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Could NXDN become the defacto standard?

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wwhitby

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I just heard that a local city has gone with a Kenwood NXDN system for their police and fire departments, and another is seriously looking into an NXDN system.

With more and more police and fire departments going NXDN, businesses using it, and the railroads buying NXDN radios (and rumor that CSX will go digital in the near future), could NXDN become the defacto standard, or one of the standards, in the future? I know that P-25 is used by the federal government, and for folks getting grant money from the federal government, but more and more non-federal, non-federal funded systems are turning away from P-25 because of the cost.

Warren
 
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N_Jay

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NXDN has a good start at becoming "a" popular standard (along with MotoTRBO), but P25 is the designated standard.

The cost issue is a little bit of red herring, as the cost for similar quality/similar feature equipment is shrinking.
 

W9BU

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The cost issue is a little bit of red herring, as the cost for similar quality/similar feature equipment is shrinking.
Is there a perception among the agencies that the only way they can get P25 is to buy from Motorola? Do they think they are fostering competition by buying non-P25 equipment from someone other than Motorola?
 

SCPD

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The sheriffs department in our county, McDuffie County, Georgia, recently started using NXDN full time on VHF.They are EXTREMELY pleased with the extended range and audio quality. The 911 coordinator, he is also responsible for any and all radio issues for the county, has been using Kenwood products for many years. He uses Kenwood because the cost for comparable Motorola is much less and the quality/features are just as good too. The county paid approximately $700 each for the NEXEDGE 700 series mobile radios and I don't remember what the price was for the portables, how much would a comparable Motorola cost? They also have the flexibility to operate in analog/digital simultaneously, it was set up that way so that surrounding jurisdictions have interoperability.

I believe Kenwood offers a viable alternative to Motorola for cost and performance if a local government doesn't have the tax base to support high cost equipment.
 

SCPD

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The advantage of NXTN

The sheriffs department in our county, McDuffie County, Georgia, recently started using NXDN full time on VHF.They are EXTREMELY pleased with the extended range and audio quality. The 911 coordinator, he is also responsible for any and all radio issues for the county, has been using Kenwood products for many years....
You have mentioned what is probably a big advantage of NXTN, agencies switching over to it can stay at VHF.
Going P25 usually means going 800 mhz. VHF does not have the reflection, refraction and absorption that occurs at 800 mhz.
 
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N_Jay

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You have mentioned what is probably a big advantage of NXTN, agencies switching over to it can stay at VHF.
Going P25 usually means going 800 mhz. VHF does not have the reflection, refraction and absorption that occurs at 800 mhz.
And they can stay at VHF with P25 also.
 

wb0wao

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Missouri is in the initial planning stages of setting up a statewide VHF P25 system and is supposed to be online sometime in 2012 or so.

Dennis
 

SCPD

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NJay

And they can stay at VHF with P25 also.
Ah yes, a typical Njay posting.

Everyone here already knows you can use P25 from DC to daylight.
And I'm sure everyone here knows that what I meant is that when a P25 system is sold, it is almost always sold hand in hand with a new 800 mhz license.

But let me speak for everyone here, thank you for your insightful reply.
 
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N_Jay

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Ah yes, a typical Njay posting.

Everyone here already knows you can use P25 from DC to daylight.
And I'm sure everyone here knows that what I meant is that when a P25 system is sold, it is almost always sold hand in hand with a new 800 mhz license.

But let me speak for everyone here, thank you for your insightful reply.
Typical Wyandotte posting (I guess).

You have mentioned what is probably a big advantage of NXTN, agencies switching over to it can stay at VHF.
If both technologies are available in both bands, this is NOT an advantage or disadvantage of either technology.

Going P25 usually means going 800 mhz.
Not so.
Going to new system has often gone hand-in-hand with moving up-band.
This has been true just about forever.
To say moving to 800 MHz has anything to do with P25 dismisses about 30 years of radio system development.

VHF does not have the reflection, refraction and absorption that occurs at 800 mhz.
and VHF does have the noise, messy band plan, and poor portable antenna efficiency not found at 800 MHz.

Technology and band choice are separate issues. Linking them helps simplify it for those who care not to think.

So let me thank you from the rest, who care to think, rather than rely in the insight of experts like you.
 
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wwhitby

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The cost issue is a little bit of red herring, as the cost for similar quality/similar feature equipment is shrinking.
I pulled up the online catalog for Falcon Direct, a radio equipment dealer that advertises heavily around here. The one price sheet that I was able to access had the following prices on two digital ICOM radios:

ICOM F3161 HT - NXDN 512 channels - $593 under the State of Alabama contract.

ICOM F70D HT - P25 256 Channels - $1183 under the State contract.

So a municipality or agency that is looking around before they write up the RFQ is definately going to notice the difference in cost. In fact, i've been told unofficially that cost is one of the reasons why NXDN (or MOTOTRBO) was picked over P25 (the others were lack of scanners and narrowbanding/eventual 6.25Khz channel spacing, but cost was always mentioned.) For better or worse, bean counters do have a lot of pull....

