Kenwood to buy EF Johnson

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radef

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JVCKENWOOD Corporation to Acquire EF Johnson Technologies, Inc. -- IRVING, Texas, Jan. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

IRVING, Texas, Jan. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EF Johnson Technologies, Inc. announced today that JVCKENWOOD Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the company from its current owner, Francisco Partners. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014 subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. This pending acquisition is integral to JVCKENWOOD's overall strategic initiative to increase its focus on professional communications, especially the U.S. public safety market.
 
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SCPD

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Out of curiosity does any current radio offered by kenwood offer both nxdn and p25 in one unit? With this merger do you think we could see a efj with nxdn and p25 or vice versa with both formats since the propietary right for nxdn is kenwood?
 

KB5ILY

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No. IF Kenwood (or any other company) were to ever offer both NXDN and P25 in one unit, you can bet that it would not be cheaper than buying two separate radios. Besides just the physical engineering, there would be the software engineering, both by themselves would be a nightmare.
 
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Are you kidding me? 1 crap *** company buying another crap *** company. Maybe 1 day, Harris or Motorola with buy Kenwood and that would be the end of them.
Before everybody gets on my case about not liking Kenwood... Yes I have used Kenwood, for about 2 years every single day and I hated them. I hated them so much that I purchased my own 1250LS, so I didnt have to use those P O S.s

That is all. Have a good evenig.
 

chudson584

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Wow to the hater. I've used both EFJ and Kenwood and they've lasted me a great deal. Thick and thin. I do wilderness SAR and tech rescue and they both have been very reliable. All the ones I have ever owned. Currently running with a EFJ 5100.
 

PJH

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Motorola = unnessary $$$.

Disclaimer, my entire vehicle, with the exception of lowband is Motorola. However, between sales tactics, bullish BS from the tech guys in only using Moto products, I am starting to lean towards the Harris Unity line for further purchases for the departments I manage. I've been hearing and seeing good things from them (and without the Moto BS).

I've switched one dept to Kenwood 90 series mobiles a few years back, and have been very happy with their performance. I used Motorola portables, but the mobiles won over in the mid tier category.

I've never been a fan of their low tier radios, and even some of their mid-tier ones. However I have come into possession of a TK2180 and that thing performs (for RF) very well. Of course it doesn't have an APX sized speaker, but its not meant to compete there. But RF wise, is performs the same in side by side field tests.

You do get what you pay for, but lately Moto has been overpricing themselves out of the "almost affordable" market compared to their contemporaries.

EFJ does have some good stuff out there, and sorry to see them go. Kenwood is stepping up the game in various directions and I hope the best for them.
 

chudson584

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One thing I can say about Motorola. They're like apple. Come out with these flashy and fancy radios, have performance issues, and are triple the cost.
 

mmckenna

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Out of curiosity does any current radio offered by kenwood offer both nxdn and p25 in one unit? With this merger do you think we could see a efj with nxdn and p25 or vice versa with both formats since the propietary right for nxdn is kenwood?
Not yet. There is scuttlebutt that they'll be releasing a radio that does both P25 and NXDN at IWCE. I've heard this from two reliable sources now, including our Kenwood factory rep. This is certainly not out of the question since both NXDN and P25 use the same AMBE+2 vocoder. It should only take additional memory space to hold both formats. Memory is cheap. As for radio price, the cost increases will be for the P25 licensing. That will drive prices up a few hundred bucks, but they still be competitive. I, for one, have a legitimate need for a radio that will do both, so this will be welcome.

The factory rep also has been saying for a while now that Kenwood was looking into joining the multi-band radio market. Rumor was that Kenwood was looking at two options, 1. building their own radio from scratch, or 2. rebadging a radio from a "friendly" competitor. The EF Johnson VP900 fits the bill.
Bonus points if they can do a dual band, analog/P25/NXDN radio. I'll probably by 30 portables and 10 mobiles, our Chief was asking for such a beast just two weeks ago.

EF Johnson has been struggling, so combining forces with Kenwood is likely a smart move. This leaves Harris, Motorola and Kenwood as the big players. Many agencies in my area are already switching to Kenwood due to the pricing. I replaced my 800MHz SmartNet system 2 years ago with Kenwood and have been getting drastically better support from Kenwood than I ever did from Motorola. Unfortunately for Motorola, their sales tactics have burned a lot of bridges, and the competitors are waiting to step in. Motorola will have the brand loyalty for a long time to come, and that will likely keep them on top, but it isn't going to last forever. Motorola has been on the downhill slide for quite a while now, the writing is on the wall, no matter what the die hards say. They make some great radios, for the most part, but the people who make the company are not what they used to be. Sales tactics have pushed the company in this direction.

