Harris this week unveiled the XL-185P—a single-band LMR-LTE device—its portable-radio portfolio, as well as the option for customers to buy a version of the LMR-LTE subscribers that has received the new Class 1/Division 1 (C1/D1) intrinsically safe certification from Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

Harris decided to develop the XL-185P after the realizing the popularity of the company’s XL-200, a multi-band LMR-LTE device that was first showcased publicly more than two years ago, according to Mark Tesh, product manager for advanced development with Harris.

“That [XL-200] has done so well that we’re expanding that product line a lot,” Tesh said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “We’re launching a series of radios that are single-band-only variants—a VHF-only, a UHF-only and 700/800 MHz. Because of the utility market, we’re doing a 700-800-900 MHz version of it.

“It’s still LTE-capable, and ... It’s still a tiny radio with super audio, but it’s optimized for a bigger slice of our users. A lot of people are only licensed for 700/800 MHz, and they don’t have enough money to purchase multi-band. We want to bring them everything that the XL offers, as far as Wi-Fi voice, LTE voice, Wi-Fi hotspot, streaming video and all of that stuff in a package that’s priced for them.”

Indeed the list price for a standard XL-185P is $2,250--$1,000 less than the multi-band XL-200 and $150 more than he Harris XG-75 single-band radio, according to Don Griffis of Harris.

“The point here was to price this at just a little bit above our current leading single-band [radio], which is the XG-75 portable,” Griffis said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “We wanted to price just a little bit above that and keep it below the full multi-band radio.

“With the XL-185—over our current single-band [radio]—you get the top display, you get the embedded GPS, the Wi-Fi and the Bluetooth capability. So those are some really nice add-ons for maybe $100 more, list price. So, you can see that what we’re trying to do is migrate the customers over to a radio that initially, they can just have that and then add the LTE module later, or they can get it right off the bat with LTE.”

Currently, the LTE module is Verizon certified and is designed to operate on 700 MHz Band 14—the spectrum licensed to FirstNet—although the module has not been certified yet for use on the FirstNet system, which is being built by AT&T. Unveiled at this week’s International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) show in Philadelphia, the XL-185P is the first single-band radio that delivers both voice and data communications, according to a Harris press release.

“The thing about these radios that we see interesting users the most—that impacts a user day to day more than anything—is that voice over Wi-Fi comes standard with the radio,” Tesh said. “So, if you go deep into a hospital where cellular coverage is not good or radio coverage is not good, but there’s good hospital Wi-Fi, you can keep talking normally like there’s no tomorrow.

“That capability seems to really be valued by users in a day-to-day situation.”

In addition, the LMR-LTE devices now are available in versions that meet the intrinsically safe standard for C1/D1 use established by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) a few years ago. Purchasing the intrinsically safe XL-185Pi or the XL-200Pi does require additional money and some forethought on the part of the customer, Griffis said.

“With the standard XL-200 or XL-185, you can buy it as a standard radio, or you can get it upgraded to a C1/D2—that’s really just a battery and the associated labeling that goes along with C1/D2,” Griffis said. “To get C1/D1, it’s an entirely different radio; the circuitry is totally different.”