Also, here in Alabama Kenwood conventional products are heavily used by local public safety agencies without problems, so Kenwood already had made positive impressions and good market share.

I think that eventually, NXDN use will become so prevelant that the Federal government will have to acknowledge NXDN as an approved standard. Kind of like shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted.

Warren
 

DPD1

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Plus, it's not just the radios... There's other associated costs that are lower. I don't know if it will ever be signed off on as a "standard" though, because the whole idea of a standard is... to have one recommended standard. Which for now is P25. But for municipalities, and especially private businesses, who don't really care what the standard is... they will probably go with NXDN. Unless the gov offers to pay for P25. And as far as the whole interoperability issue goes, I'm sure there's many orgs that think that's more about a political catch phrase than anything else... Umm... Which it is.
 

shaft

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Missouri is in the initial planning stages of setting up a statewide VHF P25 system and is supposed to be online sometime in 2012 or so.

Dennis
No they are not. Missouri will be deploying a statewide 700/800 P25 system with VHF being used in the Ozarks due to the terrain.
 

W9BU

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I think that eventually, NXDN use will become so prevelant that the Federal government will have to acknowledge NXDN as an approved standard.
The cynic in me wonders if the price of NXDN equipment will go up if the Federal government approves it as a standard.
 

loumaag

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NXDN may well become a popular mode (as someone above points out), but I will repeat mode and spectrum has no real relationship other than what is dictated by channel spacing. Indeed, there is no reason to stick to any one area of the spectrum within a single system. Use 700/800 MHz in the urban or at least flat densely populated area, use VHF for the hilly or spread out rural areas, combine them in one system and you get the interoperability being sought after. For an example see this system.

South Dakota has had a VHF statewide system using 100% P25 CAI for almost a decade and they don't use just Motorola equipment even though the system itself is a Motorola Smartzone system.

NXDN along with MotoTRBO will certainly gain popularity with commercial users; however, I fear that public safety users who go that route will eventually end up changing again. As some wags have said often in the past, analog was interoperable, and I guess as long as everyone had a common channel to talk on it would have worked. The purpose of establishing a standard is to get at least everyone using the same mode, even if they are not sharing channels. Channels (TGs, frequencies, even systems) can be patched and doing so becomes much easier if all you have to do is pass along a common use digital stream.
 
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N_Jay

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NXDN may well become a popular mode . . . . however, I fear that public safety users who go that route will eventually end up changing again. . . .
Well put.

(Agree with it all, quoted part is just for emphasis.)
 

SCPD

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I agree with 'ya Lou..... analog always provides interoperability:) The NXDN radios can all be flashed for P25 if interoperability is ever needed but, the NXDN capability is lost. For now, several counties in our area use Motobridge to communicate with each other if they don't have agency XYZ programmed in their radio.

I was impressed with the audio quality of the NXDN when we tested a portable radio, with rubber duck antenna, 20 miles from the receive site. The analog audio couldn't compare with the digital and it had a natural sound. The audio of NXDN is more pleasing to my ears than P25 but everyone is different.
 

citylink_uk

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I suppose DMR is the standard - NXDN is Kenwoods FDMA offering which Icom have bought into, Motorola and Tait separately have/are (respectively) developing TDMA solutions.

Although DMR is the 'standard, no-one seems to be able to agree whether TDMA or FDMA is better which isn't good when you want to define an interoperable 'standard'.

Digital Mobile Radio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

fwradio

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NXDN along with MotoTRBO will certainly gain popularity with commercial users; however, I fear that public safety users who go that route will eventually end up changing again. As some wags have said often in the past, analog was interoperable, and I guess as long as everyone had a common channel to talk on it would have worked. The purpose of establishing a standard is to get at least everyone using the same mode, even if they are not sharing channels. Channels (TGs, frequencies, even systems) can be patched and doing so becomes much easier if all you have to do is pass along a common use digital stream.
But the beauty of NXDN (Kenwood-style) is that you can build an NXDN system today and operate it that way. In a few years, when the budget allows, you can have all of the NXDN radios flashed for Project 25. I know that right now, an agency can buy into an NXDN system, either a simple single repeater, or even a single or multiple-site NXDN trunking system today, and when the budget allows, they will be able to upgrade the system to full P25 without ditching any of the equipment.

Here's my quick disclaimer on that statement: The NXDN radios can be upgraded to P25 today, but not for trunking yet. That will be coming later in 2010. They system should be upgradeable with a software change as well, but Kenwood is being very tight-lipped about that. At the very least, you can upgrade the repeaters by setting them up with Raytheon P25CC controllers.

Good approach to a new system without all of the costs upfront, and no equipment has to be replaced when you are ready to upgrade.
 
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