LAS VEGAS--Kenwood USA unveiled the NEXEDGE product line of multimode conventional and trunked mobiles, portables and repeaters. Joe Watts, the company’s product manager, said the suite was developed in part to address the FCC’s narrowbanding requirements.

An important feature of NEXEDGE devices is their ability to operate in both analog mode (25 kHz- and 12 kHz-wide channels) and in digital mode (12.5 kHz- and 6.25 kHz-wide channels). The FCC has stipulated that public safety systems transition to 12.5 kHz-wide channels by January 2013 and has mandated that equipment vendors develop equipment capable of operating on 6.25 kHz-wide channels by January 2011.

“NEXEDGE will be ready for these changes, so users don’t have to change out subscriber or infrastructure equipment when that does occur,” he said. Indeed, the operational migration paths offered by the NEXEDGE suite are varied and permit operators to transition their fleets at their own pace, Watts said.

For instance, users easily can transition from conventional to trunked operation via a software upgrade. The analog mode includes a built-in inversion scrambler to thwart casual eavesdropping and a port for low- to high-level aftermarket encryption modules. The digital mode includes a built-in scrambler with a 15-bit key that yields 32,767 key combinations. Kenwood will offer an AES (256 bit) and DES (56 bit) encryption module as a future option, Watts said.

The portables weigh 14.29 ounces (with battery) and meet military specs C, D, E, F and IP 54/55 for various environments including vibration, dust, water and temperature extremes. The mobile radios are based on the company’s 180 series platform, part of its mid-priced radio offering targeted to enterprise and public safety users, Watts said.