Can you site your source of this information? Everything we've seen so far suggests they are not moving to 700 MHz. A license search shows they don't have any licenses for 700 or 800 MHz. They recently obtained licenses for 500 MHz, and the talk is that a P25 trunking system is already in place on that band. Perhaps you should check your source again, because I think you've been misinformed.
I politely concur. There has been increased affiliation activity in recent months on the UHF-T P25 system, all signs I'm aware of point to the fire service moving to that. I would also be astounded if the whole county-wide switch and vacation of fire VHF channels happens that quickly / that soon. Perhaps some geographic portions of the county will on that timeline, but I would/will be surprised for all fire VHF channels to go silent that quickly. Time will tell, switch-overs are usually interesting events to observe.
Just saw this post and have to throw in my two cents. It is indeed a 500 Mhz P25 system. It has been in place for a number of years and run/maintained by the Mercer County Office of Emergency Management. All of the PDs, Hospitals, Colleges, and Lifecomm / Central / Sheriffs were on it. In the past few years it was decided that it would be reallocated for a much wider use and include all emergency responders. This would be Fire, EMS, Police, and Public Works*. The existing system was not robust enough to handle that much use, so it was upgraded. In fact the actually switch over to the "new" system happened a few weeks ago. It is currently being tested by OEM and Cassidian, the manufacturer. The information in the database here is somewhat correct, but the new controllers have different site IDs. Testing is mainly being done on TG 10, but I've seen 20, 21, and 40 pop up. 500.9750 is the current control channel even though the database doesn't have it listed as one. There will actually be 3 sites. The Ch52 tower (NJN) in Lawrence, the Highstown water tower, and the Ewing PD tower (This will also be a backup system controller).
I can only speak for the fire service, but once ready, it will be used for response and command chatter. All on scene operations will take place on conventional UHF frequencies. This is very similar to Burlington County. The differences: Central will be able to monitor the fireground channels (monitor, not transmit back) and the channels will be assigned geographically, not like the standard Ops1, Ops2, and so on in Burlington.
The actual transition will happen in two phases.
Phase one: Response will move the P25, on scene operations will stay on the VHF channels.
Phase two: On scene ops will move the UHF conventional channels.
Paging will still be done on the VHF Fire-1 of 154.4300.
It you're really itching for more information, here is a link to the presentation that was given to all of the fire service officers from the fire academy's website.
Is Mercer County insane to build-out that T-band system? In less than 7 years, they're going to have to replace everything due to the giveback.
They would be much wiser to abandon ship now and start implementing in the D-block, which they're ultimately going to have to do anyway. It's an atrocious waste of taxpayer dollars to buy all this equipment knowing what's ahead in the near future.