."

I say BS, have you done any actual VHF to 700/880 testing. We have, and yes it does take a LOT more sites for 700/800 than VHF. Even with lowered antenna heights, VHF has a better penetration factor, except in a city enviroment. Also you may not also be able to put an 700/800 at 500-600 ft as they have operational contours too.

As far as interoperability, and radio systems, I say get the radio vendors out of the drivers seat. They are the ones driving municipalities to spend money on unneeded radio systems (a better solution is to get a contract that guarantees parts and repair of a quoted system for 20 years). The Fed government getting into unfunded mandates may be a solution that I like even less, but if it stops this nonsensical constant vendor scaring of municipalities to keep updating a working systems I am all for it. I don't like digital, there is absolutely no reason for it except again for in large cities where it may be needed for additional channels, and not for the ease of going encrypted as we have seen more often than the need for additional channels.

The use of all the TAC frequencies is for the most part all that is needed. You might have to install some on-site mobile X-band repeaters. That was what was used 30-40 years ago when you had the jump to VHF from VHF-Low.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:03 AM
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Matrices: The bottom line on how well they work is also dependent upon footprint. Patching two systems together where operations are needed in a place that one system had no coverage in won't work at all. The systems need to have surge capacity whether they are conventional or trunked. From my system manager days, I would outright FORBID patches on primary frequencies because primary operations don't stop when we get a big incident. And, going to a trunked system, NOBODY has a store-forward matrix that will store a message if it goes into queuing. The danger is having the incident commander say, "Evacuate the building" or a firefighter saying, "MAYDAY" on conventional while the trunked system is busy and bonking out. When you finally get the talk-permit tones, there's nothing there.

700 ERP and coverage: Read Region 8's methodology on "responsible radiation control" (it starts on page 6 of 13) I actually like what they're doing, and if we did that with VHF, we wouldn't be nearly as screwed up as we are right now. But you can't run that power level/height on 700. 800 is three different stories (NPSPAC, general pool, and vacated spectrum, each with their own little rules and methods).
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:07 AM
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What is interoperability? In my opinion, it is the ability of all involved agencies to put away their ego and sit down towards a common goal.

That's really the core of it.

All the technology in the world won't fix a political problem where the Police want to be in control of a situation, or Fire, or EMS, or whomever. There's no place for the swinging d*ck syndrome during an emergency. Police, Fire, EMS, etc.. are going to have to get used to taking orders from someone external to their agency, and being accountable.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:39 PM
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Default What does interoperabilty mean to you for public saftey?

It means carrying change to use a pay phone no interop done here


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Old 01-06-2014, 12:28 PM
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I say BS, have you done any actual VHF to 700/880 testing. We have, and yes it does take a LOT more sites for 700/800 than VHF. Even with lowered antenna heights, VHF has a better penetration factor, except in a city enviroment. Also you may not also be able to put an 700/800 at 500-600 ft as they have operational contours too.

The use of all the TAC frequencies is for the most part all that is needed. You might have to install some on-site mobile X-band repeaters. That was what was used 30-40 years ago when you had the jump to VHF from VHF-Low.
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"
I say BS, have you done any actual VHF to 700/880 testing..
Actually I have, and I mentioned it in and ealier post. I'll repost below what I said since you missed it.

"Mobile coverage the VHF had an advantage 5miles, on the fringe of coverage, which is well out of the area of operation anyway.
One of the problems is the noise floor is much higher on the VHF repeater. It may talk out better, but your not talking back to it.
So technically the coverage actually goes to the 800 repeater. As the 800 repeater had good talk back until you could not hear the repeater anymore. The VHF fell short of that by a mile of the 800 loosing it. As far as the mobiles, 35watt 800 vs 50watt VHF, the anteannas, both quarter waves.
Of course there are alot of veriables, and it was not exactly a scientific study both are Quantar repeaters. And it could of been a day of a band opening on VHF as most the time I compared was in the mornings. So on a good day I am sure the VHF would have better coverage, but not as consistant as 800."



First, just because you can hear the repeater, does not mean you can talk back to it. So your experiance is that VHF outperformes 800. Your speaking in general terms. You must of got a good pair of VHF freq's.
I agree VHF will cover more area out in the country, if you can keep from interference, but if you get that interference, uplink or downlink you can have problems.

Second I agree the TAC's are a great thing for interop. Problem arises when they are on different bands, most agencies don't run around with cross banding equipment with every vehicle, and it is not there right when they need it the most.

