Manitoba: MTS Fleetnet 2.0 - APCO P25 Trunking System

Mars_P25

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A new trunking system for Province Of Manitoba is in the process of being installed. This system will eventually replace the ancient MTS Fleetnet SmartZone Omnilink 4.1 system. It will provide public safety communications for RCMP, EMS and fire ops, province-wide (excluding City of Winnipeg).

Multiple sites are up for TESTING. There has been no voice traffic logged in more than a week. System information, frequencies, site numbers/locations and other particulars are subject to change as the engineers configure the network.

Agency/name: MTS Fleetnet 2.0
Type: APCO P25 Trunking Phase I/II
WACN: BEE00
SYS ID: 9EE

Bandplan:

Bandplan BEE00.9EE-0: Base=851.00625 Offset=-45 Spacing=6.25 BW=12.5
Bandplan BEE00.9EE-1: Base=762.00625 Offset=+30 Spacing=6.25 BW=12.5
Bandplan BEE00.9EE-2: Base=851.01250 Offset=-45 Spacing=12.5 BW=12.5 Slots=2
Bandplan BEE00.9EE-3: Base=762.00625 Offset=+30 Spacing=12.5 BW=12.5 Slots=2
Bandplan BEE00.9EE-4: Base=935.01250 Offset=-39 Spacing=12.5 BW=12.5
Bandplan BEE00.9EE-5: Base=935.01250 Offset=-39 Spacing=12.5 BW=12.5 Slots=2

(These look to be default settings... They will most likely change)

All listed sites below are transmitting from unknown locations in the greater-Winnipeg area. Winnipeg, Selkirk, Steinbach, Portage, Morris -- these rough locations are my best guess. The control channels are strong. Watch the ISED TAFL and do some potential DFing to determine locations. Submitted to the RR DB. Your assistance is appreciated!

Site 33.1
770.20625 CC
770.45625
770.70625
770.95625

Site 69.1
770.16875 CC
770.41875
770.66875
770.91875

Site 93.1
771.09375 CC
771.34375
771.59375
771.84375

Site 22.1
771.11875 CC
771.36875
771.61875
771.86875

Site 80.1
771.09375 CC
771.34375
771.59375
771.84375
 

Mars_P25

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Yep, what he said. heh.

The sites are indicating they're not linked (site-trunking) at the moment. This is totally normal. The system is being shipped to BellMTS as pre-assembled sites, so they're essentially plug-and-play, aside from the hookups. The build-out is going to take a while as the system is networked, burn-in tested, PIM tested and bugs are worked out (totally normal during construction, not indicative of anything stupid).

Each tower site will have a single-frequency VHF radio (Voice-on-Control) so certain agencies who have opted for VHF service (natural resources/conservation) can have coverage. Some sites like Winnipeg, may have more than one VHF channel. It's going to suck as there's no P25 Phase II (TDMA) control channel defined in the standard (unlike DMR Tier III). This means single-frequency FDMA VHF sites are going to be very limited in terms of what they can do.

No word on encryption/agencies yet. RCMP will 100% for sure be AES-256 with OTAR. That's a given.

There's talk of flashing 9600 APCO25 Trunking into the existing XTS/XTL 2500/5000 radios which are in use by several agencies currently operating on the Fleetnet SmartZone Omnilink 4.1 (3600 trunking) system. Thousands of new APX radios have also been included as part of the contract. I would imagine many of the rural fire departments will receive these, as their GTX, LTS2000 and MTS2000 portables are not compatible with APCO25 trunking :)

Certain customers have demanded the system be operational by the end of 2020, so it's going to happen very quickly. Keep searching 769-776 and 136-174 (the existing 16x.xxxx frequencies will likely be re-used) for control channels. Please submit any data you find to the RR database so we can keep tabs on the new system, just like they've done here for AFRRCS system in Alberta.

Don't assume any talkgroup/radio ID/encryption configurations are final during the testing/build-out phase. BellMTS hasn't even got the sites networked or anything set up yet. No radios have even been programmed yet.
 

mickeryay

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Nov 10, 2010
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Hey, I’m on a FD here in southeast MB. We are having to replace some of our older FleetNet's because of this. Anyway, we use some PRO-197's for monitoring local Depts.
Will we be able to keep monitoring once the new system is running?
 

mciupa

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If those Fire Department talkgroups stay on APCO P25 - Phase 1, then that scanner can.
 

Mars_P25

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When's the last time you got something from CCSI that was 100% configured correctly? Me...never. :whistle:
I "hear" there have already been mistakes. And for the price the customer is paying for the equipment, the tolerance for this being accepted as the norm is quite low. Welcome to Motorola, where incompetence is encouraged and rewarded.
 

