I started tracking the talk groups from a few DELWIN sites that are within range, and I am only seeing the DOC TGIDs. I’ll see if I pickup anything different during the day time tomorrow, but I was under the impression that DSP would continue to stay on the statewide system especially with the planned upgrade to a P25 Phase 1 system.
1. Interoperable. Yes technically Kenwood offers SmartZone subscribers (branded as Viking 16), but that's just from luck of acquisition.
2. Overall significantly greater system capacity. Not only with more RIDs and TGIDs, but with 9600 baud CC more system events and better traffic handling.
3. Significant number of more capabilities that are more or less invisible to those of us that are just interested in listening to voice traffic. First off, packet data is directly integrated into the system and not some hodgepodge of using analog voice talkgroups, more commands, etc.
So all this information is subject to someone correcting me, and is just barely a step above hearsay, but here's what I understand, and my interpretation, so take this all with a nice large grain of salt.
Currently the SmartZone system is actually backed by a P25 core. The conversion happened a while ago. The connection to the individual sites is via SmartX. Sounds like most of the SmartZone systems in the U.S. still kicking around that aren't actively being converted to P25 with a great deal of pace are operating this way. Gets critical traffic management components off of ancient computer hardware/software, although you are still stuck with a lot of the older technology used for SmartZone like non-ethernet (T1/Analog) site connectivity.
Last I heard from folks there was they were being told the conversion to P25 for the statewide public safety system would happen in about 2-3 years from now (this was almost a year ago and they were told 3-4 years).
I do not know enough about state politics in Delaware, but basically it seems like the P25 DELWIN system was designed explicitly for state agencies to supplement, rather than supplant the SmartZone system. Articles from the 2009 timeframe when it was announced indicated the intention of the project was to "piggyback" rather than replace the SmartZone system. There could be more at play here - example, some state agency (or group of agencies) wanted to usurp control of statewide communications from the Division of Communications by giving it a fancy name and waving around the use of (at the time) new more interoperable technologies. You see this happening all the time, and while it sort of has a negative connotation to it, it isn't always. Example is the COIRS system in Ohio. I guess the point is, there Division of Communications may be lacking authority to manage something, or answer to someone different than the folks who put the DELWIN system up.
You will note that the Division of Communications page on the 800MHz system makes ZERO reference to DELWIN. Normally I would chalk that up to an outdated website, but DELWIN was announced in 2009, and that page references 2014 activities in the past tense. Further, there and in other places they reference coverage enhancements, use of BDAs/DVRS, etc. So in my mind DELWIN was an answer to bad coverage for State Corrections, with a longer endgame of linking to whatever happens with the 800MHz system (even though the pieces are in place for Motorola to basically flip a switch and kick on P25 to start deploying site equipment, doesn't mean they could decide to put a P25 system out for bid). Whatever state agency manages that would be able to keep deploying to large state campuses but gain interoperability with the state - capacity would remain their issue, not the states and so corrections activities that rarely leave the campus remain on campus, but when they do off campus activity, they would be able to be interoperable with state police and others.
My caller wasn't sure, the only reason I thought it might have actually been happening is that the next day I got a second call from Delaware and that caller said he too heard they were switching "from a friend". Of course I cannot hear it from here so I figured maybe someone local might know.
Maybe these guys were talking to the same "friend"...
The DELWIN Harris system doesn't have the site infrastructure to support the state police. It is basically an overlay network, and seems to mostly support the DOC. The plan (accompanied by an executed agreement with MSI) is to convert the existing SmartZone system to ASTRO P25 using existing SmartZone sites. They are about midway through the process. From a solicitation for contractural services Appendix B:
"The State of Delaware’s Division of Communications has recently entered into an eight- year project with Motorola Solutions (“Motorola”) to migrate gradually the current LMR infrastructure to ASTRO25 P25 Phase I technology. The existing system core has already been upgraded to an ASTRO25 Release 7.13 core which controls the remaining Smartzone 3.Z components utilizing Motorola’s SmartX technology. Additionally, the State’s extensive backhaul network will be expanded and migrated to Ethernet technology in support of the new LMR system as an important part of the multi-year project which is expected to be complete in 2024."
Looking at the MSI SOW in the same document, the project schedule has installation of new consoles and MW to have been completed around this time - maybe that's what is being referred to?
I'm starting to think that the DELWIN system might get integrated into the main state system once the P25 upgrade is completed and the 700 MHz frequencies moved over. DELWIN is essentially in place to take advantage of the 700 MHz frequencies Delaware was given.
A document that was posted elsewhere in this forum (and the one I am referencing) states that in year 8 of the P25 upgrade program (2023-2024) will:
" Implement ISSI 8000 refresh for P25 Interoperability with State of Maryland and Delaware Department of Corrections."
This implies that the DELWIN system would remain a separate entity which makes sense in that it is an overlay multicast system (not simulcast btw) that supports interoperability, and functions as a limited backup to the current SmartZone and the future P25 system. The Feds were handing out Homeland Security grants to fund interoperable radio system programs, and the availability of 700 state channels made this possible. The regional CMARC 700 system in central Maryland is similar to DELWIN in that its main purpose is to support interoperability, while having a limited number of routine users. One member county has augmented CMARC in their county to function as their main radio system by adding more tower sites and integrating their 800 channels with the existing 700 CMARC channels.
The Delaware P25 upgrade program will use Phase 1, and is not adding any new tower sites (much like what was done in Howard County, MD when they upgraded their SmartZone system.) This means that the only way to add more talkpaths is to add more frequencies, and the 800 band is pretty much tapped out in the region. If it was determined that more channels are need, they *could* use the 700 channels from DELWIN, but then they would lose their backup system. Note that DELWIN and SmartZone / P25 system share the same (but not all) tower infrastructure for the most part, with DELWIN having a few dedicated sites at prison facilities.