Like it or not, the market is driving things here. As the competition heats up, it'll likely be good for the customers.
 

chudson584

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I personally don't see any functional use or advantage overall to need P25/NXDN on one portable or mobile rig. I tend to see that theres trends that catch on. One agency here went trbo and then several others followed suit. As far as interop, I could see the need, but not so much as P25 is the only thing I know of that's interop complient as far as EM goes. Read that nxdn may be next but I doubt it. Also, I have yet to see any P25 or mototrbo that only does digital. Everything I've used or looked at allows analog and digital use.
 

mmckenna

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I personally don't see any functional use or advantage overall to need P25/NXDN on one portable or mobile rig. I tend to see that theres trends that catch on. One agency here went trbo and then several others followed suit. As far as interop, I could see the need, but not so much as P25 is the only thing I know of that's interop complient as far as EM goes. Read that nxdn may be next but I doubt it. Also, I have yet to see any P25 or mototrbo that only does digital. Everything I've used or looked at allows analog and digital use.
Yep, All the P25, NXDN and DMR radios I've seen also do analog. This is why we use an analog back up 800MHz repeater, it's as universal as you can get and solves some interoperability issues, in a jam. Issue is when the system gets large enough, trunking is required. We can't run our operations on a couple of analog channels, we need the flexibility of a Trunked system. Even in an emergency, when the traffic goes through the roof, we still need the trunking in place to keep sanity.

Where this product will shine is for large cities that have multiple departments. Law enforcement can use P25, but public works and other departments can use cheaper NXDN systems. The cost savings between a P25 system and a NXDN system are pretty big. Outfitting non first responders with a less expensive radio can be a considerable cost savings. Keep the high end/P25 radios for those who need it. The guy who drives the garbage truck doesn't need to talk to the police officer. I've seen too many municipalities that have $4000 P25 radios in the hands of the guys who drive the lawn mowers in the park, drive the garbage trucks, etc. This is a colossal waste of taxpayers money. A multi standard radio would solve some of this. As a radio guy, I'm happy to see it. As a taxpayer, I'm thrilled that there is better solutions on the horizon, especially ones that can save money. 'Bout friggen time.
 

LubeckTech

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As a service tech I have worked on EFJ Radios Kenwood and Motorola radios (BK too) for over 10 years now. To me Kenwood is easiest to service Motorola is slightly more durable but more difficult to repair and the Johnson P25 radios were TOTAL junk. EFJ made great CB radios but their FM stuff is garbage and always has been. To their credit they were the first viable trunking system I saw.

At one point there was some interaction between EFJ and Motorola in the Transcrypt days which was almost comical considering what a small company EFJ was in comparison to motorola.

WHY would Kenwood purchase EFJ????????????

Is there some patent they need?
 

MTS2000des

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Great strategy on JVC Kenwood's part. They want to get more into the 700/800MHz arena where all the money is in LMR. EFJ has some pretty innovative subscriber products, e.g. the VP600 and new multi-band VP900 radios. EFJ also has P25 infrastructure, something Kenwood does not.

This makes perfect sense. Kenwood is positioning to go head to head with Motorola, not just in subscriber radio sales, but infrastructure as well, P25 wise. They know where the money is in LMR. And they are going after it.

And they should, Motorola Solutions has a stronghold that is long overdue for some competition. I own mostly Motorola portables, only because our agencies are blind sighted into thinking that is ALL that is out there P25 wise, and most of them are 700/800MHz licensees.

My ham and conventional gear, mobile wise is almost all Kenwood. They make a great product, at an affordable price point, and support it well.

If Kenwood plays this right, they will make out very well. But they are going head to head with big money (Motorola and Harris). It takes big teeth to bite into the same pie the big dogs are circling around...
 

PJH

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The issue isn't that, but cost/benefits. We say the same thing with LTR years back. Why spend millions (many, literally) on a radio system and user radios when you can have the same functionality (or even better) with a TRBO or NXDN system for 1/8th of the cost? That's what is it coming to in many locations - and the smart radio shops are doing this. Its an easy sale.

The issue is that many of the industry groups become swayed rather easily and run with stuff that the manufactures push. Look at the current FirstNET controversy..

Was there a need for an interoperable solution? Sure. Phase 1 was a great sales tactic to lock everyone in. Analog IS interoperable and there was no reason to go digital exclusive using the bandwidth. TDMA, sure, that a given, but just "lets go digital"? Not so much.