If the permenent patches are set up to link 2 different systems. It does no one any good if there is not overlaping coverage.

Sometimes events are preplanned, so the forethought of putting patches in place and everything coordinated, it will usualy work out ok.

But preplanning a disaster can never preplanned, I now from experiance when egencies arrive on scene that are using VHF, it was chaos on that band, multiple groups just randomly picking a channel on there radio that they could talk to one another on talkaround (mostly using there own agencies T/A channel), causing interference with other groups not even realizing it was close to or on a rescue teams repeater or sheriifs repeater input or a T/A frequency. Never reporting back to COM-L what they were using. And there were not enough VHF TAC's to go around.

7/8 on the otherhand, was so much better organized, and no channel interference, except for maybe a guy on the wrong tac channel, but that would be fixed rather quickly by command. Still had issues with groups not reporting or coordinating with the COM-L, eventhough it did not ususally cause comm issues with other users.

Imagine multiple commands on scene using multiple 700/800 mobiles and portables. very little problems, if any.
Now imagine multiple commands on scene using multiple VHF mobiles and portables, we have a PROBLEM houston.

VHF is not a bad band, but the channelization plan (or lack there of) makes it hard for me to say it is a better band.

Last edited by hitechRadio; 01-06-2014 at 1:20 PM..
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:41 PM
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We have the same issue here city went with their own system and county went with the state viper system they dont seem to think of interop
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Old 01-06-2014, 1:32 PM
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It means the radio salespeople make a bunch of money from the taxpayers.

Interopability is a state of mind, not a technology.

A bunch of agencies on conventional analog don't magically become better at working and playing with others just because they migrated to P25 or joined a state/regional TRS.

I love the idea that small departments with a few conventional analog channels get sold on the idea that spending a bunch of money to go P25 conventional is necessary for interop or longevity.
We all know how incompatible every manufacturer's implementation of conventional analog is, right?

I kind of get it when dealing with agencies and regions on incompatible TRS, BUT that still comes down to the respective entities on the systems. The good ones manage to work almost seamlessly across different types of TRS with gateways/patches (hopefully with dedicated interop TGs). The bad ones still have trouble working together when they're all on the same system.

Politics, discipline, and training are the problem.
Someone showing up to a scene 50 miles away from their usual patrol and deciding to use their own channels and walk all over everyone else is not going to be fixed by upgrading the tech or allocating more channels.
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Old 01-06-2014, 4:23 PM
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I love the idea that small departments with a few conventional analog channels get sold on the idea that spending a bunch of money to go P25 conventional is necessary for interop or longevity.
We all know how incompatible every manufacturer's implementation of conventional analog is, right?.
Have you heard of agencies loosing coverage once narrowbanded, that could be one reason. Or maybe encryption. There are reasons Y some agencies move to digital.
I agree, Some agencies due get sold by the salesman, by moving to digital, when there equipment they had was very capable of a simple reprogram to narrowband.

Most agencies around here moving too Digital (P25, NXDN or TRBO). Are for many reasons, not just or not for interoperability. They are defentitly not moving to NXDN or TRBO for digital interoperability, unless neighboring system/s are NXDN or TRBO.

P25 is the the standard for DIGITAL public saftey interoperability. That does not mean Analog is not used for interoperability. It just means that if a digital mode is used it is recommended to use the P25 standard. P25 should not be used on the Tac's unless an agency is in the 700 band, they will have to have the capability to use P25 for Tac's.
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Old 01-07-2014, 6:14 AM
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P25 should not be used on the Tac's unless an agency is in the 700 band, they will have to have the capability to use P25 for Tac's.
I see a trend where vendors who migrate agencies to MOTOTRBO or NXDN will modify the agency's license to include those emissions on mutual aid channels, such as "point to point" or "HEAR" or various established interagency VHF or UHF networks that are set up in analog. The practice is unacceptable and will almost always result in a delay in the application while the frequency coordinators argue over the proposed emissions that ultimately result in having the applicant remove them on the frequencies that don't "belong" to them.

One of the little factoids to help license applications sail through: regardless of what your own system is going to be implemented as, make sure your vendor or application preparer does not put those emissions on frequencies that "aren't yours." The other agencies will not follow the leader; it's easier to move a glacier.
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Old 01-07-2014, 8:19 AM
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This interoperability looks really good on paper; not all of use have the radios that will allow us to communicate when it becomes necessary. Hopefully, something will change before too terribly long.


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