LAS VEGAS—Harris today announced the XG-15P, a new P25 portable radio that is designed to provide governments and other entities with a lower-cost option as they try to leverage their P25 public-safety investments to also serve the communications needs of public-service personnel.

“This product is geared toward the public-service community; Harris envisions it as being an extension of a law-enforcement system,” Harris product manager Todd Perdieu said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “A lot of times, County XYZ is going to spend a lot of money on a law-enforcement system, but they’re also going to have public-service users, like county administration, department of transportation or even school districts able to leverage the system. But sometimes our equipment is not cost-effective for them.”

Harris designed the XG-15P to change this market dynamic, Perdieu said.

“The question I get a lot is, ‘Can I get a P25 radio for less than a thousand dollars?’” Perdieu said. “I call it the three-digit radio, and that’s really what the goal of this was.

“When you buy the XG-15P, you’re not just buying the radio; you’re buying the radio, the battery, the antenna, the charger and the belt clip,” Perdieu said. “Those five things come in a package, and the basic configuration for the P25 Phase 1 offering with those five things is about a $1,000 street price. That’s not our list price, but that’s where we think we want to be selling it to the end customer.”

Although less expensive than full-featured Harris public-safety radios, the XG-15P is built to meet Harris standards for reliable and ruggedized equipment, according to Harris product manager Chris Naisawald. The XG-15 does not support any of the proprietary Harris LMR technologies, but it does allow access to a variety of P25 networks—even Phase 2 systems—operating on UHF, VHF and 700/800 MHz spectrum, he said.

 “There are very few radios in that segment in that segment of the market that can do Phase II,” Naisawald said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

The XG-15P includes a full keypad with an LCD display and an AMBE+2 vocoder with noise suppression, according to a Harris press release. From a security standpoint, the XG-15P includes DES encryption, but there is no option to add AES encryption to the package, Perdieu said.

Utilities traditionally have declined to use P25 networks, in part because of the high cost of P25 devices that include many public-safety-specific features that are as helpful to utility workers. The fact that P25 does not provide robust data offerings still could limit penetration into the utility market, but having a lower-cost portable option like the XG-15 could make P25 a consideration in the sector, Perdieu said.

“In the past, we would not have been part of the conversation, but we certainly can be now,” he said.

In addition, the lower-cost XG-15 could open new options for highway departments that would like to have their personnel utilize a large P25 network but did not have the budget to pay for full-featured portables, Harris project manager Chris Naisawald said.

“Now, maybe they would be more willing to look at going onto a regional [P25] system, because now they access to a lower-cost radio,” Naisawald said.

Harris officials will showcase the XG-15P at Booth 1361 when the IWCE 2015 exhibit hall is open on Wednesday and Thursday.