Ultra narrowband? Sure...when the time comes, but why over complicate the wheel?


I personally don't see any functional use or advantage overall to need P25/NXDN on one portable or mobile rig. I tend to see that theres trends that catch on. One agency here went trbo and then several others followed suit. As far as interop, I could see the need, but not so much as P25 is the only thing I know of that's interop complient as far as EM goes. Read that nxdn may be next but I doubt it. Also, I have yet to see any P25 or mototrbo that only does digital. Everything I've used or looked at allows analog and digital use.
 

Coffeemug

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Wow EF Johnson and Kenwood what a combo. That's like taking Midland and merging them with Icom. Don't get me wrong, Kenwood is good brand, but there's nothing quite like the sound feel of a Motorola. The one bad thing with most manufactures, you must take your radio to an authorized dealer. The very uneasy selling programming to Hams or directly to the agency the uses their equipment. I sure hope that EF Johnson and Kenwood continue with excel lance, because some mergers produce better quality products Then again, a lot of mergers fail, but hey I hope see another digital / analog radio that will have the AMBE vocorder chip to be D-STAR ready and give Icom some competition. After all, Icom does not have ownership of D-STAR. That was patented by JARL, ICOM
 
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2wayfreq

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I was wondering why Kenwood didn't have a Pubic Safety Multi-Band radio yet. I guess they will use the Viking VP900 as a Re-badge or basis to develop a new line. I hope they come out with a 700/800 UHF model soon in the (TK-5410/5910) format.
 

ScanWI

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This is going to help Kenwood, EFJ probably not. Kenwood has still failed to build a reliable P25 trunking platform. They need the engineering from EFJ to build their radios. This will be interesting to watch. EFJ has built a great product and their open architecture infrastructure has been great to work with. I just hope Kenwood doesn't try and re-engineering EFJ.

It will be awhile before we see any changes as the merger will take awhile. Fingers crossed.
 

MTS2000des

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This is going to help Kenwood, EFJ probably not. Kenwood has still failed to build a reliable P25 trunking platform. They need the engineering from EFJ to build their radios. This will be interesting to watch. EFJ has built a great product and their open architecture infrastructure has been great to work with. I just hope Kenwood doesn't try and re-engineering EFJ.

It will be awhile before we see any changes as the merger will take awhile. Fingers crossed.
Yep, Kenwood builds a GREAT subscriber radio for analog, NXDN and P25 phase 1 (the current flavor of TK-5210/5410), but has no direction in the P25 infrastructure market. And there is money to be made there. Pools of money. They know this. They are going after it. NXDN is a GREAT LMR platform, but not for building out a large, statewide or regional DTRS.

Anyone who hasn't tried any of Kenwood's current LMR and P25 offerings and is hooked on that "Motorola" feel will be quite surprised at the build quality of their subscriber hardware. I was sold back in 2004 when the 2180/3180 and 90 series mobiles hit the market. Best analog radios I've ever heard, yes, even better than the Spectras I was running at the time, and way better than the Pro/Waris garbage I had the task of maintaining a fleet of for my employer.

I too, hope that Kenwood learns from EFJ and does not hose this up. I love EFJ's open core architecture of their IP25 ATLAS portfolio, versus the closed, walled garden of Motorola's Astro 25:

EFJohnson Technologies | Trunked IP25 System
 

lep

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Wow EF Johnson and Kenwood what a combo. ..

After all, Icom does not have ownership of D-STAR. That was patented by JARL, ICOM
I subscribe to the JARL magazine (yes text is all in Japanese) but the color advertisements sometimes show Kenwood branded amateur radio transceivers that are D-Star capable. These are not imported into the USA. My impression from looking briefly at the financials (a little hard to interpret from Yen) is that Kenwood is a much larger company than ICOM. [of no particular significance, I met Mr. Inoue [ICOM founder] once some years ago at a meeting in Orlando]

Some claim they are made by ICOM with Kenwood labels but I have not held one in my hand so I am not certain,
 

ScanWI

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Yep, Kenwood builds a GREAT subscriber radio for analog, NXDN and P25 phase 1 (the current flavor of TK-5210/5410), but has no direction in the P25 infrastructure market.
Their P25 trunking radios are full of issues and plagued with engineers writing special firmware in order for them to work on systems. They are writing custom firmware to the costumer not just to each individual system. This is a huge red flag, I would never trust my life to a Kenwood P25 trunking radio. conventional digital and analog they work great.
 
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