Mars_P25

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Hey, I’m on a FD here in southeast MB. We are having to replace some of our older FleetNet's because of this. Anyway, we use some PRO-197's for monitoring local Depts.
Will we be able to keep monitoring once the new system is running?
Hey man. Thanks for your volunteer service. It's appreciated. I no longer live in MB, but enjoyed the company of many good people in your part of the province and listened to the nonsense you guys have had to deal with with respect to the radios, budgets, BBQs to raise funds, etc.

About the radios: Your comms will likely be P25 Phase I, meaning the scanner will be able to monitor the new system. BUT, and this is critical: ONLY if the talkgroups are provisioned without encryption. No one knows yet, what the deal with that will be. There's really no need to encrypt fire comms, but encryption seems to be the new "thing" these days.

If you guys have any XTS1500s, XTS2500s or XTL1500/XTL2500 (mobile radios) at your hall, they can be updated to support the new system. That said, Motorola may not be willing to sell you the upgrade as they want you to purchase APX (family) radios, instead. From what I have heard, BellMTS _IS_ in the process of re-flashing the XTS/XTL series radios for the new system. I am assuming they made an arrangement with Motorola to sell them upgrades for the older units. As you know, rural fire departments don't have $5000-per-radio kicking around in their budgets. It doesn't work that way out there.

It'll be interesting to see how Brandon 911 handles fire dispatching on the new system. If you guys get "toned" over the radio talkgroup (maybe they'll do away with the VHF pagers? To be seen...) then you can look at some very cool products such as the Unication G4 or G5 pager/radios: https://www.unicationusa.com/

I'll post another Fleetnet 2.0 update soon. Haven't had a chance to go over the data for a while.
 

mickeryay

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Nov 10, 2010
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Thanks for the reply. I kinda wonder if you're the guy I bought my first scanner from? Your name looks familiar.

I’m one of the guys in charge of comms in our dept. We have two or three new XTS that can get flashed over, the rest are GTX. We are one of the larger rural departments, so we have a 40 or 50 thousand dollar budget for new FleetNets.
Had Pro-106's for years, thinking of stepping up to a SDS100.
 

beeperboy

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Nov 13, 2008
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Location
Calgary
Are the old XTL/XTS radios even supported anymore? I thought Motorola stopped that at least 5 years ago? Why would they sell new firmware for them, when they won't sell you parts?
 

Jay911

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Bragg Creek, Alberta
Are the old XTL/XTS radios even supported anymore? I thought Motorola stopped that at least 5 years ago? Why would they sell new firmware for them, when they won't sell you parts?
There are a few folks still using them here. IIRC the "last" firmware upgrades were made final a year or so ago but I seem to remember hearing that a special "very last" upgrade was made available more recently than that to fix something that caused the radios to not tolerate Harris systems (hmm). But yes, the response to any concerns about the XTS/XTL line at present is met with "That sucks. How many APXs can we put you down for?"
 

Mars_P25

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To be clear about XTS/XTL radios: They work just fine on APCO25 trunking systems -- especially Motorola-branded ones, which is what Fleetnet 2.0 is. Any nonsense from Moto about them not being supported or somehow "not good enough" is laughable. If given the choice between a XTS2500 or 5000, and a APX6000, I would choose the XTS in a heartbeat. The APX stuff does nothing for me.

If one were to phone Moto for a flash upgrade (for XTS/XTL), they'd be hung up on. But I heard from a reliable source, they're making it happen for existing radios on MTS Fleetnet that are capable of being upgraded. There are massive fleets of 2500s in use by the RHAs, Manitoba Lotteries, Manitoba Justice (Sheriffs) and WRHA security (to a lesser extent).

I realize upgrades should be sourced through Motorola, but if they're unwilling to sell (i.e. accept a customer's cash) for a product or service, I hardly see the ethical or moral issue with someone using a certain software package to add the feature themselves. It's not as if doing it one way vs. Motorola's way is any different. A bit gets enabled in the radio. Feature now available for use in CPS/config. Just think of how much money Moto could've made if they had a secure website set up with a customer could purchase an entitlement for a radio(s), after supplying ESN, serial number, model, existing flash, etc. But no. That's too logical.

Mickeryay: I'm likely not the same guy you may be thinking of. I've never sold scanners before, except for one I recently tried to sell (PRO-106) which no one seems interested in. With a budget as large as the one you're describing, I would hazard a guess it might be auto dealership capital of southeastern Manitoba. It's worth the trip...
 
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