ORLANDO—JVCKENWOOD USA will feature DMR Tier III trunking capability for the first time in its booth at IWCE 2018 this week, thanks to the company’s recent acquisition of Italy-based DMR developer Radio Activity.

“With the purchase of Radio Activity, we will have Tier III trunking available in the future—we’re showing that and a prototype Kenwood handheld working on the Tier III system [at IWCE 2018],” Don Wingo, senior product manager for JVCKENWOOD USA said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “It gives us a Tier III offering that we didn’t have. They bring in a whole new skill set to work with [JVCKENWOOD] engineering in Japan.”

Announced in December and completed in January, the Radio Activity acquisition “was probably one of the smartest purchases that Kenwood [JVCKENWOOD] has ever made,” Wingo said. With Radio Activity’s assets, JVCKENWOOD USA can be more independent as it seeks to develop solutions leveraging the DMR protocol, he said.

“Strategically, it does quite a bit,” Wingo said. “We’ve been dependent on other people as we’ve developed DMR. There a lot of stuff we did in house, but—like a lot of [manufacturers]—you go outside for software and things. Now, we have a full DMR solution—from Tier I Europe to Tier II and Tier III now that are available for North America. This gave us a full solution.”

Mark Jasin, JVCKENWOOD USA’s executive vice president, noted the value of Radio Activity’s DMR capability within the overall JVCKENWOOD USA product portfolio in a press release that was issued when the deal was announced in December.

“This acquisition further supports our expansion in DMR digital radio system solutions,” Jasin said in a prepared statement. “As more users turn to digital radio technology—particularly in private radio enterprise segments where spectrum is constrained—Tier III trunking and simulcast provide a necessary option for wide area coverage required by utilities, manufacturing and other industrial users.

“This acquisition of advanced DMR technology blended into our digital portfolio of NEXEDGE-NXDN, P25, and LTE positions JVCKENWOOD as the worldwide leader of digital communications solutions for enterprise and public safety.”

In addition to the DMR display, JVCKENWOOD USA will showcase its traditional NEXEDGE NXDN products, as well as the P25 solution from EF Johnson—technology that JVCKENWOOD acquired in 2014.

“Even with the introduction of DMR, we’re not abandoning NXDN,” Wingo said. “We can offer a very well-rounded solution now. Do you want P25? Sure. Do you want NXDN? Sure. Do you want DMR? Sure.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the first NEXEDGE NXDN products being released in North America—an occasion that JVCKENWOOD USA and the NXDN Forum plan to recognize throughout the year via myriad marketing efforts, according to John Grabowski, director of marketing and communications for JVCKENWOOD USA’s communications sector.

IWCE 2018 attendees can visit JVCKENWOOD USA in Booth 525.