Motorola last week announced launched new solutions and added capabilities to its DMR-based MOTOTRBO portfolio during the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) in Las Vegas, including functionality designed to help ease operators’ migration paths.

With more than 400,000 units sold worldwide, MOTOTRBO has been a popular choice for enterprises and some rural public-safety organizations since 2007 and is supported by an applications-developers ecosystem that has more than doubled in size during the past two years, said Paul Cizek, Motorola’s director of North America professional/commercial radios.

At IWCE, Motorola launched an 800/900 MHz version of the solution, including portable radios, mobile radios and the XPR 8380, an 800 MHz repeater that operates in analog and digital mode, supporting two simultaneous voice or data paths while in TDMA digital mode. The offering is ideal for operators making the transition from analog to digital, according to Cizek.

“We were seeing a market demand for this,” Cizek said. “Customers wanted to do a migration on a step-by-step basis, so this allowed them to say, ‘What if I have two or three groups sharing a particular frequency, but they don’t all want to go digital at the same time?’ This certainly fulfills that need.”

A 900 MHz version of the repeater is expected to be available later this year.

In the UHF band, Motorola introduced the MTR3000, a 100-watt base station/repeater that provides 16-channel capability, as well as the ability to work in analog or digital mode. When in TDMA digital mode, the MTR3000 supports two simultaneous voice or data paths.

For customers using the analog-only MTR2000 base station repeater, a software/hardware upgrade kit is available that enables their existing equipment to function as an MTR3000 “for about half the cost,” Cizek said.

Motorola also introduced its new Transmit Interrupt Suite for MOTOTRBO. Leveraging the two-slot TDMA technology in digital mode, this solution allows a dispatcher to interrupt an ongoing communications in a talk group to relay critical communications, Cizek said. The interruption is preceded by a tone and the user who is talking is automatically able to listen, which is not the case when trying to execute such an interruption in analog mode, he said.

“If you interrupt in analog, the transmitting unit is still keyed, and they don’t know what happened,” Cizek said.

In addition, Motorola introduced IMPRES fleet management for its two-way batteries and chargers. Instead of merely charging batteries, the IMPRES charger collects and displays information about characteristics of a battery, including its ability to hold a charge.

“You’d know when that battery needs replacement,” Cizek said.