would NHFD have tried NEXEDGE if Central Dispatch stayed on the air?
I would speculate so. Central would've adjusted accordingly to whatever the agencies they served operated on; much like the PD with EDACS. Its as simple as adding a Nexedge receiver into the console.
Nexedge seems like a decent platform. But for full usage in the volunteer fire service there are some issues to overcome. Interop is one of course, but the radios do a mixed mode which can basically run both. A dept could have 12.5 analog channels as well as 6.25 NXDN digital channels for themselves. Talking to neighbors running analog could simply be on the 12.5 channels that are availible for such. Nobody is running P25 in this county in the fire service so competing digital standards are not an issue. Big concern at this time would be paging on the home alert channel(s). Volunteers- at least in this county, still rely on analog voice pagers for primary alerting. There is no digtial voice pagers; with no plans in sight for any. Even with P25 being the "standard" its such a limited market. Voice paging is a limited product for most manufacturers and it effects our options. This is much like the situation with trunked networks and how to tone out calls on them; you have to still simulcast on an analog conventional channel. Much the same is a problem as we move towards digital. Carrying an actual radio around all day as opposed to a pager has been met with resistance and is not a practical option at this time.
Obviously there are different standards for digital: P25, Mototrbo, Nexedge etc. Everyone has there own opinion and choice. For the features, value to scale, and local dealer services offered, we are currently using Nexedge. Its fully acknowledged that the feds have been pushin P25. Its also no great secret that in return the manufacturers have priced P25 out of sight of most small public safety agencies and markets. If P25 becomes county standard someday, Nexedge equipement can be one time permantly flashed to do P25.
There has been talk on here about nexedge enabling people to go into steath mode and all this kind of stuff. This was the case when our first EDACS smr went in locally. That may be the case for some, but as far as this thread topic is concerned - analog will be primary for quite some time in the future. Digital will remain to be tested and used on a limited basis only in anticipation of the FCC mandating 6.25 frequency structure down the road. The investment has been made previously in 12.5 compliant analog portables and pagers currently in service. Nexedge portables are in limited issuance at this time.